Epic selfies with a smartphone
Once in a while, I come across someone who is creating very interesting work with simple cameras — whether it might be a toy film camera, a basic point digital camera and shoot or, in the case of Colin Woolsey, his smartphone and a handful of apps.
Though he owns and uses a DSLR with a selection of lenses, Colin’s favourite image-making device is his smartphone and his favourite genre is, you guessed it, selfies!
41-year old Colin is not your average Instagram model; in fact, he’s about as far from model material you can get (sorry Col 🙂 ) but he leverages what a smartphone camera and apps can do to create self-portraits that are full of impact, humour and a lot of fun. They say that portraits give us a window into the soul of the subject; in Colin’s case, we get a full on view of this knockabout, rollicking character who is always up for a laugh and doesn’t take himself too seriously.
By day, Colin is a high pressure water jetter / operator and a medic on the emergency response team at an aluminium mine and refinery in the WA South West. He is husband to a lovely wife and father of three awesome boys, who sometimes feature in both his smartphone and DSLR photography.
He started his creative selfies because he was bored after night shift and started playing around with the photography apps on his phone. His “enhanced” selfies drew a good laugh from his workmates, so he started doing more and sharing them on a Facebook photography group for their “Mobile Monday” theme. They became a hit!
Colin’s approach to his self-portrait artistry is pretty straightforward: it’s driven by the mood he is in and how creative he feels. “Some days, it’s just a fairly standard run of the mill selfie,” he says. “But if I feel like trying to give everyone a good giggle, I take a snap and just have a play with it.”
His “having a play with it” has resulted in some truly epic and startling portraits, including this recent image, created with the PhotoLab and Snapseed apps:
For Colin, sharing his selfies is all about entertainment. “I just like to put a smile on people’s dials and I suppose help people forget any troubles they might be having even just for a sec.”
For those reading this keen on following in Colin’s footsteps, the primary app he uses is Snapseed, a photo editing/processing app developed by Google, which allows him to enhance his photos using a range of sliders and apply digital filters to the images. To “warp” or “liquify” his images, Colin uses GoArt to “artify” his images (to give them a painterly effect) and the Ugly Camera app to liquify his features. To add textures or create the impression of double exposures, he uses Photo Lab and Photo Layers.
Colin’s apps (available on the App Store and Google Play):
- Photo Lab
- Ugly Camera
- Photo Layers
You can view more of Colin’s amazing selfies in the gallery below, and to see his Mobile Monday works of self-portrait art, join the Snap Happy South West Facebook Group.
All images shown here are copyright Colin Woolsey and reproduced with permission. Big thanks to Colin for agreeing to be featured in this post.