Photo Art Transformation

A beautiful photograph may have life beyond the pixels that came from your camera. Tools and techniques using apps can transform your photo into one or more works of photo art. Why tamper with a perfectly good photo? Because it can fulfill other purposes, such as a set of interesting greeting cards or a print on watercolor paper for a friend.

Photograph of a tow boat in the Tennessee River pushing a barge upstream.

The original photograph was shot on a Canon mirrorless camera before sunset in late December. I had finished shooting landscapes from Ingalls Harbor in Decatur, Alabama when I saw this tow boat pushing a barge upriver. I made a few shots as the boat neared and passed me.

Warm Sunset

For this photo art variation, I wanted to accentuate the sunset hues that were just forming when I took the photograph. Warming the sky to make it more obvious as a sunset was my goal.

Artistic image of a tow boat pushing a barge upstream.

To start, I opened the original photo in the DistressedFX app on an iPhone. With this app, you can apply overlays and textures. You can edit their blending modes (Multiply, Overlay, Hard Light, Soft Light) and adjust the amount of saturation, contrast, and brightness of each.

In the image above, I chose

OVERLAYAtmospheric LightTides (Overlay)
TEXTUREOriginal TexturesGlory (Overlay)

Winter Ice

A more wintry expression was another variation of the original photograph that was easy to make.

A tow boat pushes up-river in December, near Decatur, Alabama.
OVERLAYThe HeavensFloating (Overlay)
TEXTUREOriginal TexturesGlory (Overlay)

After applying the Overlay and Texture, I flattened the image by doing a long press on the image. This baked the Overlay and Texture into the image and became a starting point for adding a new Overlay to the image.

OVERLAYBeyond SkiesInhale (Overlay)

Ode to J.M.W. Turner

Finally, to create a Turneresque photo art variation, I used DistressedFX again, starting from the original photo.

A tow boat pushes up-river in December, near Decatur, Alabama in this Turneresque rendering.
OVERLAYAtmospheric LightTangerine (Overlay)
TEXTUREPainters PaletteLi (Overlay)

Each variant is a unique image. With a pleasing photograph, you can create photo art using apps like DistressedFX and have readymade artwork for print on a canvas or a greeting card. Being able to create photo art will extend the value of your photography.

You can browse more of these kinds of photo art images here.

For more information about the app I used, please visit DistressedFX.