I must admit I’m feeling a bit weird about using online art filter effects on my photographs…
I mean, I love playing about and experimenting with all the many different effects until I find the right one for each particular image – or at least the right one for the kind of colour/ style/ mood I want to create at any given time. But I can’t help but be slightly concerned that once I’ve applied an art effect created by someone else, I shouldn’t really be claiming the resulting image to be all my own work?
Yet on the other hand, a filter effect, whether applied online or in camera, is surely only that – an effect – and how it turns out is entirely dependent on the original underlying image it is being applied to. I still need to have created an appropriate image to start with – a good composition with a clear message. And I still need to use my own artistic judgement to make the right choice of filter to be used on any particular image – and it’s easy to choose wrong and end up with a right dogs dinner.
A highly distorting stylised filter needs something plain and simple and easily recognisable underneath, otherwise you can end up with an over-the-top convoluted confusion of colour where you all too easily lose sight of your original subject matter. Some images suit the addition of a simple generic oil-painting or watercolour effect, others benefit from the application of a particular artist’s style. Some look great with added warmth, others improve with a hint of coolness. But all change their overall impression, and that’s why I love trying out art filters.
I’m really enjoying seeing just how the same basic image can be altered so dramatically and so differently, and I think it has certainly opened up a whole new extra layer of creativity for me. But I do think I would feel much better about it all if it didn’t feel so much that I was taking liberties and behaving slightly fraudulently by using such an extreme all-in-one post-processing technique. At the end of the day, are my digitally-manipulated images still truly mine?
Leytonstone High Road at night, via the application of a Van Gogh inspired starry night art filter from LunaPic 🙂