Sometimes we focus heavily on exposure settings to create sharp and well composed images while we garner experience to improve our photography. And while it’s a very good idea to get acquainted with the ins and outs of the exposure triangle out in the field it can become monotonous and, dare I say, uninspiring.
The last thing you want is to lose that wonderful feeling of getting lost in the moment of capturing that all photography enthusiasts feel when experimenting with new subjects and light conditions. One great way to add diversity to your photography is to try abstract techniques.
The fantastic thing about experimenting with abstract photography is that, firstly, there are no rules. Abstract is what ever you want it to be. And secondly, what ever rules we have been told about photography technique can be broken when experimenting with abstract.
The rule to always use a tripod when using a shutter speed of about 1/20 or slower can be discarded if you decide to experiment with motion blur and panning. You can create some beautiful images by slowing down your shutter speed and panning your camera. This works particularly well in low light conditions with an adjusted aperture & ISO to avoid a blown out image. The great thing about trying this technique is you’ll learn more about what your camera can do and about exposure all while being creative in a completely different way. There’s loads you can do with panning so have a look at this article with examples for ideas.
In this technique you can handhold or tripod your camera. Again you use a slow shutter speed and once you’ve pressed the shutter you zoom in to (or out from) your subject. It creates a very interesting effect and is a lot of fun to experiment with. You can read more about zoom burst in this article which also has some nice examples.
These are just two examples of ways you can experiment with creating abstract photography. You can read about some other ways to do this in this article. The idea is to create and practise using different creative techniques than you would normally use when you’re out capturing. It’s a wonderful creative exercise and the results can be surprising. You might even get that creative boost you needed when you return to your normal photography.
I’m a huge fan of post processing too so the fun doesn’t have to end once you’ve created the image. You can also do all kinds of cool things with your abstract images in post processing particularly related to colour. So don’t forget to get creative on your computer and experiment with colour and texture.
If you’re keen you can share your images on Instagram using #LiloliaPhotographyExperiment and #Abstract