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.



7 thoughts on “#tumblredits

  1. I completely agree with this post. i love the pictures from tumbler because they always convey some type of message with a random picture used from a movie or tv show or just everyday life. They are great pictures because they are captivating when you first see them. It is different from regular photos which makes it that more interesting. Though I have never been on tumbler, I can imagine spending hours on this site just looking at pictures.


  2. I think this a very relevant post to modern times because we live in a generation that created the meme. People our age created Grumpy Cat and Condescending Wonka, images we’ve seen before but captioned so they fit our exact mood and make us laugh because the contrast of the image versus the text.
    I would be flattered if my photo became a meme because then it would not only be seen by a bunch of people but it would also be used to communicate and that is my main mission as a writer.


  3. I agree that when I first saw this I couldn’t help but laugh. Especially with finals right around the corner, everyone seems to be on edge. I found it interesting that you mentioned how all of these photos are recreated into something new. It made me think back to our mash-up assignments and how we spoke of how at times things do not really seem all that original. They are recreated and redone, however, every time coming out as a newer version of the older one.
    I have personally never used tumbler but have been hearing so much about it lately and how funny it is I think I might invest some time into looking into it. But I may have to hold off until after finals since I too am currently like Cinderella in the clip above. I am this close to losing it but I keep telling myself we are almost there!


  4. Memes just show that everything is a remix. Memes are used a lot and are always great, they are also a sign of our time. Memes always seem take a little bit of that daily stress away and make it all okay. They help us collaborate and share with each other to brighten the day.


  5. I feel as if these photographs have alot in common with the video mashups we created. Both took something already created by someone else, and turned it into something new. With technology this now happens all of the time. Middleton explores this in her article “Remix video and the crisis of the humanities” by saying, “Digital technologies for viewing, commenting, editing, and disseminating function as necessary tools, while the users’ deep knowledge of the social protocols that accompany each condition their success.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this! It’s awesome to create your very own thing, but editing something and making it your own is a lot of fun too. Tumblr edits are the best. Kinda like the video mashups, we took different videos and combined them and edited it to make it our own. I really like the idea behind this.


  7. I love internet memes especially the ones on tumblr! They make anything funnier and it’s so insane how you can find so many memes that relate to any situation. Memes today hugely influence modern language and culture.


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