I often check my photos archives to see what I was doing and what images I captured on the current date but years ago. Today I went back to 2011 (December 30th) and found some interesting raw photos that with a bit of tweaking became much better.
It is fun to think that I am collaborating with my past-self to create these works. Here are some of the results from today:
It’s the end of September here in Edmonton and our autumn colors must be near their peak. It has been a while since I’ve dabbled in creating abstract photos but that’s what I did today and here are some of the results:
These photographs were all created using a longish (1.5 to 5 seconds) exposure with deliberate movement of the camera.
I am participating again in the Twitter Art Exhibit. I mailed my postcard-sized painting today. It should comfortably get to New York by the March 11 deadline.
Here’s an image of my piece, entitled “Restless”:
This, the sixth, Twitter Art Exhibit runs March 31 to April 21 (2016) at the Trygve Lie Gallery in New York City.
Like all of the preceding Twitter art exhibitions, the works are donated by artists from around the world and sold, with proceeds going to charity. There is no theme for the exhibit (the only thread connecting the exhibit is that all of the artists are on Twitter), so the range of works is mind boggling. To get a feel for the diversity, look inside the book featuring the works from the 2014 Twitter Art Exhibit that was held in Orlando.
The first Twitter Art Exhibit was held in 2010 in Moss, Norway, the hometown of founder David Sandum (@DavidSandumArt), after he called upon his many international artist friends on Twitter. The rest as they say is history.
My Twitter handle is: @RandallTT
These are five abstract photos that I took/created today:
All of these images are 2-second exposures with some element of intentional camera movement.
More magical long exposure photos from the dark days of December:
See December Magic (part 1) for more similar images.
The Kate Bush song “December Will be Magic Again” comes to my mind every year around this time. While the darkness in the northern hemisphere in December would seem to be a major deterent to photography it does open a door to a magical world.
I am torn between shooting at 1600 ISO and a wide aperture for low light handheld photography or giving in to the darkness and shooting at 100 ISO with an exposure of a couple of seconds, completely abandoning any attempt to stabilize the camera for a “clear” image. In fact when I go to such slow shutter speeds I will deliberately move the camera during the exposure to create magic!
Here is another [see first set] small sampling of abstract photos I took in September (2012), on Salt Spring Island while there for a painting workshop. Not that you are likely to see any recognizable landmarks in these images but this bunch were taken around Ganges and particularly in Mouat Park [see map].
I used a slow shutter speed (as low as 2 seconds) and deliberately moved the camera during the exposure – in a horizontal or vertical plane or just random shaking to create soft, blended edges.
When I made the trip from Edmonton to Salt Spring Island for the Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA) 2012 workshop, the primary purpose was the workshop, which was focused on plein air painting. My personal goal for the trip was a bit broader than just painting. For me, this was an opportunity to indulge my other artistic passion – photography. On this trip I carried three cameras with me: a Nikon DSLR with three lenses and accessories (all of the photos in this blog post came out of the Nikon), a Panasonic point-and-shoot camera and my Samsung Galaxy S III . Between these cameras I collected some 2500 images over the 10 days!
Within the realm of photography I had three distinct goals:
1. The first was to capture reference photos of the varied coastal and inland landscapes for use in landscape paintings.
2. My second goal was to take some good, clear quality photos that can stand on their own.
3. The third goal was to capture abstract photo images that might serve as references for abstract paintings.
With these abstract photos I do not look for details or necessarily recognizable elements. I am more interested in capturing colors and patterns and flowing lines. My basic technique for abstracting an image is through motion between the camera and subject, during the exposure. This often requires a slow shutter speed which may necessitate using a neutral density filter. I usually will move the camera (in one or more directions) but on this trip I was also traveling by train so I also made use of the train’s motion relative to the landscape outside. In this blog post I share a few of the abstract images I generated on this trip.
That first image was shot from the train on the way to Vancouver. When I got to Salt Spring Island I spent my first day (the day before the painting workshop began) hiking with my camera gear. I set off for a favorite place from my visit to the island 5 years earlier – the rain forest in the valley of Cusheon Creek . With the heavy, lush tree cover, it was not very bright (except for where the sun broke through the canopy). These conditions were however quite suitable for the long exposure shots that I was taking.
As beautiful and quiet as the Cusheon Creek area was, it was a bit unnerving – just as I entered the area I noticed a sign warning that a cougar had been spotted in the area! Fortunately I did not run into one (but it was always in the back of my mind).
After this day of photography, it was 5 days of painting (with a bit, okay quite a bit, of reference photography) before another free day to wander about with the cameras and then a couple of travel days. I returned to Edmonton from Vancouver via the train, so once again had an opportunity to see what type of abstractions I could capture while in motion.
In this post I share some recent abstract landscape photos. I’ve called this losing the landscape because I have pushed the abstraction to the point that the images may not read as originating from the landscape – but they all did.
As I have done to create abstracted photos in the past, these were made using a 2 to 4 second exposure (with neutral density filters to allow that exposure). During the exposure I move the camera about in a linear or rotational fashion, or just with a gentle random shaking.
This next image may be the most suggestive of a landscape, with the green and blue
Here are some more abstract landscape photos depicting the spirit of early spring – as the snow bids a hasty retreat at the end of March (in Edmonton).
See my earlier blog post for additional photos in this series.