One of the things I have been rewarded with through my photography experience is the gift of becoming very observant. I seam to notice little details in the world around me that most people simply walk right by. I take advantage of this ability when I go out scouting for my large format film images. I often hike around my home in Lake Tahoe with a Nikon DSLR while scouting for possible film images and searching for wildlife. I use the time in the field to find potential foregrounds, backgrounds, main subjects, etc. Most often there is not a combination of these that equates to an image worthy of a big sheet of film. However, I have found that some of these individual elements make for amazing natural abstracts all by themselves.
As I encountered these amazing natural gems more often, I began capturing them with my professional digital camera. The ability to shoot at very high speed with the professional DSLR makes it possible to capture abstract images that are caused by motion. The above grouping of images is a perfect example of this. As I stood on the river bank scrutinizing a clear reflection of the foliage on the far shoreline, a light breeze began to blow. To my amazement, the gentle, and non-uniform waves that criss-crossed from side to side created extraordinary patterns within the reflection. As I composed one small piece of the waters surface, the image changed noticeably with the motion of the waves. It was exciting to click away, realizing every image was unique.
The benefit to observing strong abstracts like these is twofold. Firstly, I have now begun to create an entirely new and different portfolio of work that is a complete departure from my "brand" of large, finely detailed traditional landscapes. Secondly, my large format film compositions are being further strengthened by my heightened awareness of each piece of the composition. I am now seeing a little differently, and I'm a bit more open to the strength of the whole image based upon the sum of its parts.
I hope this post will encourage you to see things outside of your "normal" style. Not only might you find a new style of image you enjoy, but it may add something to the style you have been working on. That is the beauty of photography, the possibilities are endless. Ironically, as I have opened up to this new way of seeing, I have also moved toward a more traditional methodology with my big film work. Every aspect of photography seams to compliment the others, if you stay open to it.
I have created a new "shop" on my website which is comprised entirely of natural abstract groupings of images. I hope you enjoy the diversity found within this portfolio. I'd love to hear what you think. If you are interested in purchasing from the shop, use discount code FIRST20 at checkout for a 20% discount. Visit the shop
Enjoy the view!