Pretentious Instagram Photos Get A Facelift

Morning dudes,

Anyone who follows Steve or I on twitter will know that we (well I mostly) are totally devoted to Instagram. If you’ve not come across it before, Instagram is basically twitter for photographs: you snap stuff, stick a filter on it and post it for your followers to see. The site has exploded since launching seven months ago and now boasts 4.25 million users. It has however become somewhat infamous for the number of over filtered (dare I say ‘pretentious’) shots that crop up on there. Well, as is the way with such things, it was only a matter of time before the internet decided to take action. Starting on tumblr  a trend has emerged in the last few months of taking said photos and amending them slightly with the aid of a bit of red text. Enjoy:

I’ll never filter with a clear conscience again,


Moon 1.3 – the full process

Moon Page 3. Perhaps the image that went through one of the most extensive additional design work. It passed backwards and forwards between myself and Iv as a black and white, a colour and finally a graphically enhanced image. As it is effectively a one panel page it was a great opportunity to stretch ourselves a little and Page 3 is probably one where I genuinely feel the finished product appeared as it had originally been attended. It also confirmed that myself and Iv knew what we were doing… (at least vaguely)

The original inks. Drawn over pencil line work to decide layout and composition and the finer details. Fairly basic stuff. A detailed description of what we were looking for was sent over to Iv.

Iv applied her own artistry to the page, adding her own ideas to the tones and hues – something she always does really well. In particular, the decision to take the plain black of the sky behind and make it a more interesting blue. The figures at the base of the main image were intended to be uplit red / yellow. However Iv lit them blue to tie them together with the main image and not undermine the central Moon deity figure. It also sets apart beautifully the main abstract poster image and the bottom panel. These are her colours as they were returned back to us before I got my greasy mitts all over them again. Iv is an unnaturally talented colourist and a pleasure to work with.

Next some graphics to enhance the basic colours. Taking existing constellations, one is a lifted selection from astronomoical photography and the other is painted digitally using the template of the original constellation taken from a low res image. I think this one is in CMYK (the standard format you have to put it in to go to print – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black (K for some reason)) so the colours are bleeding and the colour map has altered slightly but it is still the same image as the others….

… and slap on some lettering using Illustrator and finishing in Photoshop by creating layers and slicing and placing elements behind the central figure. Otherwise the linking branch of the speech bubble would really detract. Et voila. Page 3 of Moon 1. More of the same coming soon. Danke.

CS5 Mess about

Hm. It seems an artists life is never easy. You have to keep your pencil’s sharpened and your rubber easily accessible. It seems the less you spend on something ultimately the more reliable it becomes. I need to sharpen my pencil – 85p from Stationery Box in Romford and its job done. I want to rub out a thousand pencil lines – I’d definitely recommend Daler Rowney soft Putty Erasers which’ll wipe that stuff out quick smart.

However, in order to get the work completed and increasingly out to the world wide web you need a scanner and to finish it all off a decent editing software. My weapon of choice, and most people’s frankly is Photoshop for very good reasons. It has the standard Adobe hallmark of intuitive design and interface and makes life easy by not limiting your options but keeping the controls and options wide. I’ve worked on Creative Suite Photoshop versions 2 and 3 and opted lately to take a jump up to Creative Suite 5.

With this I offer a warning – CS5 has one or two holes. Having received my scanner I expected Photoshop to format itself to the plug-in needed so that the scanner’d appear in the File>import section and I could scan directly into Photoshop – a detail that had proved helpful in CS2, 3 and I’d assumed on 4. However CS5 doesn’t have it. The related drive needed is a TWAIN drive that wasn’t included in the package. You can load it up easily enough at Adobe Live at the link below.

However, I’m running into a few other glitches. If you pull over an image file from 1 window into another and resize or edit it in that new window don’t touch the window you took it from. As soon as you do the file bounces back into the state it was in when you dragged it over. This, I don’t know how to type into Yahoo so haven’t been able to find a patch to cover it. Leaves me wondering what else is in there.

I know this an obscure one but any advice’d be great. Technology. Just gotta do what it tells us.