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Abstract Photography for Beginners

If you have been wondering whether abstract photography is for you, perhaps you have been enjoying looking at abstract photos on a photo-sharing platform like ClickASnap and would like to try creating your own. If you are, then read on. Here we have put together a handy guide to abstract photography for beginners.

What is Abstract Photography?

Abstract photography, just like abstract art, doesn’t have an exact definition and that can scare a lot of photographers. Abstract photography is all about what the viewer of the image sees, and the old saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is incredibly relevant here.

Essentially, these are images that simply appear pleasing to the eye. It isn’t immediately apparent what they actually are and that doesn’t matter. It isn’t necessary to identify the subject matter but rather enjoy it.

The key elements

There are 6 simple key elements to consider in abstract photography:

  • Simplicity
  • Composition
  • Angle of View
  • Lighting
  • Harmony
  • Mystery

It isn’t necessary to follow the standard rules that you might use for other forms of photography. However, these elements can help you to give your photos more appeal and depth. If you want photographs that speak to your audience then consider all of these elements when composing your shots.

Everyday objects

Abstract photography is simpler than you might think and start out with everyday objects makes it very accessible. Choose an everyday object and look at it as you would normally, this would give you a standard photograph.

Now try looking at it from a different angle – this might be from lower down or higher up. What you want to achieve is a photograph that, whilst capturing the object, doesn’t immediately tell the viewer what they are looking at.

You can practice this with all types of objects around the home. Play with angles, composition, lighting and see what you get.

Use design to your advantage

Different photographic elements, such as form, shape, line, pattern, texture and even colour, and their composition can influence what the viewer of an image sees. They allow people to look at pictures differently and not everyone is drawn to the same thing first.

Look at your item and see if there is something more unusual about it when you look up close. For example, a bunch of grapes with water drops taken from a distance is undeniably just a bunch of grapes. Zoom in, however, and it becomes something much more. The colours will pop, and the water droplets become a more significant part of the photo. The shapes and textures of the grape skin will suddenly become more important.


With standard photography techniques, you are actively trying to avoid noise and camera shake. With abstract photography, you can use motion to your advantage. As you take the photo, move your camera. This will give you an effect that will blur the colours and lines and give you something that looks more like actual artwork with paint.

Try moving in different directions to see what effects you can create. You can also use a camera tripod to create stunning abstract photography. It extends the height of the camera and allows you to get closer to your subject without changing lenses or moving back.

Remember to use a low shutter speed to achieve this effect.

Keep it simple

Finally, abstract art is quite minimal so remember to use the same principle for your abstract photography; subscribe to the less is more school of thought. Don’t clutter your photos with unnecessary items.

Select one key object and concentrate on that. If you are not sure what objects to remove, try a number of different shots where you remove different elements. Remember that you are trying to create mystery with your images.

Abstract photography is, after all, all about experimenting and seeing what works for you.

Crazy about technology, sports, cinema, my colleagues, and useless anecdotes. Far too connected and curious. When I'm not on my smartphone, you can find me tinkering anything tech!


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