Abstract photography is one of the areas of my photography that has to find me in the mood to play around with it. The simple reason is that seeing the potential in the environment around me for an abstract exploration requires all of my senses, including the mind’s eye.
Being relaxed and in tune with my environment makes a big difference in how I see things, as they evolve around me, such as what happened in this little tree view that morphed itself…
What inspired me in this shot is the gentle warmth of the day, as the Sun played across the beauty of the color sported by these trees.
Shortly after the above image, a slight breeze picked up that gave me another idea…
Seeing the play of the wind across the leaves with a sense of destiny awaiting, provided me with a deep sense of appreciation of the world around me.
Opening all of our senses puts us in touch with the universe and all the beauty that is encompassed by it.
A Fresh Perspective
Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment.
Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael.
My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals.
My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation.
This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections.
Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client.
And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!
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10 thoughts on “An Abstract Thought (or Two)”
Beautiful colors, images and thoughts Frank.
Thank you, Miriam!
Thank you, Judith.
I’m a big fan of abstract photography. An ex of mine, who was an artist whilst I was still working out which side of the camera to hold, once told me “Anyone can take a photo of a landscape and make it look pretty; art is when you make someone think”. She encouraged me to get up close to things, and view things as different angles. It’s advice I keep with me all these years down the line (though I do still like to capture a nice landscape as well!).
thank you very much for your thoughtful comments. I agree with you wholeheartedly that capturing anything beautiful in a photo does not make it art, unless there is something that goes beyond the mere pulchritude of the scene. In abstract expression, one has to go past the look and learn more about the emotional impact of what is captured, be it photo, painting or other medium.
That does not mean that a beautiful landscape cannot be art, as its composition and execution can enhance the mere existence of the landscape. Early on, I had the privilege of spending quite a bit of time in museums in the Netherlands, studying landscapes and seascapes from the Golden Age of Dutch painters; hopefully, some of their approach rubbed off on my landscape work.
But I ramble 🙂 Have a wonderful day!
And that’s why art inspires such debate! Haha.
I completely agree. There has to be something that takes the picture beyond a mere static image. It’s one of the things I love about artwork; be it book, film, photography. I like that art can convey ideas, emotions, thoughts, feelings. A photo of a landscape can just be beautiful because the landscape itself is beautiful, but with a vision (a choice of spot, of exposure, of composition, etc) you can truly transform something.
Anyway, I can debate all day! Haha. I honestly love both of your shots today, they’re both very similar but very different. (Yet another wonderful paradox of artwork!)
Total beauty! 🙂 Love you leaf images ❤