Create incredible urban abstracts – N-Photo 151 video tutorial

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Urban environments can be a frenetic mass of contrasts, vibrant or mundane, lively or eerie, beautiful or drab. For a photographer, it’s easy enough to capture how places like this look, but it’s more of a challenge to convey how they feel. To create a sense of a place without the distractions of detail, we can turn to abstract techniques. Intentional blur, multiple exposures, unusual camera angles and digital mash-ups can all help us emphasize the emotion of the place, and create wall-worthy art that feels more in touch with the work of impressionist painters than it does with 'conventional’ photographic techniques.

In this project we’ll look at a range of techniques that you can try out on the streets. Camera skills are often about eliminating shake, keeping scenes in focus and preventing wonky horizons, but here we’ll throw all that out the window. Instead, we’ll celebrate the blur and the softness. When you think about it, streets and buildings are these rather simple geometric shapes and lines, dotted with people and lights. As such, they’re ripe for an abstract treatment, as we can reduce the elements down to blurry strokes of colour, impressions of people and flowing shapes, while still retaining the spirit of the scene.

You don’t need any special equipment or lenses for this – in fact, even the best cheap lenses will produce results just as good as premium optics. What’s more, you can try this in all conditions – sunny, overcast, rainy, even at night.

Please note: This project does not contain any start files

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