Abstracts may lack a clear point of interest. They are often about form, color, or mood. When you shoot abstracts, think about what you want to convey with your image. Here are a few examples to get you thinking.
This shot is titled Distortions. This image uses reflections to showcase patterns and color in sandstone formations in the Coyote Buttes region of Arizona. Jay placed his camera very close to the surface of the water and zoomed in. The goal was to fill the frame with pattern and color.
Here’s a shot called “Broken Heart.” Varina chose a recognizable shape as a point of interest and filled the frame with the patterns in cracked mud. Notice that the heart shape is the only closed shape in the photograph. This helps to define it as the point of interest.
Sometimes a recognizable locations or object can be imbued with an abstract feel with the help of in-camera techniques, special filters or lenses, or processing. Jay took this shot of Old Faithful with a Lens Baby. The result is dreamy and blurred.
This shot from the Hot Rain Forest in Olympic National Park is an example of a creative in-camera technique. Varina took a shot through a rain-spattered window in order to capture this surreal impressionistic image.
A high shutter speed can freeze motion and allow us to see something that might be invisible to us otherwise. Jay took this shot of an exploding mud bubble in Yellowstone National Park. A 1/2500 second shutter speed shows off the incredible patterns that appear as the bubble bursts.
Capturing abstracts might mean you have to think outside the box. Next time you are out shooting, get creative. Try some of these simple techniques to build an unexpected photograph!