Capture stunning abstract photography using paint and Photoshop

abstract photography
(Image credit: James Paterson)

Creating a piece of abstract photography doesn't mean it all has to be done in-camera. Photoshop is a fantastic tool to take your abstract art to the next level. For this project, we’ll look at how to craft a colorful dancer image from a series of photos of paint. This involves a combination of shooting skills and Photoshop techniques. 

First, we’ll get set up to shoot vibrant photos of paint by capturing the colors as they travel through water. Once done, we’ll progress into Photoshop where we’ll warp the photos into the shape of our springing dancer. As such, this is effectively two skills in one. So if you’re mainly interested in capturing beautiful paint abstracts, then you can follow along with the first part, and if you’d rather work on the Photoshop skills, you can skip the shooting part and use the supplied images to craft your own painterly figures.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

James Paterson

The lead technique writer on Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine and N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine, James is a fantastic general practice photographer with an enviable array of skills across every genre of photography. 

Whether it's flash photography techniques like stroboscopic portraits, astrophotography projects like photographing the Northern Lights, or turning sound into art by making paint dance on a set of speakers, James' tutorials and projects are as creative as they are enjoyable. 

He's also a wizard at the dark arts of Photoshop, Lightroom and Affinity Photo, and is capable of some genuine black magic in the digital darkroom, making him one of the leading authorities on photo editing software and techniques.