Posts tagged “Abstract photography

Windows (Two Photographs)

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There is an endless number of variations on how windows (with or without reflections) make for great photographs. Depending on how you process window photos you will be surprised at what is in the reflective portions. Sometimes you can mix the surreal, abstract and reality in one shot without compositing, often just by adjusting shadows and contrast.


Texture (Two Photographs)

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Texture has many meanings in photography; it can refer to mood, background or even the subject.  I try to keep this in mind when taking and processing photos, as it’s an element I can make creative use of. I chose these photos because texture is front and centre.


An Abstract of an Abstraction (Two Photographs)

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Twist 1.5 was crafted by Alex Wyse and Ken Gould in 1978, and it has weathered many a storm in its outdoor location since then. These shots were almost inside the sculpture itself, to reflect the detail and working of the wood. Just a piece of the whole on a day when the kids weren’t playing on or in it.


Moore -ish (Two Photographs)

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I have been fortunate to have seen many of Henry Moore’s sculptures as well as the work of Giacometti, another sculptor. These photographs remind me of their work or put another way the post processing was influenced by their styles.

 

 


Dali-esque (Two Photographs)

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I mentioned earlier my criteria for the legitimacy of taking photos of the works of other artists (signed or unsigned). Here I took a piece of the whole that reminded me of Dali’s work. Photographers can learn a lot from other art forms and mimic the light, general ideas, and moods. It’s almost a must in one’s photographic education. 


Abstraction (Two Photographs)

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Often when I am walking about with a camera, I am looking for something that stands out in and of itself, because of the light, the way the shadows fall. In this case it’s the corrugated wall of a church. Personally I think this works best in Black and White.


Nobody Does Abstract… (Three Photographs)

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I’ve said it before, and fairly recently, that nothing beats nature’s ability for the abstract. Many painters have tried, many famous, but it never looks quite so real or imposing as when it’s natural. There is great debate over whether photography is an art or not. I have always thought the answer was straightforward – great photographs are great art; bad photographs….just as it is with drawings, painting and sculpture.


Modern Art or Nature?

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There is a body of modern art that escapes my ability to make sense of. Moreover when it comes to the kind of randomness Jackson Pollack was famous for, my view is that nature does it better.


Red and Brown (Two Photographs)

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I posted these awhile ago in black and white. I have decided the colour is also worth putting on the blog. I used red and brown in the title but it could have been burnt sienna or rust or a hundred other obscure names in the red, brown and orange group of colours.  When someone tells me what colour something is I am always tempted to ask what shade. Have you seen how many colours there are in the Pantone catalogue… But in the photos it was the abstract nature of the bricks and colour that drew me to them.


Abstract (Two Photographs)

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These are the result of my working with hard contrast. When I saw these plants in the field I knew there was something I wanted to work with. I wanted to try some radical edits that take the original subject and make the results somewhat more abstract rather than realistic. Working with contrast and sharpening tools did the trick.


Natural Abstract (Two Photographs)

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I like to think, before I take a photograph, about how it will turn out after I have shot and processed it. That permits me to focus on what I want in the frame and what my camera needs to capture (settings that need to be considered etc.) . This kind of photo makes that easier than when photographing a bird. I find it improves my photography.


Marsh (Two Photographs)

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When I narrow my focus I sometimes see the beginnings of an abstract composition. Here I wanted the plant to come alive within a composition that had no real boundaries, and that avoided deciding on a specific subject.


A Colour Photograph

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If it were not for the garbage on the ground it would be hard to tell if this was a black and white or colour photograph. What caught my eye was how the light hit the concrete and gave it some tonality.


Allegory (Two Photographs)

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These are photos of elements of the Arthur Erickson extension to the Bank of Canada (it used to be publicly accessible but no longer). I think the photos make a great allegory for the state of the world economy and its complexity.


Straight No.2 (Two Photographs).

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In Monday’s post I complained about the lack of straight lines. I have decided to give up and go with what I saw. These are the back windows of a hotel in broad daylight.  The results of the light, shadows and clouds is abstract and compelling. I am not sure that this works quite as well in colour.


Shadows (Two Photographs)

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These are the fun street photographs that are both simple but made interesting by shadows. Photographers often talk about the importance of the time of day, emphasizing sunrise or sunset. What you don’t hear enough about is the rest of day when the sun is angled making for interesting shadows.


Montreal Windows (Two Photographs)

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Montreal is a a bigger, busier city than Ottawa and provided more opportunity and some additional challenges (like traffic) for my kind of city photography. Both photos are HDR, originally shot in B&W, processed in colour and filtered back to B&W.

 


Surreal Windows (Three Photographs)

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These photos should speak for themselves. I just wanted to say that the one with the ladder does have a colour-cast, sometimes they actually enhance the photograph. Once in a while working on photos that are somewhat abstract is refreshing.


Chairs (Three Photographs)

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If a photography student complained to me that they could find nothing to photograph, before flunking them, I would tell them to take a selfie. I agree sometimes the mood doesn’t hit and you are otherwise absorbed making things difficult for photography. Familiarity with a place sometimes blinds us, but it can help us see changes and anomalies that make great photographs. I could go back to this deck to re-shoot the chairs but the likelihood of them being stacked like this and the light being right are almost nil. I’ll go back for other reasons.


Contrast (Three Photographs)

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In photography contrast can mean many things, including tightening the tonality, contrast between colors. contrast between objects etc. A very flexible word. These were taken on different days but contrast is an obvious choice for this series of photographs. In my experience people see the connection even if they cannot articulate what connects these types of photographs.


Abstracts (Three Photographs)

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A good guide to say if you like a shot is to ask if you would put it on your wall. You are not likely to get much attention with a shot that you don’t like. Not everyone likes abstract photography, and it‘s easy to see why. But if you want to experiment, especially with composition, its a great way to try out your ideas. 


Some Reflections and Further Comments on Aperture (Two Photographs)

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Shot with a Fuji XT-2, and a 23mm lens (aspect ratio equivalent to a 35mm lens) at F8. You will notice that pretty much everything is in focus. In landscapes and photographs of events, crowds, and large objects it is not always feasible to use a small F Stop like F 16 and get sharp pictures and everything in focus. A depth of field calculator could provide, for any given  F Stop a definitive distance to focus on ( say ten feet out) called the hyper-focal distance that would make sure everything is in focus. Or if fiddling with your smartphone is too much, use this rule of thumb, focus one-third into the scene this should get most everything in focus, not as much as the calculated hyper-focal distance but good enough. When we use larger apertures (smaller F Stop ) we get the exact opposite effect; selective focus (where your focus is on something close and everything behind is more or less out of focus). A large aperture also allows more light to reach the sensor therefore avoiding having to use a higher ISO and generate noise.


Reflected Anger (Three Photographs)

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After yesterday’s post about the coming artificial intelligence that will judge the aesthetics of our photographs, I decided to post some that Ihope would confound if not displease that “intelligence”. Something tells me that the abstract may not be something that artificial (emphasis on the artificial) intelligence will find either familiar or comprehensible. No doubt I will be called a luddite, but I prefer pitchforks to pandering.