55 Pieces of Art Made from Cheesy Photo Filters

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Cheesy photo filters. You know what I'm talking about. Those horrid, unusable, who-the-fuck-coulda-invented, one-button smears of digital feces that have infested Photoshop like cockroaches. For this week's Shooting Challenge, Gizmodo readers mastered the tacky photo filter to create...art?

WINNER: Bowling Aesthetic

A friend brought his new fancy camera to a bowling outing this weekend. When it was his turn to bowl, I got to play with it. In Photoshop, I adjusted the white levels quite a bit to brighten up the photo and upped the saturation (apart from his arms) as much as possible without ruining it, then applied the 'cutout' filter with 8 levels, edge simplicity 7, edge fidelity 3.
-Jeannie Moulton



We had the sprinkler going while I was testing out my new telephoto lens. So i took a picture of the water droplets from the other side of my yard and thought it turned out pretty neat as a standard photo. So here I am stuck working on a Saturday and I decided to play around with some filters in Photoshop CS5.1. I applied all the filters and played around with their presets and I liked this one the best. Canon Rebel T3
Fliter, Sumi-e, Stroke Width 10, Stroke Pressure 2, Contrast 16
-Brian Georger


Fire Lady

This challenge pushed me out of my comfort zone. I normally do not do much editing to my photos as I do not have any software that does much more than adjust contrast and color space. I have what came with my Canon T2i and that is it. I looked, and the software has no fitlers. For a while, I thought I would be unable to even try the challenge unless I could pass of a null filter as a filter. In the mean time I was working the local county fair. On Saturday night they had a local troop called Elemental Artistry which specializes in fire dancing and acrobatics. The family and I stayed to see the show and I snapped a number of photos. One of one of the dancers up close swirling the fire around looked rather good to me. Once I got the photos uploaded to the family FLICKR site, I remembered that FLICKR has that PICNIK extention that has some ability to edit photos. So I decided to give it a try. After a number of trial and errors to see what the different filters would do, I hit on two whose combination I liked. The first was Zoom, which created a zooming smear around a cricle on a centeral point. The other was HSL, which I honestly have no clue what it really does, but I liked the effect of turning the fire from yellow white to blue white.
-John Hays



Fujifilm s100fs — F11 — 1/30" — ISO100 — 7mm — Velvia film simulation The picture was processed with a selective application of GIMP's Cubism filter.
-Mike Case


Turbulent Night

I was playing around with the turbulence feature in photoshop a bit, and noticed that you could do some pretty cool things with the sky. It brought to mind Picasso's Van Gogh's "Starry Night" painting, which was the inspiration for this shot. Problem was, I live in England where the nights are never starry. So instead, I took this picture of All Souls College at the University of Oxford on a cloudy day (which are not rare). In photoshop, I applied the Dark Strokes filter, added some turbulence to the sky and also stretched out the towers a bit in a Picasso sort of way, then gave it that "painting" look with a Sumi-E filter. HTC Desire camera phone.
-Derek Moulton



I took this picture during Community Day on our campus. There's free BBQ and there's a lot of people taking that chance to have a picnic near Passion Puddle field. As for the post-processing, I used PhotoScape to edit the picture. I apply 'Cross Process', 'Cellophane', 'Newsprint', and finally, 'Crystalize', to get a pseudo-pointillism drawing as the end product. Just some silly stuff. Shot on Nikon D5000.
-Ali Aiman Mazwin


Heat Tree

I was driving into work this morning and the sun looked awesome so I stopped to get a few pictures near a lake by my house. Then I took the picture and loaded it into Picnik! Woot!! I used the "Duo-Tone" filter with Red and Yellow, then I applied the "Heat Map", then I used the "Focus Zoom". Shot on a Canon Digital Rebel 300D.
-Korwin Stevens


Low Fidelity Sunrise

My goal was to get out and shoot some stars as i really liked the way the palette knife filter in photoshop made them stand out from the rest of the image....but alas, the clouds disagreed with me again! waiting patiently for the sunrise i was able to capture this 60 second display of color in the sky before the clouds consumed the suns rays for the remainder of the morning.
-Micah Rydman


The more I looked at the winning shot, the more I appreciated the pop arty effect on that bowling graphic backsplash. The photo just works in this wonderful, self-aware (and maybe even a little self-deprecating way.)

Great (horrible) job everyone to everyone else, too! Unfortunately, we're having a technical difficulty in sharing the gallery on Giz today, but all of the full size photos are up on flickr.

Mark Wilson is the founder of Philanthroper, a daily deal site for nonprofits.