Any subject can become the focus of an abstract shot, depending on the photographer's approach. Learn about abstract photography and how to capture intriguing abstract notions that will surprise the audience.
What Is Abstract Photography?
Abstract photography is a type of experimental photography that entails using varied lighting, shapes, textures, and patterns to create an image that has no immediate link to reality. To break up typical depictions of realistic photography, abstract photographers may reduce a subject to light, shape, colour, or texture, or they may employ specialized equipment, transferring materials, and post-processing methods to produce or alter the image.
This photographic method tries to go beyond the standard depictions of daily objects and tap into the details to create an image that challenges the spectator to look at an object in a new light.
4 Elements of Abstract Photography
While abstract photography may not follow the traditional photography standards that apply to other photographic genres (such as wedding or portrait photography), it does have some crucial features that contribute to its impact:
The depiction and interpretation of the image's subject are determined by the angle of view chosen. To add visual interest to their abstract photographs, photographers can rotate or flip them in post-production.
Strong composition establishes a point of emphasis in an abstract image and leads the eye through it. How the viewer's eye moves across an image is influenced by the arrangement and balance of shapes, textures, and patterns.
Different light sources can help exaggerate, emphasize, or provide extra weight to various regions, details, or subjects within an image, depending on how a photographer picks their lighting setup. Lighting contributes to the overall aesthetic by setting the tone and emotion for the image.
Subtraction is an important part of creating an abstract piece. By removing unnecessary components and distractions from an abstract photograph, you can make it more visually digestible.
4 Remarkable Abstract Photography Examples
In 1922, photographer Alfred Stieglitz made a series of cloud studies that helped popularize abstract photography in the twentieth century. The series represented a kind of expression that had been freed from literal representation. Following in his footsteps were artists such as Minor
White and Aaron Siskind, who pushed the boundaries of abstract art while drawing influence from surrealism and abstract expressionism. Here are some additional well-known abstract photographers and some of their most well-known works:
1. "Underwater Swimmer" (1917) by André Kertész
While recovering from a bullet wound received during WWI, Kertész captured this photograph. The photograph, which depicts a young man (his brother) swimming in a pool, is still popular. Kertész distorts the waves on the pool's surface in this work, exhibiting his fascination with compositional and metaphorical notions as a representation of life itself.
2. Man Ray's "The Kiss" (1922)
In 1922, visual artist Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky) utilized a camera-less technique called "rayograph," in which he placed an object directly on photo-sensitive paper and exposed it to light. Ray used a silhouette of two individuals kissing (him and Kiki de Montparnasse) and holding each other's faces in their hands to create this renowned rayograph.
3. "Funkturm Berlin" (1928), by László Moholy-Nagy
This renowned abstract shot, which was taken from atop the Berlin Radio Tower, explores many geometric patterns, interplaying triangles, and circles with varied light quality. This shot was part of a series by Moholy-Nagy that used aerial photography to allow viewers to interact with reality in previously unimaginable ways.
4. "Paper Drop" (2006) by Wolfgang Tillmans
Because of Tillmans' use of light and tension, it's difficult to recognize this shot as a sheet of folded photo paper. Tillmans created a series based on darkroom paper folded and lighted by coloured lights after seeing the image, which has a dreamlike quality to it.
5 Tips for Taking An Abstract Photo
You may improve your abstract photos using cutting-edge post-production technologies. These images, on the other hand, do not necessitate pricey equipment. Here are five suggestions for creating an eye-catching abstract photograph:
1. Texture is important
Texture gives a photograph physicality and aids in the development of the story being told. Using several textures in an image aids in guiding the observer to key areas.
2. Play around with different hues
Incorporate colour into your imagery as a powerful technique for attracting the attention of your audience and making the emotional aspect of your image more understandable.
3. Shapes and forms are fun to play with
Three-dimensional shapes that represent length, breadth, and depth are known as forms. The length and breadth of two-dimensional forms (such as circles and triangles) are the same. Shape and form are the cornerstones of abstract photography, which add to our visual comprehension of the world. Using shutter speed, ISO, and long exposure times to create a motion blur effect can aid in the identification of shapes and forms.
4. Try photographing abstract macros
To picture subjects up close and personal, use a macro lens, adapter, or extension tubes. Macro tools let you focus on specific compositional components of your shot, such as colour, texture, and light.
5. Use straightforward elements
Simple geometric shapes are used in minimalism to offer a visual experience and show moderation. Consider which components are essential to include in a photograph, and trust that your audience can imagine what happens beyond the frame. Find out what makes simplicity so appealing.
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