Intentional Abstract Impressions
In this post my hope is to provided a more detailed explanation of this new and rather crazy technique I have stumble upon recently. Apparently I am not alone in this creative new approach to abstract photos, as @Alfredo_Mora told me about another photographer that Brooks Jensen (from Lenswork) discussed in a podcast recently ( https://overcast.fm/+DdceqTik . Small world for sure.
From my limited experience, simple images with lots textures and colors seem to work best. I have also found that doing some initial basic editing (such as; cloning, healing and cropping) produces a cleaner final image. From there it is a lot of “what if I try this” or “what if. . .”
Below are some examples of images I have been working with lately.
These two raw images are the bases for my experimental comparisons:
The first thing I did with the two files was import them into Helicon and created a stack using the standard default setting of sorting automatically with Method C. Below is the result from that stack.
Next I opened the stacked image into PS and play with many variations including inverting, and layer blend modes which produced many more fun variations. Like this one:
Or this version which I simply duplicated the original layer, put it on top and added a threshold layer on top of that.
Then I created a composite of the same two raw files in PS with very different results and feel.
After having established the layer order, I inverted the image on the left side (top layer) and applied a saturation blend mode at 100%. Final step was to add a color grading layer masks to the right side of the image, using a divide blending mode, to bring out the green/blue hints from the inverted layer. Which resulted in this version:
Screen shot of the layer palette:
Then just for fun, one more version:
Which I simply applied a hard mix blending mode to the inverted layer at 100%
One more example using a totally different subject. This time a milkweed, along with two images of a palm leaf. The first version, I placed the palm leaf layers on each side of the milkweed. Again I began playing with the layer modes. The top leaf has a soft light at 100%. The created an inverted adjustment layer above the milkweed and the second leaf. The used a divide blending mode on the milkweed layer to produce this version:
and then using a threshold blending mode created this black and white version:
The bottom line, for me, is there are endless possibilities with this technique and many hours can be spent just playing around and asking; “what if. . …” Not such a bad way to spend a rainy afternoon.