After stumbling through a cavalcade of so-so photo apps over the weekend, I decided to get serious and engage in a thorough vetting process that involved me typing “kewl foto appz” into Google and clicking on the first link at the top of the page. This intellectual equivalent of spinning the bottle landed me on an app entitled WATERLOGUE, boasting the ability of transforming your photos into a watercolor painting.
While I’ve seen other apps make a similar claim, then produce what looked like a glorified photoshop filter, I went against my better judgement because someone left a comment on the webpage I was using as research that read “ZOMG!!!11 THIS APP IS SOOOOO COOL!”. I was looking for a cool app, this random internet stranger said it was cool, problem solved.
My usual apprehension with apps like this is that in the app store/developers site, a bait and switch of sorts is presented to the consumer where the examples shown look like a beautiful painting, but once you try it on your own photos, it looks like a melting/clumpy mess. I understand the chances of an app making your photograph look like an actual painting are ridiculously low, but this one rocked a $3 price tag. In this instance, I naturally assumed that the functionality of something flashy was justified by how expensive it was, regardless of how useless it might actually be.
Also known as the: Beats by Dre Marketing Strategy.
WATERLOGUE is pretty straight forward. Just open the app, upload your photos, and watch them transform before your eyes… literally. After selecting the image you want the watercolor filter applied to, you’re treated to a rather sweet visual transformation that’s reminiscent of the opening credits to FAMILY TIES. (God... I’m OLD!)
“What would we do baby… without us?”
After getting over the painful memories of my childhood crush on a young Justine Bateman, I have to say, the end result it’s just... OK. : /
In high school, me and my friends had a term for someone who was attractive from a distance but less so in closer proximity. We affectionately referred to these people as: “Monets”. Why? Because we were young AND we were jerks. More importantly, it was a reference to the artistic stylings of Claude Monet, an impressionist painter whose paintings looked good from afar, but "far from good" up close.
WATERLOGUE converts your images into Monet-like paintings. This might work really well for landscapes... but for portraits? Not so much. As you can see, I had a little smirk going in my original photo, but once the filter is applied, I look kind of like a fugly goomba. (Although the genetic combination of my parents’ DNA are partially to blame for that.)
Maybe I’m just using the wrong picture. I’m not really a Monet, more of a Brown-Bagger (if someone could find a paper bag to cover my entire body). So I decided to use a picture of something beautiful and see if the results were just as lackluster. Here’s the same process applied to a picture of my dog so adorable, it makes me physically weak.
What the hell WATERLOGUE? You turned my cute little dog into a souless beast! (Come to think of it… she did take a dump in my bed once.) Maybe portrait images are just the wrong type of picture, maybe this might work better with landscape images…. or so I thought.
Here’s a picture I took the last time I was in Las Vegas. Once again, more “meh”. The original image is vibrant and full of life, but once it goes through the filter, it just looks muddy. At this point I started running out of ideas and was desperately trying to justify my $3 purchase. At this point I started to panic, maybe I was just using the wrong type of landscape? So Lets try this again using a picture I took last time I was in San Diego.
Hmm. A little bit better, but why does this look like the type of picture you’d see hanging in the bathroom while you’re washing your hands? You know, once of those stupid bathrooms at someones house your visiting. The type of bathroom that has 3 or 4 different sets of display towels with no real indicator of which ones your allowed to wipe your hands on. If you’re reading this and you have a bathroom like that, go stick a roll of paper towels in there, all your friends hate you. Also, why do all of those foo-foo frilly bathrooms smell like the inside of a Pier 1 Imports? Geez.
Anyways, here’s what I thought of WATERLOGUE:
WATERLOGUE delivers on the premise of transforming your photos into water color paintings, albeit really bad ones. While it could be argued that my photos suck, I‘m sure there’s a select group of photos that would look beautiful once they’ve passed through the filter.
That’s where problem lies in WATERLOGUE, which photos would look good? You wont know unless you plow through a bunch until you get one that looks right. The biggest draw to any photo app is the ability to add to or enhance an existing image, and unfortunately for WATERLOGUE, it ends up making your image look like melted crayons.