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Straightened Trees (danieltemkin.com)
187 points by samizdis on July 17, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 36 comments



My first thought was of course along the lines of "a flattened n-ary tree representation", but no, it's about real trees, or rather, pictures of them. Well worth a click.


This was my thought too! It took a while to load for me, so I was even more surprised. Really clever art, and agreed that it was worth the click


Neat, but calling large format film "the only medium that captures enough detail to straighten the tree without pixelly artifacts" is silly.

Large format film is gorgeous and captures tons of detail, but you could capture much, much more with a digital panorama.


Panoramic shots, knitting things together, doesn't work with trees. They are always moving. You need a single instance where all the pixels are captured at once. One shutter in one camera. Film still has the edge there.


Fair point.


Wait, this isn't how internet arguments work...


Welcome to HN! This is exactly why I like this place more than other forums.


Multi-cam instantaneous shots do work though. And way better than noisy film.


Apples and oranges. Multiple film cameras firing together would also be better than multiple digitals. And you still have similar issues with knitting things together as now each camera is a slightly different perspective.


> Multi-cam instantaneous shots do work though.

That's a good idea

> And way better than noisy film.

Larger film = less noise


That’s N times more expensive and much more difficult than shooting single camera though. And, digital sensors have noise, too. Try shooting low light and you’ll see.


Hi, artist here showing up a little late. Working in 4x5 was a reluctant choice at first, as I had little experience with it at the time, but had advantages. The edges of the negative make for a visual cue to the straightening in addition to the buildings. Rise/fall and rear tilt helped get the ideal angle on the tree so that the background structures are square, and in shots where I'm close to the tree, like the W. Hastings one, I'm using front tilt to get part of the tree in focus and also part of the building, which serves to make both the subject.

I think beginning and ending in the analog space (these are silver gelatin prints) make the compulsive ordering -- which feels so digital -- more disruptive than they might be in an image that reads as digital already. They are paired with my Dither Studies, which similarly deal with the computational in an analog medium (acrylic paint), in a show up now with my gallery https://higherpictures.com


This is quite brilliant from an artistic perspective. The world bending to fit in with the tree.

Whenever I walk around I look at old gnarled trees (the few remaining) I try and imagine what they were bending away fr and trying to imagine how their gnarls and bends were created. They have quite interesting stories to tell when you focus in on them individually.


I would really love to see a technical breakdown and see how it works, what his stack looks like, how the straigthening info is put in, etc...


For some reason I get slightly nauseous when looking at those photos, almost like they're giving me motion sickness. Weird.


This blog is well worth exploring. There is something immensely satisfying about the work the artist does.


And then when you're done you can move on to his other project: https://esoteric.codes/


I'd like to see the trees before they were straightened…


You could probably use the distorted backgrounds to reconstruct the original photograph.


That was my first thought too—but then part of me wonders if seeing the original would ruin the work. Some of the intrigue comes from trying to use the background to imagine the tree's original shape.


Here's the palm tree labeled "South Dixie Highway": https://goo.gl/maps/NjrFy7686RQfuJJ29


I thought this was going to be about linked lists.


Me too, I thought it was some tree operation I had missed in my recent Covid pre-interview Leetcoding.


I hoped to see an old, twisted olive tree (something like https://i0.wp.com/www.fondazioneterradotranto.it/wp-content/...)


Neat idea, but the inverted warp that straightens the tree feels quite arbitrary.

In particular, the facts that 1) the "intensity" of the warp doesn't seem to taper off with distance 2) the branches don't seem to have been straightened in any meaningful fashion.


Oh cool. This is my cousin. Small world. It’s about time his work has appeared on the HN front page.


Can you ask him to come and comment on HN?





I would like to see "Guilfoyle" but shot in a much wider format and the "Kodak" business trimmed away.


I think a better naming choice would have been "Uprightened Trees" :)


I find myself viscerally repulsed by this. Kind of fascinating.


This is what I imagine being on magic mushrooms feels like.


What an amazing set of photos! Thank you for sharing them.


Would this be a visual example of Derridan deconstruction?




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