Post-Process Evolution is a short photo essay documenting the process by which I transform an image into my creative vision. The first image above is Stage 4 of the process and I displayed it here first because few people would have opened the post had I used the Stage 1 image as my lead photo In essence, I am offering a little insight into the magic I use to mess up my images. Feel free to experiment messing up your images and there is a world of discovery good, bad, funky, and unique waiting for you. (Messing up images I borrowed directly from the teachings of Sam Krisch)
I begin the discussion by saying all work was captured and processed here directly on my iPhone 5 and that no animals were harmed in the making of this post.
The shot above was taken in the early afternoon inside the Cafe Venetia at the Palo Alto Cal-Train Station. This bank of glass brick receives little light with a noon-ish sun and so this plant which appears to me as an ancient semi-petrified grapevine has only a bit of light illuminating its craggy branches. (Hipstamatic Jane Lens Pistil Film)
Here in stage 2 I load the image into Snapseed, the magical photo editing app now owned by Google and a whopping 3 bucks from the app store. Snapseed is my favorite club in my bag and it has allowed me to transform my work into my dreams.
With Snapseed I increase the ambient light buried in the digits of code and immediately the window appears to be illuminated as well as the vine. I crop out the Hipstamatic border here because I have further plans for this image and the border would not function in those plans. All of this is done with finger strokes along the touch screen of the iPhone through Snapseed.
In stage 3 I take the processed image from Snapseed and run it through an app called Old Photo Pro I think the intention of this is app is rather self-explanatory and the wonder of it is it allows one to tune the degree of age, edges, and intensity of the program. Here I wanted to give the entire image an antique look as if from silent movies. The light from the windows is now ethereal and the dreaminess along the wood on the bottom left draws the eye pleasingly to the vine which now seems to have a bit of face in the twisted section midway up the stalk.
Stage 4 of the Post-Process Evolution is really a final point if I wanted to keep the image somewhat in the realm of realism. I took the image from Old Photo Pro and re-processed it in Snapseed to lift the window to afternoon direct light and wash out a bit of the saturation. I added a frame back to the image (which I really do not like) to show what kind of finished product is possible in Snapseed.
I saw something in the image from Stage 1 though that I really wanted to explore. The final 2 stages are the results of this experimental vision.
With the help of an app called Symmetry I took the image from Old Photo Pro and mirrored it along its Y axis. I liked the dimension now in the window which appears to be a lamp and the vine is now an identical piece of sculpture. Symmetry is a little tough to manage and it can get rolling on you pretty good as you are scrolling so take your time with this one. I was not in love with this image and took it one step further to the effect I was seeking. You can see why I needed to remove the border as it would have thrown off the symmetry and ruined the illusion.
In this final stage of my Post-Process Evolution this grapevine has become a sinister sculpture or the skeletal remains of some otherworldly creature on display in front of this back-lit glass brick. Antique, macabre, and curious I enjoy looking at this creature and am happy with the results of the process.
One of the most important things to keep in mind with all iPhone photo processing is to make certain all the apps used are set to process and save to the photo roll at the highest possible resolution. Any diminished resolution will create “noise” and other unwanted results in your images.