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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


  1. Its good that you showed the steps and what the original image was. When I saw the 1st completed image I saw a sun flower so it would be "figurative" but what the original was, now I'm thinking "abstract". In the end I don't think it matters at all, what matters that it was a beautiful image to my eye.