October 2013
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5 tips to improve your photography skills – Taking abstract photos

In the previous post, we learned more about the differences between RAW and JPEG. In this post, we move onto something totally different – 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 1186 (Step away from your traditional ideas): Taking abstract photos requires a change in approach in the way you look at the world around you. Instead of looking for the sharp objects all around you, you need to start thinking more about presentation and ideas. This can be by getting in close to traditional objects, this can be letting your images no longer be so sharp and letting more movement into the photos, and involved a lot more color and light, even trying out some specialized settings.

Tip 1187 (More about freedom): For those who start getting used to the idea of shooting more abstract photos, they feel a sense of freedom. Photographers can be much more open about what they want to shoot, can start to getting more creative in how they set their photos, whether this be trying abstract in landscapes, or by setting up a magnifying glass to get the colors on an oil drop. Abstract can be a very queer photo setting, and the end result is a remarkable photo.

Tip 1188 (Use oil and water): Using light on a small setting can create some wonderful photos, especially when you use the property of light to show its different colors through a prism, on the surface of oil drops floating on water or an oil slick, etc. The setup for doing something like this is not complicated (as in, it does not require a lot of specialized equipment and can be setup easily through some careful setting). For example, if you go through this link, you will see a post about using Oil and water to get some wonderful creative ideas.

Tip 1189 (Move much closer to the object): When you are photographing regular objects, you (and others who see these objects) have a standard perspective of how you see. For example, even when you are looking at your dining table, you see how objects on the table are laid out, and that is what the camera also captures. But you could make some great abstract photos by taking a different perspective, one of which is by getting much closer and getting photos of the texture of objects on the table which you would not have considered before. So, for example, you can take a photo of the texture and patterns on the table cloth that you would over-look, you could capture some salt sticking near the top of the salt shaker, and many of these photos will look real beautiful. Just need to keep at it.

Tip 1190 (Shapes in nature): Nature does not have straight lines, we all know that. However, there are certain patterns in nature that can make very interesting photos, the challenge is to see and identify these patterns in nature and capture them in your camera. For example, you could have a classic view of tall grasses in the distance all swaying in the wind, or the shapes and views of sand-dunes in a desert like place, or the juxtaposition of clouds on the horizon along with other objects (as I said, the challenge is in recognizing the pattern). I was once fascinated by the roundness of a large number of small rocks on the shore of a fast moving mountain river, and taking the photo from a low angle was very 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

Read more about abstract images and architecture in the next post (link).

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