Art Wolfe is the original king of looking at subjects in many different ways. Art creates a lot of literal images but has an enormous collection of abstracts as well. I am only guessing as to the original subject here but if memory serves, this is an oriental (maybe Japanese) building reflecting in the water. It at least reminds me of an image he created on his Travels to The Edge TV show. Either way it has wonderful qualities and vision.
Guy Tal is my favorite abstract landscape artist, and the technique of visual compression is his greatest artistic tool. This image is simple in its design, and obvious as to its subject matter, yet is an abstract. It is also is incredibly beautiful.
Kerry Drager is another great maker of abstract images. He spends a lot of time at the beach and we are the beneficiaries of his visits. This is just one of many beach abstracts created by Kerry that I have marveled at.
Mike Moats is a premier macro photographer who creates imagery of both the literal and abstract disciplines. This is not a macro and he should continue to make images of this order. Most photographers would have walked straight by this scene. He has a natural compositional artistry. Well done Mike!
This shot is of course quite different from the previous four. The subject here is obvious, but the treatment is a type of abstract. Cars, especially older and “chromier” American cars are great subjects for sectional abstractions. Great job Randy King.
A few of my own.
Macro photography lends itself to abstracts like no other form of image making.
Dew on leaf
Lichen or fungus. The angled sidelight here, helps to delineate the individual fungi, and adds texture, which brings out the shapes within each piece. It also makes the image more dramatic and full of impact which tends to make me happy.
Moving water always makes for abstract possibilities.
Crossfire. A fraction of second in the life of a waterfall.
Art Wolfe has great vision for abstracting wildlife subjects. Next to the Zebra, which seems to be one of his favorites, the Giraffe may be the easiest animal subject to abstract.
Visual compression, as we saw in a the much better example from Guy Tal, works well with layers of hills or mountains.
Photography since its inception, has been thought of as a medium for recording the world around us accurately. Exactly as seen. I have no objection with that being the primary function of photography, but in the early 20th Century if not before, some photographers actually realized that we do not all “see” the same things when we look at any given subject. Each of the pictures above, with the possible exception of the Mike Moat’s image, are a form of photographic copy of a literal subject. The direction of light, the selection of lens, the position of the photographer, and most of all, what portion of the real world each photographer chose to feature, is what separates these images from what any other photographer on earth might have made.
I often enjoy digitally altered images as well as in-camera manipulations such as multiple exposures. While I may enjoy them I truly love images that have been rendered abstract, purely by the selection and personal vision of the photographer. That is photography at its best.
Thank you, Wayne