2.02.2008

Fractals and fractal math

Leibniz, Karl Weierstrasse, Helge von Koch, Waclaw Sierpinski, Paul Pierre Lévy, Georg Cantor, Henri Poincaré, Felix Klein, Pierre Fatou, Gaston Julia, Lewis Fry Richardson, Benoit Mandelbrot.

And my point is? Well, I'll tell you: They were philosophers, mathematicians, and scientists. And these were the people who made


possible. This particular image is from Decadent Tranquility, which is the "home of Kyra, Zeke and Bravo-Four-Zero (a crew of eight Hynerians). Each chapter (post) features original art in the form of fractals, 3D and 2D renders, or sketches and paintings. The Story, as it is called, is an image driven saga, which is to say, the image comes first, then the prose is written to move the story forward." Check it out.

So, what exactly are fractals? From the Infinite Fractal Loop web ring comes this:

"Simply put, fractals are shapes which show similar features at different sizes. Much as a very close inspection of a rock can show similar features to an aerial view of a mountain, fractal shapes are characterized by this property of self-similarity." Read more...

Fractal math can be very complicated or very simple. In any case, it takes an artist's eye to create these beautiful images:

Red Flowers from the Chaos Gallery


Knots from the Chaos Gallery

So what is my interest in fractals or fractal math, you may well ask? Simple. As a photographer who wants to get out of the darkroom (meaning go digital), fractal math makes it possible to make large prints that look gorgeous from small-ish digital files. There's a great piece of software that works with PhotoShop called Genuine Fractals -- I've made 13" x 19" prints that are drop-dead gorgeous from puny digital files. That may not seem like such a big deal, but trust me, it's a big deal.