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. I thought I was done with this topic in some previous posts, but it turns out that still quite a number of different situations where one can get some good abstract images.

Tip 1231 (Water fountains): Water fountains can throw up some interesting patterns, especially when there are a number of water spouts rather than one central one. One possible option to try and freeze some of the water movement at high shutter speeds (you can only do this if there is adequate light in the sky, although having good equipment also helps); another option is to take such a position where the light goes through the falling spray; when you are in the right position or are lucky, there can be interesting colors coming through the water pattern

Tip 1232 (Arranging items in patterns): It turns out that you need not even go outside your home to get some great photos. It again has to do with patterns. One great example that I saw was where simple items such as pencils, colored pens, and other similar items were arranged at different angles to each other on a large white paper, and the final photo came out a remarkable. Back to the same old concept – be adventurous and don’t be bound by traditional thought.

Tip 1233 (Ever thought of paper effect): I saw a photo that a friend had taken. He had an old file with paper of different ages in the file, some of the paper had been discolored due to age or due to coffee, or even because of it having been in an office where there was a lot of smoking. He took this thick file, got a lateral shot, and the effect of the thick sheaf of paper, each thin sheet, but even there, some traces of different colors and even different time periods, all of this was visible in the photo. Turned out pretty good.

Tip 1234 (Twigs and the like on water surfaces): Some abstract images can convey a great sense of calm, and look great that way. Once I was near a lake, a small one, and with no wind happening and near sunset. There was almost no movement on the water surface, no ripple, and there was some underwater plant breaking the surface in terms of small twigs that were coming out of the water. Focusing on the twig and the calm water, forgetting trying to capture a lakescape or a landscape and ensuring a tight composition resulted in a photo that was not immediately clear in terms of the setting, and turned out to be a great abstract photo.

Tip 1235 (Color changes in nature): Many of you might have seen some photos where there were different colors of rivers merging together, or a hill with different color bands on it, or even dunes of sand where the colors of different sides of the dune was of different shades (primarily due to the angle of lighting hitting and the reflection of this light). Keep the shot tight, resist the temptation to make it a landscape shot and you can get some amazing multi-colored shots that appeal a lot.

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 in the next post in this series (Taking some abstract photos).

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