adj [áb stràkt, ab strákt]
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 nonrepresentational: not aiming to depict an object but composed with the focus on internal structure and form
4. music conceptual: describes music that is intended to have no programmatic or emotional content
5. irregularly patterned: decorated with irregular areas of color that do not represent anything concrete
6. impersonal: emotionally detached or distanced from something
Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
The word abstract, means a lot of different things as you can see above. My definition today is, photography that is either unusual, or nonrepresentational in the conventional sense, of something literal. Well, something like that.
The pictures below all have a degree of commonality. Firstly, they range from somewhat, to fully abstract in their nature. Secondly, they all originated on film. I found them all hiding in a couple of digital folders. This is the first time that it occurred to me, I use to create more abstracts on film than I have done in the digital format. I think most photographers I have known who have made that transition from film to digital, would say they have done that in reverse. It is even more curious to me, because I made that switch to digital a long time ago.
Abstracts in many ways, are the most personal form of image making. In some respects, it is sort of our own special way of looking at the world. It is subjective, and never will everybody like an abstract image that you made.
Rope. It’s not unusual to use slow shutter speeds to capture moving water as if it was cotton candy. I made this many years ago with medium format film camera and I loved the way that the water was falling in separate streams. It was made late in the day, henceforth the warm hue.
Frozen water, most commonly known as ice, is a natural subject for abstractions.
Ice can come in a non-structured, sort of casual form, or it can have more rhythmic patterns to it. Both can be photogenic but my experience tells me that most viewers will acknowledge your artistic skills when there are discernable patterns. They will believe that your own artistry comes in to play.
The first and second images below are pretty unstructured, while the third has more of a flow to it. Of course, the viewers of these images never saw the overall scene that existed in the first picture below I selected my composition.
Rock, snow and water. This scene is almost abstract just due to its starkness. This image like the rest, is “as shot” on film as far as no recomposing or adding or subtracting of color, etc.
Sheet webs, make for interesting abstracts.
Macros in general lend themselves well to abstractions. This image of a feather is not a natural history shot. It is about patterns and light.
Does it bother you that I used a shallow depth of field and all of the sharpness is along the center of the feather?
A feather found in the snow, is not so much an abstract but it is a conceptual view of something real or concrete.
Rock and soil produce Natural abstractions that convey color, form and texture. Two great locations for land abstracts are The Badlands of South Dakota (top three), and The Painted Desert in Arizona.
Sand at sunrise.
This final film picture of mine is abstract in its departure from what the inside of this church looked like in its totality. I liked the stained glass and how the light that it let in gave detail to just a few areas of the structure.
For today’s best example of an abstract I turn to Guy Tal, one of the finest purveyors of capturing the land in abstract form. Now don’t you just want to visit this location and create your own personal view of color, form, texture and light? The image is magnificent as is the norm for Guy!
Great photographer/artists at great locations tend to do that for you.
The pictures below are digital originals.
Silhouettes are a type of abstract. While those I’ve included today are pretty easy to figure out what they are by their shape, they are still theoretical in the sense there is no detail to make a definitive statement as for a positive ID. We know, but yet we can’t really know. They are abstract views of common subjects.
Poetry by Wayne
Do It Often
Photography: “The more you do it the better you get the more you don’t the more you forget.”
There are no books of poetry forthcoming.