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Mastery of Abstraction Inspiration for Impressionist Photography

use a visual language of shape, form, colour and line
abstraction of moss

Photography is an expressive and versatile medium. Photography allows us to capture the world with incredible detail or create interesting and ambiguousabstraction bby concentrating just on its overall impact to achieve an impressionistic image.

It is surprising how little visual information is required to convey enough for the viewer to understand and appreciate the image. An abstract photograph, stripped bare of unessential details, is capable of generating impact, simplicity and spontaneity. It is also a source of endless possibilities and creativity.

A simple way to describe the term "abstract" would be to use words like essence, summary, extract or distillation. Creating abstract images is like a two-way dialogue in which a photographer gives the viewers just a hint of information and they respond by filling in the details using their imagination and power of association.

"Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes.... Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an exploration into unknown areas. "-- Arshile Gorky

Consider making abstraction a form of communication with the choice of subject matter, composition and mood all being vital components of this communication process. Think of the scene in front of you in terms of basic geometric shapes, lines and colour, and how all those elements can help you to convey your message. Imagination is what starts you on this journey. Let your imagination find a way to express itself. This eventually will end up in an image that capturess the essence of the subject you choose.

Colour is a very powerful element of the abstract work, because it has the ability to stimulate emotion, and to make statements about shapes and space. It will also set the atmosphere of the image, giving it a sense of time and mood.

The key issue in creating a strong abstract image is to concentrate on the focal point, the single element that tells the story.

Once you establish a strong impacting focal point, the rest of the image will look quite appropriate in its place.

It is important to handle a technical aspect of photography with confidence, because it will give you the freedom to create. But remember, technique without inspiration means nothing. When we begin to photograph, technique is usually our only or main concern. However, as we grow, we realise that pure technique is just like having a good tool and that is about all it is good for. It will never make a good photograph by itself.

Remember, the creation and appreciation of art is a personal and subjective process. You are free to photograph and interpret the world as you see it.

It is also worth mentioning that as an artist you need a lot of practice and consistency. Getting desired results depends upon your hard work and benefitting from your mistakes. It never hurts to try something new. Even your mistakes are invaluable. Failure leads to success, and learning what not to do is as important as learning what to do.

Key Points to Remember:


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