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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Blurring the Lines~ Abstract or Figurative? Decim8,TangledFX, ImageBlender...

Today the opening image was described by a revered iPhone photographer and art educator, as more of a "Figurative" image when I posted it in an abstract on line iPhone group.
(He was not criticizing, just saying.)
I am an not an art educator by degree, although I have done a lot of studying, so I deferred. However, I am an MBA, who loves art and loves to analyze.......
So, is this a "Figurative" image instead of an "Abstract" image? Hmmm, that made me think, which is a good thing! It also made me wonder about the new process of image creation with the iPhone and all the cool and crazy apps we have to distort reality! This image was NOT created from a sunflower, now there is my question...If we create an image from a source image and the final image, does not  have any recognizable features from the original source image: is it still "Figurative" because it looks like a recognizable subject in our mind?
Here I took an image which had nothing to do with the "perceived" reality of the final image and "reversed engineered" so to speak an image which to me was abstract, but had a familiar shape color and dimension to a recognizable subject a sunflower...and there in lies the question...because it resulted in a familiar subject in real life is it a "figurative" or an "abstract" image? You decide!
Here is how this image evolved.
I made a panoramic sequence of an abstract painting in the National Gallery of Art a couple weeks ago when I was conducting an iPhone workshop. Last night I selected one image out of the image sequence to run through Decim8 and "fracture." Fracture is what I feel like Decim8 does to an image.
One of the iterations resulted in an image which I used as a base to the final image.
Original source file
Image result from Decim8
Image run through TangledFX
Image flipped in Snapseed to put weight at the bottom of the image, and shift the diagonal lines. Then changed color in Color Thief from another image.
(I have never liked purples and pinks, but love the color vibration of blues and yellows.)
So there is the process I used to get to this "Abstract" or "Figurative" does the manner in which the image is created change the label "Abstract" or "Figurative"?
Is it "Figurative" simply because our mind might identify a similar shape or color combination in the real world? You decide...thoughts and comments are welcome!

I still have a few spots open in my all day iPhone workshop on March 8 in Gaithersburg, Md.
Click here to register and for more info

Monday, February 25, 2013

Abstraction ~ Decim8~ Glaze~ Image Blender

Abstracts have a fun place in my workflow, with the iPhone's ability to process images using creative apps. The apps I have been using for a few recent abstract images are Decim 8, Glaze, Tangled FX, PhotoWizard and of course ImageBlender to mosh them up by arranging pieces from one to another, masking out and choosing blend modes. Then I run the images into Glaze and come up with a cool filter to "paint" and blend the colors together. The image above started as an iPhone picture of a stained glass window! Now that's some pixel bending!

After maaaannnyyyy processes I landed on the abstract below...which I liked.
This image has many layers using four images arranged one over the other in the app ImageBlender. The apps I used to get to this point include: Glaze, ImageBlender, PhotoWizard, Rollage Kyoobik, Tangled FX,
Then I ran the abstract above through a couple iterations in Decim8 and landed on the image below. I liked it! It looked like a spring field, a cool sky scape and a blue I then wanted to mosh the colors up in Glaze and landed on the opening image.
Decim8 also gave me one more iteration I liked but I didn't feel it was as strong as the one I selected. The weight in the image is a little different and the sky effect is a little too bright by comparison. But I am not going to throw it away because I like pieces of it especially the pools of blue in the bottom, and may use it in another image blend later on. If you like surprises and abstracts try Decim8! for some unexpected image "fractures."
...............and if you can join me for my next day long iPhone workshop with Capital Photography Center, here's the link! CLICK HERE ....We will be covering lots of apps for shooting, processing and managing images as well as great iPhone info! Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Color Thief~

After my iPhone workshop on Sunday I took a quick spin through the West Wing of The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. There I found another bronze of Degas' Little 14 Year Old of my favorite bronze sculptures, another one resides at The Baltimore Museum of Art. I thought I would try the app Color Thief on the  image I made there of the sculpture.
My thought when I did was.....This app is pretty darn cool!
The opening image is a result of using the color shift app Color Thief. Color Thief launched in Dec 2012 and updated January 2013 to full res, awesome! It handled the color shift pretty well (you can still see remnants of the original color on the right side of the image but that did not bother me or discount the value of this app.) I love it for what it does. It's a one trick pony, robbing the color palette from one image and transferring it to another image.
Below is a screen shot of the open app which will give you an idea. The blue and gold abstract is the image I used to recolor the Little Dancer. 
The app is easy to use; First you find an image you want to use for the color "thievery" and then the image you want to recolor. So simple and cool! Then save your recolored image file. There are no sliders for opacity or blending Color Thief is just a single feature app, robbing colors!
And here is what the original file looked before I recolored it and after I had worked it using several apps blending images to create the background.
Apps: ImageBlender: Slow Shutter for background image: Glaze: Snapseed.
After walking through the west wing I went out on to the National Mall and made a few distant shots of the Capitol Building.
So I tried it on an image I had processed using several different apps adding some texture in Etchings and Retrolux in Snapseed, but you can see the color shift is pretty cool.  Join me in Baltimore on March 3 for a morning at The Baltimore Museum creating and processing iPhone images or spend a day learning in my next day long iPhone Processing workshop is March 8 in Gathersburg sponsored by Capital Photography Center. Hope to see you there!
Color Thief Screen shot
Original image tone


Monday, February 11, 2013

Creating Abstracts: Apps: Tiny Planet~Tangled FX~Glaze~ImageBlender

Yesterday I led an iPhone workshop in Washington DC at the National Gallery of Art. It was great working with new iPhone photographers. Along the way I captured a few quick shots. The moving escalators underground are cool with walls of lights so as we were moving I grabbed a couple shots.
The image above was the final result of that shot. I really am having some fun with this style or creating abstracts from pixels getting a painted look with Glaze as part of the recipe.
The sequence of images below will show you how I arrived at the image above I call "Wave"...that's what I think I really enjoy about the apps for the iPhone...I really didn't have an objective for the "final" image....I just started playing with the shot of lights in the tunnel. Once you know your apps you can use the what if I did here...
Original Capture Hipstamatic Tinto with C-Type Plate
Above Image run through Tiny Planet
Tiny Planet Image with an iteration from Glaze
Above image run through Photo Wizard to distort and colorize
Above image run through Tangled Fx
One more iteration in Glaze

Final Image blended the last Glaze iteration with Tangled Fx version and ran one more iteration in Glaze with the blended image. Then a little saturation and contrast applied in Snapseed.
If I could only really paint like this!!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Deco Sketch: Photo Artista Haiku, Glaze and Snapseed

Last night I was goofing around with some apps and a few images, and cooked up a new look.
For those of you who like to draw, or paint and maybe not so much photograph this is a fun process....
Deco Sketch -Photo Effects is now a full resolution app that you can process your images with as a staring point or you can draw your own using an array of cool linear effects with lots of adjustment possibilities. So I began to play with it and a few other apps and cooked up an app combo I liked to create these abstractions. Deco Sketch has been out for a year but just went full res this February.
I used this 6x6 captured image as a base image for both iterations here.
The image above is the image I used as a base image. I opened it in Deco Sketch and began to goof off with different shapes and colors and linear effects, reduced the background image opacity and landed on the image below....less I get carried away! ;)
Drawings made over original image in Deco Sketch, with photo opacity reduced as the background.
I then took the Deco Sketch result image and opened it with Photo Artista Haiku. I landed on the image below. I also saved the Photo Artista Haiku settings as a Preset in the app so I could easily repeat the look.
Artists Haiku Version
Then I took the Photo Artista Haiku image and ran it into Glaze this is where it gets a little random. Tabbing through the Glaze presets I saved a few I liked, then began using the cool tool feature in Glaze to get a unique look. The colors in these images remind me of a spring garden impression.
Final image rendered in Glaze and adjusted in Snapseed for saturation, contrast and sharpening.
The opening image went through the same process only began with the drawing below in Deco Sketch. Too much iPhone fun!!! These could make some really beautiful prints on exhibition paper.
Heading to the National Gallery of Art tomorrow with a full class of iPhone students. Should be fun! My next iPhone class with Capital Photography Center is March 3 in Baltimore and is filling fast. Or join me for a full day of iPhone fun on March 8 in Gaithersburg for an all day class working with apps.
In this drawing I let more of the background image come through as you can see in the red and white strawberries in the top portion of this image.
Final image rendered in Glaze.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Tangled fx: Photo fx

Tangled FX, Photo fx, ImageBlender and Lens Light for stars.
Often, when teaching, I get asked, How do you find the apps you use? Well, I will admit keeping up with all the new photo apps being released is nigh impossible for me, I just have way too  much to do: but there are a few folks in the Blog'o'sphere that do because it's what they do! So every once in a while I drop in to see what Marti Yawnik is up to on Life in Lofi, or Geri Centonze at iARTCHRONiCLEs or Joanne Carter of The App Whisperer and catch up on what they are doing and writing about. Belonging to a group of photographers who share app info and new releases is also a way to find new and interesting apps.
I digest and sort through the information then pick and choose the apps I like; then go shopping in the app store. I am not on the freebie list so I purchase apps when I like what I see. I always read the app info in the app store before I spend those hard earned pennies. ;)

Tangled FX is one that caught my eye for its full resolution and interesting filter effects. It is the iPhone's answer to the software company RedfieldPlugins, Fractalius.

Over the last several weeks I have been working on my on-line "Intro to iPhone Photography" course for Johns Hopkins Odyssey Program and was working on the image below, demonstrating in a tutorial how to use the gradients in Photo fx by Tiffen, a very robust iPhone app with custom color and size gradients, diffusion filters and much more. Then Tangled FX came along  a couple days ago and I ran the gradient colored image I was working with through the app and enjoyed the result after making a few custom tweaks, in the opening image.
Gradient colored and applied to the sky with Photo fx

Original capture