Home     About     Contact     Press     Yellow Skirt     SKETCHES

Monday 26 October 2015

An unfiltered life

Bag and a Beret, Mel in the alley with loud jacket

These pictures are all unfiltered. Yes, it was a miracle - a rare blurry fog rolled in just as I was snapping that first shot. It eerily surrounded me, then, poof, blew out a little hole in the middle leaving me in focus. I know, wild right? 

In the next photo, without warning, BAM, the world turned black and white and grey. Like the Twilight Zone or Twin Peaks. What's haaaappening? But I could handle it. 

Mel Kobayashi strolling in her little black and white world

And then, braced now for any other freaks of nature to blast me, I myself was infused by an unnatural burst of energy that made all the colours in me and on the no-smoking sign across the lane pop AND - here's the creepy part - at the same time that little blur fog moved in. 

Mel Kobayashi possessed by a burst of colour from outer space

The next photo, yeah, it could have done with a few freaks of nature, maybe a blur fog here and there or an energy pop, but, see, I'm a natural woman. I don't believe in FAKE filters. EVER! I should wear a t-shirt that says I AM UNFILTERED. I prefer to let nature wash over me, have its way with me. I go with the flow

Thrifted Armani jacket improved with scribbling from Sharpies

Which brings me to this (finger quotation) "unfiltered" thing. 
"Oh yes, here I am wearing a designer gown and tasteful makeup applied by the world's top makeup artists, relaxing on a chair that cost more than your house, bathed in the best studio lights, surrounded by a crack team of stylists whose sole job is to make me look good, being photographed by thee hottest photographer, but hell no, these photos are unfiltered!!"
Sometimes you may get a shot of yourself under glaring sunlight which, scientifically speaking, is rather cool, jeez, wrinkles growing inside wrinkles, woooow: that's unfiltered. But then you retake the shot in your bathroom with fantastic lights. No wrinkles: unfiltered. Or you get a new high-fangled camera with great lenses. Suddenly shit shots look good but they are, yup, unfiltered.

Maybe you have a friend, one who makes you laugh naturally, take your photos. You look awesome! Unfiltered. 

Or, finally, you stand in front of a tripod trying to imagine it is Fabio saying, "I can't believe it's not butter" (famous North American TV ad featuring impossibly non-sexual god-like man, link here). Okay, filtered because the thought of Fabio, well, there are no words.

Melanie Kobayashi, sketch of Turnip Head on a cruise
I was in the alley, but I wanted to be HERE!

If I do things to my photos it's because that's how I see them, how they speak to me - and even though I would love to erase specific blemishes, that's one thing I don't do. But why even tell you that? Am I falling into that stupid trap of showing off how only unfiltered photos are valid? Such crap. I'm so glad artists filter the world through their eyes. Why be content with having a mere jacket when you can have a fruity salsa on your back?

Having said all this, many of my favourite blogger shots are candid spur-of-the-moment photos which add realness. But even then, the really "bad" ones are probably filtered out, quickly buried in the yard under moonlight. Mine, they are locked in a vault in the Fort Knox bullion depository in the US, lying in wait for the tell-all book by my future personal assistant. (Well, except for that one piece Suzanne has.) Heh

This outfit is meh. Except for the, ahem, Armani Exchange jacket which I thrifted and farked the hell out of with Sharpies, close-ups are in a post I did here. The skirt is a vintage silk designer piece made in Italy by a label called Sepulchre or Plutarch or a bumpy word like that, can't remember - it's filed in my cloud storage. It swishes like a dream, especially in front of that air exhaust system.

I'm for sure linking this up to Patti's Visible Monday at her blog Not Dead Yet Style. I can't miss her party. She said there will be champagne and martinis (just a minor edit from "might be" to "will"). Heh. I'm bringing my 7-Eleven Big Gulp cup cause I'm classy that way.

Edit: I also linked an Instagram photo to Catherine's #iwillwearwhatilike linkup at Not Dressed as Lamb. Thanks, Catherine! My IG photo is here.

Edit: Oct 22, 2016: I am linking to Catherine again for her Saturday Share Linkup. Heh.

Ulla-Marie, Val, and Connie have joined the Hot Harridans Reading project from my previous post. Check them out. Holy HOTNESS!!! Their links are listed at the bottom. Thanks for joining!


  1. You have said it: Fabio is completely non-sexual! And lots of other good things you said in your post that I forget now. Except you look fantastic, and unfiltered and like a schtar. xo


  2. Ha ha.

    I'm saving that blackmail photo for when you get famous. You'll be famous and suddenly I'll be RICH!!!

    I wonder who ever decided that Fabio was supposed to be hot. Anyone who has higher maintenance hair and makeup than myself is no go for me. There is only one diva in this family and it's me. Now kindly please explain that to my husband.

    It's funny because I'm often tempted to not filter my photos but that is often after I've already fixed the crap lighting and I figured I could put #nofilter but then I tap on the filter and Woa! My Instagram photo looks a million times better and I almost always wind up filtering it even if it doesn't need it.

    That jacket is the best! Who doesn't want eyes on their sleeves?

    I'm not good at taking "real" photos. I need to take some acting classes. I always look fake.


  3. That outfit is not meh at all. It is YEH!!! You are the best farker ever. I WISH I knew how to filter my photos. It's getting more and more difficult for me to appear presentable. I'm thinking of employing the old Vaseline on the lens trick. You look as beautiful and frisky as a kid in a J Crew catalogue. Say Cheeese.

  4. You mean unfiltered like cigarettes? wow. You're like strong, man. Hey, I do whatever I want to my pictures. Who cares anyway? No, no, no, no, nobody but me, yeah.

  5. Yeah, "unfiltered" is right up there with "woke up like this." ;-p Whatever, I just love the unfiltered goodness of the tights? socks? whatever those bright patterns are festooning your calves. And that jacket. Excellently "Sharpie" filtered!

  6. You have a Mel-lens - why filter it? It's funny all this use of filters - even in craft tutorial which I think is BIZARRE because you can't see things properly! The world has flies in their eyes!

  7. so if it rains will the design wash off the jacket???

  8. Hi Sonya, about your question, I have put water on the coat to test it and the colour stayed put, but I wouldn't scrub it when it's wet and I avoid wearing it in the rain. I suppose its delicacy is not much worse than a lot of other things in my closet.

    The back patch was hot glued on originally, but it came off, so I sewed the patch on in the end. That's what you get for being a slacker in the first place. Heh.

  9. Oh! We had that weather at our place once too! Weird eh?
    I'm glad you held your ground and didn't get swept away with your glorious swooshy skirt around your ears!
    Unfiltered. Hmmm. I suppose we say it because there are so many options now. But why is it considered impressive? Is natural beauty better than manufactured beauty? Is there a hierarchy now?
    I am definitely lazily high blurring! Wow! I'm amazing!! :-D xo Jazzy Jack

  10. That blasted fog! If only I could carry a little fog cloud around with me when I go to soirees, dontcha know.

    Love a skirt with Swoosh Factor, and you rock that jacket - you make me want to draw all over my clothes. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, or a Baggz thing!

    Mwah! Never filter when you mean to filtre.

  11. You look stunning and with so much energy!i never use a filter,just because how you see me is me. I also could use a hole lot more makeup and be busy with my hair for the pics, but thats not how i look like during the day.

  12. Your art work on your jacket makes it so very you , something no designer could achieve.
    Glad to hear you do not filter your photos, something I don't really understand the need for or is it that technically it is beyond me.
    Keep being you.

  13. no filters in those pro photo shoot, it's all natural. I'm excited, my new camera just got here.

  14. Unfiltered. Natural. Sassy. Beautiful. Living life in a technicolor fog. Makes sense to me!

  15. I need that jacket. I want a farked jacket. Hehe. <3

    - Anna

  16. Gorgeous dress! I'm inspired to do this design clothes online andidea to make one myself. Now, I'd better go looking for the right fabric!

  17. A filter isn't that something you use when making coffee? I'm not on Insta*ank so when photos with the hashtag "nofilter" pop up on Facebook it's lost on me.
    All I can tell you is that jacket rocks and, as always, I love your cartoons. xxx

  18. Ah, Fabio He was created in the Twilight Zone, I think. I bet he has wrinkles growing in his wrinkles now.

    Your shoots always look like you have a team of fairies and bluebirds assisting you, singing and chirruping while they carry your farked-up jacket to your shoulders and powder your nose between shots. You just have to smile and kick up your legs (and keep Kitteh away from the bluebirds). No filter needed - it's just bliss and rainbows!

    Thanks for the mention - I must go look at Ulla Marie's post. Is she reading Kafka or something very intellectual?

  19. Bein a foreigner I don't know Fabio. Half of the time I don't know what you are talking about. But I do like what you did to the jacket. And I also like such a good skirt.
    As for filters... hmmm... I make my photos a bit brighter and adjust the light. But that is because I am not a good photographer and have to correct my mistakes afterwards. What I do not do is whipe out wrinkles. I am what I am. And aren't I lovely? whahaha.

  20. A very deep discussion about filters, Mel. You take us in many directions and I always love the ride. I don't know enough about filters to use them, but I too have many photos buried in files. However, Daniel knows about those, so I'm hoping he holds off on the big reveal.

    You could easily try out for the Rockettes with your thrilling "chorus line" moves!

  21. I was having a day when even the bathroom mirror didn't help. I don't mind the wrinkles, it's the SAGGING for which there is no hope, no filter.

    But there are SMILES!

    That jacket should be in a museum.

  22. I don't think any of your outfits are "Meh". I don't think it's possible for Mel to be Meh, but that's my opinion. I love the photo of you doing the high kick! I wish I could experiment more with action shots but I need a photographer (I don't have an alley where I can use a tripod).

    Interesting post about "filtered" versus "unfiltered". Most of my IG photos are unfiltered, but I do play with the lighting a bit. In a sense, we are all "Filtering" the parts of our life we chose to show on Social Media, in that the unpleasant, not-so-pretty parts are usually left out.

  23. 'Filters' can be so much fun and enhance any pic. Not as in polishing away blemishes etc but as in turning an ordinary pic into something else.

    The 'pimped' jacket lifts up this outfit. Sketchy...hahaha...Sharpies rock!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...