Aerosol art GIF

About the Graphics

Photographing aerosol art is not always easy. It's often hard to get a vantage point that allows you to use a normal camera lens. For this reason, where necessary, I've used a very wide angle lens, 24mm focal length. The geometry of such an image distorts the original a little. Also, many of the images on these pages were painted on curved surfaces of large concrete water tanks, and are subject to the distortions of the surface geometry, from the camera's perspective. Finally, some images are distorted because they have been taken from above or from the side. I've compensated for the distortions using Adobe Photoshop 4. Likewise the colour balance is at the mercy of the available light (a portable flash doesn't work for large scale images), so it's often necessary to adjust the colour balance to reduce the strong blue cast added to images lit only by the blue sky. Again, I used Photoshop to do this.

I scanned the images from 35mm colour negatives using an HP Photosmart Scanner. The photographs were taken using a Minolta 9xi with Minolta 24mm f/2.8 AF and 35-105mm AF zoom lenses. I use Fujicolor 800 Super G Plus colour negative film, which has an exceptional combination of colour depth, fine grain and speed. All image processing was done using Photoshop. I have used a range of programs for graphics compression, including Ulead Smartsaver, Adobe ImageReady, Xatech JPEG Optimizer and Pegasus PicPress, among others.

See here for more thoughts on photographing graffiti art.

[Note that you can save a lot of download time by cropping images - unnecessary outer areas of a photograph only delay the loading of the image and add nothing to the information contained. Compressing the image is very important to minimise the file size. There are a range of products available to compress files. Generally editing programs like Photoshop do not do the best job on compression. It's also important not to over-compress an image, or the quality of the image detail can suffer. For further information, see my graphics compression software review pages.]

Finally, aerosol art is quite often vandalised by hoons scribbling low calibre graffiti on top of it. If the original is not too badly disfigured, it's possible to use Photoshop to restore the image to near-original appearance by cloning bits of undamaged image. I've done this on two of the images on these pages.

May 1998

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