Monday, October 1, 2012

Image of the Month: October

With the latest technology literally at our fingertips and options for creative expression endless, when is enough just that...enough?  I keep asking myself this question as I continue to explore the seemingly endless possibilities when I use an iPhone to take images.  Unlike when using my digital pro level camera and follow-up with post production in Photoshop only, the same is not true when I use the iPhone.  Using the phone as my camera, I tend to use not just one app but a mixed bag of apps sometimes resulting in as many as seven apps for one image.  That I believe is the case because I treat each app as providing a specialty or niche that other apps don't perform as well or don't even offer as a feature.  My use of the variety of apps tends now to be more akin to using these apps as if switching between different brushes as a painter would do.  I actually much prefer this method of continually swapping my tool selection as dictated by the creative path the image dictates.

But with the plethora of an ever-increasing quantity of apps, can it be just too much?  In other words does there come a point in the post-production process when one should put the brake on and say, "enough is enough"?  Or should you keep on using more and more apps until one has exhausted all plausible outcomes, if that is even possible.  To visualize this point, I'll show the creative flow of one very ordinary image and the outcomes of the variety of apps used in post-production.  Four different apps were used, but within each app an average of three functions were applied, resulting in twelve different creative twists.

So determine for yourself where in the flow of creativity you would have stopped and said, yes this is a finished image.  Would you have stopped at the first, second, third, etc. manipulated image or continued onward to infinity?  Ultimately I think it depends on the desired outcome or vision so the endpoint will vary, but it's a fair question to be asked over and over again.

Original Capture

1st app treatment
2nd app treatment
3rd app treatment
4th (and final) app treatment
I think one can make the case that the original image had good composition, perspective, and great complimentary colors to add to the gestalt and tension.  However, one could also argue that the successive post-production steps using a variety of apps also provided different and unique outcomes, perhaps one more interesting than another.  All said and done, I do think one can become overwhelmed and overdo the post-production, but as I get more comfortable with knowing which app to use when, I find that the end result comes naturally and not forced.  It's a learning curve, and with more and more practice, with time the organic endpoint will be an achievement of satisfaction punctuated by an "ah ha" moment.


  1. I love the little guy in #4...

  2. Thanks Francesca. I got the "ah ha" moment at #4 and stopped developing the image any further. These apps are like eating potato just can't stop yourself...Joanne