Monday, February 22, 2010

abstract photographs... Que?

In going through my pics, to assemble a few more abstracts to fulfill a blog visitor's request, I'm pondering what an abstract photograph is.

As a minimalist, things that are spare make me happy, and some feel to me that they're abstract, when in fact, they may not be. What I suspect is more truly abstract, is when the focus is the form of the thing, or color, versus the whole of what that thing actually is.

Some of my favorite nature pictures are those where you really cannot tell what you are looking at, initially, and especially if you cannot tell the scale. LOVE that.

Mind you, I've had basically NO liberal arts education, so, off to for a second opinion:

Main Entry: 1ab·stract  
Pronunciation: \ab-ˈstrakt, ˈab-ˌ\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Medieval Latin abstractus, from Latin, past participle of abstrahere to drag away, from abs-, ab- +trahere to pull, draw
Date: 14th century

1 a : disassociated from any specific instance  b : difficult to understand : abstruse  c : insufficiently factual : formal 
2 : expressing a quality apart from an object poem is concrete, poetry is abstract>
3 a : dealing with a subject in its abstract aspects : theoretical  b : impersonaldetached Time>
4 : having only intrinsic form with little or no attempt at pictorial representation or narrative content 

What to you comprises an abstract photographic image? What is required to fulfill that definition? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

(meanwhile I'll keep sorting through pics to post)

the biobabbler

1 comment:

  1. Wow. You don't ask the easy questions. So because I'm not really a fan of "abstract art" I have always used a narrow definition of the term. So only a photograph where you COULDN'T tell what the thing is (like the bark) would get you there. You could ALMOST stay that abstract photography is impossible (unless you do all sorts of weird things with the lenses/filters/lighting).

    That said. I really appreciate the "abstract qualities" of photographs like the ones above, that show light and color as "subjects" separate from the actual "thing" being photographed. And I like it best when you can look at a photograph in more than one way - as pattern, light, color, or a subject. And I like that better about photography than simple "abstract" painting or sculpture, where you can just paint blocks of color and that's it - no fun there unless you happen to like the color.

    So basically, I'm dodging the question. But I love the photos!


Cool people write inside rectangles....