25 March 2013
Let me know which you prefer and why.
Last month Gracie (http://graciebinoya.com), Polly (http://watchingthephotoreels.com) and I began an iPhoneography Monday Challenge. If you’d like to join the fun, please click here for details. This week’s theme is Challenger’s Choice, and I selected abstraction, which aims to show the non-representational.
As a teenager I was privy to a cadre of luminaries and rising stars in the abstract expressionist movement. During summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, my mother studied and/or exhibited with such renowned artists as Hans Hofmann and Robert Motherwell. Those years influenced the direction of my personal and professional life.
While abstract expressionism placed one of my feet into the art world, the deal was sealed when I saw impressionist Claude Monet and landscape painter J.M.W. Turner’s works. Each taking what they saw and re-imaging it as newly conceived.
Those memories set the trajectory for my sensibilities. But it did more. It gave me building blocks to open my mind to all sorts of creative endeavors.
As with other genres of the stilled moment, abstract photography depends (mostly) on composition, lighting and editing. An image can fill a frame with the viewers’ inability to discern its character and patterns. It is a series of, for example, forms, shapes, textures, and tones. The camera can be moved to create a blurred result, tiny details can become the subject, and waves of hues can turn the image into a color fest.
Today’s apps for the iPhone can create a full range of abstract and impressionistic images. The focus of the eye can become an out-of-focus photograph. The ordinary object can be rendered as an unknown, distorted but purposeful.
Anti-realism can reign with the swipe of a finger. Subjects can be made unclear with the touch of a filter. It’s experimental and knowledge-building all at once.
It allows for an appreciation of the intricacies, pronouncements and subtleties found in a subject. It tears down visual notions and asks us to see other viable images. Abstraction moves the normal into the unfamiliar.
To cultivate these points of departure from reality is to slice and dice our visual world. This way of seeing began its journey in the early twentieth century and steadily gained a following. It’s simply a method of dissection and re-sectioning all that is before us.
In the Lens section are four examples of abstractions. Hipstamatic was used for the first two photographs. The third was shot and edited in PhotoStudio. In the final image I used the iPhone’s built-in camera.
My usual modus operandi is a “light” edit. These entries are part of that philosophy–just enough to reach the goal.
Abstraction calls upon us to re-think what we are seeing. We must re-orient to grasp the subjective. Scale implodes, scale explodes. Either makes for a test of our visual sensibilities.
Check these entries:
Note: As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. The following is a reminder of the weekly schedule and themes for upcoming challenges.
1st Monday: Nature
2nd Monday: Macro
3rd Monday: Black-and-White
4th and 5th Mondays: Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel)