5 creative and abstract photography tips

(Image credit: Elena Paraskeva)

Image: Elena Paraskeva

For those of you with a creative touch and an abstract imagination then this is the POTY category for you! This open brief is perhaps one of the hardest to enter as the subject matter could be anything, however that also makes it more exciting!  But hurry, as this category is ending soon.

So how do you find a creative starting point and shoot an effective abstract? Here are five pictures from the Abstract and Creative category of Digital Camera magazine's 2019 Young Photographer of the Year and Photographer of the Year competitions so far, with some vital tips. 

You have until midnight 4 December to get your entries in for this category. Make sure you enter your shots now to be in with a chance of winning some amazing prizes!

1. Double exposure  

(Image credit: Henrik Spranz)

This creative capture was shot by Henrik Spranz. "Using in camera double exposures can deliver surprising results like this," Henrik says.  This image is of the famous modern Wotruba Church in Vienna. By taking a different approach and shooting two frames in one Henrik has created something completely unique. 

2. Close crop 

(Image credit: David)

If you come in close to your subject matter and remove surrounding distraction then you may be pleasantly surprised with what you can capture. David took this close up of a Flamingo. There are many wild and zoo animals this effect could work on so have an experiment!          

 3. Abstract architecture  

(Image credit: Gilbert Claes)

There are many subjects that lend themselves to the creative and abstract medium however one genre in particular will almost guarantee you a winning shot. Architecture, and in particular modern buildings and sculptures is a great subject to explore. Shoot the man made structures from all angles and use their straight and curved lines to create engaging results.   

 4. Be surreal 

(Image credit: Dave Urwin)

There are no limits in this POTY and YPOTY category when it comes to post production manipulation so see what fun and 'out of this world' alternative realities you can come up with! The trick with good Photoshop and editing skills are the starting images so when it comes to shooting these think about the light and how they will sit together in the frame.       

 5. Slow shutter speed 

(Image credit: Kim Ayres)

There are many different subjects you can shoot using a slow shutter speed, however natural environments such as the woods and the sea are great for this type of effect. Try panning up or down on some woodland trees or side to side on the sea to capture a surreal effect. You'll need an exposure setting around 1/8 sec or slower (panning speed also determines the effect) so have an experiment.    

Enter the competition here

About the prizes

Digital Camera Photographer of the Year is back for 2019, with an amazing prize fund worth £30,000 up for grabs! This year the awards are free to enter, thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, mpb.com and Affinity Photo.

The expert judge's chosen winner of the Urban Landscape contest will receive a Rohan jacket worth £249. The winner of the crowd vote will receive a year-long subscription to Digital Camera magazine.

The winners will be featured in Digital Camera magazine and on Digital Camera World, as well as sister magazines including N-Photo and PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, and they will receive additional exposure through Digital Camera’s social media. There will be an exhibition at The Photography Show in March 2019, and winners will be invited to attend a special gala reception.

The overall winner of Digital Camera Photographer of the Year 2019 will win an MPB voucher worth £2,500 GBP, a £2,000 Rohan shopping experience, a Sony A7 III + 28-70mm lens, a Rotolight NEO 2 kit and a CEWE print.  

The expert judge's chosen winner of the Urban Landscape  - 25 & Under contest will win £100 cash and Affinity Photo + Affinity Photo Workbook. The winner of the crowd vote will receive Affinity Photo and a year-long subscription to Digital Camera magazine. The top ten of the crowd vote will each receive Affinity Photo.

The overall winner of Young Digital Camera Photographer of the Year 2019 will win £3,000 cash, Affinity Photo, an iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, a Sony RX10 IV, a Rotolight NEO 2 kit and a CEWE print. 

Find out more about the competition here

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Digital Camera

The sister print publication to this website, Digital Camera Magazine is Britain's best-selling photography publication – and it can also be purchased outside the United Kingdom as Digital Camera World. 

Digital Camera Magazine is packed with more expert advice and more inspirational images than any other title, with the sole aim of helping you become a better photographer. Every issue we also bring you a selection of great gifts which are designed to help you get more from your photography – everything from tips cards and cheat sheets to free software and bookazines. 

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