Photoodle” – noun – contraction of “photo” and “doodle” – from “doodle” – a casual design or sketch – thus: a lighthearted, playful manipulation of a photograph, generally done in post-processing often using special painting, manipulation or abstraction tools — a variation of “cafe art”.

My history in cafe art goes back to the founding of this blog. Even the name “CafeLudwig” is a play on the theme. Some of my earliest posts explained how to make “cafe art”, and now, having come up with the term “photoodle”, this post, and a short series to follow, will be devoted to some of my creations as well as the techniques for making photoodles.

Artists have taken “liberties” with photographs since the earliest days. “Retouching” was at times necessary and became a standard part of “post-processing” long before the age of digital images. One of the earliest forms of manipulation was photomontage, taking elements from different photos and combining them.

Let’s start by taking a look at some of my favorite photoodles – photomontages. The title image for this post is a photomontage of a photo from River Street in Savannah, Georgia and several manipulations of that image.


My “Hula Margarita” started with an accident on set. I was fussing with the hot lights, hey, this was in the “olden days”, and the salt on the rim of the glass began to slowly slide down. I actually took this exposure before I noticed and called for a fresh margarita. I chuckled when I saw the photo and decided that it called for more frilly treatment. The background of blurred lights. a an intentional long exposure from the same restaurant session, seems to fit just right. I am delighted with it.

Star Ride

Along the lines of replacing the background, here is an old photomontage. The young rollerblader is a photo I took some eight years ago, the background derives from our tax dollars. Not the best technical job, but it was just a quick photoodle, in my new vernacular.

Another photoodle photomontage along these starry lines is my “Cosmic Collision”. Yes, just a macro of a couple of pebbles, a free-download starscape, and a light-burst effect.

Cosmic Collision


Gateway Intl Festival

Not all my photomontages are just playful photoodles. Here is a rather intentional one. Let’s start with the original photo. Not exactly spectacular. The dancers are fine, but the photo needs a good amount of work in post-processing. A tight crop worked well, still the background was way too busy. A bit of cafe art manipulation on the background and a photomontage of the dancers and we have a pleasant photoodle.

Gateway International Festival 2018

Here is another photoodle with simplified background. This one is light and not at all obvious. It was done as a promotional image and folks in the PTC area may recognize it.

DiCharisse – in performance at Mojitos at The Forum

Of course there is much more to photoodles than just photomontages. There is more to come!


© 2018 Ludwig Keck

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.