Geometry Easy to spot in modern architecture – straight lines, intersecting angles, symmetry and interesting shapes make for great abstract approaches, especially stripped of colour. The basic rules of composition come into play – the rule- of- thirds, negative space and leading lines. Leading lines are usually more dynamic when they enter the frame diagonally from the lower corners.
Silhouettes Reducing a subject down to its basic shape with a silhouette is a fantastic way to flex your creativity, and they work well in black & white. Backlighting is essential – frame your subject against a bright background, such as the sky, and meter for the highlights, casting them into shadow. Converting to mono and adjusting contrast emphasises this further.
light and Shadow Bright, sunny days aren’t the best for landscape or portrait photography, but they’re fantastic for black & white abstracts as they inject contrast. Look for scenes split by hard shadows, or shapes being cast on bright walls. Often you can anticipate an image appearing by thinking ahead as the sun moves across the sky. Meter for the highlights and let the rest fall to darkness.
repetition and pattern Repetition and patterns are all around us, if you look carefully. Think ripples on a beach, a mesh fence, a zebra’s coat, windows in a tall building, the shadow of railings cast on the ground, tiles on walls and floors or a reptile’s scaly skin – there’s loads of choice out there! Void of colour, they’re often simplified and reduced down to repeating tones. Give it a try.