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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Treymac View Post
    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

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Treymac View Post
    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.
    Bruce Watson
    AchromaticArts.com

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    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
    Jim

  4. #14
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c6h6o3 View Post
    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.

  5. #15

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    It's said Picasso's inspiration was a box camera with a cracked lens and a prism held over this lens. Link. Can't say I've been brave enough to break one of my lenses, but there you go
    i can't wait to take a picture of my thumb with this beautiful camera.

    - phirehouse, after buying a camera in the classifieds

  6. #16
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mabman
    It's said Picasso's inspiration was a box camera with a cracked lens and a prism held over this lens. Link. 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.
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  7. #17
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treymac View Post
    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.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  8. #18
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    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

  9. #19

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    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

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