View Full Version : Creating Abstracts from Crummy Photos (Or good ones)

09-07-2012, 12:46pm
I've been playing around a bit with Photoshop and looking at online tutorials and the like - I enjoy the freedom and relative endless possibilities that are available at your fingertips.

Recently I've been playing around with some of my (for want of a better word) "crap" photos and seeing if I can breathe new life into them - just generally make them more interesting to what they were before. Thus, after a few posts and some positive feedback, I've decided to make this tutorial on - at least how I create these images. I hope you enjoy it!

1. Pick your desired (undesirable image:D) and load it into Photoshop (I'm using CS5, though I'm fairly certain you can do this in earlier versions too). Make the necessary adjustments you normally make processing your image in regards to colour and straightening etc.

2. For my particular image the structure out in the water would blur undesirably, so to get around this I selected one half of the image.

3. Then EDIT --> Copy --> Paste which will automatically create a new layer with the half selected portion of the image.

4. Then adjust the layer as necessary (cropping if required), so it aligns with the main layer. Then flatten the image as we need the next step to apply to the image as a whole

5. Next to add the blur filter on top. So, Filter --> Blur --> Motion blur then choose what direction - for this image I've chosen the 0 degrees (horizontal) in this case and change the pixel distance to your required taste/effect.

You can now use any noise reduction, saturation etc adjustments if required - and then YOU'RE DONE!

Other samples:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7215/7390803466_91bc8492ab_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/outstarwild/7390803466/)
IMGP3864 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/outstarwild/7390803466/) by outstar79 (http://www.flickr.com/people/outstarwild/), on Flickr

This one was done with the blur filter at 90 degrees (vertical)
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7230/7374254142_6a4a99d8e2_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/outstarwild/7374254142/)
Path Through the Forest (http://www.flickr.com/photos/outstarwild/7374254142/) by outstar79 (http://www.flickr.com/people/outstarwild/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7096/7189020445_bbedf9073a.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/outstarwild/7189020445/)
Dividing Lines (Colour) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/outstarwild/7189020445/) by outstar79 (http://www.flickr.com/people/outstarwild/), on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8144/7178218655_ab4f811eb6_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/outstarwild/7178218655/)
Gun Metal (http://www.flickr.com/photos/outstarwild/7178218655/) by outstar79 (http://www.flickr.com/people/outstarwild/), on Flickr


09-07-2012, 12:58pm
Well done, Adam! An innovative technique (@ least for me) and a good demo.

09-07-2012, 1:09pm
verry helpful :)

09-07-2012, 1:13pm
Cheers guys - this is my first tut, so I'm glad it's helpful to some. It's a process I've used plenty of times and the images get pretty well received so hence - this tut :th3:

09-07-2012, 1:16pm
Thanks.:th3: I've seen images like this before - now I have an idea as to how they are created.

10-07-2012, 11:11pm
Thanks for that, mate. That's really fun. I have a few of those really plain shots in my collection that this will effect will add a new dimension too. Very nice.

11-04-2014, 4:31pm
Just saw this - cheers.