Floral Abstracts via High-Key Isolation

Summary – I enjoy both floral and abstract photography. What could be better than putting them both together? Here’s a small gallery with a lone Christmas cactus blossom as the star. The images illustrate the importance of subject isolation in making abstracts.


Click on any image for a slide show

Nikon D300, 75-300 lens, 1.4 X TC, Canon 500D closeup lens, circular polarizer, tripod, remote cable release, manual focus, aperture priority (plus manual EV), natural light, white backdrop

Not the greatest examples; just experimenting with techniques


These are found abstracts (as opposed to created) 

Found are the more difficult of the two IMO


Shot for about an hour averaging one every two minutes

Slow down; seeing takes time

Get up close; fill frame; slowly pan while changing focus

Pleasant surprises await you when doing this

To my eye, these images are abstracts

The user survey in a recent post

Suggests most viewers would agree

They were made entirely in camera (no post-processing)

Small parts of the flowers were isolated by

Using macro techniques

Coupled with camera position/angle

Those parts were isolated even further by

Using high-key exposure

2-3 stops over-exposed

Isolation is a key element in the

Making of abstract images

This is an area where

Camera technique & craftsmanship

Play an important role

Lens selection is also important

For example – Isolation with a wide-angle lens???

Very difficult

A good challenge for the interested reader

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4 thoughts on “Floral Abstracts via High-Key Isolation

    • You’re a mind reader. That’s the subject of a post later this week.

      I think B&W abstracts may represent the ultimate challenge. As I had noted earlier, emotion is an important image quality – and showing emotion in an abstract is a puzzle to me. Further, abstracts depend on color, tones, lines, shapes & texture – remove the color and you’re down to a precious few parameters to work with (unless you believe that the need to simplify will prevail – and how much simpler can one get?). Questionable emotion and zero color – wow! The bare essentials for sure.

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