JusJoJan: Liberty

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 πŸ™‚

JusJoJan: Liberty



Weekly Photo Challenge: Silence





There’s something eerily silent about walking in a cold wintery landscape – I’ve had fun tonight playing about with online photo effects. The top two images are processed with a ‘blue’ filter effect, and the bottom two with a ‘surrealism’ filter effect, both using Go Art from Fotor. The first and third image show an avenue of trees taken in the freezing fog during January 2017, the second and fourth were taken in the snow last month.

Wanstead Flats, Leytonstone, East London

Weekly Photo Challenge: SilenceΒ 

Daily Prompt: Cosy


London may be one big city, but it is also made up of lots of smaller towns and villages that over the years been swallowed whole by the inevitable outward expansion of the great metropolis. So here is our cosy little High Street in the town of Leytonstone, East London, taken from the upper front seat of a number 145 double decker bus this afternoon πŸ™‚

Daily Prompt: Cosy

A Smattering of Snow…

We don’t usually get much snow here in London so on the rare occasions it does snow, however minimally, I try to capture it as best I can. We woke up this morning to a fine layer of soft slushy stuff that soon started to melt underfoot, so even though it was dull and dreich and still snowing slightly I took my camera out for a walk to see what I could find.

This young couple walked past just at the right moment to place themselves in the centre of my frame…


And this poor partially-built snowman was missing his head, sitting abandoned and unfinished towards the edge of the frame…


It’s not deep snow by anyone’s standards; a mere smattering, barely enough to warrant being called a covering. I grew upΒ  in the North of Scotland where six-foot snow-drifts weren’t unheard of, but this is London, and for London, this is about the snowiest it gets! Apparently it’s due to freeze tonight, too, so it will probably be a lot brighter weather-wise, not to mention colder and crisper tomorrow, so maybe I’ll try again…


Nevertheless I do think the grey dullness of these particular shots creates a beautifully moody monochrome effect, even though all these images were taken in vivid colour πŸ™‚

Wanstead Flats, Leystonstone, East London

Weekly Photo Challenge: Serene – Take II


Another old favourite from my archives…

The blue-grey serenity of an old tree-lined avenue captured in the freezing fog on a cold winter’s morning – ground crisp underfoot and the sharp air catching my breath, with me feeling like a solitary dreamer exploring this soft-veiled other-worldly landscape…

Wanstead Flats, Leytonstone, East London, January 2017

Weekly Photo Challenge: Serene