Manipulated photo of cornflowers and moon
Art,  Lens-Artists,  Photographic techniques,  Themed galleries

Gallery: playing around with effects from Enlight

Unlike any other visual image, a photograph is not a rendering, an imitation or an interpretation of its subject, but actually a trace of it. No painting or drawing, however naturalist, belongs to its subject in the way that a photograph does.

John Berger, Ways of Seeing

When you press the shutter on your camera you capture a fleeting moment; and when you share the photograph with others you share that moment. You can choose to share it just as you saw it, you can tidy it up a bit (straighten a horizon, lighten the image), or you can edit it more extensively. If you play around with a photo enough, it will end up very far from where it started. And yet, that ‘trace’ of the subject that Berger refers to will always be there; a trace of that moment remains.

For this week’s Lens-Artists Challenge, ‘You Pick It!’, I want to share some pictures created using the Enlight Photofox app, which allows blending of multiple images and offers lots of special effects. None of these are true representations of what I saw when I pressed the shutter, of course. But elements of the scene before me at that point can be traced within them. I find them fun to do and interesting to look at, and I would argue that they are at the same time an interpretation of its subject and a trace of it.

I hope you enjoy them too – I’ll be interested in your feedback. Use the comments box below to let me know your favourites. Or feel free to tell me you hate to see photos manipulated in this way!

Click on the images to view as a slideshow

If you’ve enjoyed these you can see more of my manipulated images in my Smoke and mirrors and Black and white or colour? galleries


    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thanks Pat. It’s definitely my favourite of the photo editing apps I’ve tried. I miss it now that I have an Android tablet and really wish they’d bring out an Android version. Maybe one day! Do share the results if you have a go, I’m sure you’ll produce some great creations 🙂

  • Leya

    Ah – just loving these! All of them interesting – but one of them stands out to me especially – the monkey.Taj Mahal in the background? Love the composition, the colours – everything.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you Leya 🙂 Yes, that’s the Taj in the background. It’s a composite of two shots – the monkey was taken elsewhere on the same trip, at our hotel in Narlai. Lots of people seem to like that one best. It wasn’t one of my own favourites but I’m seeing it through new eyes after all the positive comments!

  • Forestwood

    I like them all. They are artsy and playful. That is why I like edits. Most times we still have the original photo as a historical record, so why not have a play and see what happens. If I have to pick a favourite, I would say the man in the bowler hat – is that a Charlie Chaplin look alike?

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you Amanda, and you’re right – it’s good to have the original and also have some fun with it 🙂 Yes, the man in the hat is a Chaplin look-alike. He was at a festival in Kempten (Germany) and was happy to pose for a photo, but I doubt he would have expected to end up looking like this!

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thanks James 🙂 It’s interesting that several people picked out the monkey as a favourite, as I nearly left him out – he’s my least favourite! Just shows how subjective these images are, like all photography.

  • rosalieann37

    I like the first two (the “second” one is the woman on the right), and the monkey and the flower best. For some reason I don’t mind playing around with flower images. I don’t like images where I don’t know what I’m looking at or where it is too dim and unfocused like the pyramid or mountain. I did not see that it was a hummingbird until I read a comment on it. (I thought It was a dancer)

    Most of the time, I just like to make images “more realistic” and closer to what I experienced at the time. And that isn’t something that usually requires much or at least I don’t have the ability to do much.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      I’m glad you found some that you liked Rosalie. I agree some are more abstract than others, and perhaps it’s hard for me to see some of them that way as I can also see the original in my mind’s eye. So of course to me that is a mountain and that a hummingbird 😀 By the way, if you hover over images in my galleries you should see a caption, so you shouldn’t have to rely on other people’s comments 🙂

  • susurrus

    My favourites are the hummingbird and the Soho one. I think it is fine to play about with images, although I don’t do it often. Sometimes the altered version is somehow truer to what we saw when we took the picture.

  • margaret21

    Hmm. The jury’s out as far as I’m concerned. I can see that experimenting must be great fun, and I might have a go myself, never having used Enlight. I imagine that as you ‘play’, it provokes all sorts of memories and thoughts that might not have occurred if you hadn’t spent this quality time with your photos. But we, your audience are not privy to them. What we’re exposed to is an interesting image. And that might be just what you want us to see. But perhaps not if the images are part of a travelogue, or historical narrative. I think the market scenes and the monkey are my favourites. Oh dear. I don’t think mine was the right answer!

    • Sarah Wilkie

      There isn’t a ‘right’ answer Margaret, or a ‘wrong’ one 😀 And you’re right that these wouldn’t work too well as part of a travelogue, or at least, only to supplement the more realistic images perhaps. The point here (if there is one!) is simply to say, here are some images I like, I enjoyed making them and hope that some viewers enjoy seeing them. And maybe to evoke a mood – but that’s subjective and has little to do with the original moment captured – it’s all in the eye of the beholder!

        • Sarah Wilkie

          It was, when I used an iPad. Sadly it’s not available on Android, which I now have. There are some inferior copies but I’m still hoping the developers will produce an Android version. To date it’s been the only photo editing app I’ve thought worth paying for. The closest Android app I’ve found so far is Toolwhiz which can do many of the same things but less intuitively

  • Tina Schell

    What a fun approach Sarah – and I really like the quote and your visual interpretations of it. Like all of art I prefer some vs others. My favorites are the monkey, the LOVE, and the Charlie Chaplinish portrait. Terrific response!

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thanks so much Tina, I’m glad you enjoyed my approach. Interesting to hear which are your favourites too 🙂 Not necessarily the ones I’d have picked out but then, that’s the fun of this sort of thing!

Do share your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you! And please include your name in case WP marks you 'anonymous' - thank you