I love living in the digital age. I truly do.
Not only do I get to use the internet, paint with electrons and listen to a huge selection of music, I get to reap the benefits of other people indulging in the use of digital image editing tools.
Most often that means professionals creating digital paintings or wonderful CGI images, but occasionally it means amusing experiments by people with some degree of image editing skill, a bit of imagination and way too much time on their hands.
The bizarre fruits of these labors are often on display at Worth 1000, a “creative competition” site, the highlight of which is a showcase for outlandish image manipulation.
If you enter the home page of the site, you’ll immediately encounter the most recent Photoshop contests, a series of themed collections of manipulated images in which people attempt to illustrate a topic, like “Invisible Objects”, “Celebrity Time Tavel”, “Bizarrchitecture”, “Levitations” or “Visual Puns”, by manipulating or compositing existing images in an amusing way.
It will come as no surprise that my favorite topics are the Photoshop composite mashups of famous paintings, combined with modern elements or otherwise altered in ways that are often hilarious and occasionally very skillfully done.
There are several series built on the theme of “Counterfeit Art: Signs your fine art might be fake”, and “Modern Renaisssance”. I list some other categories below that deal with famous images from art history.
The compositing and manipulation is sometimes overt and even clumsy, but occasionally very clever and subtle, at times requiring either an intimate familiarity with the original or a side by side comparison to pick up on the joke.
The manipulated images are usually linked to a larger version and sometimes accompanied by a link to a posting of the original, unaltered image or images.
If you want to participate, there are instructions in the beginning of the inidvidual “Active Advanced Photoshop Contests” that tell you how to submit.
While I haven’t participated in the Worth 1000 contests, I’m certainly not above the allure of manipulating favorite artworks with digital editing tools, as some pages from my webcomic back in the mid-90’s will show.
Time sink warning: if you enjoy this kind of thing, the Worth1000 site can be a time sink black hole. If you have to get something done today, you may want to postpone your visit for a rainy bored afternoon.
If you can stand the “my mother was scared by a graphic designer while carrying me” layout and the “ads in your face” arrangement of the pages, you can spend quite a bit of time flipping through the galleries.
Note: The paticipants occasionally get, um… carried away, and the site is not recommended for those who are squeamish or easily offended.