Best Guide for Abstract Photography

If you’re looking to create stunning abstract photographs, then look no further! Our complete guide will teach you everything you need to know about abstract photography, from planning your shot to editing your final image. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced abstract photographer, this guide has something for you.

Abstract Photography: What is It?

Abstract photography is taking a subject and forcing the viewer to look at it differently. This may cause the subject to lose its original meaning or purpose. The subject could lose all literal meaning and be reduced to only shape, light, texture or colour. Photographed items could be objects we use in our daily life. They could also be created entirely for art.

When creating abstract photographs, it’s important to think about how you want the viewer to see the image. You may want them to focus on the shapes and colours within the photograph, or you may want them to think about the meaning or story behind the image.

What Makes Good Abstract Photography? 

Abstract photography is taking a subject and forcing the viewer to look at it differently. This may cause the subject to lose its original meaning or purpose. The subject could lose all literal meaning and be reduced to only shape, light, texture or colour. There are no rules when photographing abstract images; images can be anything from an object we use in our daily life to something created entirely for art. 

How do you compose your abstract photo? You want to think about how you can create interest in your image with engaging composition. Another important thing is using the rule of thirds, which means placing your main focal point one third into the frame instead of right in the centre of it. You also need to pay attention to the light and how it will affect your image. Play around with shadows and highlights to create more depth and interest.

Some Tips for Shooting Abstract Photography:

1. Look for Abstract Light

Light is perhaps the best way to shoot abstract photos. The best time is an hour before sunset or after sunrise when the colour temperature of light is soft and warm (or cool). This is because, during this period, direct light is diffused by the atmosphere, which makes highlights less sharp and shadows softer.    

2. Create Depth in Your Shots

The most basic trick to make your abstract photos more interesting is adding depth. You can do it simply by cutting out one part of your photo from its background, creating a silhouette effect. In other cases, you may go for a different approach – blurring either the subject itself or its surroundings so it stays recognizable while the main focus is on the abstract shapes.

3. Experiment with Color

The right colour combination can be a real masterpiece of your photo, so think about it before you go out for shooting. For example, the juxtaposition of colours is always worth trying – placing complementary colours next to each other will create stunning contrasts.

If you are not sure which colours to use together, try experimenting by taking shots of flowers or fruit and playing around in Photoshop afterwards. You can also shoot abstract images using an interesting backdrop – most surfaces have some abstract quality if looked at from a distance, so don’t forget to check them out as well.

4. Capture Silhouettes

Silhouette photos belong among the classics of abstract photos. All you need to shoot them is a darker background, ideally the sky or at least something very dark. The object needs to be well lit (from behind) so it can easily be recognized against the dark background. If you are photographing trees make sure to include some leaves into your silhouette – this will create extra texture and volume in your image.

5. Shoot Abstract Photos of Patterns

The world around us is full of interesting patterns that can be turned into great abstract photos! Just pick your pattern, look for contrasting colours and shapes, take a photo and experiment with these elements using editing software. For example, repeating colourful circles related to street signs or cars will give you an abstract photo of different coloured dots; repeated diagonal lines will create an interesting abstract texture.

6. Shoot Abstract Photos of Objects

Even the most common objects can be turned into abstract art if you know how to shoot them correctly. Experiment with different angles, lighting and framing – this way you’ll get to see familiar things in a completely new way. For example, a simple kitchen pot can be photographed from above so it looks like a colourful abstract sculpture, or a bunch of flowers can be captured against a dark background to make them look like they’re floating in mid-air.

7. Use Editing Software for Final Touches

Editing software is a great way to enhance your abstract photos and give them that “wow” factor. You can play around with colours, levels, contrast and saturation – you can even add some colour effects to your photo (think abstract paintings and crayons). The only limit is your imagination, so experiment as much as possible.

8. Take Advantage of Natural Surroundings

Another good idea for shooting abstract photos is using natural surroundings, such as trees and flowers on a meadow or a beach with the sea in the background. You can’t expect to achieve perfect abstract photos all the time, but experimenting with surrounding objects is worth it! If you like something unusual – shoot it from an interesting angle and play around with colours afterwards – see what turns of this way!

9. Create Abstract Photos by Taking Shots at Home

Don’t be afraid of shooting abstract photos indoors! The main advantage of this approach is the fact that you can easily control your shooting conditions. For example, you can use an interesting backdrop for abstract photos (wallpapers and paints) or nightstands and furniture to get unique shots. You can even experiment with items such as fruit or kitchenware – these things will add some originality to your images!

10. Use Light Effects

Light effects are yet another great way to create abstract photos! Low light will make it easier for you to shoot objects at home because most elements will be out of focus. If you are not against photographing people, feel free to use flashlights or car headlights with filters on them – these small sparks of lights are often pretty interesting subjects for abstract photos.

Abstract photography can be a challenge to define, but that’s what makes it so interesting. It can be anything from an object we use in our daily life to something created entirely for art. Whatever your interest, photography is a great way to express yourself. The next time you’re playfully taking photos of your day-to-day life objects, try thinking about how you can make them abstract.

How do you compose your abstract photo? You want to think about different ways that you can create interest in your image with engaging composition and by using the rule of thirds. Paying attention to light and shadows is another important thing for creating depth and interest. Have fun being creative! There are no rules when it comes to abstract photography.

What Makes Good Abstract Photography?

Abstract photography is taking a subject and forcing the viewer to look at it differently. This may cause the subject to lose its original meaning or purpose. The subject could lose all literal meaning and be reduced to only shape, light, texture or colour. There are no rules when photographing abstract images; images can be anything from an object we use in our daily life to something created entirely for art.

Subjects for Abstract Photography

There are no set rules for what can or cannot be used as a subject in abstract photography. However, some of the most common subjects include everyday objects, natural elements, and man-made structures.

Abstract photography is all about finding new ways to look at familiar things. This means that any object can be made into an abstract photograph if it is photographed in the right way.

For example, a simple flower can be turned into a beautiful abstract image if the focus is on its shape, texture, and colour instead of its literal meaning.

On the other hand, something like a building can be used as a subject in abstract photography if the photographer captures its lines and curves instead of trying to capture its real-world purpose.

You can also take abstract photos of people by looking at them as shapes and forms instead of focusing on their faces or personalities. The human body is filled with lines, curves, angles, and other elements that make it an ideal subject for abstract photography.

How to do Steel Wool Photography

If you are new to abstract photography, steel wool is a great place to start.

Steel wool is rustic and fun. You can experiment with it at home or in the wild (if camping).

The results are immediate, exciting and beautiful.

How to do Steel Wool Photography: Photo shoot preparation 

Prepare your camera bag before heading out on your photoshoot. Here’s what you need: Camera that supports manual settings; flashlight; sturdy tripod; steel wool (15-20 pieces); lighter; flat surface (requires no wind) 

Ideally, pick a night with little moonlight. This will make lighting your subject easier for you! How to do Steel Wool Photography: Shooting techniques 

Here are some basic techniques to help you shoot abstract steel wool photography:

  • Set your tripod on an even surface. The last thing you need is for the breeze to interfere with your shot (or screw it up completely).
  • Position your camera at about head level, pointing down towards the ground. This captures more of the sky and lets gravity do its work.
  • Use a remote shutter if possible; this will make your shots blur-free (and not shake the tripod).
  • Experiment with different speeds (this depends entirely on how quickly you can get your lighter working) How to do Steel Wool Photography: Post-processing tips 

The post-processing part is where you get creative! Try any or all of the following:

  • Crop your image to focus on the abstract elements.
  • Play with levels and contrast to create a more dramatic look.
  • Add some filters for that creative edge. 
  • Use light painting tools to enhance or change the shape of your steel wool trails. 
  • Experiment! There are no rules in abstract photography – just let your imagination run wild! Tips for Steel Wool Photography 
  • Use a sturdy tripod to avoid camera shake and keep your shots blur-free.
  • If possible, use a remote shutter (or delay timer) to avoid any movement from the camera itself. – Keep experimenting until you find techniques that work best for you! Steel wool is unpredictable, so be prepared to try a few things before you nail the perfect shot. – Have fun with it! Abstract photography is all about letting your imagination run wild.
  • Post-process your images to enhance or change the look of your shots. This is where the real creativity comes in! 
  • Keep a notepad by your side when shooting steel wool – this will help you remember the different techniques you used for each shot. So get creative, have fun and be happy photographing! 

Use elements of design to your advantage 

When you are photographing your abstract objects. Pay attention to shapes, lines, value and colour when composing your subject(s). Do not be afraid to experiment with the placement of the object or objects in an abstract photo. Try tilting the item you are shooting for a more dynamic look.

The use of wide-angle lenses can create abstract images that distort shape and form. Using this type of lens will cause straight lines to appear curved.

Abstract photography is challenging to define because it forces us to view things differently than we normally do. The photographer purposely puts items out of context, stripping them of their original purpose or meaning. An abstract image may lack any literal qualities, significant content or substance, acting only as pure elements of design such as shape, line, value or colour.

Abstract photos can range from objects we use every day to images that are completely created for the sake of art. The subject, if it even is an object at all, could be anything: flowers, a city skyline or even a person.


What makes an abstract photo?

An abstract photo is a non-representational form and colour to convey meaning or express an idea. The purpose of the photo might be to represent something, but the shapes and colours chosen are meant to evoke feelings without having any direct connection to what they’re representing.

Abstract photos can be created in a digital editing program like Photoshop by using filters, brushes, lighting effects, textures, layers and other tools. You could also use your camera with settings such as aperture priority mode or manual mode to take abstract photos.

How do you take an abstract photo?

Many people see abstract photography as one of the most difficult forms of the photograph to master. If you consider yourself amongst this lot, then it is a good thing that we have written this guide for you.

Abstract photography can be defined in a variety of ways. There is no unanimous definition accepted by everyone, but if we were to go ahead and define it – it would be “Non-objective images which convey strong subjective emotions”. In other words, abstract images are those that do not represent any specific person or event in history instead they provide us with a sense of ecstasy or joyfulness when looking at them.

What is an abstract nature photo?

An abstract nature photo is a piece of art that consists of photographic images that are edited in some way to show the viewer something other than what was captured by the lens, usually an element of design.

Abstract photography can be used to show how light travels through our environment and affects us every day. Abstract photographers use techniques such as exposure stacking to achieve this effect.

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