Capture something you may not have normally noticed by shooting abstracts in the town or city where shapes and colour will become your focus rather than big buildings and busy streets.
To help you give your urban photography an abstract feel, here are 8 top tips on what, how and where to take your photos when out exploring a town or city.
1. Focus On What’s Interesting
When you find something that catches your eye, think about how you can compose the shot to take the subject away from its surroundings so it becomes abstract rather than a great city shot with several interesting elements. The key to capturing an image that works is to create an image out of something ordinary that you wouldn’t normally see while still creating an appealing shot.
2. More Than One Point Of Interest
When you have a subject that has multiple points of interest you have the opportunity to capture various elements, some which may not have seemed so obvious as working in an abstract way at the start.
3. Create Scale
Just because you’re capturing abstracts doesn’t mean you always have to work up-close. Think of it as cropping out unwanted elements rather than using your lens to zoom in. Use surrounding elements to emphasise size but still frame the image so the building’s surroundings are removed, giving emphasis to its shapes and patterns rather than it having context.
4. Use Colour
By using a single bright colour in a shot that’s mostly of the same shades can give the viewer of the image a point of focus that can also be used to guide and lead the eye to other points in the shot. This is even more so when the area is limited and contrasts so greatly with the rest of the image. Strong blocks of colour can also work well but you don’t want one to overpower the other so the viewer doesn’t pay attention to the rest of the frame.
5. Look For Shadows
This isn’t something our eyes tend to see but when arranged in the frame properly, they can be a great subject matter on their own or enhance the shapes/patterns of an object you’re making your point of focus.
6. Lines Work Well
If you want to use lines in your image, try to find a location that gives you a shot that has lines that vary in size and colour. Bolder lines can have more impact than small, faint ones and do remember they will still guide the eye through the shot and tell the viewer where they should be looking. Don’t think lines have to be straight either as a curved line will still guide the viewer’s eye.
7. Shoot Through Other Objects
If you find a rain-covered window or even a water feature that can be used to capture a distorted reflection thanks to the ripples in the water, use them to your advantage. Keep an eye out for coloured glass, reflective buildings and any other items you think will give your city shots that abstract feel you’re searching for.
8. People Like Patterns & Symmetry
As humans, we like to see repeating patterns and symmetrical objects so take advantage of this. Patterns can guide the eye across an image as well as make your abstract shot more interesting thanks to the shapes they create.
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