How to Push Your Artistic Limits Using Your iPhone

From an Instagram Veteran

Before I hand you over to one of the geniuses of mobile arts, let me give you some information on him. Of course I'll go into more detail in an interview with him for a separate article but in the meantime, I can tell you what I saw in his work.

I met Iain Sutherland through a mutual friend on Instagram, Mellow Longfellow. They both were on Instagram before I was and had already garnered a good following and community (which is much, much different than the Instagram that we see now). Both of them were active in an amazing sub-genre of mobile photography at the time. Their work pushed the limits of mobile photography mostly because they were fearless with their edits. They always sought out new apps to use to stack and create with. I liken them to the mad scientists of that time of Instagram. It's like walking into a laboratory and seeing a crazed scientist in a white coat, splicing and dicing, and then screaming at the end, "IT'S ALIVE! IT'S ALIVE!"

I have always had the utmost respect for Iain.He always stayed true to his work, his art, and his beliefs of this new and burgeoning platform, that we know today as Instagram. He was a pioneer in the wild, wild west of Instagram. His work, his creativity, and his loyalty to the art are unfaltering.

It's an honor to interview him and have him explain his work in tutorial form.

With that, I introduce you to Iain Sutherland aka @dopeyfresh on Instagram.

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Block 1 Edits and Details

Iain Sutherland
  •  I started with an image of my hand which I opened in the Image Blender app.
  • I imported the same image, adjusted the opacity to around 50% and lined up the lines in the wrist with the lines in the finger.
  • Using the Masking function I erase the whole image with the solid tool setting then using the gradient tool setting I paint the image back in place and fine-tune the edges.
  • Back saved the edited image, re-imported and repeated the process for all five fingers.
  • Wait. Let me take a selfie.
  • Again using 50% opacity for ease of placement I arranged the image, erased it fully, then painted the eyeball into my palm with the gradient tool.
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Block 2 Edits and Details

Iain Sutherland
  • I went into my Tiny Planet gallery and grabbed an image of a backlit milk crate I thought would be a cool addition to the eyeball.
  • Using Image Blender again I placed the image, masked it in place and experimented with different blend settings and the slider bar, finally settling on the Screen setting at about 75%.
  • Back saved the image and imported it into Snapseed where I used Detail/Structure and HDR to pop the image and help further smooth the transition between the blended components.
  • I created a geometric image on Tiltoria app and used Image Blender to create the 3D deconstructed/bio effect, again masking and experimenting with different blend options until I reached the desired image. I eventually decided on the Multiply blend at about 50%. 
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Block 3 Edits and Details

Iain Sutherland
  • Happy with the main image I imported it into Mextures app to start working on the background.
  • I maxed out the Painterly and Viva la Grunge settings and back saved both edits.
  • I then imported those two edits into Image Blender and blended them together, masking the portions of the background I liked the best into one image and saved it.
  • Wanting a little more content I dipped into my camera roll and masked in an image of a bird carcass from an abandoned property and some flowers from a friend's hand.
  • I liked the result but felt it was a little lopsided so I mirrored the image in Diptic and discovered a serendipitous friend. 
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Final Block Edits and Details

Iain Sutherland
  • I masked out the image around said friend and placed it on both sides of the original.
  • I then pulled the finished image into Squareready and downsized it slightly so I could frame it without losing any of the original.
  • Then the image is exported to Snapseed and cropped and framed.
  • I finished the process with a couple of edits in Picgrunger app and some final masking and blending in Image Blender getting the textures and border detail to my preference.
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