Date Due

Arts 102 Conceptual Art of Photoshop

George Legrrady

Resolution Impact

Thursday, January 15, 2009

General Description

The intent of all of the projects in this course is to experiment with the techniques of Photoshop with the purpose to create art and new kinds of images that build upon the tradition of optical, mechanical, computational technologies from the 19th to the 21st century and art movements such as Constructivism, Bauhaus, 20th cent. Abstraction, minimalism, conceptual art, and histories of the optical, electronic, mechanically produced still and moving image: photography, cinema, video and digital media arts.

We will cover examples in the course but you will need to do additional research on your own. An ideal reference page is the following historical overview page: Digital Media Overview

In the process of doing these assignments you will learn a lot about Photoshop as an image processing instrument, and the nature of digitalization.



When digital images are reduced in size, data is thrown away, and the quality of the image is reduced. When images are enlarged, Photoshop will add data information also resulting in reduced quality of the image.

To explore the aesthetic potential of these processes which under standard conditions are considered to be problematic procedures.

Original image


Begin with an image around 640x480 pixels at 72 dpi.

Using IMAGE SIZE reduce the image down to 10% of its size: 64x48

Keep “constraint proportions ON

Another variation is to turn “constraint proportions OFF” and then change the horizontal and vertical in a non-proportion way. For instance reduction a 640x480 image to 320x48 then back to 640x480

Image size methods

Please note at there are choices for how the software will reduce:
- Nearest Neighbor: results in each pixel copying the neighbor’s values
- Bicubic does an average of images surrounding the current pixel
- Bicubic Sharp is the best for reducing images

Do a reduction version of your image with each of the above saving them into 3 different small images.

Enlarge images

Now enlarge each of the 3 back to 640x480 with each of the above plus bicubic smooth resulting in a total of 12 images.

Compare them to see differences. Once you have done this, then keep the one that works best for you, and continue with the following:

Make 2 copies of the image. Reduce one to black and white by using the IMAGE/MODE/ GRAYSCALE function. Once that is done then proceed to a 1bit black/white high contrast image using BITMAP. Try the 50% THRESHOLD, the PATTERN DITHER and the DIFFUSION DITHER.

With the other image, reduce the color tones using IMAGE/ADJUSTMENTS/HUE/ SATURATION. Take the saturation bar and start moving it to the left. Note how the color begins to fade away eventually ending up with a black/white greytone image. Now push it in the other direction to see how the SATURATION INCREASES colors in the pixels.


Final step: Compare your results with the original image

Send results to mailing list
  arts102@mat.ucsb.edu (email should not be larger then 5MB
(That means a maximum of 5 uncompressed 640x480 images per email)