This blog post was inspired by Alexis’ tweet to Stephanie:
When I saw this picture, I laughed. A) Because the screen cap of Cinderella looks exactly like the face I saw at least 20 people make today. and B) because the side quote is an accurate representation of how I’m sure 99% of the students on campus are feeling this week. The interesting thing about this though is that it’s a different kind of photograph compared to the other ones I’ve seen under the #wrtf14 and #wrtuesdays hashtags. We know that nobody pointed their iPhone camera or Canon at this and snapped it on their way home from class. Somebody had to sit and take the time to do a few different things to put this together. They had to first come up with the idea, then find a screen cap or print screen it directly, and lastly add text on top of it. Photos like this (edits) come as an entirely different category of images, and essentially anyone can do whatever they like to create different kinds of edits.
I was introduced to Tumblr during my freshman year here at Rowan, and I bring this up because it’s when I first really noticed the use of photo editing with text. People on this site were taking song lyrics, quotes from TV shows and movies, lines from books; and with these, they pasted the quote onto a previously-existing photo to create a new image. I found myself completely captivated by these, because each edit shot across a different emotion, a different message. There were so many blogs dedicated to these edits, some with a theme (which kind of relates to the photo essay assignment), and I’d just sit in bed for hours scrolling through each one.
Why is this kind of image so intriguing?
1. I think it injects life into a photo that has already been seen. You can easily take a simple photo, add text to it, and then have a new perspective on it. The quote chosen can be of any emotion, from any source. It can be something you write. It can be from your favorite song. It can even be something humorous, like the picture that Alexis tweeted to Stephanie. Text pretty much makes it a new photo, so you have the chance to feel like you’re viewing something new for the very first time.
2. It gives the opportunity for users to be creative. There’s font, font placement, colors, effects. The user behind the computer screen has the power to utilize all of these tools and make whatever changes they want. They can creatively choose if they want to include a weathered border or if the font should be on the top or bottom of the picture. It’s up to them, and because of this, the possibilities for an edit are endless. You could give a person the same starting photograph and they can interpret it in two completely different ways. One might have a happy quote from a book in white script across the middle of the photo, while another might have a darker song lyric in a grey tone hovering over the top.
After thinking about this a little more, I wonder if professional photographers are annoyed at all with this type of image. They are constantly working to adjust settings, learn about lighting, and dedicating their time to take the perfect photograph. Now, because of sites like Tumblr and with the different editing tools we have, anyone can make changes to their image. Copyright laws aside, I’m curious to know what photographers think about outside editing. I’m not a photographer, but I don’t know if I’d feel flattered or annoyed. Flattered because someone enjoyed my photo enough to use it for their edit, or annoyed because they’re making changes something I captured after spending much time on little details. It’s a double-edged sword, really.
I think the whole thing with editing is that there will always be people who don’t approve of it, but on the other end of the spectrum, there are people who view it as a great hobby. No matter the opinion, I believe that we’ll continue seeing edited images as long as sites like Tumblr, Flickr, WeHeartIt exist. What do you think about edited images? Do a quick Google search if you’re unsure. Type in ‘tumblr quote pictures,’ scroll through, and see what you think. You may be surprised at how some of these edits inspire you.