A Complete Guide To Abstract Photography [10 Tips & Tricks]

A Complete Guide To Abstract Photography [10 Tips & Tricks]

abstract photography

One of the most liberating experience for a photographer is to do abstract photography. It is the best way for an aspiring photographer to start out with as unlike other types of photography, Abstract Photography puts limited restrictions on the photographer in terms of following the rules.

The best part about Abstract Photography is that it can take any shape or form and can look like something that is far from reality. It gives photographers a way to express themselves as the subject of such photography is not any particular subject, rather It could be the cluster of it. 

So, if you want to do good in abstract photography, you can refer to this guide for tips and tricks on how to start with it. 

What is the meaning of Abstract Photography?

Abstract Photography is a concept based photography that revolves around experimenting with a visual image that might not even remotely associate with the material world. Abstract Photography is usually done with the use of image processing and the quality of photography equipment. It does not have any specific guidelines. All you’re supposed to do is convey your idea or inspiration through the picture. 

what is abstract photography

 

Can Photographs be Abstract?

It is certainly true that the “abstract” word is something that is more often associated with art. But in photography, it seems a little far-fetched to say that a photograph is abstract. But in reality, it’s true. 

abstract art photography

abstract architecture photography

Abstract photography has been a thing for some years now. It is about capturing a picture that does not have to resemble anything from the object world and is a little abstract with the use of colours, lines, shapes, etc. 

 

What makes a good abstract photo?

abstract art photography

Now if it’s so different from regular types of photography, you must be wondering who is the judge to what abstract photography is good and what’s bad?

Well, the truth is that it’s all in the composition of the image. It’s true that the rules of composition might not work. But one needs to compose the details right in order to bring perspective or point of view to the image. 

 

How is it different from semi-abstract photography?

When we say abstract photography, it instantly means that the photo has no particular subject but rather a cluster of it. Now, there’s a big difference between abstract photography and semi-abstract photography that makes them different from each other while still carrying something common in them.

The semi-abstract photography is about capturing a picture like abstract photography using lights, colours, shapes, intersections, and lines but it also captures a subject. Since it throws off the whole idea of abstract photography of not having a subject, it still keeps the overall theme of the photograph a little abstract and so the name. 

abstract landscape photography

 

What are the Major Components of Abstract Photography?

When it comes to taking abstract photographs, there are no written rules. You are your own judge and can take whatever picture you want. But in order to do that, you can keep a few of the components of abstract photography in mind. It can actually help you make better use of your surroundings. Here are 3 of them. 

1. Lighting

abstract art photography

You must already know that lighting is an important part of photography. The rules that apply for low light photography may not apply for hard light or natural light photography. The best part is that you can dramatize your photograph and bring perception to it by just changing the angle of reflection. You can experiment with the lighting in order to add an element to your abstract photography. 

2. Composition

abstract photography

As we mentioned earlier, the composition is an important part of abstract photography. Even if this photography itself isn’t bound by any rules, there has to be a criterion to define whether the picture is up to the standards of abstract photography or not.

While taking abstract photographs, one needs to balance out the shapes and textures in the frame in order to get a stunning result. When it comes to taking an abstract photograph, you need to see the bigger picture while simultaneously taking care of small details. 

3. Lucidity

abstract photography tips

Now the thing about Abstract photography is that it is all about cutting out the distractions from the photograph and bring focus to the vision that you are trying to convey through the picture. If there is a subject in your frame, there will always be tons of other things to get attention.

So, try to keep your photograph as simple as possible in order to sustain the focus of the viewer. 

 

Top 10 Abstract Photography Tips For Stunning Pictures -

 

1. Look for Shapes

abstract photography tips

The first thing you might want to do is find shapes that you can capture. Now generally, you’d find a subject for your photograph so out of habit, you might start looking for an object while doing abstract photography. But you must focus on shapes and colours. 

In order to find them, you can focus your camera at the sky or inside a puddle or maybe at a building. The purpose is to see past the subject and find the patterns or lines hidden in it. The best part is, once you get into a habit of doing abstract photography, all subjects vanish for you and the only things that are left are colours, lines, patterns, shapes and so much more. 

abstract photography ideas

abstract portrait photography ideas

 

2. If You’re New, Try the Nature

abstract nature photography

abstract nature photography

abstract nature photography

If you’re new to abstract photography and want to increase your chances of taking amazing shots then you can start out in nature. Nature offers so much to the photography world and abstract photography is something that isn’t very hard to do. There are so many abstract colours, textures, lines that you can find when you go out in nature.

You can find it in the reflections on a river to you can find it in the mold of a tree. So take your camera out in some fresh air and take some amazing abstract pictures.

 

3. Double Exposure and Post Processing

guide to abstract art photography

You can try using double exposure or multiple exposures in order to make your picture abstract. By adding layers of photos onto one another can give the image that abstract look even if there are multiple subjects from individual pictures. 

This is generally the part where post-processing comes into play. Using a photo editing tool, one can easily do that. You can also access such features in new DSLR’s that give you the feature to take multiple pictures in one click and combine them to get an abstract photo. 

abstract portrait photography

abstract photography

abstract architecture photography

 

4. Long Exposure Shots

abstract photography

Now, this is a fun way to do abstract photography. This is where you learn light painting. Yes! You actually paint with light but inside a camera of course. These shots are usually taken by setting the shutter speed at bulb mode so you have indefinite time to play with the light and draw whatever you want with it in low light conditions. 

You can do abstract photography by making patterns and experimenting with different colours. That way you will be able to take long-exposure shots while simultaneously doing abstract photography. 

abstract photography

abstract photography

abstract photography

abstract photography tips

 

5. Take Advantage of Water Reflection

abstract landscape photography

Capturing abstract landscape pictures becomes easy when you have a river or a lake around. While capturing a landscape does not look so abstract but when you see at its reflection counterpart, you will notice how straight lines start curling up and once which seemed like a huge mountain, becomes less intimidating. 

That’s the power of reflection. So, you can take full advantage of it by capturing the reflection of the landscape in water. That way, you can have some amazing abstract photographs resembling an abstract artwork. 

abstract landscape photography

 

6. Do Macro Photography

abstract macro photos

If you are a beginner and want to make it easy for yourself to do abstract photography then start out with macro photography. When you do macro photography, you just have to find a small area that looks abstract and take pictures. This will you will learn to identify the right textures, shapes, colours, and more. 

By choosing a macro lens, you would be able to put the focus on the details, which is actually a crucial part of abstract photography. Here are some of the places where you can do macro photography. You can try macro photography on the body parts in order to make it look abstract. You can show parts of the body without revealing what part it actually is. Also, you can do close up shots in nature where you will find tons of patterns and textures. 

abstract photography, abstract macro photography

abstract landscape photography

abstract landscape photography

Wanna Know More - Macro Photography

 

7. Take the help of a drone

abstract photos, drone abstract photography

Do you know that the earth that you are living on, might be the most abstract thing when seen from above? Well, you can try your hands on abstract photography by taking it to the next level with the help of drones. 

The best way to frame your picture is by adding a bit of both land and water in the frame or chasing patterns rather than a subject. You can also capture sand dunes, and ocean waves or a small river flowing in different directions. This way, you can leverage drones for aerial photography that can help you with abstract photography.

abstract photos, drone abstract photography

drone abstract photography

abstract photos, abstract nature photography

abstract photos

Book Your Commercial Drone Photography with Spyne

 

8. Use Shadows

abstract photos, shadow abstract photography

The best part about using shadows coming from an object is that it helps you capture something that resembles your subject but it does not give a hint of it by taking away all of it important details that give it a specific name. 

This is the easiest way to take abstract photographs as all your need is a subject that is casting shadows and you can take as many pictures as you want. You can also go to the next level by capturing silhouettes as a way to do abstract photography. 

abstract photos, shadow abstract photography

 

9. Geometrical Shapes

abstract photos, shadow abstract photography

How many times do you come across those geometrical shapes inside an office building or a studio where every geometrical shape on the wall is a compliment to the other. Geometry is everywhere, you just need to look at it. 

Geometrical shapes and lines can make for wonderful abstract photography. So, next time when you are out for a Photowalk, try looking for shapes and geometry to capture in your frame.

 abstract photos

abstract photos, shadow abstract photography

abstract photos, shadow abstract photography

 

10. Capture movement 

abstract photos

You can capture the movement that can create the abstract effect that you need in your picture. Moving the camera while taking a picture can really take away the key details of the subject but leave you with something surprisingly captivating. 

You can try different types of movements for example spiral movement where you rotate your camera in a circle to achieve a spiral effect in your abstract photo. 

Or you can capture photographs while panning the camera. Here are some of the examples of that. 

abstract photography tips

abstract photography ideas

abstract photography

Post-Processing

The best way to learn abstract photography is by experimenting during post-processing. It is best for beginners who want to try their hands on capturing abstract pictures while being able to expand their spectrum and see what more could have been done. 

Post-processing gives photographers a chance to manipulate their images accordingly to attain the final goals. From bringing up the shadows to adding double exposure, blurring, and cropping, one can try different tools to manipulate the photograph in order to get an abstract photograph. 

 

Conclusion

In the end, one can only say that abstract photography gives more freedom to a photographer and his/her creativity than any other type of photography. It is about letting out what’s going inside your head into a canvas, in your case, it’s a frame. 

So, make sure that don’t think much about the rules and just let your creative juices flow. While you may find it hard at first to capture an image without a subject but you will soon get used to it once you’ll start to see patterns and shapes and understand how abstract photography works. 

Written By - Ramnish on 13 Jul, 2020