madshutterbug (madshutterbug) wrote,

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Thursday. Must Be StaysHome Day

It is indeed a day to abstain from going to Hospital. There are things to do about the Ranch, of course, and potentially errands to run. One errand at least.

Instead, I am sitting here, conducting some web surfing with the occasional interruption by a Houdini Nose (Boss. Need Pettins onna head.) and working on a visual project.

Consider 'watermarking'. Some time back, and still does I'm sure, watermarking referred to a mark left on paper by the maker. These days, it often means something similar done to digital imagery (so likely not using actual water). A watermark in this use is to discourage theft or unauthorised use of the imagery.

Consider signatures. Painters sign their work, an old practice. A lot of photographers sign their prints, with the usual manner (or perhaps I should say the manner I learned) being in pencil on 'silver gelatin' or traditional emulsion on paper black and white prints. I've been 'signing' my digital pieces for display on the Internet, usually using a script-type font. Been thinking hard about doing so with an actual signature. Results, so far, are not so satisfactory to my eye.

Over the past few weeks, while perusing photographs on line through a couple different sites, I've been looking for examples of both watermarking and signatures. In a few of those images I saw something that piqued my interest, and could be a bit of both. A logo, or other design (for description), placed in the image, semi-transparent as a watermark yet not covering the entire image. Started contemplating that in my meditations and another thought from my past occurred to me: a signature methodology from another culture, a name I used when portraying that culture, and a new means to an end.

So I looked through file archives to find the building blocks I need, as I'd already done a bit of work in this direction for user icons here in the Blogosphere. Started experimenting. Rather intrigued with some of the results, not done 'playing' yet. In one sense, what I do will not be exactly the same as the methodology I mention. In another, it certainly is a contemporary equivalent. The methodology I'm using to start this journey of exploration is from Asia, specifically China and Japan, and the one-word referent I've got for it is 'Chop'. A Chop is a stamp, carved into stone or hard wood, and the kanji (characters) of the name to whom the chop belongs. The characters are usually a bit more line-like (poor description) than brush-like (since a brush is used for this style of Asian writing), probably since they are carved into the stamp. A Chop provides a quick means to sign any document, whether artwork or contact. As such, it becomes a vital bit of personal belonging, something one would safeguard well since anyone possessing ones Chop could sign and therefore commit to a business deal or other course of action in which one might, otherwise, not wish to participate.

In the digital world, the Chop becomes a graphic design (which it is even on that physical stamp), and a file which may be inserted and scaled appropriately as a signature on a visual image. I'm not sure it carries the same socio-demographic implications of the stamp chop in the societies that originated the use. It also is opening the window on a variation to this theme, an ability to use such (either kanji or other written language, whether computer font or hand-written) as part of the design elements in an image.

While I'm reasonably certain I will try the experiment of marking my photographs as mine with this device, I am not sure where else this journey is going to take me. And that is, really, rather exciting. And, in one sense, hardly a Staying Home, even if the steps on the journey take place within the confines of the walls to my house.

In other news, I really do need to order those replacement batteries for the battery backup UPS otherwise simply sitting there...

This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
Tags: art, life the universe and everything

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