Archive for the ‘ Abstract ’ Category


It’s time now for a little more black and white sand from Florian Sprenger.


From a compositional perspective, this image is very simple. Simplicity, however, does not mean it is any less impactful.

The dominant feature is quite obviously the S-curve, that is the entire subject of the shot. The eye cannot help but be drawn in along its line, from the slightly out of focus foreground that anchors in the lower left corner, up-across, back and around, passing from one curve to the next and to the third – the differentiation between them only real in the visual sense, not the compositional.

The stark contrast also plays into the scene, and the impact of the curves – the success of the S as an abstracted subject – is a direct result of the tight crop.

A ride one cannot get off without looking away.


Harbor wall abstraction

Now, Hennie Schaper continues with his discovery of his new home of Kampen… There is much to be uncovered.

Harbor wall abstraction

Hennie’s abstractions of shape are becoming ever more refined, compositionally. Here, as well as the obvious combination of lines and curves, we have the interplay of light and shadow, and some excellent use of (secondary and tertiary) golden ratios.

The combination of forms – the metal and its cast shadow – create a naturally appealing shape of a tick: sharp, straight line matched against an ever so gentle curve. Everything about the shape comes from the interplay of bright light and shadow. Light and dark. That it is set on a very simple, low-palette pattern of interlaced water lines and run-off streaking only serves to make the abstraction more appealing. Keeping the touch of green in where the two parts of the form meet was genius: so easy and almost instinctive to mask through desaturation, that almost-overlooked touch of colour emphasises the intersection point.

The golden ratio work here is quite complex. There are two vertical points of interest: the top and bottom points where the shadow meets the beam that casts it. The perfection? That these are perfectly positioned on the secondary and tertiary golden ratios. Horizontally, it is the lower of these points that is perfectly on the primary golden ratio. In themselves, getting these elements lined up in that way is impressive, but not too difficult. To combine it with the straight line anchoring the tick so firmly in the upper left corner, so it leads in from the blown-out part of the wall: that is a sign of dedication to precision.

A perfect balance of forms and contrasts, sitting on all the right intersections.

Into the heart

Now, Hennie Schaper gets creative in the floral department.

Into the heart

Yes, I know. Flower macro. Been there, done that. It’s not like… well, maybe it is a little like… A flower macros shot that actually stands out, that adds something more to the pot than just prettiness of form, is rarer than one might imagine, given the obscene number of such shots taken. This one takes a different view of things floral.

The tight crop is the key to this image’s success, removing the “distraction” of the outer petal shape. We go beyond the floral, into an alien world of distorted space and organic patterns: a descent into some unknown, from which some unknowable life form emerges. There is a sense of direction, as we are sucked into this funnel, and the sinuous creatures come to meet us. We are lost going over that edge.

And, of course, those details of life are placed where they should be, nicely about the golden ratio intersection within this passage between worlds.

Yes, floral macros could indeed become addictive.


We return once more to the tabletop work of Jenny Downing, and a little alien abstraction…


As with many if the images in this vein that Jenny has produced, the key to its beauty lies in a combination of factors: there is the abstraction of a simple object through a tight crop; the use of reflection to show the reality of the subject where the direct line of sight manages to remain out of focus; and strong lighting to pick out the most attractive elements of curvature.

In itself, the dominant aspects of harsh-contrast curves, abstracted as they are, would be enough to make this shot special. But add in the expert placement of the platter, ever so lightly toughing upper and left primary golden ratios, thereby creating a balance between subject and enclosing negative space, and we have pure harmony. Also, the contrast between the light lower half and the dark upper creates a subtle diptych within this soothing scene that flows generally horizontally.

Another fine example of considered placements.

end of sand

Picking up a month on, we have another, very different, work from Florian Sprenger (mav_at).

The rendering of this image in black and white allows the compositional elements to stand out; it provides an interplay of artistic form without the distraction of colour. Most obvious is the texture in the near sands, the fingerprint of the first dune: foreground interest, patterns and leading lines all rolled into one. It has the added benefit that the leading lines are arrayed in two sets: one that follows their direction, and the other across the grain of the pattern.

The scope of the foreground interest is quite impressive in itself, reaching as it does almost to the upper left intersection of primary golden ratios; nearly half the image’s surface taken up with this pure abstraction. The extension of the primary dune to the right picks up another technique hinted at in the shape of the foreground: triangles. This is repeated in the texture of the mountains beyond the sands.

This image is evidence, if more were really needed, that one does not need to dominate a scene with the subject to give it power. Indeed, the emptiness of half the image can convey far more than the larger subject in the distance.

A powerful study in tone and form.

Whinchat near

It is time for a third outing from Lilian Lemonnier within this site, this time with an avian theme.

Tarier des près

The first thing one notices about this image is the simplicity of the background – the almost abstract nature of the two-part gold-and-white setting against which the subject is shot. This lack of distraction then allows the subject to pop out of the frame, especially when one investigates the detail within the flowers our little avian friend is perched atop of. That background provides as infinite sea of negative space, emptiness within which we can find direction.

The sense of direction is achieved cleanly by the bird’s placement on the left-side golden ration, while facing to the right. Follow the beak.

That simplicity would of itself make for an excellent shot under most circumstances, but here, there is a further detail that picks out the composition. In the lower right corner, partly masked by the copyright line, is a variation to the consistency of the background: another flower almost in focus, providing an alternate tone to the endless field of yellow. And its positioning in the corner thereby acts as an anchor.


still perky, despite the rising odds

It’s time for a bit of decay from Kate Mellersh.

As compositions go, this is stark evidence that simplicity is power. There are two dominant elements at play: a border at the top and right edges, and a clear-cut subject in the lower left. Between them, a diagonal through the negative space of abstract chaos.

Captivating; fascinating; pure.

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