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I have been exploring monochromatic imagery for a while as part of a planned entry to incident.net 's call "the Monochrome ( 2007)". I ended up making a monochrome portrait generator that works pretty well. I have an exe version that generates very high resolution print output too. For a sample of a higher resolution image of Clint Eastwood ( click here png 250k).
To explore the generator for yourself check out the Monochrome Generator (69k shockwave app opens in new window)!
Using the generator is easy, you can go to google images and search for pictures of people and things you want to make monochromes out of. You view the full size image and copy the URL from your browser bar. Click the load image button near the top left of the applet then paste the URL in the provided field. You should see a grayscale image of the picture you chose in the upper left of the applet. Simply click on a color swatch to generate your MonoChrome!
Below is a an earlier screen shot of the monochrome generator. Shortly after I added some lighten and darken controls to help people get a better image from internet pictures.
"If you can read this..." was also generated with the large format exe version of the program. It was generated at 4000x5000 pixels and will make a great large scale print..
Below is 1:1 detail of "If you can read this..." showing the intricate box patterns that diverge into abstraction when viewed from close up. The detail melts away at a distance making the image look closer to a monochrome photograph.
Below are some more screenshots of output of George Bush, some woman in a kung fu movie, and Dr. Timothy Leary =).... enjoy!