“Abstraction” means to draw or pull away from, of removal, of isolation.

Abstract photography can therefore be where the subject is so captured that it no longer has an immediate association with the object world, it’s so removed from it’s inherent context, that meaning has to be sought and interpreted.

The subject can be so abstracted that it’s just a fragment of the original scene, but it can also be a distorted version of the original.

Colour, light, shadow, shape, texture, angle of view etc. are all used to create an image with an unreal appearance, to convey a feeling, sensation, or an impression.

Some examples illustrating the technique

Tips for when on location

  • This can be a good opportunity to experiment around with the camera settings, for example: the white balance is of no importance, it can very effectively be set badly, the only criteria is that the final image is emotionally pleasing, how it was achieved is of no importance.
  • Don’t be afraid to move the camera while capturing an image, the resulting smeared colours can be very effective (see Primer on ICM in download folder)
  • Look for strong, simple shapes and textures.
  • Get up close, buy a cheap set of macro-filters for your lens on Amazon or eBay.

© Andrew James Kirkwood – 2017