Abstract Photography

Photography generally captures the world around us in a realistic way. When you take a photograph of a person, it looks just like that person. There are times, however, when instead of capturing reality, the goal is to create an image that is abstract, meaning it creates a feeling and has visual interest without being fully recognized as a real-world object. The best part about photographing abstract forms is that there are no real rules for what is right and what is wrong. That doesn’t mean that you should ignore composition or not understand the exposure—these elements are essential to creating strong images, regardless of the subject matter.


8.1 The smoke curling up from an extinguished candle made a very interesting photo. Exposure: ISO 100, f/8.0, 1/200 second.


Because there really are no rules or limits on the subject matter within abstract photography, any object can be rendered in a new way. This could mean getting really close to examine everyday items. Perhaps you might find interesting reflections within a scene that create a unique photograph. Water, glass, and metal can all create pleasing reflections and colors in light, as shown in Figure 8.2. The reflected scene is given a new look in the curved, smooth metal of a large spoon.


The abstract image shown in Figure 8.3 came about as I was looking through the viewfinder and ...

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