7. Find fine art on the streets
Many of us overlook the photographic potential of our local environment.
This is a great shame – even the most mundane everyday subjects found on virtually any street anywhere in the world can make interesting images, as this shot of a bright red road sign by fine-art photographer Luca Lacche clearly demonstrates.
“The road sign picture was taken in Nice in France,” says Luca. “It was one of my first Lensbaby 2.0 images, shot using the f/4 aperture ring on a Canon EOS 5D.”
The selective focus effect in the road sign shot created by a Lensbaby can easily be replicated in Photoshop using Layer Masks and the Gaussian Blur filter, so you don’t need any special equipment to take similar images. All you really need is a good eye for a shot.
Look for patterns, textures, colours and shapes, and try to isolate them from their context in your mind’s eye. Having a camera with you at all times – even if it’s just a camera phone – makes it much easier.
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- In many ways, the subjects of urban abstracts like Luca’s aren’t important in themselves – it’s the angle they are shot at and the way they are cropped that makes them interesting. Try looking at Luca’s road sign photo upside-down, for example.
- When looking for potential abstracts, explore subjects from every angle, stopping to look through the viewfinder periodically. The close-up, bordered image that you see through the lens will likely reveal more possibilities than you’d spot without a camera (and speaking of borders… why not download these 50 free photo frames and borders for Photoshop).
- In Photoshop, experiment with your image by horizontally or vertically flipping the image, rotating it and cropping in further.