Monday, July 14, 2014

Abstracting reality part 2: distorted reflections

Of the recurring topics in my photography, abstract images tend to stand out. This has inspired me to write a series of blog posts on the subject, as seen through my lay-man's eyes (I never received any formal training on photography). In these posts, I will tackle the following six (not mutually exclusive) themes: distorted reflections, architectural abstracts, wear and tear, zooming in, abstracted art, and miscellaneous situations. A general introduction was posted here.

Distorted reflections (the first of the themes) are a great way to create abstract photographs. In my experience, reflections on water surfaces are by far the most useful for this type of abstractions, and we will mainly deal with them in this contribution. There are a few things one needs to take into account. First of all, one has to encounter the right conditions. The water surface should not be too calm (which leads to insufficient distortion of the primary image), nor too wild (which leads to insufficient reflection). Secondly, there should be something of interest to reflect, sometimes shapes, but mostly colours. This can range from buildings, to sunscreens, to parked cars, to graffiti, and so on. Thirdly, unlike any other type of abstract photography, you will be dealing with an ever changing subject. The movement of the water, whether it is caused by the wind or ducks swimming by, makes for a different scene every single moment. It is crucial to take a series of shots of a promising situation, to be able to pick the best one at home behind the computer. In terms of final processing, be bold in pushing the natural colours, and don't forget to try different orientation (flipping upside down is an obvious one, but also 90 degrees rotations can be quite effective). Please click here to see 12 selected examples from my Flickr photostream with some background information.