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    The objective is to learn the techniques and then apply them to create impressive abstract images. Here are some examples.

    USE OF FOCUS

    Selective focus is one of the most common techniques used when creating abstract images. To apply this technique, a large aperture is used to create a very narrow depth of field. The camera is then focused on the centre of interest of the image. Everything else will be out of focus.

    When using selective focus, there are a couple of ways that the technique can be made more effective. First, the colour of the background should be different than the centre of interest. This will make the centre of interest stand out. Second, curves can be used to help direct the viewer’s attention to the centre of interest.

    LIGHT AND SHADOWS

    Using the interplay of light and shadows can create drama in an image. Some photographers tend to think only in terms of light. This is a mistake, it is the shadows that shape the light, which then draw attention to the light. This is particularly true with abstract images.

    When using this technique, the main purpose of the shadows is to enhance the shapes in an image. Consequently, for this technique to be successful, it is necessary to start with very interesting or dramatic shapes. It usually works best when the shadows are fairly dark, adding drama to an image.

    LINES

    Lines can be very effective when they are the dominant characteristic of the subject matter.  The lines almost become the centre of interest.

    The lines must be either graceful or dynamic. It is best if all of the lines work in harmony. Simply having a bunch of haphazard lines running in different directions will not work.

    When using lines in this manner, it is usually best not to have overly strong, saturated, or contrasting colours in the image to prevent distraction from the lines and thus weaken the image.

    TEXTURE

    Use of texture is very similar to the use of lines.  In fact, texture and lines are often used together.  To be used successfully, the texture must be one of the most dominant characteristics of the subject matter and work in harmony with any lines that are present.

    Also, when using lines, it is usually best not to have overly strong, saturated, or contrasting colours in the image in order to avoid having the colours detract from the texture.

    BLUR

    Deliberately blurring objects can create some interesting images. This technique works best with images that have a romantic or dreamy feel. Therefore, it is important to select the subject matter carefully.

    There are a number of ways that the blurring can be done. There are special soft focus lenses that produce soft images.  Soft focus filters attached to regular lenses can also be used. For the cost conscious, panty hose stretched over the front of a lens also works. Of course, the blur can always be added during image editing with photo editing software.

    ZOOMING IN

    The zooming in technique requires a zoom lens. A long shutter speed is used, and the focal length of the zoom lens is changed during the exposure. Generally, the zoom is started at a wider angle and zoomed into a narrower angle.

    There are a few important points with this technique. A tripod should be used to prevent blurring caused by camera movement during the exposure. A strong centre of interest is required, otherwise the image just ends up being a blur of lines with nothing to grab the viewer’s attention. There should be a contrast of tone or colour between the centre of interest and the background. This will make the centre of interest stand out.

    It usually requires many images to be shot in order to produce one outstanding image.

    PARTIAL OBJECT SELECTION

    With the partial object technique, the entire object is not photographed. Rather, the image focuses on just a part of an object. This technique depends heavily on form, colour, and lines. The use of lines tends to be particularly important.

    PHOTO EDITING SOFTWARE FILTERS

    Abstract images can also be created during image editing. An easy way to do this is to use photo editing software filters.  Many filters can be found in the software’s Filter menu. The key here is to try different filters until one is found that produces an interesting abstract image.

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