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Weathered Abstract Art Photography

Updated on February 20, 2018
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years.

CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source

"Weathering is the breaking down of rocks, soils and minerals as well as artificial materials through contact with the Earth's atmosphere, biota and waters. Weathering occurs in situ, or "with no movement", and thus should not be confused with erosion, which involves the movement of rocks and minerals by agents such as water, ice, snow, wind, waves and gravity." Wikipedia

"Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world.[1] Western art had been, from the Renaissance up to the middle of the 19th century, underpinned by the logic of perspective and an attempt to reproduce an illusion of visible reality. The arts of cultures other than the European had become accessible and showed alternative ways of describing visual experience to the artist. By the end of the 19th century many artists felt a need to create a new kind of art which would encompass the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science and philosophy." Wikipedia

Abstract photography has many examples and there are also plenty of ways to represent abstract art.

Weathered surfaces presents us with images that are appealing because of the "beauty" that weather and the effects of the elements create on any surface.

Sometimes it brings memories of times gone by and how things were; simple but well done.

This project can be done form various viewpoints and each of us can approach it differently.

Specifically noteworthy images are of any surface that still retains signs of its past grandeur such as hints of paint, metal works, polished areas and so on.

CC BY-ND 2.0
CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source

The easy par y of the project is finding weathered surfaces such as woods, rocks, cement or stone walls, old rusted metal parts and many other samples.

By the way farms are excellent places to find such subjects as are junk depots and junk yards.

The hard part of the project is how to take a photograph of a weathered surface in abstract form and to still make this photograph interesting enough and that it possesses enough appeal to make it a photograph worth publishing.

Abstract art is nothing new and neither is abstract photography. Both have been extensively explored, manipulated and photographed.

Combine these two facts with the important factor that photographers not only have been using weathered surfaces for quite some time in projects dedicated to pure art but also in product, fashion and in other marketing projects.

Another key thing about this particular project is that if you find suitable subjects but they lack any interesting details or it's lackluster, you can always add color to some parts of it with the aid of Photoshop or any other similar digital editing program.

Have you done abstract art before?

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So how do you photograph a weathered surface and still manage to make it a pleasing image that will capture your viewer's gaze and keep it there? The first thing that you need to focus on is how to capture parts of the surface that seem appealing.

Look for interesting details within the surface and add color if it is present and clearly noticeable. Then you frame it in a way that shows these details but lacks an overall presence so as not to completely divulge what it is that you are photographing.

It is OK if the viewers can readily tell what material it is that they are looking at. What is important is that they are not able to tell that it is a door for example or part of a book, fence post, rock formation and so on. You can complement the cropped image with a much larger un-cropped one showing in its entirety the entire scene.

This way viewers can appreciate the effort and admire your photographic prowess and your ability to capture intimate details in things as simple as a fence post or a rusted automobile part.

CC BY 3.0
CC BY 3.0 | Source

Try not to do the entire project with a focus on only one type of surface like only taking photographs of weathered wood surfaces.

Aim for a much larger appeal by taking photographs of various materials like wood, stone,metal and many more.

Variety will add interest to the project and will keep the audience guessing as to what material and subjects they are gazing upon.

If you only concentrate on one main material then the audience might lose interest in the project if they are looking at only wood pieces, no matter how pretty they look in the photographs.

One good way to show the presentation is to do something like a thumbnail featuring samples of various materials in one main large photograph.

But this should not limit you to thumbnail presentations. Use larger images too and keep in mind that they can make for great decorative pieces by themselves.

The thumbnail idea is to showcase your entire work and the larger pieces is where the better sales will come from.

CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source

This project does not carry with any intention other than to practice the art, improve your photography, take beautiful trips as you explore, and learn techniques.

But good images do have their commercial value. Not only can they be used in decorations, sold as pure art, shown in art galleries but they can also be featured in photography magazines and used for other commercial purposes like a paint maker using them to advertise their brands of paint.

"Stands the test of time" is one slogan that fits well with many of these sorts of photographs so long as the image features some residual paint if the commercial entity is a paint producer or maybe the material is part of the company's products like an aluminum producer for example.

The photo gear that you should use is simple; a regular camera with a short zoom and a tripod to stabilize the camera while you photograph.

The zoom is used to get close ups and regular ones and it allows you to crop while you compose the shots. This eliminates the need to do post editing later.


CC0 1.0
CC0 1.0 | Source
CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source

© 2013 Luis E Gonzalez

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