Episode 192: Look Down! – A Challenge

192Download the Video! (45:45, 86.9 MB)

Watch on YouTube
Download the template! (0.06 MB)
Download my sidewalk images! ( 18.1 MB)

There was no show for quite some time – and there will be a gap until the end of summer. I move back to Bremen – and that takes a lot of time and creativity away. But in Bremen I will have nearly 2 hours more time each day, because I can walk to school and don’t need to ride the famous Berlin S-Bahn Ring Line.

In the meantime I have a challenge for you! Present the place where you live to us – but look down on the sidewalk for that! The best results will be published in the GIMP Magazine #5 and of course here on the blog. The exact rules are below.

This Challenge is a perfect rip off from a challenge by Andrรฉs (Twitter) (Website), an illustrator from Buenos Aires, in the now closed forum of Tips from the Top Floor. Make a mosaik of images of the sidewalks in your city and try to transport the atmosphere.
Rolf's Example
This is my take on the Silvio-Meier-Strasse around the corner from my flat in Berlin.

The Rules

  1. Make a mosaic of at least 3×3 images.
  2. All images have to be shot straight down
  3. All images are in the same scale, use the same distance to the ground and the same focal length.
  4. All images have to be linked to each other in their theme by being from one city, one journey …..
  5. Publish your image online and post a link to it before September 1st in the comments to this blog post.
  6. License your image as CC-BY or better and allow this site and the GIMP Magazine to publish your image under CC-BY (here) or CC-BY-SA (GIMP Magazine).
  7. Rules 1 to 4 may be broken, 5, 6 and 7 have to be followed exactly.

You may download the template for my version from above or build your own one. You are free to make other forms than a square – circles or a spiral anyone?

There will be hopefully a discussion in our forum.


The video uses chapter marks, you can jump between TOC entrys!

00:00:00 Pause until end of August
00:02:05 A contest for you – introduction
00:03:42 The contest rules
00:04:50 My example
00:06:04 Selecting the images
00:08:00 Scaling down and exporting in Shotwell
00:08:40 Calculating the image size
00:09:30 Create the file
00:10:20 Save as XCF.gz – compressed to save space
00:11:05 Creating a “Contact Sheet” for reference with Imagemagick
00:13:00 Make a movable layer mask with “multiply mode”
00:16:00 Building a stack of layer groups and fill it with images
00:23:00 Filling images into the layer stack
00:26:45 Isolate the layer groups with “lighten only mode”
00:27:55 What do these layer modes do? Blackboard explanation
00:33:08 The last image – a Memory to Edith and Tina Wolff
00:34:30 Fine tuning the mosaic – exchange images
00:36:08 Adjusting contrast between the images with the curves tool
00:41:05 Variations: Soften the borders between fields
00:43:08 Final words about the Challenge
00:44:15 Exporting and scaling down for publication
00:45:45 End of video

Creative Commons License
Meet the GIMP Video Podcast by Rolf Steinort is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://meetthegimp.org.

19 thoughts on “Episode 192: Look Down! – A Challenge

    • Yes, of course! Officially they are under a CC-SA license. So you can use them when you state my name and the license. But if you need an other license or the full resolution images (7.360 x 4.912 ๐Ÿ™‚ ), just drop me a mail at info@meetthegimp.org . I am happy when someone can use the stuff I made.

  1. Can we put more than one work? I ask, because maybe if I put an early work and later, make a better one. Btw, I live in Berlin too. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Nice place here.

    A note about my website: It is in early stage and there is no entry (just an test hello). But you can look at some of my photos if you want. All of my work published on Flickr (flickr account photos are linked to my web gallery) are Creative Commons licensed.

    • The more the better. ๐Ÿ™‚ This is no competition, just a friendly contest. The set of images which impress the jury (to be selected over the summer) most will be published in the GIMP Magazine. How many depends on the room Steve gives up for this.

      Your gallery is impressive, I like a lot of your images.

      I got nasty overlay adverts for mobile phone carriers which opened another page when I clicked on the close button. This would cut a visit to a site really short ususally. Today I was too curious. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Oh sorry about the advert. I buyed the remove advert option on my server. Adverts will go away fast as possible. I have looked your video, very cool. It is a bit too detailed for my taste. I would do it my own way probably. Is it necessary to use your template?

    Great idea for a challenge, btw.

    • Of course you are free to do the challenge in any way you want – even with Photoshop. ๐Ÿ˜‰ No need to use the template or do it in the way I did.

      It’s difficult to get the level of detail right for all. ๐Ÿ˜‰ This time I wanted to reach a lot of people and tried to give as much information as possible. Just skip ahead if it gets boring.

  3. wen there is graffiti on the street can i photograph that? i heart the painter can send lawyers onward you if you make photos.

    • Not with graffiti on a street, there the artist has to fear the police for giving him a ticket or worse. (In theory you can go to jail for two years for Graffiti in Germany, but jail has happened only one time that I know of – a guy who had repeatedly covered Hamburg in ten of thousands of Sharpie smilies.)

      Nobody can hinder you to take an image in public when you don’t harass other people. Shooting portraits of unwilling strangers is a No in most areas I assume and considered rude in the rest of the world. “Security” can be another point, but that is also less forbidden then claimed by a lot of people including the authorities. Here you are free to take images even of military installation unless they have put up signs forbidding that.

      Publishing is another thing. People that you may photograph on th street may have a right not to be published. There is a line, sometimes murky. Works of art are a problem too. Here you may publish an image of a work of art when it is in public permanently. Permanently is everything where there are no concrete plans to reclaim it. A graffiti is not reclaimable, the removal by feet or hot water jet is destroying the work.
      This is different in other countries, in Paris the light installation on the Tour Eiffel are protected. But they may be not “permanent”, I haven’t researched that.

      You may have way more rights than you know, inform yourself and use them.

  4. hello, congratulations for your videos, are really well done! I wanted to ask that the program uses to display the mouse – shift – ctrl and alt? thanks

  5. My first comment ever here:

    Rolf, good that you are taking a short break with the show ๐Ÿ™‚ – I hope will come back with more energy after that.

    I finally managed to view all of your 192 episodes. Now I need a break too :).

    Thanks for all the effort you have put on this.

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  7. Hi Rolf,

    I must say, that is a very interesting terchnique using layer groups with Lighten only and Multiply layer modes. Quite the time saver since you don’t have to crop individual images to an exact size. I must say, your video tutorials have certainly have helped me with my advanced use of the GIMP.

    And now for the challange. I visited San Jose, Costa Rica and David, Panama twice, once in 2006 and again in2008. I noticed that it is the individual owners that generally build sidewalks in front of their businesses and this makes for very interesting sidewalks in the city centers. I found this so intriguing that I took quite a few photos. Since I didn’t know that I would use these for your Sidewalk Challange, your rules 1 to 4 were not followed.

    However, I did use your technique to create a mosaic using some of the photos anyway. I was surprised with the result!

    Here is the link (could please check that I used the correct license – the link from Flickr links to “Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)” and your link is to “Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)”): http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulsaute/9312296518/in/photostream. You will also see photos I created using your technique shown in [b]145 – Pictures at an Exhibition[/b]…

    Paul S

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