Abstraction Type of Landscape Photography

Abstraction Type of Landscape Photography

  • The development of photography eventually led painters to abandon realism for a time in favor of abstraction; so it is especially ironic that most people still cling to the idea that a photograph must be a recognizable view of the subject with everything included.

  • In fact, some of the most powerful landscape photographs contain a degree of abstraction and close selection. This is often because minimizing or eliminating identifiable subject elements makes the photograph general, rather than specific. In an abstract landscape we read not a particular field at one spot in the American corn belt, but a landscape that stands for all such fields. An abstracted view of a French chateau conjures up the idea of gracious houses rather than a particular place.

  • A crucial factor when experimenting with photographic abstraction is the design element. For example, by cutting out of the picture the perspective clues by which distance is judged, you can convince the viewer that he is seeing just a pattern of marks on the surface of the print, rather than a representation of a real place existing in a three-dimensional world.

  • These "depth clues" are so familiar that most of us take them for granted, and before we can eliminate them or minimize their effects, it's necessary to step back and look at the scene with the analytical eye of the painter.

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