For many, the concept of abstract art breeds images of what appear to the uneducated eye as random swathes of color and shape tossed into a scene to create something the artists deems representation of a specific entity such as an emotion or situation.
When it comes to photography, similar notions can occur as we are confronted with confusing images containing unspecific subject matter. But do not be afraid, there is an awful lot to be learned from abstract photography.
Abstract photography is based on the photographers eye. We're looking to capture something in a way that it would not usually be seen. Looking for the details, the patterns, the lines, the form, shape and colors that complete a subject and utilizing those key features to make an engaging image. It is those key elements that will help you to construct an image that has visual appeal.
Abstract photography is not about abiding by the rules. In fact, it’s the ideal opportunity to break the rules. When approaching a subject, ensure you spend time with it and assess how you want to represent it and it’s surroundings within your image.
Approach it from angles, move your feet, bend your knees, look up, look down, look for patterns and correlating colors. It’s all about how you as a photographer perceive what is in front of you and then looking to represent it as you see it.
My favorite aspects of shooting abstract shots is the moment when someone looks at an image and says "I really like it, but what is it?" That means I’ve engaged the viewer visually and the image has caught their eye and made them think and challenged their perceptions of what a photograph can represent. But it also shows me that there is a difference between how I viewed the subject matter at the time and how they view the subject matter, which is an intriguing personal insight.
Here are a few links to really useful tutorials and articles that will teach you more about this type of photography:
- Creatively Approaching Abstract Photography
- 80 Amazing Abstract Architecture Shots and How to Shoot Your Own
Share Your Own Images!
I hope you've enjoyed the above photographs and that they've inspired you to go out and capture something amazing for yourself!
We'd love to see your favorite abstract shots - just post a comment and link below. Also, feel free to link to any resources that you've found particularly helpful in this area.