Cards On The Table
Straight off the bat, I should fess up here and admit that I use both P-Shop and Facetune. (Actually, I use Gimp on my laptop- which in case you don't know- is like a freebie version of The Shop for tightwads). I started using Gimp when I asked a good friend if he knew how to correct a holiday snap of mine. (Vain much? You betcha). I loved the pic, but my flyaway Brillo-Pad hair and smudged mazzy? Not so much. He told me to download Gimp and gave me very specific instructions on what to do. (He knows I'm a complete div and would only have ended up asking him to help me anyway had he not put it in Gimp-For-Dummies terminology). I was absolutely fascinated by it and immediately set to work 'correcting' all sorts of shit- including a lovely snap of my mummy and me that I completely ruined by looking like Michael Jackson.
A Little Goes A Long Way
So far, so what? All I'd done was rescue photos that I made look rubbish by 'merely' enhancing them into a printable, saveable and frameable state-of-being. Did that make me a moral pauper? Not if you go by the great Susan Sontag's theory that all photos are simulacrums and inherently 'fake'. Then I started blogging, and things started to get a bit more hazy.
I've read about girls who've used Photoshop, then given it all up and put out a confessional 'cleansing' blog post to heal the wounds. I've read about girls who use P-Shop on the regz and don't worry a jot about it. And I've also read about girls who stand in judgement of those that use it and think we are akin to Satan crossed with Lindsey 'Wonky Wall' Lohan. I actually think everyone has a valid point of view. I continue to use it, and here's for why. The most valuable things that Gimp enables me to do are 1) crop a picture without losing pixels and 2) lighten a photo dramatically in a very precise way. For a long while I was cropping my pictures in Windows Photo Reader (srsly) and Holy Grainyballs did it show. I'll also go so far as to say that for a complete dunce like me it's actually enjoyable learning shit on Gimp, and it feels like it's the one thing under the general category of 'Computer Stuff' where I've actually developed any skillz whatsoever. I still don't know how to use it properly and everytime I Google how to do something my brain hurts immediately and I have to stop. But I look forward to stumbling upon new and interesting ways to make my piccies better. (I've included a Before And After below so you can see my corrections. Not vastly different at first glance it's true, but just that bit cleaner, and generally more pleasing to my eye- and hopefully yours).
Finally, let's tackle Instagram. Facetune is my go-to app for all my gramming (including fliters). For my flatlays I clean-up any stray bits of dirt or hairs that magically always seem to find their way onto my white card (as per below) and yes, I'm not above removing a spot or a wrinkle. You may think that's wrong. Or misleading. Or as my friend Greg from college once said "you're only cheating yourself". (He was actually referring to the fact that my entire class cheated on their Art History mock A-Level, but the point remains). For me- someone with acne and acne scarring- it's oddly theraputic to magically erase the craters on my face, and is probably something that only those with skin problems can fully understand. (I'm far from trying to 'perfect' myself though and if you look back at any of my shoots on here you'll see I always end up looking stupendously average in every way). I'm just trying not to let the nasty shit detract from an outfit or an image. Sometimes of course, that 'nasty shit' can make a picture (particularly when a good photographer is behind the lens- think- Bruce Webber's obsession with broken noses for example); but for the purposes of blogging I feel no shame in tidying things up. What do you think about retouching? Do you indulge? Do you find me utterly Satanic? Lemmie know xx
Sneaks- Adidas//Cup- Design Letters//Flower- Sia