Friday, September 29, 2017

Smartphone Apps and Painting

(Can't see the video above?  Go to this link:
Here's a video I shot in Instagram on my Nexus 6P

I recently caught up with the 21st century and got a smartphone. Two of the apps I installed on it are Instagram and Snapseed. I know I've come belatedly to the Instaworld, but I've become enamored of it as a cool way to see art. I have several artists I follow now—not just landscape painters, but also portrait and figure painters, commercial illustrators and even a tattoo artist or two. What I like about Instagram is that it's all about the image. There might be some accompanying text with the image, but the image takes up the most real estate on my screen. I can get my daily fix of beautiful, well-wrought images by some of my favorites.

I like Instagram much better than Facebook, since Facebook has gotten so cluttered with ads, games and other junk that its developers think I need. Instagram does have some drawbacks, though. I don't mind the square format, since there are some tricks that allow you to squeeze in an image that isn't square. But its image editing capabilities are somewhat limited.

And that's why I installed Snapseed. Snapseed lets me do just about anything with an image. What's important for editing photos of painting? Cropping, perspective correction, white balance adjustments and also tuning for hue, chroma and value. Snapseed handles all this well. (If you don't mind squinting down at a 6-inch screen!)

The other option to editing an image is to use Photoshop or the equivalent, but that's not going to happen on my smartphone. Instead, I adjust the image on my desktop (really a laptop) and upload the result to Google Drive. Instagram can fetch the image from this. This method, unfortunately, means I'm not Instagramming the image, er, instantly. All that said, Snapseed does most of what I need.

With Instagram and Snapseed, I can share my world. If I'm painting in a remote location, so long as I can pick up at least a 3G signal, I can post a view of my scene and also stages of my painting. With 4G, I can even share video. It's a new world, Van Gogh.

If you'd like to follow me on Instagram:

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