Discussion in 'Abstract' started by ajhingel, Nov 3, 2016.
The local gym window, cropped to a faretheewell....
Sorry, Anders - my latest post is only semi-geometric.
Your are right Michael. Back to the geometrical.
Depth, frequency, juxtaposition.
Hi, Everyone! I was intrigued to see the announcement of the PN abstract photography forum. Intrigued because I found myself wondering what kind of images people would post. I guess I have a rather narrow definition of the term abstract in relation to photography in that I take it to mean a real-world object photographed in such a way as to render it not immediately recognizable. This can involve the use of lighting/shadows, reflections, looking through another surface, extreme close-up/cropping, movement, and, no doubt, a bunch of other techniques. It does not include, IMHO, images of abstract art work created by painters or other artists because, in such cases, the photographer is simply documenting an image created by someone else instead of "seeing" an existing object in a new way.
So, when I look at the images posted so far on this thread, the only one that qualifies as truly abstract, in my mind, is Matthew's image of the reflections in the window of his local gym. I may be way off course here, Anders and Michael, but some of the images you posted look suspiciously like art works. One way or the other, please let us know.
In the meantime, a somewhat geometric image, but perhaps insufficiently abstract?
Jane, I agree with you on your definition of an Abstract photo and your points concerning other poster's contributions. Since this is a new forum category I suspect there hasn't been enough time to establish a moderator to remove images that don't fit the category, not that I'm going to hold my breath on that ever happening. People are going to do what they're going to do here at Photo.net. I knew this was going to happen.
I don't think even No Words forum is strictly moderated any longer, but I suspect it's become just a place to compare photos taken of common subjects of interest to fit loosely within a topic of whatever pops in someone's head.
In the mean time we do have a scroll bar and page down key to ignore those who don't know what an abstract photo looks like.
Interesting looking abstract BTW. I visited your website and was quite impressed with your "Close To Home" section of your portfolio.
Window blind study...
Jane, I agree with you that this forum certainly will be used by photonetters as they understand abstract photography. I hope however that the (too!) long discussions we have had the last days brings us somewhat together around some fairly vague common understand on what we could agree upon. however I do not see any moderator able to use these still too un-precise definitions and leave it us to discuss and sometimes disagree.
Your formulation on what abstract photography is, or should be, covers, also for me, the vaste majority of what I would expect we will see here: a real-world object photographed in such a way as to render it not immediately recognizable. But there are other abstract photographies which still involves using cameras and photography but where the subject is other artistic works based on paintings, sculptures, or something else, all, also, very much "real world objects".
Just shooting other artists abstract works and publish them here as our own, is just fraud and violation of copyrights, so we can eliminate them without hesitation, or the moderator can. However photographing such objects around us and rendering them and rendering them not immediately recognizable" is in many cases not a copyright infringement - all depends on degree of recognisability. Each case would be different and finally a legal question for courts to decide.
So let me answer your direct question concerning the three images I uploaded.
The first one of horizontal coloured pins is a photograph of a blind I found, which I have shot, modified, turned, layered (copy, paste) numerous times, and mirrored and framed on PS. The blind is not mine, the image most certainly is.
The second image is a photo of one of my own works of oil pastels, which is photographed and heavily modified in PS, using, again multiple layers and modifications. It is largely a digital product, but based on photography of an abstract work.
The third image of mine above is again a abstract work I have made, this time made using Chinese red/orange ink, which is photographed and copied/pasted (working on transparency) around 20 times (changing size) and modified all on PS.
These three works are mixed media photographic works - and they are surely abstract.
Fine abstract above, Tim.
I use 'abstract' when form competes sufficiently with content, more on a continuum than either-or. Something that requires making an unusual connection in one's mind might be abstract, or something run-on or dadaist or inscrutable. That broad net is possibly influenced by an early degree in analytic philosophy and eating ice cream with honey poured on it while watching Monty Python in the nursery.
Bill, that's surrealism, not abstract you're describing.
A more simplistic and easier to understand broad definition of abstract photography should state that whatever is photographed or manipulated in post should register to the viewer primarily on first glance an emphasis on form, shape, color, texture, line, gradation, including placement, juxtaposition and relationship between negative vs positive spaces within the frame before the viewer ever sees it as a photo of a real object or just a snap shot of a normal scene.
Your street sign image, Bill, registers to me as a snap shot of a real scene. You can intellectualize it all you want applying any number of philosophical analytics, but it's not an abstract photo. I don't know what your education is but it didn't include visual or communication arts. And philosophy majors can't think an image into existence. There's some mechanics involved here that are obvious to any one who can call a spade a spade. You know it when you see it. Your contribution here might as well call abstracts street photography.
One of the great things about Abstracts both in painting and photography is it provides less restrictions on those that want to show a unique POV of interpreting the world creatively using the picture elements described above if one applies them self. Obvious snap shots of street scenes don't even come close to that.
Maybe another solution to what I knew was going to happen in this thread is to change the name of this forum category to Abstract/Surreal Photography to be more inclusive.
Thanks Tim, now I wonder if surrealism depends on abstraction Surrealism was summed up by André Breton as "thought expressed in the absense of any control exerted by reason, and outside all moral and aesthetic considerations." That fits my old ice cream habit. Wikipedia on abstraction:
Abstraction indicates a departure from reality in depiction of imagery in art. This departure from accurate representation can be slight, partial, or complete. Abstraction exists along a continuum. Even art that aims for verisimilitude of the highest degree can be said to be abstract, at least theoretically, since perfect representation is likely to be exceedingly elusive. Artwork which takes liberties, altering for instance color and form in ways that are conspicuous, can be said to be partially abstract.The abstraction I see in my street photo comes from stacking the negatives of 'end' and 'elim' with the inorganic beams. In this case the only departure from reality is the unusualness of the juxtaposition, which causes an extra round of thought.
No, Tim, I would not suggest to call it Abstract/Surreal Photography forum like you propose. Someone would immediately ask for adding "Minimalistic" too, and so on.
I would rather suggest, that we just keep to the title as we have it now, and than, as we have discussed throughout days , define "abstract photography" in a fairly inclusive manner, which by the way is broader than what you formulate above.
I would rather suggest, that we just keep to the title as we have it now, and than, as we have discussed throughout days , define "abstract photography" in a fairly inclusive manner, which by the way is broader than what you formulate above.Then it's going to get too complicated for folks with a basic high school education to understand and know where the boundaries lie. Inclusive should be based on the descriptive all encompassing word "visual emphasis" as a guide. That also makes it very broad. It's like Matt Laur said in an unrelated thread... "It's like porn, hard to describe, but you know it when you SEE IT".
You get too cerebral and it becomes a setup for "intellectual" or "philosophical" interpretation as Bill has demonstrated when it should be DEFINED visually. That way there's no doubt.
Anders, you're welcome to come up with a simple definition that anyone can understand. No lofty, vague wording.
The abstraction I see in my street photo comes from stacking the negatives of 'end' and 'elim' with the inorganic beams. In this case the only departure from reality is the unusualness of the juxtaposition, which causes an extra round of thought.How does your image even fit the emphasis on "GEOMETRICAL" the title that defines this thread seeing that you're placing emphasis on the words and concept in 'end' and 'elim'? I'm not seeing geometrical patterns in those words.
Are you aware of the visual act of leading, directing the viewer with emphatic visual elements? In regard to visual language a picture is worth a thousand words which can communicate efficiently enough but not if it's written in Mandarin Chinese.
Anders, you're welcome to come up with a simple definition that anyone can understand. No lofty, vague wording.Tim, the most simple definition of what "Abstract Photography" is meant be cover in this forum, would be to announce the opening up to whatever Photonetters call "abstract photography".
If we want to be more precise, and more directive, we need to use formulations, like this one, which I have mentioned earlier in the forum :
"Abstract Photography involves analysis, enhancement or breaking down of existing natural forms - and other non-figurative photographical works."
"Abstract Photography involves analysis, enhancement or breaking down of existing natural forms - and other non-figurative photographical works."That's too broad and vague of a description, Anders. I don't even know what that means. I can't see where the boundaries are.
"Analysis"? "Breaking down"? "non-figurative"? That's all over the map and way too subject to interpretation and turns this whole thing into a lab experiment. It's almost the same words used for an uber recipe for brewing coffee.
Come on, Anders. Bring it down to Earth, please.
It is down to Earth for me, Tim. If you have sufficient dirt under your nails, why don't you try it out ?
What you wrote above on what abstract Photography should do doesn't promise well, but one never knows !
abstract photography should state that whatever is photographed or manipulated in post should register to the viewer primarily on first glance an emphasis on form, shape, color, texture, line, gradation, including placement, juxtaposition and relationship between negative vs positive spaces within the frame before the viewer ever sees it as a photo of a real object or just a snap shot of a normal scene. (Tim)
In the heat of defining abstract I lost sight of the geometrical aspect. Though 'end' is a geometrical concept, and 'elim' implies eliminate, which is the end of something. I am considering abstraction as a property of a photo worth isolating, without requiring that it be the only or defining property. As a practical matter I have some photos of mundane things that are too uninteresting to describe in any detail, but which have some aspect that seems abstract, so that's the keyword I use to digest them, though everything in them is recognizable. I know now not to inflict any examples
No, Bill, please, show us. In my view the abstract elements in a totally recognisable photo, is still an abstract photography. All a question of the prominence of the abstract dimension. I'll give an example below.
Thanks Anders, for your picture a keyword I might also use is juxtapose_size, since there is a large/small juxtaposition. (These keywords are 'spoken' as photo sequences by my AI; the words are treated like Sesame Street characters.) I wish I could have a committee of folk here on a conference call to keyword some pics together! Here is something geometrical to get back in step.
That one seems a bit grim - maybe I should boost midtones some more. Here's another example, while I'm stuck waiting for color space comparisons to run (using 2G of memory for 11000 pics, 32x32x32 RGB histograms), also kind of an abstract thing, though only indirectly geometrical.
If anyone ever felt strongly enough about their definitions that they'd like to provide them with their pics, I could put them in the AI and you could see how they fly.
The most stirring definition of philosophy I have heard is that it is the study of everything that doesn't fit under any other category, sort of like all the hard decisions get kicked up to the President. Similarly, abstract is the last stop on the way to unclassifiable (which is a first cousin of unusable). I.e. the photo has something that I can't define, and has no siblings or cousins except other oddballs. In such cases, one might say *is abstract* without needing to say *is an abstract*, which seems to be the difference under discussion. Noting there aren't so many *is an abstracts* being posted, hopefully the lesser type isn't driving the pure away.
here is one pure "is an abstract", if you kindly ask, Bill
I give up. Post whatever you want. I really don't give a sh*t anymore.
No reason Tim. There is room for us all, I hope.
Noting there aren't so many *is an abstracts* being posted, hopefully the lesser type isn't driving the pure away.The only thing that'll drive me away is having to scroll past a number of non-abstract images in a series at the size of the new 1000 pixel limit as the last two in this thread. On a 27" display it gets really tiresome. I have step back almost a foot and half from my display just to see it all.
There is room for all of us, I hopeThat's why I said post whatever anyone thinks is an abstract. It's all in everyone's head anyway as Bill pointed out. I'ld say that makes the size of the room limitless.
What I'm getting at is we could specify e.g. 'open abstract' or something concise for 'nonrepresentational abstract' in thread titles, then perhaps everyone can be happy.
For me, Bill, you can call it what you like as long as we are talking about abstract "art" type of thing and we don"t need a top down moderation to admit access for photonetters.
When it comes to my last photo,Tim, it is a shot of a fence.
By the way ,if you have difficulties seeing 1000 size images, why don't you use the crdl - keys to monitor your screen ?
By the way ,if you have difficulties seeing 1000 size images, why don't you use the crdl - keys to monitor your screen ?I just used the (Command minus keys) and the photos get smaller and so does the text making it unreadable. Not a good solution. My display's resolution is a native 1920 X 1080 which makes 1000 pixel images 12 inches across.
What I'm getting at is we could specify e.g. 'open abstract' or something concise for 'nonrepresentational abstract' in thread titles, then perhaps everyone can be happy.That sounds like a good solution, Bill. I can deal with that.
Separate names with a comma.