Creative photography (Fractals)

How to to make beautiful art from underwater images using Photoshop Fractalius filter

Fractal images represent a new art form to explore the underwater world from computer. Fractal (meaning “broken” in Latin) is a geometrical shape that divides into parts, where each of them appears as a smaller copy of the whole, obviously a process that can continue to infinity. Fractals are of a considerable complexity, but they can be found all over the place in nature – such as in certain corals, sponges, octopus tentacles, flowers, and even in spiral galaxies.

There are many ways to create fractals, most of them involve complex mathematical formulas and fractal software programs. There is no need to go through the trouble of “simulating fractals” in Photoshop when you can create real ones using the “Fractalius filter” created by Redfield (not included within normal Photoshop filters). Redfield has several pre-sets plugins to create fractal images. The selection of the “proper” plugin is at the beginning of simulation random, but one should be still able to recognize the animal in the resulting fractal image. I recommend using photos with a clean dark background (such as those created by “snoot” or by “inward-facing strobe positioning”), otherwise the images will be oversaturated with lines. However, not all underwater photos can be used for creation of fractal images. The best fractals are made with images of creatures having contrasting patterns and hard edges in their bodies. The absence of any contrasting patterns on the main object leads to oversaturation of fractals. Have fun with it – I have.

Hard coral (original)
Hard coral (fractal)