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5 tips to improve your photography skills – Taking abstract photos (contd) ..




In the previous post, we learned some details about abstract photography and the technique of moving the camera or the zoom lens while the shutter was open. In this post, we continue further in this world – the world of abstract photos. Abstract is the direct opposite of something that is clearly defined, and it is equally hard to give a clear definition of what an abstract photo is. You all know what a landscape is, what a portrait is, what are those clear and sharply defined photos of flowers, of trains, glass covered building. But just like the mind appreciates the clarity of a clearly defined object in your photos, the mind can at the same time appreciate those images which are the direct opposition of clearly defined. Consider the colors in an oil drop splattered in water, consider the texture of the wood grain in a small section of an old tree trunk, consider patterns that can be found in everyday matters, all of these are abstract photos that can be very beautiful. However, though some of the regular tips of photography don’t work here, there is still a lot that can be learnt about how to take better looking abstract photos (of course, there are a lot more tips besides these). In this post, we will talk about some more specific methods we can use:

Tip 1211 (Look for regular shapes everywhere): I was at a resort and there was this chair hanging from chains connected to a tree branch. It was nearing sunset and the light level was getting a bit low, and also starting to get more angled. When I looked at the chain more closely, the rust in the iron of the chain loops was visible, and when you focused on the chain loops, everything else in the background got blurred (ensure that you have a high aperture value, say 2.8, for a photo like this). The loops of the chain take up most of the photo, and I really liked the look. Like this, there can be many regular shapes everywhere that are visible, just keep you eye out for these. For an added twist to the photo, try and vary the placement of these objects in the photo, to the left or to the right of the photo (give up all your earlier concepts of the Rule of Thirds, and so on).

Tip 1212 (Reflection and color): In an earlier tip, I had talked about reflections of objects can come out well. There are some more refinements that can make the photo look even better – consider a location where the wind is causing the entire water surface to ripple and cause waves. Now, in another refinement, consider the case where the reflection is that of brightly colored objects (which would rule out most buildings though, since most buildings are in darker colors, not brightly colored). If you now get the reflection of these brightly colored objects in a wavy water surface, the photo can come out great.

Tip 1213 (Look for glass surfaces at different angles): Glass surfaces can help in the creation of abstract images. However, there is a refinement that is possible when you are looking at glass surfaces. Look for 2 or more glass surfaces coming into contact with each other at angles – and then take your camera and look at those intersection glass surfaces and see whether you are getting an angle that gives you an interesting picture. Most likely, when you add in the elements of sun-light falling on these glass surfaces or internal light from inside any of these glass surfaces, there will be many chances of getting some good pictures. The rule being – don’t be afraid to experiment.

Tip 1214 (Look for marbles and a light source): Even without trying some great setup, one quick way of getting some light distraction is by taking a glass bowl and putting some marbles inside the bowl (for better effects, make sure that you give a quick wash to the marbles before putting them in the bowl). Now, you need to expose these to a light source so that the diffraction of the light provides the interesting abstract look. The angle of the light source can be varied for some more experimentation.

Tip 1215 (Look for swirling liquids): Liquids of different colors moving in a circle can make for a great abstract photo, just so that you take a close up of the liquid without getting the container in which the liquid is swirling. What kind of example for this one ? Well, even if you consider some soup, where another liquid has been added after swirling the soup a bit, there is an interesting effect. Add some pepper or other small solid object that would come out in the photo, and it makes it more interesting looking.

Photographing the Patterns of Nature Photo Inspiration: Secrets Behind Stunning Images 101 Quick and Easy Ideas Taken from the Master Photographers

Some useful videos from Youtube on shooting abstract photos:

Oil On Water – photo idea!

Abstract Photography

Abstract Art Photography

Abstract Photographer Lester Hayes

Abstract Photography

How to Take Abstract Photography

Give it a go: Abstract Macro Images

“PhotoTips” Episode 84 – Abstract Art Photography

Read more about some examples of how to get abstract images (link)




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