Abstract Landscape Photography

Abstract Landscape Photography

In Landscape Photography by Stefano Caioni2 Comments

One of the unique ways photographers can show off their creativity is through abstract landscape photography. This genre is quite different from traditional landscape photography, which is more about capturing detail and showcasing the range of a photographer.

Abstract Landscape Photography

Through abstract landscapes, we can, quite literally, see through the lens of the photographer. The viewer can interpret what the photographer has captured, and that is different from any other form of photography.

An excellent abstract photograph is not just an aesthetically pleasing sight. It gives viewers a peek into the photographer’s vision and ability to inspire emotion. Here are a few tips to help you get started with abstract landscape photography.

Related: Landscape Photography Tips For Beginners

Abstract Landscape Photography Explained 

The purpose of abstract art is to generate thought and evoke emotion in the viewer.

Abstract Landscape Photography

This is achieved through the aesthetic nature of the photograph rather than the descriptive information conveyed by the image. Abstract landscape photography is an exciting way to showcase one’s mastery of photography. Abstraction forces you to focus on the essential elements of a picture, such as color, tone, form, and texture. Your goal is to create a piece that the viewer can interpret freely.  

How to Take Abstract Landscape Photos 

Like everything else in abstractionism, this answer is very subjective. Any landscape photographer would know that the picture lies in the grandeur of the scenery in front of them.

Abstract Landscape Photography

However, in abstract photography, the subject can be a close-up, and the image does not necessarily have to be in front of the photographer! Textures, lines, patterns, and contrast are all crucial aspects of abstract landscapes. You just have to start actively looking at the scenery around you to notice. 

Composition in Abstract Landscape Photography 

The single most crucial factor in abstract landscapes is composition. In abstract landscapes, the generic model of using the subject and the light as the focal point of the image goes out of the window.

The literal way to frame a shot is no longer required. Hence, the composition of the picture plays a considerable role. A common way to do this is by removing unwanted elements from the image that takes away the ‘meaning’ of the landscape. The goal is to put the focus on the broader imagery rather than the detail. 

Use Lines 

When taking pictures, one of the best ways to represent the abstract nature of the image is through lines. If you can find lines in the subject that are spread across the landscape, try to balance them in the picture.

flowing lines

Flowing lines in an image also lend it a very soothing feel. Through lines, you can also split the composition of the image from light and dark areas. If your scenery has lines, it is imperative that it fits the composition of your image and does not take away the meaning. 

Negative Space

One of the hallmarks of abstractionism is using negative space. The emptiness in the scenery helps give the subject of the picture more importance.

negative space

The usage of negative space with the right contrast and shadow can help raise the visibility of the subject even more. A common theme in abstract landscape photography is to use a small subject and cover the rest of the image with negative space; it lends the image a beautiful minimalist look.  

Create a Double Exposure 

A feature in modern photography that allows the camera to use two images and merge them into a single, double exposure is hardly used in photography.

Abstract Landscape Photography

However, when talking about abstract photography, double exposure can help you create some beautiful pictures. To achieve the maximum out of this feature, you can use different settings for the two pictures. By varying parameters such as the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, you can take multiple photos, and then superimpose two or more images and create a new one.   

Create a Bokeh Effect 

Although the bokeh effect is considered a staple of portrait shots, you can also use it to your advantage in creating beautiful abstract landscapes.

bokeh Abstract Landscape Photography

You can create a blurred image that shifts the focus to the background instead of the foreground. The reversal of the technique leaves little to no detail in the picture, thus leaving it to the discretion of the viewer to interpret the image as they see fit.  

Final Thoughts

Abstract photography is perhaps the best way an individual can express their ideas, emotion, and vision. By using landscapes as a means for abstractionism, you are able to showcase the best of both worlds. 

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  1. Great article Stefano. I’ve come to the conclusion that the best photographs don’t look like photographs at all; the camera is merely used as a tool. The best photos come as a result of chance and happy accidents. I’ve recently been experimenting with ICM (intentional camera movement) for landscape photography and I’ve managed to achieve quite a few happy accidents. Everyone’s photos look exactly the same, so it’s nice to try something different. I wouldn’t mind writing a blog post about it, so if you’re interested then let me know. Again, thanks for the great article. All the best, David

    1. Author

      Couldn’t agree more David! Experimenting with new photography techniques is the best way to learn, improve, and have a lot of fun. As you said, often one can achieve remarkable and unexpected results by just trying new, different things. Would be great to read about your experience with ICM. I’ll send you a private message. Cheers

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