TutorialsAbstract PhotographyPractical Tips For Abstract Nature Photography

Practical Tips For Abstract Nature Photography

Abstract nature photography is not very popular, but it has its fans. In my opinion, abstract images are inherently revolutionary subjects, and in the future, with the expansion of civilization, more people will be added to the fans of this style.

Abstract photography definition

About 70 years ago, Hollywood was full of beautiful actresses who starred in movies. These actresses had beautiful faces, but that did not necessarily mean that they played their roles well.

On the other hand, it is not natural for you to watch a movie and all the women in it to be beautiful. Because in real life, we see women around us with varying degrees of beauty.

So by the end of the twentieth century, Hollywood was gradually using actresses in movies that were mediocre in terms of beauty but played their part very well.

What does this mean ?! This means that man is changing his perception of beauty over time and with the progress of civilization. That is, aesthetics is approaching reality from a dreamy and perfectionist illusion.

From the beginning, the man, if creating an image, tried to it be beautiful and exciting, Whether this image is a painting or a photograph.

Photographers try to make their photos beautifully exciting and with a suitable composition. This is true of both landscape and macro photography.

Abstract images go one step further, and now we see a change in the concept of beauty. In this way, an attempt is made to eliminate reality, and beauty becomes a mental concept.

Landscape, portrait, or macro photos all reflect reality, but what if the photographer does not follow the standard path and refuses to highlight facts?

This is where abstract photography is born. Of course, the photos are probably still real, but the photography method has been changed so that the main scene is not explicit and must be guessed.

Therefore, judging the picture is more subjective and will be different and more diverse according to the experience and sensitivities of different people.

Abstract nature photos are often real but have been modified with Photoshop as needed. Nature is a good source for such images, and we use it to access various subjects.

Using abstract macro photography

You can get so close to the subject that the viewer cannot tell what was being photographed, like the age strips of a cut tree trunk. Or sunflower stamens!

Abstract flower photography

In macro images, we usually get close enough to the flower to fill the screen. But if the flower is so large and its components can be enlarged and highlighted, the viewer may mistake recognizing what he sees. This is where people take refuge in their imagination. And everyone has their interpretation. Flowers and plants are exciting subjects for abstract photos of nature.

For example, this flower was large, and the petals were visible, but the shape and border of the flower could not be seen. It is clear that the image is a flower, but it is unclear what the flower is.

The next photo is taken from a closer distance. This one is not so obvious anymore. It cannot be answered immediately. But still like a flower.

In the following example, I got as close as possible to a large flower with a 35mm macro lens. I have almost abandoned the main subject and paid so much attention to the details that the viewer can not visualize the story’s reality. The angle has also changed; the image is cluttered; this is an abstract nature picture.

Everyone can have a specific interpretation of it. It may not be exciting for some, and say, what nonsense is this picture? !!

Okay, but many can fall in love with it and match its color with their home decor. They will enjoy watching it, and in their imagination, they will liken it to a scene, maybe!

Sometimes, macro photos are inanimate objects; it is enough to look attractive, so why not ?!

And abstract nature pictures are not always going to look cluttered. The focus is on what is not normal and is not supposed to have a specific message or meaning.

I mean, that is, away from the equations and reality of life. However, the subject may exist in the universe in precisely the same way; As this one, I took of the pebbles of the way.

No one has put them together regularly, but they have been put together regularly by chance, and ironically, they have some standard shapes.

Focus

Another way to create abstract images is to change the focus abnormally. In traditional photography, we usually focus on the target subject.

The subject may be a petal in front of a macro image. And the background is blurred with this method. Or the depth of field is in a landscape.

In the abstract picture, these rules can be changed. For example, the following image is a macro that has become an abstract nature photo due to the very short distance.

Now the point is that if we deliberately change the focus in an image and blur it a bit, we create a better abstract idea than before.

Because by changing the focus, we moved further away from reality and realism and moved towards surrealism. Now the subject is more mental and significant.

In the next photo, again, I got so close to the plant that it is no longer clear what plant it was. Honestly, the photo was taken 13 years ago, and I forgot what a flower it was !! Maybe a botanist can help!

Unusual exposure and intentional movement of the camera

In traditional photography, an attempt is made to shine an appropriate amount of light on the sensor so that the image can be seen in the best possible way. This means that the image should not be too bright and white, nor too dark, and the details in the photo should be obvious.

We also usually try to keep the camera utterly moveless in our hands to prevent blurring the image. Sometimes we even use a tripod to control the camera from shaking.

To create an abstract nature photo, we can significantly reduce or overexpose the exposure. In this way, the picture will no longer be routine.

If we move the camera simultaneously, the light points become light lines, and the image has a unique effect.

It is better to have a slow shutter speed to get a good result while moving the camera. With a bit of experience, repetition, and creativity, remarkable results can be obtained

Unusual exposure
Unusual exposure

Water surface waves

In any case, whether it is a roaring ocean, a calm lake or a river, water is always an exciting case for abstract works.

Even different shooting methods such as high or low light or different shutter speeds can be tried. For example, in the following image, with the help of the ND filter in daylight, the light is dimmed and photographed the river at low speed.

The waves are recorded in the form of blurred, and the components located along the river have been removed.

Perspective, minimalism, and distance

Minimalism is a way to move away from instead of focusing on and dominating the main topic. The subject in the photo is minimal, and it seems that you paid more attention to the environment around it.

Combining minimalism and abstraction is exciting, so macro photography is not the only possible method!

Distancing oneself from the subject and changing the perspective can disrupt the structure of the image and change the shapes and make them meaningless. Using telephoto lenses in this way can be beneficial.

The result will be great images.

Composition

Composition is a critical component in traditional photography, creating a beautiful image or vice versa by sending it to recycle bin!

But be prepared! In abstraction, we are going to mock the composition!

In most cases, excellent and spectacular abstract nature pictures are obtained when we do not observe the composition and the photographer adopts an unusual angle and framing of the shooting scene.

In fact, if we have to talk about composition in abstract nature images, we have to confirm that this composition is the same unusual and particular type of this style of photography.

Typical landscape image or an unusual one?

Landscape photography has its principles, such as the simultaneous and proportionate presence of earth and sky.

Or, for example, when exposed, we must be careful so that the light from the sky does not darken the components of the earth.

If we do not follow these and other principles, we can create beautiful nature abstract photography work.

Even if we do not disassemble the components of the image and allow them to remain in their proper form. It must be taken into account that the photo must still contain an interesting point. Otherwise, any photo that is not useful for the scene is not an abstract work !!!

In the following picture, only the sky can be seen. But the shape of the clouds, as well as the color of the sky, is fascinating.

Or this one, the details of the mountains are not precise. And the earth is unpleasantly darkened due to too much light from the sky.

But the mountains and hills with the different heights that sank in the fog, and the mist that made the whole sky white and indistinct, created interesting abstract landscape photography examples.

Overlapping frames

Some cameras allow you to take multiple shots of a scene multiple times with different settings, and they overlap. The frame or lighting can be changed each time. It is better to use a tripod to get better results.

If there is no such option in the camera, you must use Photoshop.

Using this method, photographers have created good abstracts. It only takes a little creativity to make the initial idea.

Take a picture from above

If you can get less accurate images from the scenery at the bottom from the top of the mountain, the result will be good abstract work. Try to focus from a distance or not focus accurately.

Otherwise, you will need a drone, which not everyone has access to. Especially about me! since I live in a country where only a few people are allowed to use drone photography for security reasons.

Lensless photography

One way is to remove the lens from the camera mount and shoot without focusing.

I can not be called a true fan of this method. That is why I will not explain it further. If you use this method, there is a risk that dust will settle on the camera sensor.

Removing dust from the sensor is a big hassle. If you can easily remove the dust from the sensor, you should be thankful. Otherwise, you should use methods that may damage the camera.

Conclusion

Abstract nature photography is a revolutionary subject with a different perspective on photography and life.

In this type of image, the reality is often distorted or described unusually. To divert the viewer’s attention from what exists to his mentality.

No specific message is conveyed. The viewer is allowed to imagine and judge with his/ her personal feeling and experience.

And nature is a tremendous and diverse source for taking abstract images.

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Babak Siminzar
Babak Siminzarhttps://www.bsiminzar.com
I am a general practitioner and work in a health center. In previous years, my place of work was rural areas in the northwest of Iran. In addition to medicine in those areas, I also did photography, which was my hobby. I am very interested in macro photography, so most of my portfolio photos are about it. I also visit and photograph historical sites on my travels.

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