Landscape photography often brings to mind dramatic mountains, beautiful reflections, sweeping hills. Often accompanied by gorgeous starry skies at night.
But landscape photography doesn’t have to be limited to traditional forms. Abstract landscape photography is an option for those wanting to venture outside of their comfort zone and into creative photography.
Here are tips for stunning abstract landscape photography.
Understanding Abstraction and Landscape Photography
Abstract photography is a term that can be a little tricky to define in itself.
Let’s make it simple though. If you are looking at an image and having trouble defining what it is that you are looking at, that’s an abstract photograph.
Landscape photographers aim to capture and illustrate their surroundings as close to reality as possible. The genre can include human-made landscapes and natural scenes.
Abstract landscape photography melds each practice to push the boundaries of both. It introduces abstract tenants to emphasize, skew or break down the way we appreciate landscapes.
Abstract landscape photography isolates and studies the visual components of a landscape image. This allows us to re-imagine the way we view the environment around us.
Try an Aerial Perspective
Aerial landscape photography captures an environment that many will never encounter in person. The transformative nature of height creates an abstracted and often unrecognizable landscape.
It reveals shapes, textures, colors, and patterns that are impossible to see from the ground.
Aerial perspectives flatten a 3D environment into a 2D canvas. And, with the increased accessibility of drone photography, aerial abstract landscape photography is becoming more and more feasible.
If you’re looking to photograph a unique, abstract perspective, and own a drone, go out there and see what images your surroundings are hiding.
Include Camera Movement
Camera movement involves deliberately moving your camera during a long exposure. The artistic photography technique introduces physicality into an image. This creates a dynamic abstract landscape photograph.
Camera movement imbues a unique type of energy into image-making. It creates abstract photography that communicates the experience of the process to a viewer.
Results of the camera movement technique seen below have been likened to the art of painter Mark Rothko. He once said, “a painting is not a picture of an experience, but is the experience.”
The same can be said here about photography too.
Take Abstract Landscapes Through Glass
Look for condensation and imperfections on a glass surface. You can use these to introduce a pallet of distilled color and light to an image, both obscuring and illuminating a landscape.
It’s this interplay that creates abstraction. And invites the viewer to investigate the scene more intently.
A physical photograph is a flat medium, it’s two-dimensional. To convey the third-dimension in an image, photographers include visual cues. These allow us to identify depth and scale.
Incorporating familiarly-sized subjects such as people or cars is one way to do this. Using identifiable subjects allows a viewer to ‘orient’ themselves. This way they can read an image more easily.