08. 10. 2006
Fiddling with digital photos with Photofiddle
I am a lazy ass photographer. I still have rolls of 35mm film sitting around from 1999 that have never been developed, and now I have several years' worth of digital photos in my hard drive which have never seen the light of day. I always think I'm going to print them out, put them in albums, and frame a few when I have a sufficient block of time free -- which of course will be never, since it would take me nine months to do this project.
Meanwhile, rude friends keep asking me why, a full year after I moved into my house, there's still nothing on my walls except dirty paw prints and post-its. "Why don't you slap up a few of your family photos?" they say. These are the same people who send you baby pictures when their baby is six hours old, and Christmas cards before April. How superior.
The truth is, I think family photos are kind of boring except to members of your own family (and sometimes boring even to them). I'm playing around with Photofiddle, a new web service that turns your mind-numbingly bland photos into sillly or stunning works of art. The one above is a photo of Brooke Shields taken at a Photofiddle event -- done up in one of the Pop Art selections.
There are numerous styles to choose from, so you can make your photo look like a charcoal drawing, an oil painting, a watercolor, an Andy Warhol, etc. And in case you were wondering -- why yes, you absolutely can make a collage without cutting and pasting your prints. As might be expected, the choices span the range from outrageously cheesy (heartshaped portraits and kaleidoscope effects, for instance) to whimsical (like pop art colored squares and abstract). There are even a few that might be mistaken for something done by a professional photographer if you use the right image. The sepia, red tint, and blue tint effects look rather nice. While I personally don't care for the effects that make photographs look like paintings, I know people who spend small fortunes to have their family portraits rendered as oil paintings by real artists. So if you've waited a long time to afford such a luxury, well, you can fake it now with Photofiddle (though some of the larger pieces aren't cheap).
The process couldn't be simpler. You create an account on Photofiddle, upload your image, make your style selection (over 60 to choose from), crop it however you like, preview it to make sure it's what you want, then wait three days for your masterpiece -- on stretched museum quality canvas -- to arrive at your door. Prices range from about $35 for the smallest unframed canvas to about $3,500 for the largest canvas stretched on a wooden frame.