The Object of My Obsession

Two children playing on the beach in the town of Port Townsend, Washington

Lately, I’ve been working with abstract images more. I’ve been shooting a lot of abstracts, thinking about a lot of abstracts, thinking about shooting a lot of abstracts. I’ve been studying some other artists who work in the abstract too-thinking about the ways in which they work. Some artists try to capture the work of other abstract artists, for example, Art Wolfe told us he is very inspired by some abstract painters so his abstract work centers around crafting similar work with his camera. Other artists, like Uta Barth and Ken Rosenthal, work with blur and blurred elements of images, basically softness to craft an image that touches upon an element of memory. All of these techniques are helpful and I highly recommend you try them out if you are thinking about (or working in) the abstract.

One thing I’ve started trying recently, which to my knowledge, is not documented anywhere is what I have been calling the “one object obsession.” What I basically mean by this is to use one object (or a small group of objects) and to continually work with it until you degenerate it into the abstract. Basically, what I’m doing is twisting it, turning it, zooming in on it (with my feet, not my lens, although you could do that too.) Taking macro shots of it, blurring it, etc. Just continually playing with it to see how many abstract compositions I can make from it. It’s kind of like deconstructing an object, a one single object, into many compositions and continually devolving into the abstract more and more. At first, this technique was not really working so much but then, as I kept going and pressed thought, I started to see results I sort of liked. I must say now I do feel it’s a technique I will continue to explore. Basically, I don’t think I’m done with it quite yet, although I don’t know if I’ll get anything earth shattering out of it or not.

It’s been a bit difficult for me to work more in the abstract just in terms of editing. I’m not the best of photo editors on a good day and, frankly, adding a bunch of abstract images into the mix complicates things a bit. At least it has been a learning experience for me. I was always told abstract art is harder than realism and never quite believed it. Now, I’d have to say, I really do believe it. It’s much harder than it looks, that’s for certain! I’m not giving up just yet but I am experimenting and playing a bit with some new techniques in the hopes of pulling something out in the process. Fun times, right?

Until next time…

PS This one taken in Port Townsend, Washington with the baby Mark and the walkabout lens. Kids on the beach, good for summertime.

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