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. 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).

Tip 1191 (Architecture – avoid items in the photo that provide context): Consider architecture photos, where the building and elements provide context to ensure that you get some striking photos; now think about architecture photos in the abstract mode. You can get some abstract looking photos even when shooting architecture, but you do need to ensure that you are taking a different perspective. What does this mean ? Well, the same strong lines need to be shot from a different perspective. You need to dilute these, so try changing the angle from which you do the shooting of these lines and architectural elements. Further, look for patterns – for example, there may be some lattice work or something similar where you can take a close up and it will most probably look great.

Tip 1192 (In architecture, look for reflection): When trying to get abstract out of architecture, you have a lot to play with. One possible area to play with is reflections. If there is a heat wave, or if there is water somewhere nearby, look for reflections of the architecture / building, especially when there is some sort of wind blowing. The wavy reflection of the building in the water provides for some great abstract images and these images can look real beautiful.

Tip 1193 (Look for feeling of immense height): Have you ever stood at the base of a tall tree and took a photo looking upwards; the view of the canopy high above gives a feeling of immense height as well as power above you. The same concept can be extended to buildings and other architectural wonders. Stand near the base and select a point where you can get a clear view of the structure above and take a shot that seems to capture the structure hanging overhead and extending to the sky. Humans have a mixed feeling of height – the height overhead provides a feeling of grandeur and at the same time, there is also a feeling of some amount of dread of all that above you. This might need some refinement, but with practice, there are a lot of great photos overhead.

Tip 1194 (Catch items in the photo as you look overhead): In the above kind of photo, taken from the base of the photo, see whether you can get other elements in the photo. These add a level of drama to the photo. So, when you are shooting overhead, if there is an element such as a plane or a bird that is close by and can be added to the photo, then you should go ahead and take such a photo. Further, since you are shooting overhead, if the sky is there in the photo, then make sure that you are getting the elements of the sky in the photo, and even better if there are some clouds in the sky.

Tip 1195 (Look for curves in the architecture): A curve can be an integral part of an abstract photos. And when you consider architectural structures, look for curves in the structure, and see whether you can capture the curve such that it forms a principal part of the photo. A curve is the direct opposite of lines (which guide the eyes towards a desired part of the image), with the curve taking the viewer through different parts of the image, following the curve.

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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