The Art of Abstract Photography

One of the most important tenants for creating good art is composition. As a painter, you have time to select your subject, use different tools/techniques like lines, color harmonies, distribution of negative space and even perspective to focus the viewer’s eye and control the story you want to tell.

In photography, you have much less control over most of these aspects. True with Photoshop and filters, you can add, subtract, colorize and collage images together, and I have done these things to some images to express the story I want to tell. However, the most satisfying way for me to create art with a camera, happens before the shot is taken.

It is crucial that you know your camera. When you are out on a shoot is no time to figure out what f-stops or ISO’s work for which lighting or time of location. You need to know it so that you can trust your intuition to give you the settings you need to get the best shot.  I spend a lot of time shooting and experimenting in manual so that I can really be familiar with how it all works. READ YOUR MANUAL.

dividedSpace
Divided Space, 2013, Bodie CA

Good photography is about seeing, paying attention to detail and being completely in the moment. You have to flow with it.

Abstract images are created when I see beyond the thing I am taking a picture of. Past the left brain basic understanding of an object, to its essence using available light, negative space, and specific detailed focus on some aspect of the object, I am directing my viewer’s eye to explore this thing in a new fresh way.

Then when I process the image I can further refine the story I want to tell.  In the final product, the thing becomes un-important and the composition, lines, and colors create a connection to the viewer that is purely emotional.

The thing I find so refreshing about abstract photography is that it allows me to see beyond. I am able to experience a thing, a person or a place in a new way, that opens up my imagination.

Do you enjoy abstract photography? Do you even believe there is such a thing? How do you decide what you are going to shoot?