Tag: Abstract photography

Abstract Photography Tips

A rather ambiguous terminology some would say. Abstract photography is a genre of photography that lends itself to the exploration of various means of communication. When shooting abstract, it is important to have a good visual awareness about your subject, as abstract photography relies on shapes, forms and texture that is representative to its true to form.

Abstract whether in art or photography form, can be very personal. We are all familiar with Pollock, Kandinsky and Picasso, great 20th century artists that painted based on their environment and live experiences. Like them or not, they were great painters that had portrayed great visual content in abstract form.

Choosing a subject of abstract form can be very challenging. However, abstract photography can be very fulfilling, in that, it opens the mind to a brand new visual experience, one that stimulates the imagination beyond the normality of perspective.

Abstract photography is not just about shooting the image in its entirety. The perception of abstract photography has intrinsic values. The photographer not only concentrates on lines, forms and textures, but the compatibility of colours along with composition to achieve a great image. Abstract photography is the abstraction of part of an image that makes up the whole image. You remove all aspects of the image to reveal its artistic value.

It is amazing what you can find to photograph in an abstract way. Look around your home, your food cupboard, your fruit bowl and jewellery, all these make an ideal subject and will challenge your creativeness. Most abstract photography requires close focus to do it any justice. For example; you can use a 110mm macro lens that allows you to be 2cm away from your subject or, any short lens that allows you to focus in closely.

To make your subject even more interesting, try spraying water on it or vary your lighting with various filters. This will not just enhance the image, but will transform it into something captivating and intriguing to the viewer. When editing your image in Photoshop, de-saturating the image to black and white and then adding little colour brings out key aspects of the image.

In essence, abstract photography is not a true reflection of the natural world. This is the beauty of it. It concentrates on a certain characteristic of the subject in an aesthetic way, and so the abstraction of a particular image becomes art. It draws you in and challenges you, it can move you, and it compels you to ask questions. It can be minimal, busy, colourful, dark and mysterious. You do not have to be a professional photographer to produce good abstract photography, nevertheless having some knowledge of the equipment and a good visual awareness will make this a fun thing to do whether for a hobby or professional pursuits.

Basics in Abstract Photography

Abstract photography and abstract art are very popular and involve a merchandise trade of billions of dollars over a century. Most art galleries and exhibitions as well as photography events are never complete without a section on this form of depiction.

Every year thousands of art students and photographers follow courses all over the world and try to vent their thoughts and ideas in the form of their own interpretation. In fact, abstract photography is a direct outcome of the earlier abstract art form that was made famous by many noted artists. Nearly everyone at some point of time has had a brush with this genre of photography and as we will see later in this article, has appreciated or collected the abstract photographs.

What is it really and is it the same as Abstract Art?

As the name implies “abstract” denotes what can be interpreted but not seen. The art form is many times debated to be complex and difficult to understand. Yet it attracts a horde of art critics and art collectors from every part of the globe, and several interpretations may accompany abstract paintings. Similarly, abstract photography draws the same popularity except it is done with a camera and not with brush and paint!

The exact definition of this art is difficult but it is sufficient to understand that there are no rules or norms for creating and in layman terms “anything goes” as long as it appeals to the eye! The photography technique is used to capture almost any event in a subtle manner such as a drop of water splattering in a pool to look like a crown or a piece of hemp rope at close quarters that looks like a striated bundle etc. The composition is immaterial; it is only the way a scene (really a photograph) is captured on film. The interpretation may come later.

How is abstract photography carried out?

It is necessary to have a professional high speed camera and sometimes a special high speed film. The best results can be obtained by using a black and white film and many valuable photographs are of this monochrome variety. The following aspects need to be kept in mind:

A perfect understanding of conventional photographic principles regarding shutter speed, aperture, focusing, film speed and lighting effects.

Telephoto lenses and close up lenses and flash equipment form a part of certain trick effects one wishes to create.

Films of different types like color, black and white, speed in ASA or DIN, tripod stands, remote shooting, filter lenses, shadow hoods etc.

Abstract photography is really the prerogative of a true artist and one who also has a scientific bent of mind. Composing a perfect shot requires the “artist” and taking the photograph requires the “technician”! Imagination knows no bounds and the best results are when one uses creative powers to its full capacity.

Some Ideas On Abstract Photography

This article covers four techniques which you can use to create abstract images. These techniques may be applied to various subject matter to produce great abstract photography.

Using Blur

The first technique is the deliberate blurring of objects. Photos with a dreamy feel work best with this technique. As a result, selecting the subject matter carefully is essential. After all, if the wrong subject matter is chosen, the final results will be discouraging.

This technique can be carried out in several ways. Perhaps the easiest way is to use a soft focus lens. However, this is also the costliest method. Another method is to use a soft focus filter which can be mounted on just about any lens. Using panty hose stretched over the lens is yet another method. Needless to say, the blur can always be added in the course of image editing with Photoshop (or any other editing software).

Zooming In on the Subject

To utilize this technique, a zoom lens is needed. The technique is fairly straightforward. A long shutter speed is chosen. Then, while the shutter is open, the photographer changes the focal length of the zoom lens. The standard approach is to start at a wide angle and zoom into a narrow angle.

With this technique, there are a few essential points. When using this technique, a tripod is really required. Without a tripod, the photo will be blurred by camera movement. A strong center of interest works best with this technique. For those images that lack a strong center of interest, the image often seems to be simply a bunch of blurry lines. Keeping these points in mind can help to enhance your abstract photos.

Don’t be surprised if you discover that you need to take many shots to create just one excellent abstract photo. This is just the way this technique functions. You can not accurately foresee the way a shot will come out. So, take many shots and pick the best one.

Partial Object

With this particular technique, the entire object is not photographed. Rather, the photographer isolates just a section of an object. Then, that section is photographed. The objective is to isolate the most interesting portion of an object.

Since form, color, and lines are very important when the partial object technique is used, objects should be selected based on these factors.

Photoshop Filters

Instead of creating abstract images at the time that an image is shot, Photoshop can be utilized to produce the abstract. Photoshop filters offer one easy way to do this. The Photoshop filters can be located in the Filter menu. The key here is to experiment with the various filters. After you are done experimenting, you can select the filter that produced the most intriguing results. Then, you can use that filter for the final image.

Summation

These techniques are very effective in creating eye-catching abstract images. The next step is to pick up your camera. Then, you just need to head out to create some great images.

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