#Good Challenge: Abstract

Wherever you are in your photography journey, it is important not just to follow the rules, but to learn how to break them too so this week we decided to choose the topic of ‘Abstract’ for one #Good Challenge.

"Abstraction 1-2020" by Katrina Weir

Abstraction of Moss on a Tank through a technique called Intentional Camera Movement (ICM)

Creating abstract photographs gives you complete freedom to express your creative nature while encouraging you to go against the rules. In abstract photography you don’t have the intention to create a realistic or traditional image, instead you can focus on and reveal the details that are usually ignored which trigger the viewer’s imagination.

“As a photographer, that’s what you want your viewer to do - have them take an active role in experiencing your photograph.” – Vinci Palad

To create a meaningful abstract photo there some simple guidelines to follow (or practice and experiment with):

Simplicity – What is included in your photograph won’t be easily recognisable so you don’t want to overwhelm the viewer with too many details. Start with everyday objects and try keeping it simple but intriguing.

"Wreck of the Gairloch" by Isaac Khasawneh

I visited Taranaki to photograph the rusted skeleton of Gairloch but the tide was high so I chose the ICM technique and I am satisfied with it.

Perspective – An ordinary object may look extraordinary if looked at from a different angle. Photograph that item from above, from the side, upside down, up close with a macro lens or try flipping or rotating your image in-post for an interesting look!

"Light waves" by Heather Maree Owens

Light reflections from the harbour bridge at Sulfur Park shot with the Sigma 500 mirrored in edit.

Colours - When there are strong colors or contrasts in an image you can always balance them out by adding other muted colors so they don’t fight for visual attention or confuse viewers. If there is no option or time to choose alternative colours, just experiment with post-processing after all, abstract images can be black and white too!

"Te Papa Windows" by Trish Brennan

Taken using a Fuji XT2 + 16-55mm lens - double exposure.

Plan Ahead – While breaking the rules may sound simple, creating an abstract photo actually requires a lot of thinking and planning. Consider the placement of objects, the textures, colours and so on and think before clicking of what exactly you want to create so that you can plan how to bring it to life.

"City Building Abstract" by Roy Chernohorsky

Multiple exposure of a city building in downtown Auckland.

Abstract images trigger emotional responses and our imaginations by including an element of intrigue which is why abstract art gives viewers a sense of wonder so grab your camera (or go through your archive) this week and explore the intrigue of abstract photography.

Share your photos in our Community Chat and don't worry – there's no right or wrong abstract photo so let your imagination run free!

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