Summary – This series on abstract photography began with “what is an abstract photograph?”. With that as background, it’s time to consider how to make an abstract photograph. The overall process is similar to that for any image – but with a few special considerations.
Jackson Pollock Knock-off
Lines, tones, texture – no shapes to speak of nor color
The previous posts in this series
Defined what is & isn’t an abstract photo
The next set of abstract photography posts
Look at the actual making of abstract photos
As I’ve written many times, making an image involves the 4-C’s
Craftsmanship, Composition, Creativity & Communication
This applies to any image, not just photos
Are there differences among these steps as
They apply to abstract rather than representational images?
Not really, but a different mind-set may be required
One example follows in the next section
(to be explored further in a later post)
A difference when making abstract & representational images
Communication is what sets one image apart from
Otherwise equally well done images
All well crafted, composed & creative
but – They fail to “sing” to a viewer
Communication usually requires an emotional component
Before it “sings”
Emotion is often cited as a requirement for art
A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art
Here’s the communication problem (abstract vs. representational)
An abstract, by definition, has no immediately recognizable subject
How do you evoke emotion from a viewer in this case?
Emotion most often arises from the “human condition”
As in these two photographs
Migrant Mother, 1936, Dorthea Lange
Napalm Girl, Associated Press
How can emotion be evoked in an abstract
With its unrecognizable lines, shapes, colors and textures
That’s the real challenge if you want to
Separate your abstract from the rest
Peeking ahead at Abstract vs Representational Images
Craftsmanship – Much the same camera skills & technique
Composition – Abstracts are 100% about design
You must know visual design for consistently good abstracts
Less forgiving than in a representational image
In abstract there’s no subject to speak of to bail you out
Get the design right – or else
Creativity – it should go without saying that
Creativity is extremely important when making an abstract
IMO, especially true for a found abstract (vs. created)
Where it’s all about seeing (creatively)
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