Chittima Lothong is our guest blogger this month, fellow Abstracter and friends with Lan @queen_of_spades. Lan told me to that she wanted to know behind the edits of Mo’s (@mohojung) beautiful well edited photos. She was the 2nd place winner of the April Fools Challenge with her amazing Eiffel Tower Edit. You can see it on my @combo_apps feed.
Just call me Mo! I’m a X-gener, an Aries, a Thai girl, an extremist, a bookworm, a gym freak, a rebel and an explorer. And by the time you read this, I’m about to start new phase of life…far far away from home and familiar faces. I’m going to be a student again after 19 years in advertising industry, I’m moving to Digital Marketing.
Well, life is so unpredictable but acceptable. I was a Film student but never worked directly in film industry. Whatever…it’s not a surprise that I love storytelling !!! What story I want to tell then? Well, I was raised to be a fighter; I know we win some, lose some. You know, real life is not a la-vie-en-rose. But we don’t quit that easily! So between us warriors, I love to encourage people, sending out the good vibes! That’s what I always have in mind.
I express that in many forms other than on my IG works; I do woodcutting and hand-made bookbindery. The strange thing for these two forms is that I need to know whom I am doing it for, then I get inspired and can craft one that fits that very person, more like a tailor-made gift with hidden message of encouragement. My close friends said that I also encourage people through words and conversations. We can’t deny nor hide who we are.
The way I express my mind on IG is a bit different! I can be inspired from just anything. I may start editing mindlessly, but something always flashes in or vice versa. I would say I’m lucky! Also because while I’m not very good at drawing, digital arts come in time! There are so many great apps to create great work without drawing!! You know what I mean!
1. What’s the top 10 apps you use the most ?
First stop and last stop for every edits!
First stop To add a hint of blue, my favorite color, to every element before being masked and recomposed in Juxtaposer.
Last stop To refine the details of contrast and saturation.
If I lost my iPhone, what I shall regret most is that all the masked images will be gone forever! When I’m in no mood for edit, I always mask the imagessssss. -__-” So there are quite a lot in stock that no one has ever seen yet. There are similar apps but I love Juxtaposer the most due to its easy functions + the undo button!
The grungy & space filters in PicFX are my fav as I can adjust the volume and rotate the way I want.
4. Tiny Planets
I was a late bloomer for this apps, but right after few experiments, I’m TOO addicted. I explored more with the position of a single feather (I named it “Monola”) on white limbo. Many good surprises came along, and I always use them in many edits after that in Juxtaposer.
I’m a big fan of fairytales, earth, moon, and stars. So it gives me ability to create any kind of planet I want!
So many space filters here but as the volume cannot be adjusted. I use a black & blank image to save the space effects out. Then blend the pictures with space effect at the density I want.
7. Image Blender
The difference that makes Image Blender in my fav folder is that I can choose the blending option without the need of masking the image with delicate details like the ones from flowpaper.
8. FX PhotoStudio
I love the X-ray mode here as I can turn anything blue, and a converted (negative) blue as well!
This apps always surprises me and gives me bizarre composition that I didn’t expect.
10. Decim8 vs. Satromizer through Diptic
Despite the fact that I love surprises, I’m also a control freak. I use Decim8 with random option or mindless finger swipes in Satromizer. When I get enough of good surprises, I always manipulate the results by composing in Diptic or further twisting them in Tiny Planets …. before using them as background or elements. Well, I never say I’m a minimalist.
2. Do you listen to music when you shoot your photos & when you edit them ?
Well, I listen to music more while running or before going to bed, not much while I editing as I am too concentrated to hear anything – seriously!! But I can’t deny that many times there’s music in my head while editing. Sometimes a song that fits the concept pops up! When that happens, I name the picture after the title of that song… with a little twist.
3. Who are your influences ?
I think I bring balance to the forces! And this is going to be a long list indeed! Here we go…
My dad is a daydreamer; my mom is a logical thinker.
So what that made me…. A manipulative dreamer, I guess!!!!!
The daydreaming part allows me to be brave enough to put elements that shouldn’t be together -together, in a good strange way (at least for me). LOL
The logic in it all is that I love to create the effects myself, not relying on the apps alone. Simply put, I plan things in editing. I might use some surprises from Decim8/Tiny Planets but I rarely use the pictures directly. As I said, I always recompose in DipTic or Juxtaposer.
I call it entertaining! If I use the direct effects from the apps, it is too expected for me!
Another avant-garde influence is my brother @jaxography , we travel to many ancient places together. But he’s more obsessed with the modern world. So I kinda merge the old world with new world perspective because of him.
4 great IG friends that influence me in different ways:
@scifi11 Don pointed out to me before I realized that Surrealism is my thing!! I’m grateful to him! He inspired me to look through many Surrealist artists, other than Dali who is always my favorite artist.
@tomyescribano Tomy always guides me with big generous heart. Also for my blue feather challenge #mohojung_challenge that we spread & share love on IG as we edit it from our hearts and put them all in the tag that means it #efectocaracol
@peterkato I found Peter’s feed accidentally and fell in love with his Indy spirit of toy-making. Reminds me that it is fine to be different, not necessary to always be in the mainstream. No wonder his creations appear quite often in my work.
Last but not least is Kathy the founder of @abstracters_anonymous who brought the circle of abstract artists together. I finally feel I’m somewhere I belong.
But if you ask me who inspire me, I would say EVERYONE!
4. Where do you photograph ? What do you like to photograph ? Why do you like to photograph ?
Where – Almost everywhere under the blue skies! Who knows a mindless snapshot can be useful any day! But there are favorite places for me… wonderland (merry-go-round, carrousel), museums, pools, and even in the car while driving.
What – toys, book, skies, moon, flowers on the floor, and aliens!? Well anything that can be a main character in my show business is worth the shot!
Why – Before I became addicted to IG, I love taking photos because I want to capture the moments, a picture paints a thousand words and I rarely write my diary lately. Now that I’m so addicted to IG, I take photos and edit them as communication tools, my expressions!
5. While editing what goes through your mind ? Do you think about things going on with you life or just edit ?
There are bubbles everywhere while I’m editing!
Moments in life influence my thoughts a lot. While I was uncertain of what the future might bring, most of my work are darkish! I called it the dark age and named the tag #citynoire , to represent life in the darkness, but if look in details, there’s a little hope in it. When the path is clearer, I feel more uplifted and hope is more visible. The fantasy comes to brighten up the world. I merged elements from the romantic age with digital arts apps. I named the tag #technoromance. Some themes I still use is a reflection to a universal truth that nothing stays the same. I named it #beautyanddecay just to remind us all to cherish the beauty of present, while preparing our hearts for its fade.I never promoted any of these tags, I just love organizing them. Anyway, don’t get me wrong; I don’t plan it all the time! I might start with a certain thought but end-up with another or I can start experimenting mindlessly but some thought triggers afterwards. At the end of the day, if that edit doesn’t say anything to me, I delete it.
6. Tell us about life in Thailand…
I love my country! Even though it’s way too hot but the food is incredible!!! Believe it or not…. I’m famous among my friends on taste of food. They never get disappointed with my recommendations! They all know that I exercise a lot in order to eat the same amount of yummy food! And I won’t waste my sweat over something not worth it.
Under the bright shining sun along the year, it’s good place to take photo and swim! Beach trips can happen every weekend if one’d like to. Seafood, fresh seafood reminds me that I should not write about it in middle of the night! However traffic in Bangkok is bad because it only makes me hungrier till I get to the restaurant!
In case, you decide to drop by Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai and need recommendations on where to eat. Drop me a note!!
Journey to the unknown universe
This symbolized my own journey at the moment.
I prayed to my “Daruma” few years ago that my wish would come true, I painted one eye for him. Once my wish was granted, I painted the other eye…this happened recently.
I took a shot of my Daruma, adjusted the tone to be a bit more blue in Snapseed with white balance around -20.
In iColorama, I chose Waves effect No.2 to create the wavy look.
Then rounded it up in Tiny Planets to symbolize the infinity universe.
In Juxtaposer, I put more Daruma dolls in the composition that conveyed the journey.
Use Snapseed again for more contrast.
In FX PhotoStudio, I used X-Ray mode for negative effect, then turned it blue with Marine filter in this same apps.
Still in FX PhotoStudio, use Explosion filter to create the warp look. Saved as first picture for the merge later on.
Then I went to Pic FX, adding space filter and saved it as the second picture.
I merged the first picture with the second in Rollage.
More space filer in PicFX… but I can hardly see the space effect in effect.
So I went to Snapseed again to pick up the details with higher contrast.
Then in Image Blender, I put the space effect I got from Pixlromatic to blend it in.
In Sci-fi movies, the logic there doesn’t have to be the same as in the real world but we believe it anyway as long as the story goes within the same logic along the whole storyline. So in your imaginary cyber space, the upside-down gravity can look like anything you want it to be.
I use a black & blank picture to save the space filters from Pixlromatic for many purposes. One of the them is to make a background for anything I want to put in my cyber space.
For the objects, I got the apple tree and butterfly from the library visit weeks ago. The apple tree was toned blue in Snapseed before putting in Juxtaposer. The yellow butterfly was converted to negative in FX PhotoStudio. For the earth, I shot wooden tabletop with “Twist” the camera apps. Then put it on MarbleCam for the round shape.
Compose all masked objects in Juxtaposer.
In LensFlare, I chose the “Telephoto” to create a visible ray around the earth.
I named this picture like this despite the controversial rumours and written history about Rasputin that we have read and have not read?! But I’m not here to judge anything or anyone. I just believe we all were born as a white sheet of paper, but the ways that we react and struggle might have shaped us one way or another. So we ARE what we CHOOSE to become.
I used the smallest one of Matryoshka dolls (aka Russian nesting dolls) to convey the life journey of us all as this little baby with all the self-protection tools he can find along the way. Added up with a hint of friendship from the appearances of my dear dear friend @tomyescribano Tomy’s Manolo the snail and my Monola the blue feather which are parts of our chain of creative challenges #efectocaracol #tomychallenge #mohojung_challenge
I wanted a split-open sky & cloud as background, so I took one of my sky shot to re-compose in Juxtaposer… four times duplication of the same sky. Of course with a little masking here and there to make a perfect blend (as good as it gets)!!
After I got the background, I put the masked object one over the other. The baby first, then I forgot to put the umbrella before the sailing snail, so I had to erase the lower part of the umbrella with magnified view. After that the cool shades over the baby’s innocent-looking eyes.
In Pixlromatic, I choose the space filter that went well with all the composition, in this case “Alnitak”.
Snapseed again to adjust details, reducing the saturation of the orange face, more contrast for the umbrella and brightening up the snail a little bit. Back to Juxtaposer, I put the blue feather on as the final touch to avoid it being too darkish after the space filter.
I hoped everyone enjoyed Mo’s Guest Blog. She is a feed worth looking at on Instagram (@mohojung), please stop by and say Hi to her and check out her amazing editing and iPhoneography work. See you next month everyone !!!
Combo Apps: iPhoneography Extreme Editing, a group on Flickr.