Mixing the abstract with wildlife

December 13, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Abstract photography is usually reserved for a different genre of photography than wildlife photography. But why not combine them. Doves were drinking water at the river's edge. There were small crocodiles nearby and we were told that they often catch these doves. So I backed off on my framing hoping to be ready for some action. That action never came that day. I framed the dove to the left so that I will capture the crocodile well as it would have pounced on the dove. I also placed the dove on the bottom so that I will still catch the action if it takes off trying to escape. Even without the crocodile action I still like the image.

This image mixes the abstract with wildlife. I love the abstract part of the image; the ripples, the color, the out of focus sections. It is almost as if the bird is out of place. But that is exactly what immediately draws the viewer's eyes to the dove. it stands out. This mixture of the abstract with wildlife creates discomfort, contrast, and mystery (is it real?).

          The light was flat. There is not much variety of color. There is not much difference as far as light and dark are concerned. It is the focus that calls your attention to the bird. It is the focus that creates the abstract side of things. Had this image been shot with a smaller aperture resulting in more of the image being in focus this image would not have worked.

          There are five things photographers can use compositionally:

  1. The obvious one here is the elements in the photograph and their placement;

  2. Brightness versus darkness. The human eye will always go to that which is bright rather than the darker parts of the image. Photographers can use brightness to guide the viewer's eyes to where he or she wants them to go;

  3. Color. Colors that stand out from the rest of the scene draws attention. We can use color to make our viewer's look where we want them to look;

  4. Focus. The eyes will always go to that which is in focus and avoid that which is out of focus. By selectively focusing on our subject and blurring the rest of the image we direct our viewers.

  5. The different. Whenever something is different from everything else that is where we will look. Our attention follows that which stands out. Take ten pens all lines up. They are all in focus. They are all the same color. However, one of them is significantly smaller than the others, or larger. This is what our attention will focus on.

In this image, the dove is placed in a strong compositional position and we used focus compositionally. Due to the circumstances, it turned out to be a mixture of abstract and wildlife. I think it came out nicely; a different kind of shot.


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