As soon as the Amiga computer and was available in 1986, I bought one, and got a flatbed scanner right away. Then, I bought a crude HP inkjet printer that used paper with the roller holes on each side and only printed on 8.5x11 sheets with inks that were never archival.

 

In those days, you could pick up the phone to ask questions of the software developer. We were all learning at the same time on our own. There were no classes to take in art departments yet.

 

In 1987-1988, I began working on a mac and the earliest b&w version of Photoshop. In the early days, you would load the system then the software by disks one at a time each time you wanted to work. The highest resolution was not good enough, the color range was limited, and a ONE MEG hard drive was big and costly. We mostly saved images on multiple small floppy disks. Our scanners were then a 300ppi resolution.

 

I would use my video camera to tape myself and then bring the video image into the computer and frame grab images. You can see the jiggly video in some of the images. I would combine layers of images, make fake shadows, scan from books and objects to create the work.

 

After a number of upgrades, hard drives were built in, scanners got better, and printers began offering better options. I soon bought an epson printer that would make larger prints and had more or less archival inks.

 

There were no digital cameras, but I did have a still video one that was made by Canon.

EARLY COMPUTER WORK

1989-1992

The Terra Incognita work was begun in Denver using the crudest equipment, then melded into the journey exhibition that was done after I moved to northern Kentucky when equipment was quickly getting better. Digital cameras were still not available to the consumer so grabbing still video, video images or scanned images were more readily used. Iris fine art prints were available by 1991, however the cost was prohibitive for most artists.

barbara@barbarahoughtonphoto.com                                               all contents © barbara houghton 2019