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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Randomly Capturing Randomness: Wanna Play?

There is nothing like recovering from the flu to test one's patience.  On about day 10, in my case, one's mind is finally clearing enough to let some motivation begin to seep back in.  And yet the body stubbornly lags far behind, insisting there must still be all those awful symptoms whenever verticality is attempted.

Alas...  But we can make the best of it:  Hallelujah for iPads and photography apps!  Let's play the Randomly Capture Randomness game!

To play, take or find any ordinary snap-shot quality photo that says something to you, for you, today:  here is one which speaks to me as I gain determination to overcome this flu.  I took this at 50 mph while driving to town last early summer:  please don't tell Casey, but I literally stuck my iPhone out the window, while driving, and pointed it at the sky.  I was cresting the shoulder of Getty's Butte, and the clouds hung so enticingly low, you felt you could reach up and touch some fluff:

(I guess since I only have one Blog follower at this point, who is Casey, he's gonna find out, huh?)

The beautiful thing about the Randomly Capture Randomness game is that the photographic qualities one would usually be concerned with - composition, exposure, focus - are out the window! (har har!)  In fact, part of the fun is seeing how far you can transform a bad image.  If I had followers, we'd hold a challenge to see how each person could start with the ugliest, plainest image, ending up with the most emotive, affective image!  But alas, an exercise such as that between just Casey and I might not be quite as much fun...  Still, Hun, you wanna play?

It should probably be stated somewhere that if you prefer to try this exercise without putting your life at risk while driving, just go for a walk and hold the camera above your head where you can't look at it, or close your eyes.  Just don't do these things while crossing the street or walking near a construction zone.  Randomly capture the randomness that is all around you, but please don't include any ambulance lights or ER ceilings!

So, what shall we try with our random image?  I'm really liking the Sketch Guru app, which I just discovered a couple of days ago.  Although it only has the most basic starting adjustments one might need (such as contrast and crop adjustments), it boasts a wide assortment of some very nice artistic filters.  We'll start by cropping the image to a square:

then pumping up the contrast a little.  This is not this app's forte, so if you have a snap which needs a lot of work on straightness, exposure and even sharpness, I'd recommend PicShop for those steps.  Onward we go, however, in Sketch Guru, since this photo doesn't need much done on the front end:

So that's looking pretty nice.  Now to make it fun and bright, which is the feeling I'd like to pull from this image, in memory of that day:  it was a gorgeous early summer day, with a brilliantly deep and bright blue sky scuttled with fantastical cloud formations which veritably commanded me to stick my hand out the window while holding my iPhone, and get some pics!

How about the "8Bit filter?

Meh, let's try Gouache:

Interesting for some purposes:  it rendered the clouds very softly, which might be useful for a sympathy card, perhaps?  

Here's the Sketch filter:

I actually think this is really interesting!  I like how the darker, thicker strokes work with the angles of the pole and wires, which somehow for me makes the sky feel connected to the earth.  This is a keeper, for its compositional qualities.  (I am a real pack rat of images that I like...)

Here, the Watercolor filter:

Ah, yes, this captures what that day was for me.  The colors and poofy, light cloud shapes lift my spirits, and the power pole and lines lend motion and the feeling of freedom one gets when driving over hilltops under low clouds, wind and sky swirling together, the sun and the day bursting with joy...  This image carries me up and away from the fog of flu and mid-January.  

Hooray for art apps that help us randomly capture the beauty of randomness all around us!


  1. LOVE your RANDOMness blog and hope to see more....I've been following Casey for quite a while...I'm a landscape oil painter...anyway, i've done a small amount with photoshop and know the possibilities are tremendous....keep going and keep us all inspired with your work....BTW, your photos of the ice/snow are STUNNING!!!!......I'm definitely a WINTER painter here in the SIERRAS!!
    .....waiting for our first real snow tonight!

    1. Dear Plein Aire,
      Thank you so much for joining in, and especially for commenting - this is very heartwarming. Casey has been a huge inspiration for me to start this, and has helped me tremendously! I'd love to see your winter paintings (all of your paintings, really!), where can we see your work? Thanks again! ~Lorie

      (P.S. Sorry it took me SO LONG to figure out how to reply - I think I've got it now!)

  2. Great post Lorie! I love that random image (and so thankful you survived :) ). I've admired your photography through Casey's posts on Paint the Barn in Winter Page and The Colorist, but to see what you capture even when you're really not looking still amazes me... what a gift! I'm looking forward to more posts from you here. Excellent concept and cause!

    1. Hello Paula! It is great to see you here, thanks for checking in. The Paint the Barn page was great fun, I couldn't help but join in. I'm so glad you have joined. Welcome!!!


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