“But it is a pipe.”
“No, it’s not,” I said. “It’s a drawing of a pipe. Get it? All representations of a thing are inherently abstract. It’s very clever.”
― John Green
I’ve had a few people comment on the forest abstracts that I create and how I do it. That is something that I have learned through experimentation and though I share my camera settings, the precise method is difficult to describe. I’m afraid if I over thought it, the images may not look the same. It’s really a ‘feel’ thing, the ‘art’ part for me. None of this workis done in Lightroom or Photoshop. It would simply not be satisfying for me.
One thing I did want to share is a before and after view of the same scene. First, I look for bright colours and a strong dark to light contrast, which was the case of this forest edge scene with the dark tree trunks and bright leaves (yellow maple and red oak). If you look carefully at the two images, you will see that the abstract captures most of the details and actually enhances the colours by blurring them together, leaving less dark shadows.
I tend to stick to a 1/4 sec shutter speed, since that has worked best for me. Next ,I do a vertical pan when activating the shutter. I often make multiple images and adjust aperture for exposure. The rest is really just previewing the images and deciding if what I have captured is what I envisioned. There have been instances when I have come across a composition I like and made 20 attempts to get it right with not a single suitable image. Thank goodness for digital cameras.
It’s a technique I learned from another photographer and customized to my own style. It’s also very satisfying, since I am creating something that did not exist before, in its modified form, yet still has natural origins.
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 200