If there is a direction in photography that allows you to maximize your creativity, then it is better to pay attention to abstract photography ideas. The most important aspect of this art is imagination and ability to see unusual in common things: texture on the wall, reflections in puddles, lines in skyscrapers. It is the ability to think outside the box that will lead you to original photographs, notice shapes, colors, lines, textures and be ready to photograph it at any time.
What Is Abstract Photography?
Abstract photography definition is an art, which is based on a perception of not objects and details, as traditional images, but the expression of ideas and emotions. It forces viewers to look at objects differently, which can lead to the fact that the subject loses its original meaning or purpose.
Professional photographers always catch a good light, but the right exposure, looking for a favorable angle. They have a solid knowledge of all the intricacies of photography and considerable experience in this area. In order to make an original abstraction, you will need only a fresh, original view of the world. You can be an ordinary amateur, but if you have a unique ability to think extraordinary, your success is guaranteed. Sometimes people take random photos of wet steps using only a smartphone and this photo soon can easily become a wallpaper on the phone of all friends. Therefore, the main component is the creativity and ability of the beautiful vision of ordinary things.
In this article, we want to pay your attention to some ideas for creating your own example of digital realism:
16 Abstract Photography Ideas
The world around us is rich with textures and lines, and nature is just an endless source of beauty that we do not notice. Broken lines of trees in the autumn forest, monochrome snow-covered fields, bizarre forms of stones in canyons, the minimalism of sand dunes, etc. All this surrounds us and seems like familiar themes. The texture of sea waves and reflection of trees and boats in river water show us a parallel futuristic world. This is the key point that helps to understand the techniques used by photographers.
Panning allows you to pay more attention to color and texture. Set the shutter speed of your camera to 1/20 second or less and move it a bit horizontally, you will see that painting and canvas are not always needed. A great idea for blurry portraiture is shooting with a defocus: whether it is the lights of a night city or even a plate with food in your kitchen, you will get wonderful abstract photography examples.
Seeing food is not only food for the mind, but for eyes, it is great art. You can shoot smooth lines of chocolate melting in cream, macro shots of frozen raspberries and strawberries, airy texture of fresh bread or any other product at home, which inspires you to create an ingenious picture masterpiece.
Despite the fact that making a headshot is very easy, abstract self-portrait ideas will require not only original projects but much more time and patience. The idea is simple: you need to apply a certain effect to portraits of a person. The easiest way to get such an image is with graphic editing: you need to take a headshot, an image that you need to overlay on top and get something interesting. But sometimes our imagination works better than any editor. Such a filter in real life can be a shadow from a lace napkin, reflection in an old vintage mirror, glare from sparkles that shimmer in the sun.
All ideas are good, but it is a tiny world that is always under our nose that always turns out to be the best option. Set the camera mode to macro or take a zooming lens and get ready to be surprised: water droplets on CDs, simple clean lines of grass, dew in the forest, and even an annoying fly with zoom that kept you awake. Every single item around you can bring your picture gallery to successful competitions and photo tutorials for artists.
The landscape is always about lines: horizon, ocean, trees. Lines surround us, you just need to learn how to notice them and catch them in the frame. If you have the opportunity to use a drone to create abstract landscape photography, be sure to do it. A bird's eye view of a field or a photograph of a forest will certainly become an adornment of your portfolio or a real picture collage on the wall.
The color most often draws attention to every type of image. Scattered pencils, colored fabrics, even bright spices on the market can easily inspire you to create an interesting shot. Play a little with contrasts for these shots to get a rich palette. Do not be afraid to mix different shades, because color blocking is always in fashion. It adds charm not only to outfits but images as well.
Modern urban backdrops are unique and surreal by themselves. The right lines of buildings, bright spots of parks, spots of gasoline and engine oil in puddles, clarity of road markings. The city is a beautiful abstract picture, full of ideas and inspiration, where every corner is full of architecture and geometric tips. beautiful in its own way, you just need to keep your eyes open.
With the help of light and shadows, dynamic and creative pictures can easily display light and shadow in a huge variety of forms. Awesome game of light and shadow looks especially impressive in black and white contest prints. Such type of presentation is also used to add contrast and to give more mystery and drama.
Water, oil, melted chocolate and even ordinary shampoo from the bathroom will serve you as material for creating shots that will be fastly shared online with different funny hashtags. You can shoot how beautifully water and oil mix, how hot chocolate spreads over a pie. If you need more color, then children's paints can come to the rescue, which you can mix, shoot macro drops, as well as add to water and photograph an underwater mix of tones and shades. Enjoy the process of shooting and publish original pictures.
When we look at a human body, we see a person, but if we capture just one part of it: a bend in the neck, a hand, an extended leg, we get a real fine art object. Whether you take pictures with a right light or simply take a silhouette against the background of a window with a blur effect, find an interesting angle or take a photo of eyelashes using the zoom or macro technique. The human body is beautiful and gives us great opportunities for unbelievable shots.
Boiling water in a pan, smoke from a cigarette or from a barbecue will help you create mysterious images. It can be either small puffs of smoke or a thin stream that rises minimalistically upward. If you shoot in black and white, photos will be more dramatic.
ICM photography has been used for many years but is still not very popular. The whole secret is to intentionally move the camera during exposure. First, find the subject you are shooting, set the shutter speed to half a second or a quarter of a second, and rotate the camera. The effect will depend on how you move the camera: left and right, or up and down. Also, an interesting frame will turn out if you rotate camera 360 degrees: everything that is in the center of the frame will turn out quite sharp, the image on sides will be blurred in a circle.
Such an effect is achieved by zooming while the picture itself is fixed, that is, during the shutter release. But to get these photos you need a tripod and a zoom lens. Choose exposure mode from 1 to 4 seconds; select the widest possible angle and focus on your subject. After you press the shutter button, try to carefully return the lens to the opposite position when the subject is as close as possible. Ideal for night shooting when night lights will leave stunning light trails.
Images with refracted light are different: the passage of light through an object of a denser mass causes the light to bend. Such an effect can be obtained with a wine glass or drops of water. Fill the glass with water (the clearer and cleaner the water, the more beautiful the picture will turn out), select the background and shoot. Images in a glass will be turned upside down.
Patterns are absolutely important for the geometry of your picture. Do not be afraid to come closer to see them in everything that surrounds us: a stain of gasoline in a puddle, foam from detergent, patterns from paint. The key rule is that context is not needed in this art.
Сrucial aspects which tell best what is abstract photography
Black and white photographsBefore taking a picture, try to imagine it in black and white. In some cases, it is better to remove the color from the picture, then the texture and shape come out in first place and pictures only benefit from this.
Remove the contextFocus not on the subject as a whole, but on its part. For example, do not shoot the wave completely, but only it's part. The more you select individual details, the more abstract the image is, and the more space for imagination you leave to people who will consider your pictures and look for a reflection of their thoughts.
Simple means betterSometimes you need to remove everything superfluous and secondary from the frame to show the main thing. Minimalism leaves more room for reflection on the subject.
Viewing angleIt is a determining factor in how an object will look on a final image. You can take several frames from different angles, then select the most successful one or rotate the image already in the abstract photo editor.
Take a look at the world in black and whiteBlack and white photography allows you to emphasize texture and shape and seek to distance the object from reality, emphasizes color and shadow in the image, creating greater depth with contrast. If you want to pay more attention to shape and texture, you are welcome to shoot black and white images. When shooting abstract images, texture, contrast, shadows, and shapes become key elements.
SecretSurreal photographs are intentionally deprived of context and therefore give the viewer all the freedom to imagine what exactly photographers wanted to say with a particular shot. They are full of intrigue and mystery, and therefore each viewer finds its own meaning. If you do not know where to start, then look around. We are surrounded by lines, shapes, and textures, and sometimes you just need to get closer. Look at flowers on the table, shadows, light that shines through the vase. Pay attention to clear lines of shadow from chairs, even your morning sandwich is full of textures and colors. All these ideas are waiting for you to pay attention to them and transfer them into a great story in your blog.
Minimalism is always a good ideaLeave behind the scenes all that is superfluous, and you will have a simple and effective photo. Such pictures illustrate visual intensity and restraint, leaving the viewer a place to think about your works.
Lenses are a very useful thing for every type of photographyThe zoom lens will help with the futuristic zoom blur of distant and moving objects. A macro lens will allow you to see the universe in a drop of water, intricacies of patterns in fabric and faded texture of old books.
Take pictures through objectsGlasses, vases, pieces of colored glass, set in front of the subject, will help you find a new vision of simple things. You can take the glass and cover it with colored gel or vegetable oil and capture the frame through it. The result will surprise and inspire you.
PostprocessingEven surreal images are not always perfect and some of them need to be further processed using computer programs or filters. When your pictures get into the editor, then everything depends on your imagination and ability to work with the application or computer software. You can change the contrast, reverse colors, make them black and white, overlap images one on top of the other. Unleash your imagination and let the process captivate you.
Forget the tripodMove the camera, rotate it, let the image tremble, it will benefit from this. Slow down the shutter speed to 1/10 of a second or more; a low value of 100 or even lower will also help. So pictures will contain a mixture of flowers, lines, and patterns, similar to paintings with watercolor paints.
ExperimentFirst of all, you will need to understand how your camera works: as soon as you understand how certain camera settings affect your pictures, you will be ready for experiments. Change the white balance in images, shoot from unusual angles, play with depth of field, forget about focus. All this will help you find your style and get interesting abstract shots.
LightingPlaying with the light in the frame can provide various effects that will lead you to vivid original pictures. Placing a strong light source on one side of the frame will create shadows that emphasize the texture. Lighting focused on the subject will emphasize it and show its leading role in photography. Diffused lighting will reduce the dramatic nature of the image and help distribute the attention of viewers throughout the frame, and not just the subject. You can also position the light source behind the object, which emphasizes its silhouette.
You don’t necessarily need the latest professional camera, you don’t have to graduate from photography school and be a fashion specialist. Sometimes novice photographers take good photos using the camera of their smartphone. Abstract shots do not require a carefully structured composition and good color. There is no need for a perfectly thought-out picture. The most important thing is the idea and attention to the world around you, the ability to see interesting and unusual in everyday surrounding objects. The more you develop your photographic vision, the larger the world opens to you: you will learn to see the beauty in every part of it.
We hope our article was informative and useful to you and will inspire you to create own masterpieces of this fascinating art.