Images and the experience of seeing

‘Will’s Filter Tool’ uses almost all of the available Apple image filters (currently about 214 filters). The filters can be applied in almost any combination or sequence of filter ‘stacks’. It is a tool for artists to assemble an image that communicates beyond the level of ‘realism’. In this sense it draws upon the traditions of the ‘Surrealists’ of the early 20th Century who attempted to release a deeper level of perception of the mind.

The tool was conceived with the idea that photos could be altered to more closely resemble the ‘real’ sensations experienced by our eyes and mind. Can a photo actually represent the focus of attention area as our eyes dart across the world in front of us?

Paradoxically, the obscuring of elements of an image may make the subject more vivid to our perception. In traditional photography the elements of composition, lighting, color were used to direct the viewer’s visual experience to the desired elements. Now with the modern photo processing filters there are many other means to alter the visual experience.

For software developers in the visual area this tool is also a prototyping tool for exploring the possible visual effects from combinations of filters. Typically software must be written to chain and combine the various Apple Core Image filters. With this tool, a developer can rapidly evaluate the filter combinations that achieve the desired effect for an application.

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