Abstract photography is sort of a funny thing, in the history of art. Abstract painting, which generally aims not to represent any particular object, is in some ways a reaction against photography. If photographs can reproduce an image precisely, what is the point of painting a likeness? But over time abstract art developed its own visual language – and its own way of touching people. Abstract images can be thought provoking, emotionally rich, and visually stimulating in ways that representations of objects are not. So it’s no surprise that photographers got in on the action as well, creating their own abstract images by taking photos in unusual ways and at odd angles. Abstract photographs do not set a scene or capture a moment, they create a mood.
Here are some stunning examples.
“Abstract” by Tanakawho makes remarkable use of color, evoking sunlight or an open parachute.
By contrast, this image by Akbar Sim is in black and white, which emphasizes the chaotic, disjointed form.
And we move from chaos to regular, repetitive lines with this rigid image.
This image by Ze’ev Barken evokes the stark modernism of abstract expressionism seen in famous paintings like “Voice of Fire”.
And finally we return to some degree of representation with this creative take on a typical floral image. This is a great example of how careful framing and choosing what to exclude can make an otherwise ordinary image artistically rich and dynamic.