So unfortunately, I was out sick for the class that we learned hands-on about image-editing. But fortunately, I’ve had some experience over the last decade with various lite image editing software like Jasc Paint Shop Pro, among others. So I was relieved to launch Pixlr and find a similar, user-intuitive interface that I was already comfortable navigating.
The first thing I did was find two complementary images on Google Image Search that I would be happy using. This was probably most challenging due to the need to find two images that I liked that were licensed properly for free, non-commercial, editable use. I’m very picky when it comes to aesthetics, and really wanted to keep my cactus theme since cacti have a personal meaning to me (as a unique flora they are beautiful, strong, resilient, contradictory and enigmatic). Also, I didn’t want two very different images since visually, for me at least, I really prefer thematic consistency. (Which is probably my OCD kicking in!) Luckily, I found some images I was happy with – even more so later when I got to editing!
The editing part came fairly naturally. I opened my base photo first, edited the brightness, contrasts (to make it pop), saturation, and hue (to make it more green and mystical-looking), and set the size to the necessary dimensions for my WordPress theme. Then I opened the additional image of a single round cactus, tinkered with the saturation, hue, and contrast again, and free-hand cut the image to make it rounder around certain edges, finally placing (pasting) it atop the right side of my base image.
Before this assignment, however, I hadn’t actually known of Pixlr, but I think I can now use this in my everyday life to make my social media more visually interesting, as well as use the software to edit images for some sites and blogs I run or work for. Since it’s an open online software, too, I am definitely happy to know I can use it anywhere, not just on my laptop or desktop at home!
In “Phreaks, Hackers, and Trolls,” Coleman talks about the emergence, cultural implications, and popularity of Internet memes, noting that these are always “under constant modification by users (p. 109).” This got me thinking about image editing and remixing, since most Web users, I think anyway, are always saving and taking images they find that they like and editing or altering them into something new and valuable in their own right, adding their own spin or perspective on it. I think that’s what this assignment had us do, as well.