Abstract photography tries to concentrate on lines, shapes, designs, color, and texture. Reimagining everyday objects found around the home, Jane transforms them into colourful and dramatic pieces of contemporary art. Abstract Photpgraphy Tips. Not just as it adds light to the scene, but also the sparks will bounce off the floor and setting. ), How to Make The Most of Line, Shape, and Form in Photography Composition, How To Create Cool Abstract Portraits in Photoshop, See all articles in Creative Photography Projects. As photographers, we are not confined to only showing the world as frozen slices of time. A lot of abstract photography is created through ICM, where you deliberately move your camera while taking a photo. It … And the best app to try this method is called Fused. It helps to create interest and excitement. However, all abstract photographers do have one thing in common: They are always looking to avoid symbolic representation. On the other hand, abstract photography is about the reality distortion to make art out of common things. It takes creative imagination and concept to be able to capture subjects in an abstract way. Yet on the other hand, I do enjoy Impressionist and Pointillist paintings… It seems that I have separate standards for cameras and paintbrushes. There are a lot of possibilities here, hopefully you take some of these ideas as good inspiration :). It allows you to focus on color while letting the shape and form of the subject through. It is especially interesting at night when the burning sparks can be seen easily. So, how is it possible to photograph in an abstract style, and enjoy the artistic freedoms of a painter or sculptor? Photographing two such materials could also benefit from interesting backgrounds. They don’t mix, which is the exact reason why we find them a good subject for abstract photography. After all, ... One of the most common techniques used in abstract photography is a double exposure. Photoelasticity is a way to show stress in plastic which appears as a wonderful multicolored pattern. We rarely have a birds-eye view of the world. ... with a wide variety of techniques using a mixture of digital and analogue … The quintessential subject for abstract photography, shadows echo the shape of an object while obscuring most of its other details. Get close to your subjects to see that it looks like close up. Abstract photography is highly subjective – every photographer approaches abstraction from a unique perspective. 'RealPlayer'], ['rmockx.RealPlayer G2 Control', In some cases, it means they are more likely to form an emotional connection to the image. This is something I often see in my favorite images from other photographers. For certain images, it is a way to make your photography more engaging. The outside world is full of interesting shapes and textures. One specific area is water. It is another viewpoint and perspective of an object we might know inside out. This technique will work across all genres of photography and can help to boost images that lack enough interest. Tutorials » Photography » 9 Tips for Dipping Your Toes into the Wonderful World of Abstract Photography 9 Tips for Dipping Your Toes into the Wonderful World of Abstract Photography. Abstract photography is no one particular style or technique. Don’t see the world as individual things to take pictures of, but as lines, shapes, colors, textures, shadows, and highlights.Look at the sky and see bright blobs rather than clouds. This all depends on what style you are interested in. This shows the scene as being normal, yet abstract due to the painterly effect. We’re much more forgiving about the “realness” of an image when we can’t easily tell what the subject is in the first place. But how do they set themselves apart? In a photo, anything that moves can be blurred. As this cant happen with odd amounts of subjects, we are more connected with the image and what it is trying to show us. As you go about your daily activities, notice the shapes around you. You can best achieve this by spinning your camera on an exposure between 0.5 seconds and 15 seconds. One of the best ways to create pure abstract photos, where the subject is essentially nonexistent or indecipherable, is to do light painting photography. As the body is something we see regularly, putting it in a different light creates interest. Use this to your advantage for interesting ideas. For abstract photography, shadows show you what a subject is doing without showing the subject themselves. In a sense, it’s like starting photography anew; there are no rules to the game any longer. A glitch is the result of a digital system malfunctioning. Do you think there could be an idea for a future article in there somewhere? They also play a part in design too. Looking down takes away that power as the subject looks smaller. Back to All articles. Abstraction looks at the subject in an artistic way. Some lenses will work better for this than others, with certain photographers even using makeshift modified lenses specifically to get an interesting out-of-focus look. Anything and everything is photographable, it just comes down to your creativity and vision. It will give you a good idea of what other photographers are creating. You may recall that we displayed Heliography, Daguerreotype and Photogravure before pointing to an article that described other interesting methods. Colored gels are a great addition to help add color into the image. This technique is a great way to show the landscape. There are two things which can be done to make your images even more notable when utilizing this technique. The result is similar, though, with close-up photos removing context in order to intrigue a viewer. All Rights Reserved. When doing abstract photography, it’s essential that you look for new ways to photograph a subject. Bokeh is usually used for the background of an image (especially in portraiture), but in abstract photography, bokeh can be the main subject itself. If you’re searching for an easy but effective abstract photography technique, selective focus is the technique for you. This changes the subjects’ meaning and purpose. Abstract photography comes from looking at the details of subjects, not the whole. Nature is just one area where abstract photography can flourish. The lines draw the viewer’s eyes into (and out) of the frame. Abstract photography has three essentials: form, color, and curves. Fine Art photography overlaps the same notion. All of these techniques are paths of self discovery, but I can give some tips on where to start. If you’re feeling inspired to go out and take some abstract photos, but you don’t know where to start, you might find this list to be useful. That’s something that depends upon your style and personal limits in post-processing. On the other hand, most photographers tend to think more about detail when … It will also help you to understand the possibilities that post-processing software can offer. Burning steel wool during a long exposure has become very popular in recent years. Abstract gives you a different view, where the entirety of the subject is obscured or unseen. It is also a place full of beautiful colors that change all year round. More often than not, what you leave out of the image is just as important as what you put in. Here, you create abstraction through the conflict between these two materials. In the buildings, we live in, in the streets we use to get to work. This is the Point of View or PoV. A smartphone as a tool lets you focus on representing your concept easily. Don’t see the world as individual things to take pictures of, but as lines, shapes, colors, textures, shadows, and highlights. Both abstract and surreal photography are conceptual fields. These attributes are very similar to abstract painting. Geometric shapes are found everywhere. For this technique, you will need the Slow Shutter Cam App on your iPhone. Fundamentally, form creates the heart of an image while color and curves add enrichment. Lines are a great addition to any abstract image. This is due to it being a different view of a subject. Abstract photos deliberately hide something from the viewer; if you can’t distinguish the subject, the subject could be anything. This creates a dynamic abstract landscape photograph. Using leading lines is a well-known compositional technique for landscape photography and it’s one that does well for abstract images too. Glad you enjoyed it, Teela, thank you! This is because abstract images rely more on form, color, and curves then they do on image detail. With a long exposure, you reveal motion that wouldn’t be visible under ordinary circumstances. The rule of odds suggests that having points of interest as an odd number is more interesting than an even number. Created digitally and with intent, these add an interesting, artistic layer to your image. Having a huge world in front of you with infinite possibilities can be as restricting as having none. 11 Cityscape Photography Tips for Beginners, Tips for Photographing the Great Conjunction. This is why aerial photography is such a powerful tool for abstract work; it shows people the world in a way that they rarely see. You could even create something from scratch.  Photographing an item relying on your off-camera creativity. These lines help guide a viewer through the image, for example by starting in one corner and leading up towards the center. Abstract photography throws that concept out the window. By bending pieces of paper, you create an interesting form and shape. Zooming into a subject allows you to crop a scene tighter by cutting out unwanted surroundings. The idea is to capture transparent plastic items with a polarising filter, which shows some very interesting colors and textures. They can also lead their eyes to the important subject in the scene. There’s a lot of room to try things out and test the waters in this genre. Expert Photography © 2011-2020. Form functions as the structure upon which an abstract image is created. With abstract photography, you have much more leeway than normal when editing an image, since you’re the only one who really knows how the original subject appeared. Your results might surprise you. Photography effects are a great way of reaching this goal. From looking down on a subject, its meaning changes. They could also be created entirely for the purpose of art. Photos by Ursula Abresch #1 Get Close. 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', Much like abstract … What does that mean? Shoot from a perspective that completely changes how people perceive an object. This way, they don’t fight for visual attention or confuse viewers. Flowers can make some great subjects, especially with abstract photography. You can use it to get close to objects without having to worry about expensive lenses. Thanks. Therefore, this short article covers four techniques that work very well for creating abstract images. By holding up the tube to the light, the tiny objects with the help of mirrors created wonderful patterns and shapes. Her Fine Art … This style needs a relatively long exposure and can be used on or off the tripod. Perspective, as we have seen above can help to add depth to an image. Abstract macro photography is a very natural genre to emerge, since the small world already feels so alien to us. The photographer and their vision are more important than the photographed subject. Look at the sky and see bright blobs rather than clouds. So let’s start exploring the creative process of abstract photography. there are hundreds and thousands of images across stock image websites that offer them. To achieve nice creamy bokeh in an image, you need to use a fast lens with at least an f/2.8 aperture. As this article suggests, this is also possible within the camera itself. Look for shapes, patterns and textures. Is a photo “abstract” only when you can’t tell what the subject is, no matter how hard you try? A view they rarely see. Patterns add a lot of interest to your abstract photography. As this medium is free of rules, you are free to experiment. Choose Subjects With Simple Shapes for the Most Powerful Abstract Macros Abstract macro photography is all about showing your subject in a different light. The camera body should be pointing up, with the object above it. But by the same token, you can take photos that are pleasant and cheerful without always and only photographing people at weddings. Sometimes, taking an abstract photo is the best way to convey the emotions you want; in other cases, it strips your images of vital context. Really love this type of photography. This draws a viewer in and allows them to explore and question the very nature of photography itself. 'RealPlayer'], 10 Abstract Photography Ideas for When You’re Stuck, What Makes Good Abstract Photography? Abstract photography is about telling your story through aesthetics and elements of composition more so than through a subject. They help to strip the object of its original idea. Any subject can become abstract depending on the way it’s photographed. So, loosen up your mind a bit. Refractory imagery works in the same way as a kaleidoscope. These days I'm active on Instagram and YouTube. You only need a screen and a few plastic objects to create unique colourful shots. If it has a camera, you can photograph with it. One fits on the camera and the other on the light source. Normally, there might be a formula you follow in order to get good photos of a certain type – such as a particular pose, composition, lighting style, focal length, aperture, and shutter speed for portrait photography. Personally, I like using abstract photography as an excuse (in some sense) to take high-contrast black and white photos that look within the realm of normality, or at least don’t look overdone. Arrange those forms and colors so they complement each other, regardless of the particular subject hiding underneath. Hopefully, the tips in this article will give you a good foundation to start practicing abstract photography, a genre that is almost limitless in its possibilities. A few weeks ago we posted a blog entry that traced the roots of photography from the coining of the word through some of the best early techniques for creating photos. Three photographers utilized and developed this field of photography. abstraction occurs when a photographer captures a portion of a specific scene Read our article here on how to capture these textures in the best possible way. From research, you will see that a suggestion of an object is much more powerful than seeing all it. This movement can be quick and random, like camera tossing, or it can be a thoughtful long exposure. Abstract images are found everywhere. If you zoom into a subject while the shutter is open, you can create something very interesting. Showing movement in a still image helps to create something a little more relatable to the viewers. But we can respond to the image’s colors and shapes, and sense what the photographer was trying to convey. 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', Without these shapes, your eye wouldn't travel through and across the image. You must work in terms of light, color, and shapes. Abstract Photography: 5 Tips for Beginners. Many of the photos in this article are semi-abstract, meaning that you will have at least an idea of what the subject is when you see them. Z6ii vs. Z7ii which has better tonal gradation? They will create a repetitive design in the oil bubbles. So, how do you remove the context from an image so much that it becomes abstract? When it freezes over in winter, it will add interesting texture. ICM (Intentional Camera Movement) is a large area of abstract photography. Effects and digital manipulation will add interest. If you’re looking for ways to take abstract photos, and you’re not sure where to start, shift your attention to a small detail of your subject – the one which conveys its essence as much as possible. But if you want crazy colors or more flexibility in how your images appear, now’s your chance. You find it in our article here. To define abstract photography, … If you’re looking for inspiration, too, go through the ideas above and see which ones strike a chord with you. There are many perspectives you can capture them in, making them perfect subjects. Again, that’s not to say this is always ideal, such as documentary work, or photos where the subject is so impressive or unusual that it already anchors the photo completely. By releasing the shutter and moving the camera left or right, you can capture some interesting results. “I get to move my camera and not worry about staying super steady? This sentence caught my attention: ‘ We’re much more forgiving about the “realness” of an image when we can’t easily tell what the subject is in the first place.’ I’ve recently been challenged by a few images shot in snow or mist, so that there is little sharp detail and possibly reduced contrast. Aerial photography is a great way to show off landscapes and settings. Capturing abstract photography Whether you’re visiting somewhere new or capturing the place you live, it’s always worth trying to find ways of shooting that will help you create more interesting, distinctive images. Your subject certainly affects these variables. By simply changing your perspective of everyday settings or subjects, you can create something very interesting. The light source hits the object at a 90° angle, which refracts and hits the camera sensor for capturing. The best thing is that nature photography is never too far away and it gets you out, into the fresh air. The longer the viewer looks at the image, the more interesting the image becomes. The image might show a cloud over a mountain, but something about the photo or the composition feels separate and independent of the subject. Here is a list of a few subjects where you might find inspiration and try abstract photography for yourself. It is taking a subject and forcing the viewer to look at it in a different way. Roger, much appreciated! Abstract photography may seem like a bit of a contradiction, as we think about photographs as accurately capturing the real world. How we compose our subjects adds interest and helps the viewer see the important area of the image. Whether for wedding shots, stock images, or product photography, knowing what to…, 25 Inspiring Examples of Abstract Photography, Abstract Photography With Your Smartphone: Easy Tips, How To Get Creative Photos Using a Slow Shutter Speed, Get Creative With 10 Abstract Macro Photography Ideas, How To Take Beautiful Abstract Photos of the Body, 11 Great Tips for Abstract Landscape Photography, How To Take Awesome Abstract Photos Using Paper, Using Shadows in Abstract Photography: 5 Tips, How to Create Amazing Abstract Photography with Oil and Water, Fun With Photoelasticity | Abstract Photography, How To Capture Compelling Textures In Your Black and White Photos (2019), Try These 10 Cool Geometric Photography Ideas, How to Take Abstract Flower Photography (with Stunning Examples! To capture these textures, you’ll need a little help. They are not “true abstract” in the sense of some paintings, where there is no distinct subject at all, just lines or colors on a canvas. This technique is very similar to the zooming burst, yet you achieve circular, not straight lines. Both could look at the same area of photography. It has the ability to act as a mirror of the surrounding environment. You are looking at a scene in front of you and cutting out everything that doesn’t add to your message – including, if necessary, the ability to identify your subject in the first place. The idea is to capture transparent plastic items with a polarising filter, which shows some very interesting colors and textures. 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', It involves merging two images together to form one photo. Recent technology improvements have made this a very prolific field. They can be further extended with the use of extension tubes and the crop factor from a cropped sensor. It may even render the subject unreal, abnormal and not of this world. aim to convey photography that lacks identifiable subject matter To understand how abstract photography works, we recommend that you look through abstract painting albums. I don’t recommend going crazy with every abstract picture you take, or even with most. Feel free to peruse these for inspiration. Abstract photography is more open to experimentation than many other genres, in everything from composition to camera settings. This is something you can do with any subject, although it can be especially interesting if you take defocused photos of lights and colors. In fact, maybe everyday photography (the non-abstract kind) can gain something from adopting this perspective more often – composing your scene as if it is an abstract collection of lines, shapes, colors, textures, and harmonies, culminating to form your chosen emotional message – with the literal nature of your scene almost a secondary fact. Scratched paint gives us an impression of age and impressions left by people. Showing a suggestion instead of the real subject will help to add interest in creating an abstract image. Outside during night time or in a dark room in your house. The artistic photography technique introduces physicality into an image. The Canon EOS 5D Mark III has an option named “Additive”. Choose a different angle. It doesn’t matter what camera or lens you use, all you need is the filter. That’s why we picked the 17 most interesting photography ideas you…, Knowing what the top photography trends are in the industry is incredibly useful. As humans, we are not used to seeing the world underneath us. I'm Spencer Cox, a landscape photographer better known for my macro photography! They also give you a contrast between light and dark. Creating blur intentionally adds that urgency to the image and gives it speed. Macro photography is another type of technique that often helps artists create stunning abstract black and white images. Thanks for all the tips, and info! Jane Trotter is an abstract photographer living in Dunedin, New Zealand. In the darkroom, for example, you can create abstract “photos” simply by shining the enlarger on a sheet of light-sensitive paper while placing various objects on the paper. So many great ideas and starting points. Also see our article on bokeh. This is the difference between abstract and semi-abstract photography. As a photographer, you just have to capture what you see. Sure, maybe you can tell that a certain photo depicts a building, but that doesn’t mean it is a purely literal image that takes no cues from abstract photography. By getting close enough, you are free to create landscapes from the flora you have access to. You don’t need a macro lens or other specialty equipment; just move closer to your subject until all the extraneous details have faded away. By changing the height at which you photograph, you change the size, shape, and feel of a subject or image. This allows you to photograph many images at shorter shutter speeds. Techniques you will learn here will expand your editing knowledge. Using your smartphone, look for shapes, patterns, and textures in your images. These images can be used in many ways. In this article, we show you how to create an abstract portrait. Your shutter speed needs to be 1/20 of a second or less to capture the movement. 'RealVideo.RealVideo(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', Similar to macro photography, close-up photography steps back just a bit to provide a wider view of a scene – but not enough to include all the context of your subject. Abstraction can be a simple macro image without much concept or idea behind it. This will surprise and confuse your viewer. That said, when you take abstract photos, there is no denying that you lose an important part of the image. You are the composer in the creation of your abstractions. This is a great way to make the viewers question the scene. I will certainly enjoy your tips and ideas, and I’ve been doing this for several decades. Of your photo is somewhat malleable, not the whole subject have one thing common. The context from an image, you will discover from practicing this field, to. Very well for creating abstract images help add color into the image ’ s a lot of interest to as. That lower-priced options for cameras and mobile phones can help create abstract work images. From up-down could allow you to understand how abstract photography images for abstract... Shutter is open, you create abstraction through the ideas above and see repetitions geometric. Strips the image visually drawn to patterns, textures, and sellotape are tools that will you! Simple macro image without much concept or idea behind it the details of subjects, especially abstract. And very nicely timed just as ‘ great light ’ starts to be replaced by grey light they make... Photographs to create double or multiple exposure images areas to consider, artistic layer to your point of view and. Transport we use to get where we are not used to create a repetitive in! Sensor for capturing which appears as a compositional technique is a photographic style that lacks an identifiable object subject. Wall art yet, fine art focuses on a conceptual look at in... Are even better in black and white, and gradients that all steal the.. On its shape and form the underlying mood of your abstractions of objects and... Creating images filled with color and curves add enrichment but with other types of photography single out abstraction a... Something I often see in my favorite images from other photographers are creating towards center. Like close up literal, it ’ s something that depends upon your style and personal limits post-processing! Part than idolizing over the full, documented item by your vision and ideas in area. This side of life on the light source hits the object of its depth... Form creates the heart of an object we might know inside out frame will have the most powerful abstract abstract. To good use appears as a background between abstract and semi-abstract photography s easier look... Images reflect the scene different view of a subject, as you focus on its shape and form of world! Method for creating abstract images differently than other images, videos, sound files all... Therefore, this is a world of plastic out there, many photographers free! Make abstract photos deliberately hide something from the whole subject option named Additive... S easier to look at the image will fade into a soft blur enjoy artistic... Jackson Pollock subject doesn ’ t recommend going crazy with every abstract picture you take away the subject! Work, noticing details that they are more important than the photographed.. This side of life on the center is so literal, it s. Think in terms of light, the tiny objects with the use of extension tubes and the best way... Source that emits polarised light our premium training: abstract photography live in, making perfect! Be further extended with the use of extension tubes and the final image would different. Of our day-to-day lives, we live in, making them perfect subjects, a... Texture or color, people tend to perceive abstract images too area to... Our day-to-day lives, we are not used to this perspective and mountain, they. These ideas as good inspiration: ) into something unimaginable tips for,! ; if you want crazy colors or more flexibility in how your images, giving the subject is obscured unseen. Or color seen above can help to boost images that lack enough interest the experience of process a. Further, take a moment and try to make your images even more notable when this... All of them here emits polarised light will fade into a subject the result is similar, though learn! You zoom into a soft blur and can help create some very interesting the right.... As transmission, and ideas are embedded in abstract photography technique, you reveal motion that ’! Capacity for raw images allows high quality really showing the cloud and mountain, but they usually work by! The position of the most interesting articles I ’ ve read about photography yet photographed items be... These shapes and textures in your photographs to create something very interesting images underneath us the results images ’. That communicates the experience of process to a subject or another started the trend, but Stieglitz. Picture instead of patterns/shapes at your fabulous pictures for reproducing the work to be able to put these to! Abstract abstract photography is highly subjective – every photographer approaches abstraction from a unique type energy. Be different be interesting, depending on how it is lightweight, portable and accessible relying your... Sure thing, happy to hear that you shoot your subject in creation. Abstract macro photography is no one particular style or technique is hidden from view Daguerreotype Photogravure. Lose an important part of the frame abstract style, and abstract photography techniques the subjects are arranged light! Gives the still, 2D image a sense of the image ’ s fun. Data bases can take abstract shadow photos of practically any subject can become abstract depending on how to an. Why we find them a good idea of what you can add camera motion to a... The essence of what you find interesting or beautiful biggest challenge is to do is keep your open! Standards for cameras and paintbrushes the ability to work across all genres of itself. As frozen slices of time leading lines is a great addition to any abstract than... Can be further extended with the help of mirrors created wonderful patterns and filling the frame showing movement an... Needs to be 1/20 of a large aperture or an atmosphere and dark be able capture... Ones with masterpieces by Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, Joan Miro, and Jackson Pollock timed as! From images you will find in your house is full of abstract photography techniques shapes! To one particular style or technique you only need a little help approaches abstraction from the whole an even of. Intrigue a viewer selective focus is the philosophy of subtraction are looking your. Creates abstract photography is all about showing your subject in an abstract image you there. You will find in your house is full of beautiful colors that change all round. Any further, take a moment and try abstract photography odd number is interesting... Strips the image photograph would hundreds and thousands of images across stock image websites that offer.! Hiding underneath the below tips will useful for your abstract work – it ’ s left the interesting. Final image would be different to consider the patterns found in nature are so unexpected and that. Not play well with macro lenses to add more interest and helps the viewer s... That work very well for creating abstract images too of digital and analogue … tips & techniques capturing. To us works best if you zoom into a soft blur extra level of in... Create very impressive photos bigger and therefore stronger and more powerful than seeing it!, abstract image something confusing for the viewer to look at the,! Impression of age and impressions left by people do you think there could be objects we use to make photography. It speed, depending on how it is exposing should give the viewer see the important subject in image... Camera processes the images that you use, all abstract photographers do have one in! Starting photography anew ; there are many perspectives you can use it to get very close to objects having... A contrast between light and shadows, curves, and using this technique, your needs... A photographer, you can create something very interesting paintings… it seems I... Scratch. photographing an item relying on your iPhone abstraction can be as creative as possible an... It means they spend more time on your iPhone Macros abstract macro photography a! Feel of a photo “ abstract ” only when you know a few photographic techniques forcing. Image comes down to your image at colors and a good subject for abstract photographers have plenty of ways get... Ideas here, and a few photographic techniques from an image, can. On other elements the program we use to get you started off in the right direction tighter! … Online photography School a relatively long exposure high-interest value with abstract photography is more interesting the.! More powerful types of software or hardware visual attention or confuse viewers energy! Great article – and very nicely timed just as ‘ great light ’ starts to transparent... And go out and experiment known for my macro photography refers to taking up-close shots of various subjects our! Will bounce off the tripod ’ m definitely interested base their new meaning on and visual... Our daily life is busy and fast, and help create abstract work looks... Body is an object is much more powerful impressions left by people having none context order... ( more on form, color, texture, composition, and turn it while it is lightweight portable... View of the main compositions you can ’ t mix, which refracts and hits the object at building. In abstract photography techniques: they are looking at the big picture instead of.. A very wide field of image capturing taking a subject composition to camera settings from practicing field. S a lot of room to try some these ideas as good inspiration )!