Abstract Photography - Get Close, Go Long & Break The Rules

Abstract Photography - Get Close, Go Long & Break The Rules

abstract photography by john mclenaghan

Abstract Photography

An experimental form of photography. The subject in an abstract photo may not be immediately recognizable!  The viewer might be left wondering what they're looking at!

It's OK To Break the Rules

  • Shake your camera around while you shoot.
  • Go for the blur. On Purpose.
  • Experiment with composition.
  • Do not let "rules" dictate your vision.

Go Abstract by Getting Close

Get in close and fill up the frame. Try going macro. What does a subject look like from 1 inch away?

Go Abstract by Getting Far Away 

Get as far away from your subject to see things from a different point of view.

The world looks much different from up in an airplane!

It's OK to Shoot at Night

Low light? No worries. Slow shutter speeds can brighten up your exposure and can be great for abstract work. Think of a dark scene as a perfect opportunity to experiment with shutter speed. Don't call it a day because of a lack of light! Stay out there and shoot some more.

Look for Things That Catch Your Eye

No matter how boring your subject seems to be, just shoot it! Keep a close watch for the little things that most people take for granted.  Things to Look For...

  • Things in motion
  • Lines Curves Patterns
  • Textures
  • Shoot Through Stuff:  Glass, Plastic, Windows, Prisms...

Post Processing

Don't be afraid to alter images in post-processing for artistic effect. Try combining two images into one - composite.

One of the great things about abstract photography is that there are no "rules" for editing. Create something one of a kind.

Lenses for Abstract Photography

Anything goes! Just like in other genres of photography, different lenses will allow for different perspectives on things.

A macro lens will allow you to shoot close and fill your frame - without cropping!

A 50mm normal lens will allow you to see things close to how a human eye sees things. 

Photograph a scene with a telephoto lens to shoot from far away and still fill the frame.

Camera Settings for Abstract Photography

Again, anything goes! Use slow shutter speeds for movement. 1/3 of a second, 2 seconds, 30 seconds. Get creative!

Use a shallow depth of field to isolate your subject. Use a high ISO to introduce noise (on purpose) into your exposure. Tip: Try using a neutral density filter for slow shutter speeds during the day.

Start Shooting Things That Are Close By Shoot at home or around your home. You will be surprised at what you see around your house when you look with an abstract eye.

Take-A-Way

Abstract photography can be a lot of fun because you get to break the so-called rules & experiment with post-processing. Many photographers love it because they feel it allows for the most artistic license of all the photography genres.



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