A while ago references to a new app started appearing on Instagram. Curious I downloaded Backspaces from the App Store. It sat on my phone for weeks while I struggled to work out how to use it. Functionally it’s not complicated to use. You string together digigraphs and words to tell a story, visualise a poem, whatever you can think of. I just went round in circles over-thinking ways to put it into practice. There’s nothing unique about the sequential juxtaposition of words and images. It’s something I do all the time when writing screenplays. But for some reason I couldn’t put a Backspaces story together. In the end I just pulled some images from my camera roll and started writing. Unfortunately doesn’t allow me to embed these stories. So here’s the next best thing, an image capture of the stories with a link to them on Backspaces.

Every digigraph tells a story, here’s mine

I take a lot of digital photographs or as I like to call them digigraphs. I create them exclusively with my iPhone and the vast array of apps it supports. I distinguish these images from the direct photochemical connection to reality that is photography because I think, while they share a vast array of similarities, there is something unique about the images generated in this way. The digital image is infinitely malleable giving it a deeply subjective relationship with reality. The mobile computer/camera allows us all to capture and shape our perception of the world and distribute that vision through social networks. I would not have started creating these images if not for my iPhone. It is always with me, ubiquitous, allowing me to capture candid moments without the intrusion brought by traditional equipment. I shoot almost every day, usually walking the streets while trying to keep the sun at my back. I rarely have the camera at eye level, preferring instead to hold it low while keeping a tangental eye on the screen. I cut the earbuds off the supplied headphones to make a digital shutter release so I can capture a scene with a click of the volume button. I distribute these images across several platforms, first to my digigrah stream LessBeauty // MoreBrains then to Instagram, EyeEm and most recently AMPt Community.

Another digigraph blog

I have been posting a lot digital photographs recently. There have been so many “digigraphs” of late that I have decided to set up an second web site LessBeauty // MoreBrains. The stream started when I joined Instagram. And while I liked the various quirky Polaroid-like frames Instagram offers. It feels less like a way of creating interesting images. And more like a way of connecting with people. A sort of visual Twitter. I know it’s obvious but it took me a while to clock that. For me Instagram didn’t really become interesting until I started using Hipstamatic. Hipstamatic is a digital photography application that shoots square photographs. Perfect for posting on Instagram. Hipstamatic also offers a number of software filters to make the image look as though they were taken with an antique film camera. The filters are added in the form of interchangeable lenses and films that can be used in combination to give different photographic qualities to your shot. What can I say it appeals to the geek in me. At present I like to combine Hipstamatic’s US176 and BlacKey films with a John S. or Lucifer VI lens. But there are a dozen more lenses and films I haven’t even tried yet. Shortly after discovering Hipstamatic I also came across the idea of app stacking. That is putting a digigraph through several apps to generate a plethora of interesting results. The example above “Spider” was created by stacking an image taken in Hipstamatic through FrameMagic. I then layered the two images I produced in Blender with a background created in SketchTime. Finally I posted the stacked image on Insagram using the Toaster frame. I’m not entirely sure what these digigraphs are. Other than to say they’re sketches for something as yet to be defined. Anyway I will not be posting so many digigraphs here. Instead all my digigraph efforts will take up space on LessBeauty // MoreBrains.