My Kingdom for a Sketchbook

Or: A Diatribe on Artsy Fartsy Photo Filter Cell-Phone Apps

I have WAY too much creative energy on my hands.  I’m not entirely certain why, when packing all of my belongings in preparation for the voyage to New Orleans, I packed every. Single. Sketchbook and drawing implement for safekeeping in storage.  Well, I DO know I was conscious of not wishing to be overridden by Stuff in a bitty hotel room for an uncertain amount of time, but nevertheless, I sure wish I had one right now.  Were I unemployed and playing the job-hunt Waiting Game in my own home with access to all of my Stuff, I would seriously be slinging paint as we speak.  It’s just that manic.

For the time being, though, I’ve been playing around with phone photos, and various and sundry phone apps that apply thereto.  It’s entertaining, at least, but most of the ones that I have found for Android are fairly, well, boring.  You apply one filter and that’s all you can do.  And however cool Instagram seems to be for most, the accessible FREE version for my phone-type doesn’t offer much.  Note I said FREE.  I am so not in a position to purchase apps for my own pleasure at this stage in the game.  Yawn.  The other day, however, I had the pleasure of discovering Pixlr-o-Matic, the FREE version of which gives one a little more freedom to Play with images.  With this new one, at least, I can mess around and combine and combine and come up with a myriad of different images, thereby entertaining myself and getting some of my creative mania out of my system during times when I’m not hunched over the machine wallowing on Planet PhotoShop.

Gratuitous Shot of Yours Truly, used for initial experimentation.

The mention of PhotoShop brings me to the crux of a conundrum, though.  I am heartily trained and exceedingly well-capable of Doing Cool Things to Photos from scratch, on my own.  Therefore, I can’t help but to feel, sometimes, that photo filter apps are, well…like cheating.  IS it cheating?  Am I cheating on my own abilities by messing around with quickie apps?  Oh, the humanity!

I think I am, a little teeny bit.  BUT, it IS fun.  And when you’re out and about and on the run, and want to share something with a little more flair than just posting a snap-and-send shot, well…what da heck, right?

The Superdome, as seen from a stoplight on Poydras. Image was shot quickly
from my window.  Please note that I did NOT apply filter work whilst driving, however.  😉

And THEN, gods help me,  I discovered a way to “comic book” some images out.  Such as the Cap, here.  This is M, drinking a beer while wearing his Captain America shirt.  The original was a quick shot from the phone, from last year.  So I decided to dress it up.

The Cap drinks an All-American Beer

Which got me thinking.  Which is dangerous.  So I proceeded to “comic out” a few other photos, from Free Comic Book Day last year, when J and I got a gig, through my nefariously awesome dad, at a comic shop in Boulder, CO.  We suited up and spent the day hanging out with a Batmobile and taking photos with people.  It was a most excellent time.  Since it was ALSO Mother’s Day, mum n dad joined us, and we got some fun photos of our own.  What better images to experiment with?  But I couldn’t just leave it at that.  I used the app filters to get the look I wanted.  THEN I slapped them into PhotoShop and made a comic strip photo triptych out of it.  Yes, I am that big of a dork.  😉

So, I still maintain that, at least for me, the use of filter apps is kind of cheating.  But it’s an outlet, and it’s entertaining, and I can get cool stuff out of it sometimes and it provides another way to create material that I can then work with in what I consider to be a non-cheaterly sort of way.

Thus, I shall now regale Phone Photo Filter Apps, at least ones that offer some creative freedom, as yet another artistic tool to add to my arsenal.

 Featured Image: The Bat and Cat shot from the Triptych, this time with a murkier Gloomy Gotham saturation.  I couldn’t decide which one to use, so I decided to keep both.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. infamaus says:

    T’aint cheatin’! ‘Tis a tool, sez I. The self-portrait is going in the wall gallery here, to be sure. I may have to diddle with it a bit to get this ancient 14-year-old $40 printer to do it justice, but what else do I have to do next week I ask ye.

    1. Agreed, it’s another tool in Ye Olde Moderne Age!

  2. aemberwing says:

    Hey Sooz, does you have a mailing address?

    1. Hi bean! I DO! I’ll either email or IM you with it here shortly!

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