The full text of this ad reads “Brush Up Your Business With Paint Paste Paper Push.” The ad, on West Broadway at Reade Street, was apparently uncovered in 1994, and confused people then as it confused me today. Paint paper and paste all go together, and I could image a store that sold all three. But what was Push, and how would it, combined with the first three, help your business? Then I found this interpretation, from the then President of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Canada. It’s an advertisement for outdoor advertising. You use paint, paper and paste to put your ad on a billboard, and thereby push your product or service. Neat.
I occasionally worry that I get too enamored of certain techniques and filters from time to time. Lately i have been loving the OnOne Software Focal Point plugin for Photoshop that allows you to create a fake tilt-shift or just regular bokeh effect. I love it in part because I do not have a good tilt-shift lens and because it lets you create effects that even the best tilt-shift lens could not create. It can also add a darkened vignette. When I applied it to this image, I also became concerned that I was using it in a completely artificial way. There is no possibility that the focal point I created here could exist in reality, given the laws of optics. It bothered me for a moment that I was violating the laws of physics. I mean, despite what Calvin’s father told him, there never was a time when the world was black and white. You are not recreating anything close to reality when you make a black and white photo. HDR also, in itself, is outside the laws of physics, no matter how much we explain we are recreating what our eyes actually see. In fact, our eyes can quickly adjust, within limits, from one light range to another and our brains combine them, but we never really see dark tones brightened and light tones darkened at the same time.
So what”s the harm in a focal plane that doesn’t exist either? Nothing.