The Art of Abstract Nature Photography
Abstract Nature Photography: What Is It?
Abstract nature photography takes a natural subject, like the first light of a rising sun over the ocean, and portrays it in a way that is either somewhat or entirely unrecognizable. Often the viewer of an abstract photograph won’t make an immediate association with the natural subject captured on film.
An article by Adobe encouraging us to think outside the box with abstract photography states, “Abstract photography consists of images created using photography materials and equipment that don’t have an immediate association with the physical world. Abstract photographers use perspective, movement, and light to transform the world we see into an unexpected, often unrecognizable image.”
Abstract photography allows the viewer to play a unique role while engaging with a piece. Some may see vibrant color and movement, while others see something else entirely — this adds an element of intellectualism, creativity, grace, and wonder for both the viewer and the space the abstract wall art inhabits.
For Strie Seas, Latitudes artist Stephanie Hogue used a slow shutter to capture these compelling waves streaking across the shoreline. The thought and expertise that went into creating this piece are evident in how this abstract photography looks like a painting. You could meditate deeply on this large abstract wall art for hours, leaving your worldly worries behind as your mind dances around the paintbrush-like waves, the soft sky, and Santa Cruz Island resting faintly in the distance.
Origins of Abstract Photography
In 1842, using a spectroscope to disperse light rays into visible patterns, John William Draper produced images that many believe to be among the earliest versions of abstract photography. At the time, his prints had no recognizable reality to the visible world. These early abstract photographs were vastly different from the day's photography and opened up endless possibilities for photographers to bring the invisible into the light. To Draper, his images were nothing more than science records, but they are recognized today as game changers.
Next, Anna Atkins, an early English photographer, placed dried algae on cyanotype paper, creating a book of photographs that she self-published. Like Draper, to Atkins, this exercise was a scientific study, but the striking white-on-blue creations produced a whimsical abstract feel thanks to the use of negative imaging.
Abstract Nature Photography in Your Spaces
Abstract photos of nature make an undeniable statement, especially in a space with non-abstract pieces. Here are a few tips for incorporating this art into your home or office.
Bring Tones Together
If your home’s design style favors specific accent colors, an understated yet captivating way to tie them together is with abstract wall art that utilizes several of those tones. This creates harmony in the room and shows your guests the thought that went into your selections.
Check out how Dreamscape takes an already surreal occurrence that happens daily, a sunrise, and turns it into a dream-like experience where every aspect of the rising sun’s effect on the sea and sky becomes amplified. Now note how the morning colors blend as the tide rolls in and, at the same time, tie all of the elements of this room together.
Often when we see abstract nature photography, its scale is abundant. While these prolific sizes create equally prolific statements, if you're working with a smaller space or less wall real estate, that doesn't mean you're out of the abstract wall art game. Opt for a smaller print that adds to the room without overwhelming it.
That said, if you have the space, go big. Hanging large abstract landscape photography like Ke'e Ablaze will not only turn a few heads and drop a few jaws, but your guests will sing its praises long after they've left your home. In this room scene, the golden sunset light filtering through the roaring waves is hypnotizing, to say the least. The juxtaposition of vibrant color against the white room commands your attention and leaves you inspired, energized, and feeling alive in ways only abstract nature photography can provide.
Sometimes all an artist needs to create stunning abstract photography is a different perspective. Take a look at Pier Aerial. From far above, the Ventura Pier takes on a new form. What do you see? A landing pad for helicopters? A runway in the middle of the ocean? Some robotic sea creature? That’s the beauty of abstract photography — whatever you see is precisely what the image is to you now. Even better, what we first see in an abstract work often morphs into new wonders over time.
Rainbow Eucalyptus Panoramic is a remarkable piece of abstract nature photography. Taken on the Hawaiian island of Kauai after a tropical rain, the bark of this rainbow eucalyptus tree elevates into something different entirely.
Often we see the abstract in nature’s daily forms. Seaside Patterns is a study of tranquil reflections on ocean water patterns. We recognize that immediately, but upon deeper examination, we see one of the abstract gifts nature so selflessly provides.
We see this again in Four Palms. These quirky and fun California palms stand tall and together like a proud family soaking in the sunshine as four small birds playfully fly around their gathering. If you live in an area with palm trees, this is a regular site. Still, is the palm tree not among nature's most abstract creations?
This is only a taste of the abstract nature photography we offer. Browse our collection of abstracts to find a piece that suits your unique design needs. If you’d like assistance selecting the perfect piece for your space, book a free virtual consultation with our expert designer.