“The endless light of the night sky, the brilliant blaze of a thousand suns compressed to a tiny dot, our intrepid adventurer stared fearlessly toward the horizon.”Stuck at work with naught to do I was thumbing through some of my old photos I have posted online. I was thumbing through an old roll from the volcanic island of Jeju that I took some years ago before I had a proper camera or editing software. I have always loved a few shots I took of my friend Mike because they look so alien, and in my head he seems more akin to an astronaut on a distant planet than any terrestrial being I have seen, a veritable Spaceman Spiff. The rocks were onyx black and the fog was heavy and low, the pale water lapped up towards us and he went bounding off into this foreign and unknown world while I timidly hid behind my lens. I wondered what I could do for these pictures; they had quite a bit against them, I shot them on a tiny Olympus and on top of that, I would be downloading an already compressed version from Facebook, not to mention I was without editing software on my work computer.
A quick Google search turned me on to pixlr.com, a free and easy (and surprisingly powerful) online photo editing website that totally free. It has several different versions, advanced, which is almost a clone of an older version of Photoshop, and simple, which is more akin to the filter editing that people are used to on their phones. I toyed around with both, but I had a lot of fun with simple mode. They have a seemingly endless amount of click and drag menus and I can see it being easy to get carried away piling filters and overlays on top of each other, but I tried to keep them relatively true to the originals (which I’ll include for reference.) I wanted to keep the mystery of the original setting while adding a flare of odyssey. I really enjoyed the end result but somewhere along the way my mind got muddied with thoughts about digital art vs photography and where is that line drawn? However I think that may be another topic for another time. For now let’s enjoys some shots of the “Lone Astronaut”