Snow Day IPad photo-manipulation Tutorial

by Christine Stockwell

on Instagram as cas5photo

In this quick tutorial I will explain how I arrived at the final image (above) from start to finish using only my camera, an Apple SD card reader, and an iPad Air - and of course a variety of iPad apps. This may not be the best way to get the end result but it is the way I have done it. However, my work-flow is continually changing as I explore new apps and deepen my understanding of the apps that have become my favorites. I hope that these notes may be helpful to other digital artists.

The backstory

I could say that the image-making process began when I looked out my window early one morning to see that the snow, that had fallen during the night, had transformed my street from winter drab to an enchanted landscape. The town was in the process of getting back to business as usual. The snow plows were already rumbling in the distance and early-bird neighbors had begun scraping their sidewalks. With no time to lose, I grabbed my old but trusty Panasonic Lumix zs7 and stepped out onto my front steps still dressed in my night shirt and slippers and quickly took several photos facing up and down the street. My intention was just to make a quick post on fb about the snow with a single image illustrating how little snow had fallen (We had been expecting a lot more snow). While the images were good enough for a quick web post, the image quality was not very good because I had forgotten to reset the ISO for the dim morning light resulting in too slow a shutter speed for sharp hand-held exposures. However, since I liked the subject and composition, I decided to explore in what ways this image might be transformed through digital manipilation into a graphic illustration.

Image editing - Basic

Having previously imported the digital file onto the Camera Roll (CR) of my iPad using the Apple SD card reader plugged into the Lightning port, the first order of business was to do basic image edits. I used Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Mobile (Lr mobile) to rotate, crop, adjust overall exposure, and open up the shadows. Then I saved to the CR. (Edits could also have been done using SnapSeed, iColorama or a number of other apps.) This gave me my base "original" image.

Screen shot of control panel in Lr mobile

Using Lr mobile has the advantage that you can access other Adobe mobile apps from it or save your image to your desktop version of Lr CC for further editing. In this case, I used the healing brush/clone stamp in Adobe Photoshop Fix (PsFix) to remove a tree branch which I found visually distracting before saving the image to the CR.

I used the clone stamp in PsFix to paint over unwanted objects in the image with a sampled area. Tip: sample often.

Image editing - further manipulation

I imported the edited original image into Impresso by JixiPix which makes it look like an oil painting. I selected 3 areas to be rendered with finer brush strokes in order to give the image visual focus. I saved this back to the CR again.

Screen-shot of image in Impresso with 3 areas selected to enhance detail.

Although I liked the resulting oil painting-look, I felt that the image would benefit from even more detail than I could get with Impresso. To accomplish this, I would need to selectively add some of the details in the original back into the "oil painting." It was easy to do this in iColorama.

First import the oil painting into the first layer. Then after selecting the Blend option under Effects, select the photo icon in the lower right. This will bring you to the CR where you select the original image which will be over-lain above the first image. Adjust the opacity slider at lower left until you can see both images. I tapped on the Brush mask on left side to paint in the details on the stop sign and tree trunk and set the opacity slider back to 100% before saving back to the CR, once more.

Alternatively, PhotoshopMix (PsMix) could have been used to bring in details from the original using layers. However, I have found that when an image has been transformed by Impresso or similar painting apps, it no longer registers perfectly with original image when using PsMix and is therefore much more difficult to use for this purpose.

Final result of the combined images using iColorama

For a slightly different look, I opened the last edit in Mextures where I cropped the image to a square (for posting to Instagram) and added a light leak filter using the Overlay Blending Mode. This resulted in the addition of a peachy-pink to the left side adding a bit of warmth to the image and reminding me of the golden glow of early morning sunlight.

Screen-shot of Mextures with OG light leak filter selected.

That's it for this tutorial. I'll leave you with a couple other versions derived from the same original image.

Created with Moku Hanga HD by JixiPix
Created using PopDot Comics and Mextures

by Christine Stockwell on Instagram as Cas5photo Jan 26, 2017

The End

Created By
Christine Stockwell
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