Abstract: 1. not concrete: not relating to concrete objects but expressing something that can only be appreciated intellectually 2. theoretical: based on general principles or theories rather than on specific instances 3. arts non-representational: not aiming to depict an object but composed with the focus on internal structure and form 5. irregularly patterned: decorated with irregular areas of color that do not represent anything concrete

In photography the term abstract is also a verb. I have looked a many subjects and decided to “abstract” them.

I have never believed that creating an abstract photo means making a picture in which the majority of the viewers would consider it strange or weird. I do however believe that an image can be perceived strange or weird, and still be a wonderful and valid abstract.

My basic philosphy (for what it’s worth) of creating art is, if you try to hard to look ‘artsy” you will usually fail. Do what comes natural and let the chips fall where they may.

I have never been a big fan of wildlife abstracts.  Wild animals are sort of sacred in my opinion.  My wildlife imagery is more about them than it is me. There is a lot of self-indulgent wildlife photographers on the internet today. Having said all of that, I have seen some motion blurred wildlife images, especially courtship (cranes dancing etc.) that I have liked. I guess if you can capture a part of what an animal really is, and do so in an abstract form, it is an image that honors your subject.  Maybe what I am saying is that I am skeptical, but show me and I will keep my mind open.  Just my opinion.

In my opinion what is the best time of day to create abstracts?  Sunrise/sunset. What about seasons?  Winter.

The images below are merely a point of view.  My point of view at the time I snapped the shutter. There are no colors added after the fact, or color filters used. Unique colors are provided by nature. Sunrise colors and the cold blue of winter ice in the shade, are among the colors that nature gave me while making these images. They are simply what I saw or how I felt at the time I composed the image and snapped.  Notice I did not say that they are all literal. The use of both slow and fast shutter speeds was employed in some of the images below. Those couple of shots are indeed altered reality.  I am not criticizing the manufacturing of colors in Photoshop, or techniques like multiple exposure.  Years ago in my film days I used multiple exposure techniques from time to time, with 24 exposures on one frame of film being my maximum.  I am just letting you know what I did or did not do during the creation of the images below.  My personal style in creating abstracts is to use my point of view, combined when necessary with unique shutter speeds or creative use of depth of field.

In some cases you may look at one of these photos and say to yourself….“that’s not really an abstract, it’s just a sheet of ice”.  That’s okay because individual definitions of what an abstract is, varies from person to person.

In the end abstract is just another word. Creating images that carry that name are about your personal vision, and seeing just how fertile your imagination is. As children we’ve all laid in the grass on a summer’s day and imagined that clouds were everything from wild horses to fire trucks. Keep the child alive and let your imagination grow.

Looking at the photos above I guess my abstract vision runs from left to right and not up and down.  One vertical. Oh well, my eyes are side by side not one over the other.

More reading material. from Earth Images…..

My Favorite Places by Ron Toel

Forty Shades of Red

Cuts Both Ways

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