abstracts& Graphic mono
They may only reveal a small section of The world, but abstracts can be powerful pieces of photography, especially in black & white
Classifying abstract photography requires a broad brush, and there’s no definitive right or wrong when it comes to defining what is and not an ‘ abstract’. one view is that abstract photography involves capturing images that are void of, or lack, context in relation to the subject or scene being photographed. What does this mean? Well, imagine zooming in and framing just one part of a large building, and capturing it in such a way that the subject as a whole isn’t immediately recognisable. Without obvious context, i. e. this is a part of a building, it becomes easier to appreciate shapes, lines, angles and textures that might be missed when viewing the building as a whole – that’s an abstract approach.
there are several popular techniques that fall into this category – for example, high- key and low- key images, patterns and textures, silhouettes and compositions focusing on shapes, geometry, lines and angles. in short, any image that offers an alternative or unusual view on a scene could broadly be classified as an abstract photograph.
graphic photography, on the other hand, doesn’t relate to photographing gory or adult themes! graphic images simplify objects or scenes and reduce them down to basic shapes or patterns, using clever composition, light and shadow, and even camera or editing techniques such as silhouettes or high- contrast. graphic images often look more like drawings or paintings than photographs. there’s a fair amount of crossover between abstract and graphic photography, hence why we’ve bundled them together here.
it shouldn’t come as a surprise that these sorts of images often go hand- in- hand with monochrome conversions – after all, black & white images are already one step removed from reality by their lack of colour alone. removing all colour from abstract and graphic compositions can greatly add to the impact of an image, making the subject or scene not immediately obvious to the viewer. also, with careful and considered editing of black & white images, the photographer is able to play with contrast and monochrome tones in a far more exaggerated manner than is possible with colour, for dramatic effect.
abstract compositions are all around us, but learning to see them is an acquired skill, and one that requires plenty of practice. it calls for a far more careful study of objects and scenes to see beyond the obvious, but there are some techniques you can try….