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.
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
I frequently have been achieving “painterly”, abstract effects on my photos through the use of intentional camera motion. By using a neutral density filter I am able to shoot at a 2 to 4 second shutter speed which allows me plenty of time to move the camera about, effectively painting with the available light upon my camera sensor. In general the effect is to soften edges and blur the image but depending on the type of motion, different results can be achieved.
Here was the basic scene (i.e regular shutter speed, no motion) that I used for the following demonstration:
In this next image of the same scene I used a 4-second exposure and moved the camera vertically – more like tipping it forward and back using my wrists. This type of motion tends to preserve the vertical elements of the picture, such as tree trunks.
In this second image (again a 4 second exposure) I moved the camera rapidly in a horizontal fashion throughout the exposure. The effect is to soften, to blur those vertical edges. If there were a strong horizontal element it would of course have been reinforced. I like this motion for a landscape with a definite horizon line.
In this final variation I incorporated both vertical and horizontal motion – rapidly moving the camera back and forth horizontally for a couple of seconds, then moving it up and down for the last two seconds. The edges are soft and I like the grid like texture that results
Another of my standard “tricks”/requirements with these long exposures with camera motion is to increase the contrast and color saturation during post processing. Here, for example is tha last image straight out of the camera:
The title of this post is “A Couple of Seconds”, as in two-second exposures. For all of the images that follow, I kept the shutter open for a full two seconds. I had recently been experimenting with “long” exposure of 1/4 to 1/2 of a second, during which I panned the camera. I was growing bored with that technique and once I acquired a variable neutral density filter for my wide angle lens I was able to slow down the exposure considerably more!
I was obviously not after nice, sharp images so these photos are also all handheld. Not only was I not worried about keeping the camera steady, I in fact moved the camera in a variety of ways during the exposure! One technique that I discovered worked quite well was to walk during the exposure. I believe that is what I did for this photo:
No digital filter were used on that last and the next image. All I did was increase the contrast, exposure and color saturation a bit.
On this next one, I incorporate a twist of the zoom lens during the exposure:
This next one was a horizontal pan of the camera. With a 2-second exposure one must be careful not to move the camera to fast!
This next one was produced by a rotational movement during the exposure
Next a skyline sunset with a diagonal camera movement (still with the 2-second exposure)
A final experiment, where I took the long exposure photo and applied a color infrared film filter from Color Efex 2.0, to further abstract the image.