Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Postcards from Miltonburg

Over on Karl's Facebook page I've been running a series of 'Postcards from Miltonburg'. I've included one or two on this blog from time to time to give some colour to recent posts. But it's not an easy thing to achieve living in a suburb of London, to generate a series of photos that would fit a theme of Ye Olde Worlde. You have to avoid modern housing and constructions, people clothed anachronistically for the period you want to represent, buses and cars thundering past, in fact anything that breaks the spell.

This really leaves me with very few options locally, just the local park, hopefully when there are not too many people about and a few holiday photos that reside in the collection that can be adopted and manipulated.

Parsloe's Park has become the edge of the woods around Miltonburg, photographed from very tight angles to avoid parts of the Becontree Estate in the distance popping up through the trees. Photos in the collection come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on how much I've had to crop. A visit to Cornwall gave me images of Bodmin Moor and Tintagel which have found their way into the collection along with The Bishop’s Palace in Lincoln.

That's all well and good, but not only is this world from the books Olde Worlde, it's also somewhere else in the universe, with a different sun, planets and moons in the sky and hence different light.

So now we need the additional tweaks - I need to adjust the brightness, contrast, colour depth and tone of the picture. A few years back that would have been quite a task. Getting the photos printed and then scanned and the amount of processing effort to get them adjusted based on what you had to work with in the first place would have been incredible. The photo editing tools were out there, but I find I could spend hours in front of the pc struggling with these tools not really knowing what was going on and not having the time to work through and comprehend some of the tutorials.

Now we have these mobile phones devices which do just about everything except make the morning coffee. (I’m not much of tea drinker.) They have apps, which are quite simple and quite powerful for image manipulation that would have taken some computers from my youth ages to achieve and process. There are quite a few of these apps out there but I’ve found PEStudio (Photo Effect Studio) does just about everything I need from cropping, re-colouring,  light manipulation plus the odd special effect thrown in for good measure. However I cannot find it the App Store any longer to tell you who made it, and there are no credits on the app that I can find. However I’m sure there are many others that can provide the same. And what’s more the image is transformed into a whole other world within a matter of minutes allowing me to post it direct to the page in question. So different from how things used to be.

Dungeon in Bishop’s Palace (Lincoln) becomes the Dungeon in Esmay

The Hurlers in the distance on Bodmin Moor (Cornwall) becomes Karl’s long walk home

Parsloes Park (Dagenham) with some cropping becomes secret way to Gerranthaul’s

View from Tintagel Castle (Cornwall) becomes a coastal climb for Karl & Spiker

Own model stone circle becomes gifted with special Solstice light