Abstract images: how to make striking contemporary art with your camera

In this quick tutorial we’ll show you how to use your camera to make striking abstract images that bring out your inner Rothko…


Apart from anything else, making abstract images is the perfect photography project that can easily be done in the comfort of your home.

More importantly, it can be a wonderful way to create striking and unusual images that may even challenge what you think a photograph should be.

It’s hard to imagine when you look at the abstract images above, but they are more or less straight out of the camera, with very little post-processing.

How_to_make_abstract_images_2Using nothing more than some basic in-camera skills such as a multiple exposure and deliberate blur, we’ve been able to strip our image of anything recognisable and instead concentrate on contrast, form, colour, tone and texture contained within.

Working in a purely abstract way takes a bit of getting used to, but once you’ve liberated yourself from a conventional way of thinking and seeing, you’ll soon find it addictive.


How_to_make_abstract_images_3There are plenty of great abstracts to be found when you’re out and about too, so there’s no need to limit yourself to coloured card and Perspex…

How to make simple abstract images


01 Compose your shot
Source coloured card, paper, plastics or coloured sheets of Perspex. If you’re using Perspex, place the sheets on a light-box. Try complementary or drastically contrasting colours for added impact. Arrange them randomly at first, and just get started.


How_to_make_abstract_images_502 Take exposures
Set your camera to shoot multiple-exposure, and take several shots on top of one another. If your camera doesn’t have this feature, it’s easy to merge them together in Photoshop. Experiment with focus: there’s no reason why the images need to be sharp.  How_to_make_abstract_images_603 Add vibrancy
Shoot raw files for maximum quality and use Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom to boost the intensity of the colours, contrast and tones. Despite the vibrant colours in these images, there’s little post-production beyond a few tweaks.


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