The only thing that scares me more than space aliens is the idea that there aren’t any space aliens. We can’t be the best that creation has to offer. I pray we’re not all there is. If so, we’re in big trouble. ― Ellen DeGeneres
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]One of the most potentially disturbing questions for humanity is whether we are alone in the universe. Many are sure we are not. Many are equally certain we must be. No matter where one stands on the issue, though, the question remains fascinating, one that dominated movies and literature in the 20th century, and is almost considered matter-of-fact in entertainment today. Through the safety of special effects, we’ve explored, with varying success, just how other species of beings might look, how they might behave, and how they might interact with humans.
Almost everyone we meet has a pre-existing concept of how aliens might look, to the point that should we ever actually meet one we might be disappointed; rather like meeting a movie star without the glamorous makeup. What amuses me is how much we want them to look like us. We want them to be bipedal oxygen breathers with, at the very least, two eyes and a mouth on their heads. We prefer them to have arms and legs and walk upright as we do. Movies that present aliens in any other form are rare, with Jabba the Hut from Star Wars being one of the more notable exceptions.
Every day, there are thousands of people attempting to search for and attempt to make contact with alien life. On the opposite side there are hundreds of people whose job it is to debunk any theory of extraterrestrial communication. Both meet with varying success and no small amount of skepticism from the general public. Some think that to make contact with another race of beings could be exciting and propel humanity into a great new leap of evolution. Others fear the chaos that would ensue should alien life actually make its presence known. Some notably intelligent people, such as Stephen Hawking, warn that, should we make alien contact, they may consider us too inferior to be anything more than food, much the way we look at cattle.[/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]Creating alternate worlds and transforming humans into alien beings is something at which Photoshop™ and similar programs excel, if one has the patience and understanding of the tools. Even with a detailed concept of what I wanted to create, there were still plenty of challenges that consumed a great deal of time. Eventually, one has to say, “Okay, we’re done with this project” and move on. I could sit and tweak the image for weeks and chances are I would be the only one who would notice the difference. Almost immediately after declaring the image done, I thought of things I would do differently.
I’m one of those people willing to entertain the possibility that not only does alien life exist, but that they’ve likely made communication with us before. I’m even willing to consider the possibility that we ourselves are some mutant strain whose evolution was hijacked by visitors from another planet conducting a giant science experiment. Given how we approach other planets and our exploration of things, we cannot consider such tampering to be impossible. We may, in the grand scheme of things, be the equivalent of algae growing in some cosmic petri dish.
Experiments such as these, whether in real life or digital imagination, come with varying success and as we’ve seen in our look at variations in photo processing and manipulation, some things work better than others. Processes that may work well on one photograph might totally ruin another. Batch processing photos is hazardous and sometimes careless and irresponsible if one has not carefully curated the images beforehand. What we want is not always what we get. One thing for certain, though, is that as long as we have people with active imaginations there will constantly be the desire to manipulate photographs and see exactly how far we can push reality.[/one_half_last]