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Treymac
11-16-2010, 11:51 PM
Hey guys.
I`m going to shoot my last project in my last photo course. It`s very depressing. But I`m going to be shooting 4x5 and I haven`t been able to come up with anything. But when I was discussing the project with somebody else in the class, it hit me to do something abstract.

My problem now is, I have to do my shoot tomorrow and I have no ideas. I`m going to browse some pictures online, but do you guys have any suggestions?

E76
11-17-2010, 12:12 AM
Take a look at Brett Weston's work, especially his Abstraction portfolios. I've always been a fan of Weston's work and find it to be very inspiring!

Curt
11-17-2010, 01:13 AM
http://www.photographywest.com/pages/weston_unsigned_abstracts.html

Subject material can be anything.

Rick A
11-17-2010, 04:06 AM
Go photograph some cracks in rocks, or tree bark, or a close-up of anything with a repetitive pattern. Turn your brain loose.

Treymac
11-17-2010, 04:34 AM
I've never really thought about abstract photography all that much. But it's something that really interests me, and with the large format, I can really blow something right up.

jnanian
11-17-2010, 07:35 AM
you might also look at some of the work of aaron siskind
http://www.google.com/images?q=aaron+siskind&hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&prmd=ivo&source=lnms&tbs=isch:1&ei=p9njTJXsGo-asAP7wNVm&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&ved=0CBYQ_AU&biw=1184&bih=800

who was involved with the new york school
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstract_expressionism

have fun !
john

TheFlyingCamera
11-17-2010, 08:34 AM
The most important thing about abstract photography to think of when finding and composing images is to remember to minimalize if not eliminate context. A photograph of a road can be abstract if you don't have buildings to give it scale or perspective. A rusty car becomes abstract when you photograph it such that the rust becomes a pattern, or the shapes and form of the vehicle is the subject.

Or do photograms or still lives - look at Ruth Bernhard and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy for examples.

panchro-press
11-17-2010, 08:41 AM
Go Constructivist! Light Line and Mass

Dave

jp498
11-17-2010, 08:57 AM
I'm kinda fond of the Equivalents series by Stieglitz. Not only is it really early abstract, it is subject matter everyone has access to. Good luck with the weather for it.

bblhed
11-17-2010, 09:12 AM
Picaso was inspired to paint his abstract art by photographs of the time that showed things cut in half, or parts of things missing, perhaps you could look at some of his works and use them to inspire your photos. It might be interesting in a full circle kind of way.

jerry lebens
11-17-2010, 09:57 AM
Hey guys.
I`m going to shoot my last project in my last photo course. It`s very depressing. But I`m going to be shooting 4x5 and I haven`t been able to come up with anything. But when I was discussing the project with somebody else in the class, it hit me to do something abstract.

My problem now is, I have to do my shoot tomorrow and I have no ideas. I`m going to browse some pictures online, but do you guys have any suggestions?

Interesting question. I've often been told by students that they 'can't come up with an idea' or there's 'no interesting subject matter around here'.
And it worries me that this response is common amongst people who, some day, aim to become professional photographers. (I don't know if you do, but bear with me).

It's a professional photographer's job to make boring and mundane things look interesting - especially when they're starting up and they can't pick and choose jobs. Often, earning a living will be the main priority and 'doing something interesting' comes a poor second.

By your desk, inside your home, outside the front door or maybe only fifty yards down your street there is something that you can use as subject matter. It doesn't have to be interesting but it's your job to make it interesting.
Just the same as it's some poor guy's job to shoot Big Macs or bananas for the umpteen millionth time and still make them look interesting : In fact, he probably isn't poor, he's probably extremely well paid for his unusual creative skills.

I apologise if this sounds harsh but I think you'll agree there's got to be some truth in what I say. Most important, don't let this project put you onto the back foot, use it as a vehicle to develop ways of seeing familiar things anew. If you can, one day, your ability to make a living may depend on it...

Regards
Jerry

Bruce Watson
11-17-2010, 09:57 AM
My problem now is, I have to do my shoot tomorrow and I have no ideas. I`m going to browse some pictures online, but do you guys have any suggestions?

Think about textures. This will give you a good excuse to play with lighting too. Single textures can be interesting studies, contrasting textures can be more thought provoking sometimes.

For example, confine yourself to a small area, like a small exterior courtyard. Explore all the textures you can find in an afternoon. Watch the changing light bring out changing textures, etc.

c6h6o3
11-17-2010, 10:27 AM
The most important thing about abstract photography to think of when finding and composing images is to remember to minimalize if not eliminate context.

Eliminate it. Most photographers cannot bring themselves to leave out that little strip of sky or a cloud or something to tell the viewer what the thing is in the picture. In my opinion, when you do that the photograph ceases to be art. Never be afraid of pure abstraction.

"All good art is abstract in its structure." ---Paul Strand

TheFlyingCamera
11-17-2010, 11:32 AM
Eliminate it. Most photographers cannot bring themselves to leave out that little strip of sky or a cloud or something to tell the viewer what the thing is in the picture. In my opinion, when you do that the photograph ceases to be art. Never be afraid of pure abstraction.

"All good art is abstract in its structure." ---Paul Strand

What I was thinking of when I said minimize if not eliminate is things like architecture, where it may not be possible to eliminate all recognizable features to tell you what something is, like windows or doors.

Also, don't be afraid to throw notions of "proper exposure" out the window - silhouettes, extreme contrast, and highly muted contrast are all viable tools for creating abstractions.

mabman
11-17-2010, 08:07 PM
It's said Picasso's inspiration was a box camera with a cracked lens and a prism held over this lens. Link (http://www.detroitmona.com/Jef_Bourgeau/picasso%27s_camera.htm). Can't say I've been brave enough to break one of my lenses, but there you go :)

michaelbsc
11-17-2010, 08:25 PM
It's said Picasso's inspiration was a box camera with a cracked lens and a prism held over this lens. Link (http://www.detroitmona.com/Jef_Bourgeau/picasso%27s_camera.htm). Can't say I've been brave enough to break one of my lenses, but there you go :)

Haven't checked your link, but I thought his cracked lens photography was years after his Cubism success.

keithwms
11-17-2010, 08:25 PM
My problem now is, I have to do my shoot tomorrow and I have no ideas. I`m going to browse some pictures online, but do you guys have any suggestions?

Go to the store and get yourself some mushrooms and some pasta and other veggies. Have fun exploring all the abstract forms. Then cook it and eat it.

This is an assignment; not the birth of a child. Remember to have fun.

phaedrus
11-27-2010, 05:39 AM
Do a Hiroshi Sugimoto and turn a technical difficulty into a creative tool. Long exposures. He did bodies of water and movie theaters, so you'll have to find something else that moves and looks good smeared. Epigonal photography 101 ;)

Michael A. Smith
11-27-2010, 06:24 AM
Look at the black and white photographs of Orit Raff, who, at least a number of years ago, made the most surprising photographs exclusively in her 300 square-foot apartment.

Michael A. Smith