Images Without Recognizable Subjects

Summary – This post completes the discussion of “what is an abstract photograph”. It considers the part an abstract image’s definition that states there shall be “no immediately recognizable subject”.


Recognizable? It is to me.

Is this not an abstract – just because I recognize the subject?

I sure hope not. That would be downright silly.

Check the 3rd image in the post for what this is

A key part of the definition of an abstract image is

It has no immediately recognizable subject

What is recognizable or not – much less immediately

Depends on lots of things

The viewer’s background & culture among others

Some viewers “may know it” & some won’t

IMO it’s the typical viewer that matters

Bottom line – largely a subjective judgement call

The final call is the judge’s or the viewer’s

Not the photographer’s


Rather than trying to explain

What makes a subject identifiable – or not (I can’t)

The post will present a number of example images

Each with a description (visible on mouse roll over) and

A “Is this an abstract?” poll

There is no right or wrong

Immediately recognizable? No more than 2-3 seconds

Not after a longer study

I’ll post a follow-up in a week or two

Showing the images and

The yes/no tallies for each

Please vote


11-19-2013 8-53-28 AM11-19-2013 8-54-55 AM



11-19-2013 9-06-25 AM11-19-2013 9-07-33 AM

11-19-2013 10-04-43 AM 11-19-2013 10-03-56 AM

11-19-2013 10-16-49 AM 11-19-2013 10-17-51 AM

11-19-2013 10-25-53 AM 11-19-2013 10-26-29 AM

11-19-2013 10-29-31 AM 11-19-2013 10-30-04 AM

11-19-2013 10-31-46 AM 11-19-2013 10-32-27 AM

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