Abstracts: A canvas of creativity
By Excio Photo Community profile image Excio Photo Community
4 min read

Abstracts: A canvas of creativity

Explore the unseen beauty, captured through the lens of abstraction, providing a fresh perspective on the world that surrounds us.

In this challenge our members were invited to explore the art of abstraction. The aim was to capture images that distil subjects into shapes, colours, and forms, often leaving them unrecognisable. This article highlights the stunningly creative entries that redefine the boundaries of visual representation.

Exploring abstraction in photography

Abstract photography, at its core, is about moving beyond the literal interpretation of a subject to focus on its intrinsic form, colour, pattern, and texture. It challenges the viewer to see the subject without immediate recognition, promoting an emotional or intellectual response based solely on the abstract qualities of the image.

Principles of abstract photography

  1. Simplicity: Stripping a scene down to its basic elements helps to emphasise shapes and forms, making the composition stronger.
  2. Composition and form: Good abstract photography relies heavily on the arrangement of visual elements. Lines, shapes, and curves interact to create a cohesive whole that draws the viewer's eye across the image.
  3. Colour and contrast: Colours and contrasts can be used to evoke moods and feelings, making the abstract image resonate on an emotional level.
  4. Texture: Highlighting textures can introduce a tactile element to photographs, inviting viewers to imagine the feel of surfaces that are visually presented.
  5. Mystery and ambiguity: By leaving some details open to interpretation, abstract photography invites viewers to engage more deeply, filling in the gaps with their imagination and personal experiences.

The effect of abstract photography on viewers

Abstract photography can transform the mundane into the extraordinary, encouraging viewers to pause and ponder the image. It provides a visual break from the clutter of daily life, offering a minimalist and often meditative visual experience that can be profoundly moving or quietly contemplative.

Our members demonstrated a wide array of techniques, with each submission celebrating the unexpected beauty found in abstract compositions, showcasing the infinite possibilities within the abstract.

Selecting featured entries was particularly challenging due to the high level of creativity and interpretation. The photographs below stood out for their boldness in composition and their ability to evoke emotion through pure visual impact, exemplifying the principles of abstract photography at their best.

The "Abstracts" challenge has once again highlighted the creativity and vision of our photography community. These photographers have opened our eyes to the unseen beauty, captured through the lens of abstraction, providing a fresh perspective on the world that surrounds us.

This challenge reminds us of the power of photography to transcend traditional boundaries and engage viewers in a deep, often personal exploration of art.

By Penny Milner

By Damon Marshall. An artist should never have to explain their abstract, it's up to the audience to interpret!

By Sandy McCleary

By Kelvin Wright

By Stephen Garner. Park bench at Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul.

By Lorraine Neill. These images are pages from a small paperback photography book. I set my camera to a shallow depth of field and a slow shutter speed, and fanned through the pages with my thumb, while taking photos in burst mode. I had no idea what I was getting, so it was fun going through them afterwards. I picked four favourites and edited them differently.

By Chris Dungan. Feilding New Zealand, stark looking mechanical structure.

By Debra Ellen. Bending to the will of the gentle breeze.

By Cynthia Stoks. It is actually an ellipse of sunlight shining through a balustrade onto a wooden floor. It caught my eye and I attempted to turn the abstract into something real with the camera angle.

By Brian Scantlebury. A dinghy on the beach, the sun streams over the water from distant hills that show up in a pink colour. The sky and the sand and water are probably self-evident.

By Sandy McCleary. The fruit bowl.

By Dafydd Davies

By Ann Kilpatrick. Shot in Sumner, a location new to me, when visiting Christchurch for a course. Multiple images put together in Photoshop.
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