I am often asked if the images I post on this website and on my Twitter feed are my own work. They are. The source pictures are either photos I’ve taken or public domain images. I combine, modify and generally muck about with the source pictures in apps on my iPhone or iPad, until I have an image that fulfils some mysterious criteria that I would struggle to articulate. Very often the finished result is a surprise to me; even if I had set out with a vague intention (for example, to create something nightmarish by fusing a mannequin with an insect), the experimentation and happy imprecision favoured by apps are likely to have taken the image somewhere else altogether. Usually, that somewhere else is a much more interesting place than the one I had imagined. An app invites the user to tap on a filter or an effect and see instantly how it will change the original picture. So, I often find myself trying something I hadn’t planned and seeing my picture evolve in an unexpected way. If I don’t like a step in that evolution, it’s instantly reversible. If I do like it, I’ve made a discovery! The process is fun and – importantly – anyone with a smartphone or tablet can do it. Anyone can take a picture and play with it until it’s startling, beautiful, interesting.
Most of the pictures I make are achieved using at least two source photos and a combination of two or three apps. What follows is an exception to the rule; each of the images in this post (just like those in my last post) is based on just one photo and was achieved using one app. The source photos were my holiday snaps! I’m enjoying some time in Cornwall, and the pictures that follow document how I see the beaches of this beautiful county more accurately and vividly than the original photos. I hope you like them.