What is your first impression when you think of landscape photographs? You must have seen these in the post-cards where exquisite landscapes are depicted on one side. But, did you know that landscape photography is much wider than just being clicking coloured skies and peaking mountains?
If you are a landscape photographer, you should know that there are limitless possibilities and opportunities for you with minute details and smaller yet beautiful renditions in nature. So, if you are actively seeking to develop landscape photographs in perpetuity, you have landed on the correct blog.
Right from extracting the abstract theories that could deepen a subtle subject matter or an object to a completely abstract photograph so aesthetically that it would become extremely arduous for the observer to apprehend the scale and subject, I would try to cover the concept of abstract photography of landscapes.
1. Setting up the rules right
When in the pursuit to click some breath-taking landscape picture from your camera, you should first be clear about what the term abstract means. I wouldn’t be doing justice if I associate any term related to art with a hard & fast meaning, but seeing the current trend in the landscape photography where artists are just isolating the subject with a telephoto lens and calling it abstract, I think it is the need of the hour.
Now, whenever you step outside in the terrain, on a hill, near a lake, in a valley, etc to click some photographs, there are elements that are literal in appearance like waves, leaves, trees, sand dunes, reflections, flowers, ripples, and so on. As an artist, it is your job to identify the abstract characteristics of these obvious objects.
For example, patterns in leaves, an order in the trees, textures of sand dunes, the spacing of mountains, chaos of ripples, balance of reflection, and dominance of waves. These are the attributes of the literal subjects that can be classified as abstract elements. Other facets that transform the obvious and abstract features are light, atmospheric transitions, and seasonal changes.
As a landscape photographer, you should have a vision to not just locate but to visualise the abstract renditions of real-life elements so minutely so as to make it difficult to identify the literal subject altogether.
2. Beyond what you can see
Anyone wishing to achieve an expert level prominence in the abstract landscape photography field should learn to see beyond what is clearly visible. As said, there are certain abstract attributes available in the subjects that are quite obviously visible. For instance, a plant of cactus is a literal subject which can be simply observed with naked eye.
But to harness and garnish the real beauty, you should try and see the textures, curves, patterns, lines, and repetitions in the plant. These features offer a landscape artist space and scope that are needed to capture a photographic composition that is both abstract and appealing.
3. Inspect and extract
The one who can observe thoroughly is the one who can actually take the best landscape photograph with respect to abstraction. The ability to look closely and segregate the entire scene into smaller segments is one of the first things you should do when you reach a perfect place to capture an abstract landscape photograph. When you actively observe in a continuum, the likability of innovative ideas hitting your head for photographs and compositions increases.
Suppose you reach a massive mountain valley with a pond in the center. The attributes that you should be distilling and look for are designs, repeating lines on the terrain, textures & smoothness in the snow-covered grass, the reflection of ice in the pond water, and so on.
Not just for the abstract photographers, but for the natural landscape enthusiasts, this technique of trimming an entire scenery into smaller parts is quite useful as it offers a wider perspective of nature.
4. Focus on tiny elements
For the artists who have just started the abstract landscape photography, the best way to learn is by seeking designs, shapes, textures, repetitions, patterns, etc in the natural subjects. Creating an abstract painting or photograph is a progressive process that goes on without any break.
Typically, two kinds of abstract photographs are taken. The first that is filled with abstract attributes that actually act as a base for the photographic composition. Second ones are those that are much intensely abstract and it is quite tough to nab the scale and subject both.
So, a much better approach is to keep your focus strictly on the smaller elements so as to pick out the abstraction right from the scratch of the subject.