This was Sunday evening around 5pm.
So I opened iTunes on my Mac, went to the graphics apps area and began looking. There, in the slideshow at the top of the page was Waterlogue by Tinrocket LLC and Chromatic Bytes LLC (John Balestrieri and Robert Claire). I bought it, $3.99 at the time of this post, and installed it on my iPad 2 running iOS 7.0.4. Then the afternoon went all foggy and my daughter threatened to unfollow me on Instagram.
Waterlogue is an app that takes a picture, one you take with the iOS device's camera or one you have stored on your iPad from a different source, and turns it into a very passable watercolor. Ok, not just passable but blindingly wonderful and until I can get friend and brilliant watercolorist, Ed MacEwan into my iPad, this will have to do.
The way it works is that you open the app, click a little camera icon and choose either to take a picture or load one from your iPad. Then you can click on different styles of watercolors from a menu at the bottom of the picture and then watch as your watercolor is created magically before your eyes. It takes less than a minute.
Once you are done you have the option to either save it to your phone, send it to email or, and this is where the threats from my daughter came from, post it to Instagram.
These are all mine by the way.
The process is so easy and the output so amazing that I found myself going through photos that I thought would be best suited for Waterlogue...um...ing. I tried some, discarded the results and tried again. This one below is the second attempt with a better, blue sky background, of the Towers at Ithaca College. The top image is Cayuga Lake and then some flowers from our yard this summer.
The time flew by and soon it was 10pm. I had created many decent watercolors and many, many posts on Instagram (most during Jacqueline Bisset's Golden Globes speech so I had time to kill).
One thought struck me though, would apps like this eventually lead to young people not learning how to paint or draw or compose music or whatever when it would be far easier to finger a few pixels on a touch screen? That thought made me sad and left me feeling guilty about being part of the process.
Then this morning it struck me, why not use this app as a tool? Why not have students with iPads loaded with Waterlogue take pictures, create electronic watercolors and then replicate the images using real paint and water and paper?
Then I felt better about myself.
I think that the lesson here is that when you talk about how apps will continue to impact our lives, both as educators and just in our lives in general, we have to be creative and open to finding exciting ways of using these powerful and truly amazing tools.