Friday, August 19, 2011

Fab New App - Pixel Blend

There is a fantastic new app out for the iPad (and coming soon for the iPhone) that I am so excited about. Back in the day, hubby Dewitt and I loved the Polaroid emulsion manipulation process with Time Zero/SX70 film and cameras. Basically, we'd use crochet hooks and other tools to "smoosh" the emulsion around before it hardened to create a painterly effect. There is a new Time Zero film out now and you could conceivably still do this process in its pure form.

Dewitt and I are hopelessly (hopefully?) digital these days and have tried a variety of apps to try to recreate the "smooshing" process we loved so. And were mostly unsuccessful. Until now.

Pixel Blend is an app whereby you can "smoosh" and manipulate your digital "emulsion". And there is a variety of tools to create painterly effects like the crochet hook, dental tool, and more. The old SX-70 emulsion moved more when it was warm or hot. And the creator of Pixel Blend, Michael Valdez, has included temperature choices so you can choose a more movable emulsion.

And if you have no idea what Time Zero, SX-70, or Polaroid emulsion manipulation are? No worries! Just think of this as the coolest app for painting your photos into impressionist works. Check it out here: Pixel Blend app.

I love shooting feminine window displays - I'm sure there's some deep psychological reason or maybe not. Maybe I just think they look pretty. At any rate, here is one of my SX-70 emulsion "smooshes" of a hatbox and pearls in a window. I think I shot it at Epcot Center in Orlando when our kids were little.

Fast forward about 15-20 years, and I shot this mannequin detail in a Seattle wedding boutique window.

I just finished "smooshing" this one with Pixel Blend. Oh yes, did I mention that you have a lot more control with the app than we did with the film? I can't wait to play with this app much, much more. Give it a try and send me your pix for posting. Happy smooshing!


  1. Very creativity use of Pixel Blender. I will need to pause a moment and check it out!

  2. Thanks so much for this sharing on the SX-70 scraping tool effect. I've been dying to find an iPad app that does this SX-70 effect well, even for larger size files (suitable for 11x14 or perhaps 16x20 sizes if possible. Any further info on how this Pixel Blend or other iPad app work in this painterly way would be fantastic! Like you, I would like to find a more controlled way to work on an mage leisurely all in digital, with the ability to undo and revise work as I go. A fast iPad 2 or 3 and stylus seem ideal for this application. Robert


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