How to Shoot In-Camera Abstract Photos - dummies

By Doug Sahlin

You can get interesting in-camera abstract photos with subjects that have patterns, such as a row of trees, tree barks, palm fronds, and so on. This technique involves controlled motion of the camera while shooting at a slow shutter speed.

When you’re photographing a beautiful place, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and not notice everything, especially when you’re photographing a place for the first and perhaps only time. Photographers need to be aware of everything around them, including the smallest details.

1Choose your lowest ISO setting.

Use the lowest ISO setting possible to ensure a noise-free image.

2Shoot in Aperture Priority mode and choose your smallest aperture.

You may have to use a neutral density filter if you’re shooting in bright conditions. For this technique to work, you need a shutter speed of 1 or 2 seconds.

3Find a subject with an interesting pattern, such as closely spaced tree trunks.

Look up — forests and swamps abound with wonderful details and patterns in the canopy. You also find intricate patterns of light and shadow on the trees. Look down — find interesting objects like leaves blown on the ground, intricate patterns of tree roots, or small insects and animals.

4Push the shutter button halfway.

Press the button only halfway to achieve focus.

5Press the shutter button and slowly move the camera.

If you’re photographing a vertical pattern, move the camera up. If you’re photographing a horizontal pattern, move the camera left or right.

The resulting image has a soft painterly look to it. (Claude Monet, eat your heart out!)