Thursday, February 20, 2014

Google Street View painting study and reference in Amsterdam

Cervezas by the Canal Study, 9x12in, oil on canvas, 2014

Google Street View screen capture reference iamge, 2013, location in Amsterdam.

Images are constructed by technology. Before 'analog' photography, traditional painting was the mode to capture likeness of people, places or events. Now digital imaging software and hardware drive the visuals we experience through our screens. From satellites to a phone camera, images are constructed with evidence of their digital anatomy. The Google (9-eye) camera, now available  as a pack, is one of the primary tools of mapping today. Digital software such as photo-stitching, blur and exaggerated perspective due to lens distortion are evident in the images.

I enjoy seeing the artifacts of the technology in images like this Google Street View capture in Amsterdam. The abstractions in the lower half of this image demonstrate peculiar perspective do to lens distortion, and photo stitching is employed to build something recognizable. As a screen capture I feel this image is compelling not simply because of the formal qualities, but because the evidence of the technology.   

This is a great link to more information on Google Street View.

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