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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

After Dark, April 10, 2012

Leo On Dirty Kitchen Floor, the original

Getting The Picture
It's not that hard and it's not that expensive to make a decent first impression
by Gaëtan L. Charlebois

Once again this week we were setting up the various CharPo websites and once again we were choosing our pictures of the week. And, once again, we were coming up short because beyond the big houses, we were going through images which would rate a "fail" even if they were posted on a personal Facebook page. There is nothing worse than not having pictures print and internet media can publish with preview articles or reviews. But what comes close - in worsitude - is having pictures that look like they were shot in your basement by your mother. (There is a running gag, here in Montreal, about a company that was presenting a play with nudity in it and sent out pictures where all the naked people had the infamous snapshot-red-eye; it was like looking at amateur porn.)

So here is what I propose: showing you a little of what's out there. This is not aimed just at community theatre, amateurs and Fringers - this is aimed at every company that can't afford Cylla von Tiedemann, lucetg or Coopers - Michael or Emily. Above is a gawdawful picture of my dog, including our filthy kitchen floor and the canine photography version of red-eye: no-eye. What follows is what I whipped together in 30 minutes (for the bunch!) using apps which are available on the iPad. There are versions of these apps for other tablets, all computers and most smartphones. They all cost less than $10. The treated photos are meant to show you the possibilities. All of the apps are easy to use. The proof? I did it.

Coloursplash - you start with a grayscale version of the
picture and you return the colour to where you want it
(ie: Leo's tongue) $1.99

Comic Life - we use this for our CharPo's Real Theatre! each
Friday. It's fun! $4.99

Photo Caption is more of a greeting card kind of app and is for the silliest
uses. It pretty much fusses up the photo you start with. ($1.99)

Snapseed is a an incredibly versatile tool that with - one click -
allows you to apply effects and with sliders determine the intensity
of the effect. This is the "Grunge effect" ($4.99)

Snapseed (tune image effect)

iPhoto is one you get free with Macs or pay $4.99 for on the iPad.
It is a far better app than it used to be, offering filtering, effects and
repositioning - all with a couple of clicks. This effect is called "Artistic" and it
was applied after fiddling about with saturation.

iPhoto again, playing with the "Aura" effect having, first, repositioned
and cropped the photo.
Procreate is more of an artist tool, but it does allow you to play
with photos. You have brushes, colours and effects like this 
one: "Smudge" where you simply drag your finger along the lines
and colour fields of the original. Notice how the filthy kitchen floor has
been smudged away! ($4.99)
My dog only looks this scary to the pit bull across the street (who squeals 
like a puppy when Leo goes out). This was done on PhotoPad and - hey! -
it's free.

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