Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Or to give this post its full name, Les études dans l'abstraction - studies in abstraction. I set out to find objects and/or scenes that taken out of their context could be seen as an abstraction. I've done this before, back in the old days on the old, and my inspiration for this kind of photography has been the work of Edward Weston, whose abstract studies of everyday and natural objects and the human body have always fascinated me. What I did today was look for things whose abstract potential caught my eye, and focus on elements which could lead to abstraction while setting up the shot and while processing in Photoshop. The following are finished copies of what worked best.

The Drape - This is a curtain in an apartment window along King St. What caught my eye was the pattern of the folds in the material, so I focused on that in the processing. I tweaked the color and the contrast and ended up with this.

Hommage à Jackson Pollock - This is a zoom shot of the water flowing over the rocks on a section of Gum Run. The flow of the water and the underlying colors are what caught my eye, and while processing in Photoshop I found that emphasizing the colors in the rocks and plants, tweaking the contrast in "curves", and playing in the sharpening tool gave me this Pollock-esque look.

Rings - Tree rings always make a good subject for abstraction, so I took the shot. In Photoshop I emphasized the colors in the wood, tweaked the contrast in "curves", and applied some Gaussian blur to soften all those edges in the rings.

Calligraphic Ripples - It was the ripples on the surface of the north duck pond in the Dykeman Spring Nature Park that caught my attention and made me want to see what could develop. Tweaking the color and contrast on this shot made me realize that the light reflecting from the ripples greatly resembled painter Mark Tobey's "white writing" work, which he based on Chinese calligraphy. So in a way this is another hommage, this time to Tobey.

And since I'm calling these "études",  which means "studies", and since Frédéric Chopin composed a series of studies for piano which he called "études", I thought I'd add one here to finish out this post. Enjoy!

Photos © 2015 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

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