Photographic Abstraction I


1.First off we’re going to start off with choosing the right photo first.
We are going to abstract these together. Don’t let this screenshot intimidate you. As a matter of fact it’s much easier than using one photo.

NOTE: I will be talking about applying a certain layer blending modes to my photo’s. This is ALL different because not everyone will be using the same type of photo’s that I use. Please remember that not all layer blending modes may work for you.

2. Now paste it onto a new document, or you canvas size you prefer. After that, you’re going to paste it again. The same image should paste over it. Now apply the layer blending of HARD LIGHT.

3. Now on the next step, it’s just an option you can do, but what I did was erase both pictures that are in seperate layers so it looks like the above picture. And then I pasted the same image from the 1st paste again and applied the same layer effect of hard light.

4. Now my next move was to paste the same image yet again, and turn it upside down or change the angle of the picture. Then apply the layer blending of either screen, overlay, or hard light. Whichever works out good for you. You can easily do it by pressing CTRL + T (command + T for macs). Or you can simply go to EDIT > FREE TRANSFORM.

5. Now you are going to COPY that image you turned upside down. Remember you have the right layer selected that you have the upside down version on. Just do CTRL + A (command + A for macs). After you paste the upside down version on top, apply hard light, screen, or multiplay.

6. Now if you can see on the above image, I start to erase places that I feel are not needed.

7. And if you can see the above image, you can tell that I practically erased everything but the pillar. Check out my layers tab and you see how almost every layer is invisible?

8. Now check out the above image and make sure that you maintained some kind of balance to your abstraction/composition.

9. Now we are going to place our second image. Place your second photograph, and you do absolutely the same thing as your 1st photograph. Copy and paste many times and apply hard light, soft light, overlay, or screen. Again, whichever works out with your photo.

10. Now again, you might want to erase area’s that you feel are not needed and make the abstraction look better. After you erased it, you can add the same erased photograph over the other. Press CTRL + A (command + A for macs) to select all, make sure you are in the right layer where you erased your picture, and then PASTE!

11. Apply the layer effect “Hard Light”, and keep doign it again to create a sense of flow. Now when you paste over the original photo, you might want to move it over a bit. That created a blurred photograph effect or an motion still graphic.

12. Another thing you can do is copy and paste the photograph, and then change the opacity settings to make the picture look more faded, transparent, translucent, or just as a simple good looking effect to your abstraction.

13. Now paste your 3rd picture in. You might have to adjust the image size. If that’s your case, then press CTRL + T (command + T for macs) and free transform resize it.

14. Now copy and paste it, abstract it, and remember again, KEEP YOUR BALANCE of your images. And also make sure you don’t paste the photo at a seperate place beside your original. That is a very important and strict rule because of the fact that if you place a picture of the same thing at another place, it becomes too repetitive.

15. Now this is a simple technique that I did on my abstraction. Pay attention to the headlights of the subway. You see how it’s selected?

Now do something like that, go to EDIT and then DEFINE PATTERN.

Now select a long strip of the canvas. Don’t make it too thick, nor too thin. Make it an comfortable shape.

Make a new layer, (SHIFT + CTRL + N, SHIFT + COMMAD + N for macs) and then go to EDIT > FILL. In the FILL window, put your settings to how you see it on the above image.

And then you should choose something like I did on my 2nd to the last image.

Add some typography, and spice it up a bit more!

7 Responses to “Photographic Abstraction I”

  1. me said:

    I don’t get how you did it, I mean it wasn’t as detailed as I would like it to be… I’m really bad at photoshop.. My question is, how did you get the 3:rd picture (from above) look like that blurry???
    excuse my english, & I hope I’ll get an answer.

  2. Chris said:

    @me: This is a really old tutorial and I must say I will either update it one day or delete it. But to get that effect, you just have to copy and paste the same photograph and then move it slightly with a layer blending mode of “Hard Light”. It also depends on the photograph too.

    Hope that helped.

  3. outkast said:

    i didnt get the ‘headlight’ one
    what did you do to the headlight of the train?
    many thanks

    great tut anyway

  4. Chris said:

    @outkast: Please read step 15 and on ward. It explains it there :)

  5. TheOtherRetard said:

    Why did you erase parts of your picture?
    You could’ve just applied a layer mask on it, would give the same effect and gives you the possibility of undoing stuff after the action has been deleted from your ctrl-z history…

  6. Chris Takakura said:

    This tut is very old. It is going to get erased soon honestly.

  7. Enamul Hoq said:

    This tutorial is very helpful for me but i think it will be very helpful for all categories beginner ..thanks for sharing with us

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