Abstract Photography

Abstract Photography

A walk a few weeks ago in the evening hoping for a good sunset resulted in me trying out some abstract photography as my plans never materialised.

As soon as I arrived at the area I was walking I knew that the sunset was never going to happen so I walked along the beach until I had found a suitable composition for an abstract image.

Keep Looking

About 20 minutes into the walk and my hopes were dwindling rapidly. I just couldn’t find an image but I had to keep looking as sometimes it is me rather than the landscape that is failing to provide.

When I head out without a real purpose in mind I find it hard to get an image that is worth of capturing.

Most of the time I have my session planned as I may have recce’d it before or have been there before so I know the layout of the land and where the good compositions are.

The thing with coastal photography is the the landscape is constantly changing. The tide may be in a different position from my last visit ( unless I am planning to be there at a specific tide height ), the rock formations will have changed due to the tide or storm, cloud cover may be different, the wind may be stronger and from a different direction or none at all, all these variables do make or break an image and is why I do like to plan my trips.

However, that said I do like to take my camera with me when I take the dog for a walk and this was one of these days so there was no planning at all.

No Colours

With the cloud covering most of the horizon there were no colours for the sunset so an abstract shot it was.

Abstract photography is something I like but rarely do myself, usually I’m after the grand vista image but I am going to make an effort this year to isolate more subjects in my photography.

The Image

The image below is a 4 minute exposure at f18, ISO 100 with a 4 stop ND filter and 2 stop ND grad filter on my Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 lens at 70mm.

Abstract Photography

I reduced the saturation on this image rather than go Black and White and I really like the surreal effect it has on the final image.

I considered focus stacking the image but opted not to as I liked how Jura in the background is slightly out of focus which helps maintain the viewers attention on the rock and reeds in the foreground, helping to isolate them more.

The image was edited in Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop CC


Abstract photography is a good option to have when your original idea doesn’t go as you were hoping, especially at the coast.

It is probably easier to isolate an object against water using long exposure’s and editing in post. There are of course ways to isolate subjects in landscape photography but in my opinion it is harder as you rely on a clean foreground and background which is not as easy in a landscape.


9 thoughts on “Abstract Photography

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  1. Nice write up James. I totally agree when you say that going out without planning your shooting makes it really hard to find a composition. I personally find that it’s me not knowing well the area rather than the place not offering something amazing to capture. I really like the abstract shot you obtained here. Great work!


    1. Thank you Stefano, I’m going to pop over and have a wee look at your site πŸ™‚ Sometimes wee get lucky with what the landscape offers us as you say but I do prefer to already know what I’m going to do before I head out, makes the shoot go a lot smoother, however when you do get a good image from an unplanned shoot it does feel good.

      Liked by 1 person

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