Beyond the Obvious

September 16, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

As a kid maybe you enjoyed cloud-watching: laying in the grass, gazing at puffy cumulus clouds as they drifted by, and letting your imagination run free. You might have seen a horse, or an elephant, or a puppy up there in the sky. 

In many ways, abstract nature photography reminds me of that long-ago game.

Colors, shapes, patterns, and textures can be rendered in such a way that the subject of a photograph may not be obvious. Avoiding the impulse to look at the caption, one might imagine a variety of things in an abstract image. Even if you can guess what you're looking at, it's interesting to see things from a different perspective.

Photographers can utilize a variety of different methods to make abstract images. Isolate a subject with the telephoto - or take it a step further and go as tight as you can with the macro lens. Employ intentional camera movement. Change your perspective. Shoot from an unusual angle. 

I enjoy shooting obviously recognizable subjects, but abstracts are just as much of a pleasure to create. (Sometimes more so.)

Just like the cloud-watching game: what do you see?

FireworksFireworksAbstract of Western Salsify plant gone to seed - its lines and shapes reminiscent of exploding fireworks on the Fourth of July.

Essence of AutumnEssence of AutumnAbstract rendering of brilliant foliage in the Hiawatha National Forest

Michigan's Upper Peninsula



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