Thursday, July 30, 2009

Abstract Photography

BY SUZANNE WILLIAMS

An abstract photograph is one whose subject matter emphasizes shapes, colors, and lines, more than the subject itself. Appealing abstract photographs draw heavily on the rules of composition: the rule of thirds, the use of lines and curves, and perspective. Color can also be an important factor.

Most often, when I take an abstract image I am using macro settings, though this is not the case 100% of the time. Extreme macro photographs throw another factor into the mix, shallow depth of field. Without going into a detailed explanation of depth of field, let's just say it affects the amount of objects in focus within an image. The shallower the depth of field the more your point of focus is important.

In this first photograph, my point of focus was the edge of the forward mushroom. Had I chosen the wood beneath it or the mushroom to its left, I would have had a more distracting image. In that case, the large "out-of-focus area" would have been placed in the center of the picture and would have divided the viewer's attention.

Mushroom Colony
Mushroom Colony


Here, I used both the diagonal line of the interwined leaves and the shape of the light to add interest. There is a greater depth of field due to my use of telephoto instead of macro settings. Also, this image covers a larger area than the previous mushroom photograph, which altered my choice of camera settings.

The Effect of Time
The Effect of Time


Color is another strong factor in an abstract image. Both the difference in color between objects and the similarity in colors can create visual appeal. The greener bamboo trunk and the texture of the wood were what caused me to take this photograph.

Bamboo Trunks
Bamboo Trunks


Abstracts are not limited to close-up images. The shape of these seed pods and the numerity of them eliminated the need for me to zoom in. The effect would have been lost in a closer image.

1-13-2007


Abstract photography offers up an unlimited number of subjects and is certainly not limited to natural objects. Usually I don't set out to take an abstract image, but am photographing the general area. I especially like them within a series of images as they add great interest when viewing the subject.

Candle Flame Under Glass
Candle Flame Under Glass


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Suzanne Williams Photography
To Read More Of My Thoughts
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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