Creating Abstract Photography

What is abstract photography?
For me, it's taking something known and easily recognizable 
and presenting it in a different way.
It can be done by zooming in on details with a macro lens and creating
unusual and sometimes even surreal images.

The rational mind will struggle to analyse and try to label what it sees.
Yet if we allow ourselves to follow the lines and the shapes and colours
we can just enjoy a slightly surrealist landscape that cannot be quite understood.

Isn't it fun to just let go and flow into this new way of seeing
through the fringes of this curtain-like structure
which isn't actually a curtain?

Or wouldn't you like to slide and play along these tunnels of light
created through a mingling of sunlight and shadow?

Or what about bending down to touch these bronze sculptures
that remind you of something but they're totally the wrong colour.

Macro photography allows us to concentrate on a single detail
and give it an abstract quality.

Blue Gingham seen through different eyes!

Enjoy the texture and 3-dimensional surface and how the edges catch the light.
It doesn't matter that we don't know what it is.
In fact, not knowing heightens our perception and makes us just take pleasure
in what we see.

Look at the patterns and texture and colours

Shiny surfaces create art all on there own - reflecting what is around them

Water also presents us with wonderful reflections and movement
and offers us its own special abstract quality

Panning or intentional camera movement is another way of creating abstracts.
I really enjoy these!
For that, I need to use a slower shutter speed and move my camera
as I press the button.

To end my selection, I offer this night shot.
This was created by panning and capturing these flying luminous objects
all heading, with seeming purpose, to an important destination!

So, to create abstracts in photography
I can zoom in on details
Show only the part of a whole subject
create an unusual look by transforming something through a change in colour.
 I can play with my shutter speed and take my subjects from different angles.

All these things allow me to play freely
and disregard any rules that I have learned over time.

Abstracts set me free from convention
and allow me to skip and jump and shake it all up
most deliciously!

Abstract photography allows my inner, playful child to have fun
because it lets me re-invent what I see and feel!

This blog posting has been inspired by a workshop I'm doing
with Kim Manley Ort
called




30 comments

  1. absolutely beautiful
    playful and artful
    love the light and colors you have collected and offered to us
    thank you

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    1. Playful is a good word for abstracts, Tammie, for that is what they feel like to me!

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  2. I like the flow and movement of these shots. My mind does want to see the literal, but then I relax and just enjoy the feast of shape and color and texture. Though-provoking work, Sandra.

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    1. Our minds always want to control our way of looking at things as we strive to understand!

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  3. You always have a unique look at things Sandra. I'm full of admiration for your artistic talents.

    Hugs, Sarn xxx

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    1. Thanks, Sarn. Looking outside of the box is a very exhilarating thing to do, Sarn!

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  4. Great post - thanks for all the tips and lovely photos! I especially like the second shot, and the first panning shot. :)

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    1. Thank you, Sue. Photography is not just about making the perfect photograph, it's also about seeing things from another angle!

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  5. Great abstract photos! Love the colors of that second to last one!
    Kate :}

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    1. Thanks, Kate. Yes, getting colours to mingle and dance together is lots of fun!

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  6. Breathtaking abstracts. I keep scrolling back through them, but I think my favorite is the second one. I love the colors and the movement you've captured in each one. So well done, Sandra!

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    1. Thanks, Cathy! I know that abstracts aren't for everyone and those who are used to everyday photography representing known and familiar subjects feel more comfortable with that which is recognizable. But the fun and exhilaration of creating abstracts is so freeing. It teaches us to appreciate what we see in just another way! In fact, we appreciate certain details even more!

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  7. Your abstract shots are just superb!

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    1. Thank you! They're certainly great fun to do!

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  8. These are some great abstracts, Sandra! I'm partial to this view of the world - love to just enjoy the form and color. Lots of favs - # 3, 4, 8, 11, and 12!

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    1. Thanks, Anna. I know how you love abstracts, me too! The panning was especially fun and also recognizing the abstract qualities of other captures!

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  9. these are lovely, I like them all. I especially like closeups of flowers as they have the most gorgeous shapes and colors. your pink flower petal show is gorgeous!

    hope you have a lovely day.

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    1. Thanks, Lissa. Yes, I agree that flowers can make stunning abstracts!

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  10. What a wonderful collection of abstracts.

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    1. Thank you for visiting and for your comment!

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  11. Sandra, It looks like you had so much fun creating these abstracts. I find it lots of fun to take our photography out of the ordinary into the realms of the unknown.

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    1. Abstracts are a whole new world, Nancy! Recognizing them is half the secret! They are everywhere.

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  12. Love how you shook things up here, Sandra and it allows us as viewers to use our imaginations...love that!

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    1. Thanks, Susan. I know that abstracts are not everyone's cup of tea, but I love noticing them around me and capturing what I see. Some things we can guess, but it's all about seeing the abstract quality as well as something which is totally abstract and unrecognizable. That's good too!

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  13. Sandra, I love the playfulness and out-of-the-box thinking radiating from your shots. Well done! I like abstracts based on patterns and shapes and I love that curtain-like structure you've captured but I'm not much into blurred abstracts as they sometimes make me feel uncomfortable and confused. It makes me think that edges and clear distinctions are quite important to me. :)

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    1. Thanks, Petra. I know that intentional camera movement shots is not to everyone's liking. It's rather like modern art, it's an acquired taste!

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  14. These are all wonderful! I am saying yes and yes and yes to your words. Abstract photography is very liberating as it does not have to be a perfect photo! And the more we make people wonder what it is or try to label it, that just makes the abstract more fun!

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    1. Thanks, Mary. Yes, the freedom of abstracts is really fun, though I do like them to feel harmonious and pleasing to the eye.

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  15. Take an everyday object and see it through different eyes - fascinating.

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    1. Exactly! Some of these things are a little more unusual than everyday objects!

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