I’m already learning from my #30edits Abstract Challenge! Just what I was hoping would happen. And that, of course, means I have new things to share.
One of my early observations: The first step in any abstract edit is removing the connection to reality in the image.
Turns out, that is harder to do than I realized! Our brains seem to want to make meaning out of the slightest texture and pattern, so removing that connection to reality requires some work. One way to do this is through blur of the image, which softens the lines and textures which provide a lot of information to our brain.
Today I’m sharing my favorite method for creating background blur using the Stackables app, using an image I shared last week in another post. I think this forest fern image was leading me toward my abstract project.
I started with this forest image, which caught me eye due to the interesting repetition in the ferns and fir needles.
In Stackables, you can add a blur layer by going to the Adjustments menu (top bar) and selecting the Blur effect (right menu). You can increase the blur by selecting Intensity (lower left), and then increasing the slider (bottom bar). Layer 6 in this iPad screen shot is the blur layer in the Stackables formula I’m sharing with you today.
If you want to increase blur more than possible with a single layer, no problem. Just duplicate the layer. You can keep adding Blur layers to reach the desired effect. Increasing blur increases abstraction, by taking away the edges and textures of the object you photographed.
The final image (here again) was created by blending the blurred background with some other fern images. It is not a full abstract, but you might be able to see how the original image comes through as a background layer.
Now I have the Stackables Formula for you! This formula, called Bluish Blur, was used to create the fern background above. It shows you how you can use blur along with other Stackables layers to begin changing an image toward abstract. Have fun abstracting!
To download the “Bluish Blur” formula for your own use in the Stackables app, do the following:
1. Make sure the Stackables app is installed on your iOS device.
2. On your iOS device, download the formula file from this link. (This is a Dropbox link, and you may be prompted to save the file to your Dropbox account, if you have one. Go ahead and save it to your Dropbox and then download from there.)
3. When you go to download or open the file on your device, use “Open in…” and choose the “Open in Stackables” option.
4. Stackables will open and ask if you want to import the formula, tap “Import.”
5. To use the formula, load a photo, go to Formulas (1), choose Favorite Formulas (2). You will see the imported formula (3), so tap to preview. Click the wrench icon (4) to apply the formula and make changes to the layers.