Friday, August 22, 2008

My Avatars

Technology that I find to be insanely useful and fun to use is digital photo processing software. I absolutely love the fact that I never have to trust my negatives to a photo shop or drugstore anymore. It's great to know that even if there is something unappealing in an otherwise great shot (like my kids' dirty socks on the floor when I'm snapping their beautiful smiles or power lines breaking up a beautiful sky), I can simply edit it away. No longer is there great disappointment about bad lighting or poor alignment ruining an important shot; these problems can all be corrected. A few years ago, this would have seemed like an impossible dream. Now, in the same way that the web has made everyone a publisher, digital cameras and photo editors have made everyone a photographer. What an infinitely rich visual history our children will have to share with their progeny!

My home is filled with framed photos: snapshots from our travels B.C. (before children), heirloom photos of ancestors, current family photos. Through the wonders of scanning and photo editors, we have been able to doctor these up to display quality, whether by enhancing the color, removing scratches, or resizing to fit the frame. I've created some montages and put special effects on some of the pictures, which used to cost big money when a photo studio did it for you.

I've been using a digital camera for about 6 years, and there have been leaps and bounds in the ease of manipulating and printing photos. The first software we had was so clunky that I did little more than crop photos, usually with the result of a grainier, poorer quality image. Editing a photo was then a lengthy project. Now, in a matter of moments I can edit photos in a myriad of ways, either with software on my own PC or, better yet, with online tools like (which quite honestly does such a great job at automatically fixing my photos that there is little reason to use anything else). I can even create "art" (see my cool avatars) -- and to think that I used to use paints and pencils for that!

Now, if you really want to see some amazing digital art (not that my avatars aren't fabulous, but...), check out the genius of on his Digistyle website. He also has a great blog.

Where will art and photography go in the next few years? I can't wait to see where technology takes us!

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