APOY Round 2 – Going Abstract – Abstract Images
Please visit the APOY 2015 home page to find all the rules for entry, terms and conditions, the APOY ENTRY EMAIL ADDRESS and the disclaimers that must be copied and pasted into an email entry.
Entries must be received by midnight (UK time) on 26 April 2015
In APOY 2013, we ran our first Abstract round for a number of years. While we always knew that rounds dealing with landscapes and black & white always did well, we were stunned to see the number of entries that came pouring in when we asked readers to send us their best abstract images. Its was with that in mind that we decided to bring it back this year.
Abstract photography involves exploring the world through details. That doesn’t mean just getting in close with a macro lens, though. It means shooting a subject in such a way that it is separated from usual representations of that object. It can mean shooting and framing your images so the primary concern is squarely on the strange patterns, shapes and textures that make up the world around us.
Abstracts can be found everywhere, and in everything, from the street where you live to the darkest forest. We’re putting no restrictions on your subject. This is your chance to be truly experimental.
This month’s prize
Win a Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM | A, EF-610 DG Super flashgun and a USB Dock
The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM | A is the first zoom lens ever to achieve a maximum aperture of f/1.8 throughout the zoom range. It is a wide-aperture, standard zoom lens for DSLR cameras with APS-C-sized sensors. The lens has a focal range equivalent to 27-52.5mm in a 35mm format and it can cover the angles of view of multiple fixed focal length lenses.
The Sigma EF-610 DG Super flashgun has a guide number (GN) of 61m @ ISO 100 and is designed to work with the latest TTL auto-exposure systems of all popular manufacturers’ digital and film SLRs. The autozoom function automatically sets the optimum illumination angle in accordance with the lens’ focal length in a range from 24mm to 105mm.
The Sigma USB Dock enables photographers to update firmware and customise features of the lens via Sigma Optimization Pro software, which is available as a free download from Sigma’s website.
That’s a total prize value of £1,099.97 for round two.
We take a look at some tips and tricks to set you on your way to shooting abstract pictures
Abstract is a genre of photography that is gaining more of a presence on websites such as Flickr and 500px. It would be churlish to imagine that abstract is simply the idea of shooting something a bit unusual and hoping for the best. You have to remember that the fundamentals of photography still apply. If anything, things like framing, exposure and composition become even more vital. Due to the nature of the subjects you’ll be photographing, you will find that you have to rely even more on these basic concepts to keep the viewer engaged. If you don’t, you’re likely to end up with a mess that many viewers will have a hard time processing.
If you keep your eyes open, you’ll find that abstract images are everywhere. Perhaps one of the simplest places to find abstracts is in architecture. Take a look at this excellent shot from previous APOY entrant Lesley Derbyshire. It’s a simple shot, but one that works incredibly well. She has presented just enough information so we have a general idea of what we’re seeing, but she has also withheld just enough so we can still get lost in the shapes and the lines of the building.
In the other examples shown we can see that abstracts are in bountiful supply in the man-made world, but these kinds of images can also be found in the natural world. Nature offers us all kinds of subjects, but it can sometimes be tricky to find a way of producing an image that is original and technically excellent. Here we see a perfect example of how to get it right. Chris Whitelaw took second place in our abstract round from 2013 with this truly beautiful image. In Chris’s own words, ‘This shot is purely about the mood of the place that evening. I wanted to capture the wonderful tones.’ Using a 1sec exposure, Chris has captured the colours and mood of the mountains near where he lives.
Here’s a wonderful example of finding an abstract image in the most mundane location. This image, called ‘Down Into the Pool’, was taken by Peter Kurdulija and was entered into Round 9 Going Abstract from APOY 2013. Peter found this scene at a swimming pool in Wellington, New Zealand. Notice that it’s the kind of image that requires careful study to understand what it is you’re seeing. It’s only after a while that you actually realise it’s a pool and the T shape is a float.
**Please visit the APOY 2015 home page to find all the rules for entry, terms and conditions, the APOY ENTRY EMAIL ADDRESS and the disclaimers that must be copied and pasted into an email entry.
Entries for APOY 2015 Round 2 Going Abstract must be received by midnight (UK time) on 26 April 2015