Friday, December 26, 2014

What did we do before smart phones?

I've always been hopeless with directions and seldom had my camera with me when I really needed it.  Enter the smart phone and shazaam!  I can find interesting places with little forethought and take so many more pictures than I used to before this addictive little piece of metal and plastic became permanently attached to my hand.

Enter the victory dance over boredom...
My Mother

My mother likes to shop.  There, I said it.  She's particularly fond of antique stores.  I've discovered a nifty way to entertain myself while she is sifting through the never-ending minutiae of tchotchkes. Most of these stores have mannequins and busts from various eras.  

I'm especially fond of the busts with fake eyelashes. If I have more time to kill, I wander around the store again looking for interesting textures to sandwich with these plastic faces.  Old upholstered chairs, text in vintage books, rusty metal, scarves, and vintage table linens have all proved useful. Mentally, this is really just an extension of the work that I've previously enjoyed doing in Photoshop, but the immediacy of having the camera and the processing all in the palm of your hand whenever you want it is awesome.

Here's a before and after example:

This antique mannequin from a wonderful vintage clothing store in Ohio didn't have the prettiest of faces but she took on this mysterious personality once combined with other images.  She has been combined with a shot of some paper star lights from a shop window, bare tree branches, and some texture from a curtain.

On to the techie side of things...  I consider myself a complete neophyte when it comes to processing on the phone and not in Photoshop.  There is a ton to learn. I was first introduced to this idea by Susan Tuttle's wonderful work and tutorials. 

These are the apps I've been exploring:  Oggl, Image Blender, DistressedFX, SuperImpose, ScratchCam, BlurFX, PicGrunger, and FilterStorm.

Image Blender in particular is a favorite.  It allows you to combine 2 photos using a process similar to Layer Effects in Photoshop.  You can choose the amount the top picture effects the bottom one and in what way.  It also gives you the ability to doodle a mask to hide parts of the top picture.

A few more examples:

This new way of working has reignited the creative spark once again.  Now I'm ready for my Mother's next shopping trip.  In fact, she's probably going to be dragging me out of the stores now.