October 2013
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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 1216 (Using small items such a buttons or candy): For this one, you really don’t need too much, just get some small colorful buttons, like the ones used on coats (not the drab grey or brown or black ones, but the more colorful ones), or raid your kid’s reserves and get the small M&M’s. Once you have a large number, you can put them on a table, or put them in a bowl, or some other such container. The surface on which these rest can be transparent like a glass bowl, or opaque such as a metal or plastic container. You can decide whether you are fine with ambient light or some light shining on these; just avoid using the camera flash since that distorts the image when you are doing a close up. Experiment, and see. If you can get some small glass in the shape of buttons, and use colored wrapping paper on lights on the glass, then also you can get some interesting effects.

Tip 1217 (Look out for natural bubbles or stuff such froth): When you pour beer into a glass, there is a thick layer of froth, the same when you open any fizzy drink. These effects can happen only for short intervals, but when you take a close up, at angles, it is possible that the bubbles act to split the light into a multi-colored effect, and some of those photos can come out in an abstract manner, and look great.

Tip 1218 (Look for old walls and cracks): Typically, when the paint on a wall starts peeling away, or the wallpaper is on its last stages, or the concrete has started to crack, the patterns you get are very interesting. Look for angles on which to take the shot, look for how much of the crack you want to cover or whether there are branches of the crack; all of these make for some interesting permutations or combinations that can result in some great photos.

Tip 1219 (At the beach, look for spray): I had once gone to a beach with had a number of small rocks right at the point where the surf came in. When it started getting towards high tide, the crashing surf on these rocks led to some interesting interplays between water, rock, and spray. While ensuring that the camera was safe from the water, it is still possible to get some interesting photos of the interactions happening, and get some great abstract images.

Tip 1220 (Early morning rays and patterns): The angle of the sun rays at morning or sunset can cause some interesting effects due to elongated shadows, as well as some amount of color diffraction, or atleast, the orange and yellow hues that you get in the light at sunrise or sunset can be combined with aspects of nature to get some great abstract images. For example, I was once at a desert, spending the night, and when I came out in the morning at sunrise, coincidentally, I was able to see the light pattern hitting the ripples on a dune and looking great. As always, experiment with angles, see whether lying flat on the ground and taking this image right at the ground level reveals something interesting.

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

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