Abstract photography (Definitions)

Definitions of Abstract photography:

“In essence, abstract photography communicates to the viewer primarily through the viewer’s emotions. Furthermore, the emphasis on form, color, and curves tends to elicit strong reactions from the human perceptual system. (…) When done well, abstract photography can be very much in tune with the human perceptual, mental, and emotional systems.
The subject matter doesn’t have to be unrecognizable. It is true that, in some abstract images, the viewer cannot tell what has been photographed. However, that is just one type of abstract image.”


What we mean by abstract photography is a photo that is abstract as soon as we push on the button to take it, not after being manipulated and altered by programs on the computer which is digital art. So the objective is to emphasize on photography. In order to be able to obtain abstract photos the photographer focuses on the framing, the perspective, and/or controls the shutter speed and aperture (that one can only control on manual or semi manual cameras – impossible to obtain with small cameras or ones integrated on smartphones). The photographer “takes a different way of looking at our world to perceive the abstract photography opportunities”.


Abstract photography, like all abstract art, focuses on the simplest elements of artistic expression. The viewer is often unable to see the whole subject within the photo. In an abstract, the subject is often only a small part of the idea of the image.

Viewers may only know the essence of the subject, or understand it, by what is implied. Instead the viewer is drawn into the image by the beauty, interest or uniqueness of the visual experience.

See the complete definition at photokonnexion


What is it that makes a photograph abstract? It can seem difficult to pin down an exact definition, but there are many characteristics that make up abstract photography. Most commonly, abstraction takes place when a photographer focuses in on a fragment of a natural scene, isolating it from its context.

By zeroing in on the color, texture, line, shape, geometry, symmetry, or reflection of a scene, that photographer warps our perception of the real world and familiar objects. For instance, if you take a picture of a green apple, but zoom in on just a drop of water running down the bright green peel in a way that a viewer doesn’t immediately recognize the object, but is more driven by the sensation, then you’ve taken a shot at abstraction.

See the complete definition at mymodernmet.com


Abstract images are conceived or imagined outside of ‘reality’. They can encompass a huge variety of subject matter, take us out of our comfort zone, make us question what we see, or invite us to enter another realm.

The subject matter is often implied or suggested rather than overtly and literally presented. Photographers will generally emphasise lines and curves, colours, textures, geometrical forms and their relationship to, and interaction with one another. Thus, the internal structure and intrinsic form of an abstract photograph are hugely important.

Find more at abstractedreality.com


Abstract photography usually falls into the fine-art photography category, simply because it has a unique purpose. Whereas other types of photography usually look to communicate something to the viewer, abstract photography doesn’t want to do that.

It simply wants to provoke a reaction by either engaging the viewer or exciting him.

This visual medium is also therefore somewhat open to interpretation. To some people, the definition of abstract photography can be quite subjective. See, in this genre, the content of the snapshot is secondary to the importance of elements like the lines, texture, colors and form as part of the overall composition. The end result is really only about visual stimulation.

That makes it very accessible for any photographer to jump into this genre, as all he really needs is a camera and his imagination.

See more here: contrastly.com


The ability to think abstractly can determine a human being’s ability to live a happy, successful, independent life. But it also raises fascinating questions about abstract art, and in particular abstract photography. As a medium once considered purely concrete, a debate has long raged about whether photography can also be interpreted as being abstract. Perhaps through a study of the debate the lost capacity for abstract thought could be relearned. Is it possible that we could use something like abstract photography to help someone suffering from TBI? Why not try? But since many claim that it does not even exist, first perhaps we should try to define exactly what abstract photography is.

Find more interesting views on ideelart.com


And last but not least don’t miss the Wikipedia page about Abstract Photography

There might be more, but I found these very helpful.