Today we have a very special guest blogger name Tracy Munson. You might know her as @80’s_girl on Instagram. This has been a much waited and anticipated event. I wanted to share with others that there are other who love to push editing to it’s extreme. Tracy is a very talented iPhoneographer with having no real photographic training or taken any classes. She picked up the art of editing by just playing and pushing apps around. She can make the ordinary into the extra-ordinary. We also share the same tastes in music from the 80s. I’m really glad we found each other on Instagram. Tracy has quoted “I think it all comes down to one’s preference for the controls and handling of the tools”. I agree with her when it comes to editing your iPhone photos. All apps are different, have slight variations and do one thing better than another. There is no such thing as a perfect app or apps to swear by because of the constant updates and changes. Sometimes the updates can make or break an app, me and Tracy know this from playing around with apps constantly. She was also interview by another blogger you might want to check out Mad About Pixls Interview with Tracy Munson. So let’s get this blog started with Tracy and see how the magic begins from a different point of view.
Tracy’s Bio: Former English major, current Veterinary Technician, aspiring iPhoneographer and blogger living in Toronto with a large man and a small dog.
Questions and Answers:
1. What are the top 10 apps you use the most?
I take probably 70% of my pics with camera+ and I use the Redscale and magic hour filters a lot.
Another 25% of my photos. A lot of the time, I use Hipstamatic for my more personal photography. Family stuff, nieces and nephews, stuff I don’t really post online. I feel like if it’s Christmas or something, everybody there is snapping regular point and shoot pics of the kids. There are computer hard drives full of them, I don’t need to add more of the same, my Hipstamatic photos add something a little different.
I rarely post a pic that hasn’t been touched by FS. I use it for everything from minor adjustments to double exposures.
I love me some grunge!
Shock My Pic
I love the way it brings out detail, but at the same time makes the photo look like a painting.
I use it a lot, often you probably don’t even know it. I like to move the light source right off the edge of the photo so it’s not too obvious, but highlights or warms up a certain part of the pic.
Mostly for double exposures and textures.
My fave app for selective blur because of all the additional filters, flares and bokeh built right into it.
Sometimes I go into it knowing exactly what I want, but I really like using the random feature on this app when I’m low on inspiration. Every now and then it will give me a combination that I NEVER would have put together on my own, but that I love.
I use this in much the same way as Pixlr-o-matic, usually with randomize. When I get a few images I like, I may blend them together and make something completely different.
There are tons of other apps that I use, but very little that I couldn’t do with just these apps.
2. Do you listen to music when you shoot your photos & when you edit them?
I rarely listen to music while shooting or editing. I can’t listen to music while reading, either. I love music but I find it a big distraction. I get too into the music and I love to sing along (loudly and badly) and then that becomes the thing I’m doing – listening to music and singing rather than the task at hand. I listen to music more when I’m driving or at my job (you know, times when I don’t really need to pay full attention to what I’m doing lol)!
3. Who are your influences ?
In terms of photography, I suppose all of my influences actually come from Instagram, iPhoneart.com, Pixels at an Exhibition and so on. @the_real_mccoy (Maddy McCoy) was one of my early influences on Instagram. She was one of the first people I saw really manipulating the medium to create art rather than just post snapshots. Then, I joined IPA and began seeing people like @mansibhatia, @helenbreznik and @momma2maxh (Lanie Heller) doing these incredible creative, sometimes abstract self portraits that actually made me want to try manipulating my image, despite the fact that I usually loathe pics of myself. Now I do “selfies” somewhat regularly, though not necessarily to their standards! Recently, I’m pretty consistently blown away by @cathyross and I love @trentboz for his combination of spectacular pics with witty, hilarious, thought provoking quotations. I’ve also been inspired by the people I’ve seen on IG who are willing to share their time, knowledge, advice and techniques and offer encouragement to others, and those include people like yourself (@ashcroft54), @jflex, @jasor and @jcjesse.
More generally, artistically and creatively, I’m influenced by many artists. Picasso, Escher, Giger, Dali, Gorey, Blake, Van Gogh – I guess I tend to like my art a little on the dark and disturbing side. I take my literature and my music that way, too. I like discordant notes, small things that you can’t necessarily put your finger on, but that send a chill up your spine, like in dreams. @edysia is the queen of that, in my books – her work is fabulously dark, but not lacking in subtlety.
4. Where do you photograph ? What do you like to photograph ? Why do you like to photograph ?
I love photographing nature and old architecture. I’m fortunate enough to live within walking distance of one of the largest parks in Toronto, and it’s also a great neighbourhood full of old Victorian houses and mature trees, so I’m never really at a loss! In the summer, I get to add in two family cottages – mine, which is on the beach (sadly, we’ll probably be selling it this year), and my boyfriend’s which is on an island. I am certainly afforded with the opportunity to snap plenty of nature and wildlife (I use Photojojo macro and telephoto lenses for a lot of these) and there is no shortage of crumbling, derelict houses and barns in rural Ontario to keep me inspired! Pre-IG, I guess I enjoyed taking photos for the same reason most people do – to preserve a moment, to record special events, but now it has become such a creative outlet for me that I don’t know what I would do without it.
5. While editing what goes through your mind ? Do you think about things going on with you life or just edit ?
I think that my mind processes a lot of information while I edit photos, without me consciously thinking about it – kind of like dreaming or meditating. In the past year, I’ve suffered personal losses, job instability, difficult choices AND I quit smoking. iPhoneography and photo editing has been my coping mechanism. Some of my work has been incredibly cathartic for me and, if nothing else, it keeps my hands busy, which I believe is the only reason I’m still not smoking!
I created this photo by taking a pic of two skyscrapers and running it through the Decim8 app several times on random, saving the versions I liked. This one was my favourite. I used the shock my pic app to give it the painted texture, added in the gull from another photo using Juxtaposer and the sun from lens light. Finally, I did some minor white balance adjustments using Filterstorm, et voila!
Green Eyed Monster
I took a macro shot of my eye by holding the Photojojo macro lens over the front facing camera. Next, I used Filterstorm to increase the saturation in the green part of my eye, then I selected black and white and “painted” the green part back in for a colour splash effect. I used shock my pic for the textured appearance. I just wasn’t loving this pic, but then my boyfriend said “why don’t you do that twisty thing you like to do”, so I went into Twistcam and put the swirls in the eye. Finally, it seemed to call for a glint, so I added the “rainbow glint” in Lenslight.
I love the creepy mood of this pic. The building is part of a college campus now, but it used to be an insane asylum and it stood abandoned and derelict for many years before its current use. It’s in the neighbourhood I grew up in and it will always be an eerie place to me!
The first thing that I had to do with this photo was remove a stupid car that was parked right in front of the building, ruining everything! I used touch retouch many times over the area in front of the archway. I tried using the clone tool in Filterstorm as well, but I just couldn’t get the reflection on the pavement in front right, so that’s when I decided to make it abstract and grungy. I used the Denoise filter in Photoshop Express several times, until it made the photo really soft and smooth and blurred. When I was happy with it, I added the blotches and scratches with Scratchcam.
I share iPhoneography techniques and tutorials there.
I sell prints of my work and custom jewelry made from your own Instagram photos can be seen HERE.
Tracy’s work can be viewed in the following places:
500px : 80s_girl
Pixels at an exhibition: Tracy Munson
Facebook page: 80s girl art
Combo Apps: iPhoneography Extreme Editing, a group on Flickr.