Contemporary or dilapidated, careful composition can make architecture great for abstracts
Architecture lends itself perfectly to abstract shots, with shape and form taking centre stage for artistic photography. Towns and cities boast a wide variety of buildings, old and new, that lend themselves perfectly to stunning abstracts. The trick to finding the most interesting spots is by training your eye to see them in the first place.
Towns and cities boast countless buildings, both old and new, ripe for some stunning abstract shots.
With shape and form taking centre stage in abstract shots, architecture lends itself perfectly. Even the ugliest of buildings (sometimes especially the ugly ones) can be transformed into striking abstracts with a little imagination and careful composition. The trick is teaching yourself to stop yourself looking at the big picture and go close instead.
Pattern & form
The key to great architectural abstracts is training your eye to see them. At first it can be difficult to stop seeing buildings as whole structures and start isolating pattern, form and shape.
Look up and you‘ll be rewarded with views free from cars, people and rubbish. Your compositions will improve dramatically when they‘re free from such distracting elements. A telephoto zoom lens is a good choice for close, clean-looking shots, but it‘s worth packing a wide-angle or fisheye lens, too.
Remember to move around, just a few steps can make all the difference – for example, shifting so you can‘t see a building‘s windows, just the ledges.
Finally, don‘t forget the importance of the quality of light and weather. Golden light will enhance your images, but blue skies add freshness and threatening cloud build drama. Now there‘s no excuse to stay indoors…
Making the most of colour
Most old buildings are made from a single material and are therefore a single colour. In contrast, lots of new builds have multicoloured facades or splashes of colour.
Make the most of this colour – it‘s great for adding oomph and giving your abstracts a contemporary feel. Keep your eye open for brand-new developments…
Explore every location
There’s more than one shot to be had at every location you find, so make it a priority to really work your scene and you‘ll go home with more keepers. Once you‘ve got the shot you initially spotted, try as many different angles and compositions as possible.
Be sure to walk around the building – you might have been missing the light hitting it on the other side.
A building like this offers a wealth of different abstracts – your imagination is the only limit.
These neglected waterside buildings made a great upright shot and only needed a touch of Levels tweaking in Photoshop