Before the advent of film and cameras, abstract photography was a common method for photographing abstract objects. This is because you can use many tools to mechanically capture an object on a surface, such as glass, magnetic tape or light-sensitive papers. The result might not be as clear if the subject isn’t focused or the shutter speed is too slow. Your subject may be difficult to recognize.
Abstract photography will be a popular choice for Depositphotos customers in 2020. We invite you to learn this style of photography in this article. Although abstract landscape photography might not be your thing, you’ll still get creative inspiration from exploring the potential of the things around you.
What is abstract photography?
Abstract photography is a type of photography that does not include recognizable objects. This genre allows photographers to express emotions and impressions rather than simply document objects.
These tips will help you express yourself through abstract photography while avoiding the most serious mistakes.
5 tips for beginners in abstract photography
#1 Choose a topic you feel comfortable with
We recommend looking through abstract painting albums to understand the workings of abstract photography. It would help if you looked at albums that include masterpieces by Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian and Joan Miro, as well as Jackson Pollock’s.
It would be best if you started somewhere. Take a photo of something you’re familiar with and grab your camera. Play with your audience by taking a photo of your subject that is so obscure it is difficult to identify. This exercise demonstrates that it is easier to apply new artistic methods to familiar objects than work with unfamiliar types and objects with unknown properties.
#2 Take into consideration the Golden Ratio and patterns, as well as classic colour combinations
Now that you have figured out how to transform what you see into shapes and colours, you can apply the time-tested beauty rules of traditional photography. Many rules of composition and colour combinations were derived from the theory behind a painting. Here are some of the most important:
- Rule of Thirds and Golden Ratio
- Symmetry and balance in composition
- Background on contracts
- Natural framing
- Perspective and leading lines
We recommend that you practice each rule individually if you don’t know the compositional rules for taking photos. This will increase the quality of your work.
#3 Wait until the light is right or for light effects
Light is a crucial element of abstract photography, along with colour and shape. You can create either sharp shadows or soft variations of light effects, but only with light.
Light painting is an artistic technique that captures bright, often luminous subjects in slow exposure modes. The subject moves against a dark background, leaving a light trail.
#4 Find your scale (macro-, close-up and aerial)
We have said that anything can be captured to make a mysterious abstract photograph. This includes your favourite coffee cup or even water drops placed on top of your mirror. How do you choose the right scale to create your masterpieces?
These 3 most popular scales for abstract photography are available to you. Then, you can decide which one suits you best. Each type of photography listed below requires a specific lens or gear.
Abstract macro photography
Photography gear: macro lenses, macro filter, reversing ring, macro extension tubes, ring flash
Subjects Textiles, Drops of Water or Other Liquids, Soap Bubbles, Pollen of Flowers, Minerals, Animal Hair, Leather, Paper
Abstract close-up photography
Photography gear: close-up filters, extension tubes, macro lenses, ring flash
Subjects – Flowers and Plants, Body Parts, Folds of Fabric, Small Household Items, Books, and Other Items that can be incorporated into abstract compositions
Abstract landscape photography (aerial).
Photography gear: camera drone
Subjects Cities, Large Green Objects (Park, Forest, Valley), Snow-capped Mountain Peaks, River Valley in Autumn, Ocean Coast
You should not miss an opportunity to capture a few shots if you have equipment used more often for scientific research than fine art photography. The ideal tools to expand our understanding of abstract beauty are microscopes and telescopes. Take a look at these photos of bacterias and nebulas to get inspired!
#5 How to set your camera settings
You can create abstract photos with any camera, even your smartphone. Abstract photography can also help you reimagine your favourite genre of photography.
You can understand the differences between different camera positions and shooting settings. These abstract effects can be achieved using a combination of basic settings.
This is accomplished by slowing down the shutter speed and reducing light sensitivity.
Waterfalls transform into gradient lines, snow into white stripes, and the background remains clear. These photos can be taken with a tripod and a slow shutter speed.
Abstract compositions are made from the parts of a dancer’s body while moving quickly across the stage or the wings of an overflying seagull. These patterns can be achieved using multiple exposures and a slow shutter speed.
Abstract photography is the oldest type of photography (it was created before the advent of digital cameras), but it’s also the most liberal. Abstract photographers must ensure that their images don’t show any specific objects.
Abstract photography offers an opportunity for experienced photographers to challenge the traditional professional approach. It is also a great way to create your style. Abstract photography is also a great way to boost your portfolio on Depositphotos.