Thursday, 18 April 2013 13:51


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If you were thinking that abstract photography seems easy enough and seemingly has no rules, you would not be far wrong. Abstract photography forms part of the fine arts and gives a person the freedom to express him or herself visually. There are however some guidelines to get the creative juices flowing and we will look a little more into that.

In this form of photography preference is given to form, colour, texture and depth within the composition to create a visually pleasing piece. To start off I suggest that you start looking at other peoples’ abstract photos. This will broaden your perception so that mundane and ordinary things you see every day suddenly become interesting when you take a closer look. For example we love fishing and have hundreds of photos of fish - an abstract approach would be to look at the scales of fish and capture only the scales with their warm yellow colour, and compose the picture so that the scales are symmetrical and evenly spread across the page. Another example is to lie on your back and look up at a building. You will notice that from that angle the building look spectacularly different and the abstract lines together with a blue sky might appeal to you.

This art form sets you free to explore by just looking at things differently. I like to think that one uses the frame of the camera to include what you want and block out the rest. By doing this you create images from ordinary things that people find appealing.

When you approach a subject think how you can maximize the textures, lines, form and colour to extract detail that enhances the picture.

Okay, let’s look at these elements - textures, lines, forms and colours in a bit more detail. Normally texture creates patterns or recurring shapes that will enhance the picture. In our example it was the symmetrical shape of the fish scales. Lines can be very interesting and if combined with texture it could attract attention. As an example, imagine a photograph of a sidewalk with concrete blocks where there is a pattern in the blocks but the rows of block form a line across the photograph.

Forms of objects can be used to your advantage. Standard shapes like circles, blocks and triangles are recognizable in their elementary form and will interest the viewer who then analyses the forms further. These shapes will appear more ‘formal’ and normally suit well-structured compositions.

More natural shapes with curves and soft lines tend towards the romantic and nature elements. In these compositions one can easily introduce movement where some of the subject could have motion blur. It could also work with softer colours and similar hues.

Colour is probably the most important element that makes the largest visual impression. With clever use of colour one can set the mood, give visual clues as to what the subject is and draw immediate attention. Many abstract pictures use strong and well defined colour. To achieve this make sure you expose correctly or rather slightly over expose to increase contrast.

The macro facility on your camera will more than likely be your friend in many of these photographs. By getting in close you capture the essence of the subject yet exclude the distracting details. So try and get as close as you can to your subject and it might reveal some interesting shots.

With photo editing software one has a multitude of features that can transform a picture into exactly what the photographer needs. These packages have many features and filters to substantially alter a photo and can be used to achieve the required effect. For example place a blue hue over moonlight scene and it will appear more eerie.

Give abstract photography a go! You will be surprised to find that people paging through your work will many times stop and ask questions about such photos.

In the end you explore our world just a bit differently, looking at things differently and that, in itself, gives you a whole new perspective on the world around you.

Read 821 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 10:46

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