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Photography into Fractals

Updated on September 8, 2014
jennabee25 profile image

Jenn enjoys photography and digital art, and has been pursuing these passions since 2007.

Combining Two Passions into One

I love photography. I love making fractals. I was very happy when through software and a little ingenuity, I was able to combine the two! By mixing these to hobbies, I can create unique images that I feel are wholly mine.

I am going to display the combinations that I have made, and I will direct you to the places and tools you can learn to do this on your own, too. To do this it does require some intermediate level skills in both Photoshop (or a similar program) and a fractal generation program called Ultra Fractal. Still, I hope to inspire you to learn about the complex worlds of fractals and photography.

UPDATE 07/31/2014: I haven't done fractal art in a long time, but due to the popularity of this lens, I am keeping it up to encourage and inspire others to explore their own creativity in fractal art.

Bleeding Heart Photo

I took a photo of a bleeding hearts flower bunch and isolated one of them roughly in The GIMP. I saved the file as a .PNG so transparency is preserved. This is the base image I used for my fractal.

Bleeding Hearts Fractal

This is the final product I came up with using the image in Ultra Fractal.

Romanesco Fractal

This is the final product after I imported and manipulated the natural fractal into a digital one in the program Ultra Fractal.

Flamingo Photo

I found the flamingos at the Philadelphia Zoo to be quite cool, and felt I needed to manipulate this photo of one into a fractal.

Flamingo Fractal

This spiky pink creation was the result of the manipulation of the flamingo.

Peace Lily Photo

This was one of my first attempts at combining fractals and photography. I used a similar photo for the photo in my introduction.

Peace Lily Fractal

This is the final result with importing the lily photo into Ultra Fractal.

Want to give it a shot?

As I said before in my intro, you will need to be familiar with creating fractals in Ultra Fractal and manipulating images in photo editing software. Ultra Fractal is free to try, but does cost $60.00 to obtain a license. I will also direct you to some links to get you started in creating your own photo fractals. I suggest starting slowly.

To start, you will need an image with a crisp, clear focal point. Isolate using the pen tool in either Photoshop or The GIMP to isolate part of your image that you want to create a fractal of. Save it as a .PNG file so transparency is preserved. That is how I prepare my photographs to be turned into fractals.

For the next step in Ultra Fractal, you definitely need to familiar with the software to be able to use the program. I will link a tutorial you can use in the next section.

Sparkler Photo

I took a long exposure of a someone waving a sparkler around, gave is a round crop, and imported it into Ultra Fractal.

Sparkler Fractal

This is the end result! It took forever to render, but it turned out great.

Comments and Feedback

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    • Glenn Co profile image

      Glenn 3 years ago from Greater Burlington, Vt

      I've been doing fractal images for a while now, and photography forever, so combining the two is a natural progression.

      One of the most impressive images that I've ever seen was a tiger portrait, done as a fractal image. It was magnificent.


    • jennabee25 profile image

      Jenn Dixon 4 years ago from PA

      @thomas-mckaughan: Search for Ultra Fractal tutorials. That is the program I used. That link should get you started! :)

    • profile image

      thomas-mckaughan 4 years ago

      This is so cool. I need help thoug. I figured out how to make awesome png files in photoshop bbut I need help imorting them into ultrafractal. I can not find the next section that would tell how. I can not find any youtube videos on how to do it either. Please help. Please lead me to the tutorial that explains how to do this. I for some reason can not figure it out and I can not find the additional reading information to make this happen. Thank you for your time!

    • profile image

      PhotoWonders 4 years ago

      Yes, this kind of work is very impressive. I agree that some of the images resemble abstract paintings. I enjoyed viewing all of the pictures above. I think some specialized training is required for this kind of photography. You can also find this useful:

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 4 years ago

      Very impressive art! I've wanted to try fractals -- you have inspired me! I wonder about creating a fractal of a person's photo.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Beautiful images. You're making some amazing pictures.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      This is really cool! I especially like the Romanesco fractal. It looks like an abstract painting done in watercolor.

    • curious0927 profile image

      curious0927 6 years ago

      Thanks for your great work and sharing so generously. Blessed!