What is abstract photography? An introduction to abstract photography


We have all wondered why a painting with a red speck gets sold for millions. It’s because of its subtle ability to make the viewer see something the rest of us can’t. What if we said this abstraction is found in photography as well?

Abstract photography can be quite intimidating for beginners simply because it comes with no boundaries. Unlike common forms of photography, abstract photography can be anything the photographer wants it to be. The only rule is that there are no rules.


What is abstract photography?

Abstract photography is a form of expressing artistic ideas by capturing an image out of context so that it looks surreal. By not photography the object in a traditional manner, the ambiguity of the photograph opens itself up to interpretation. 

Abstract photography isn’t meant to tell a particular story or set a theme. They connect to the viewers on a deeper level. Some may shrug it off as pretentious, but the ones who understand it will witness true beauty. 


Abstract photography

7 tips to try your hand at abstract photography

1. Start simple

The main idea of abstract photography is to capture simple objects in an unrecognisable manner. Literally, anything can be your subject, but try not to get carried away. It’s better to start simple than using complex objects that can confuse the viewers or distract them from the bigger picture. 


2. Remove context

Use simple everyday objects, but remove them from context and show it in a whole new light. Abstract photography should give the viewer’s eyes and mind something contradictory to look at. Your eyes may not recognise the image but your mind will definitely resonate with the odd familiarity it gives out. 


3. Try Macro

A common technique of abstract photography is to move closer to the object so that the rest of the object doesn’t give away its identity. Try using a macro lens to get up close and personal with your object. You can also use a zoom lens but the end result may not be as effective.


4. It’s all about perspective 

Using unusual angles to capture your abstract image is a great way to display the object from a different perspective. To think of these angles takes artistic imagination beyond common thinking. Some images are even rotated in post-production to intrigue the audience. 


Abstract photo tips

5. Lighting

Lighting is a vital element of any style of photography. It can emphasise features or draw attention away from them if used correctly. You can play with lighting to create shadows or silhouettes or make a texture stand out. The ability to control light can be the greatest superpower a photographer can possess. 


6. Post-production

We usually say keep it subtle in post-production and don’t overdo it. But with abstract photography feel free to go crazy. Abstract photographers often improve their work in post-production, making certain colours pop or enhancing the textures. 


7. Mystery

Finally, the most vital element of abstract photography is the air of mystery around the image. These photos are supposed to arouse intrigue and wonder in the viewers, in order to encourage them to appreciate the complex piece of art. Abstract photography must entice viewers just enough to engage with them but not enough to give away its secret. 


The best tip we can give you is to always experiment. There is no one path to abstract photography. It’s all about taking different shots until you zero in on the perfect abstract photograph. As a beginner, keep it simple and don’t clutter the shot with unnecessary elements. 


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