Session 5 (Oct 8 - 14): The Medium, Part II – Abstraction as Simplification

Session 5 will expand will expand on the practical lessons introduced in Session 4, and focus on the art of abstraction as, somewhat paradoxically, a concrete method of simplifying photographs. We will discuss specific ways of creating abstractions, including creating so-called “minimalist” images, the selective use of neutral density filters, and macro photography.  In a sense, this whole session will be devoted to exploring how abstraction may be used to pay homage to Minor White’s admonition to photograph things for “what else they are.”

Essay (18 pages, pdf/2.9 mb)

Exercises (extract from main essay; 2 pages, pdf/155 kb)

Links

Synesthscapes (color abstracts):
Portfolio I - Warmth (Lenswork magazine)
Portfolio II - Coolness (Lenswork magazine)
Interview (with Brooks Jensen, editor, Lenswork magazine)

 

Micro Worlds (B&W abstracts):
Portfolio (Lenswork magazine, Issue 76)
Interview with Brooks Jensen

 

Examples of abstract photography:
Artsy.Net
Art Photo Index
Joseph Miller Abstract Photography Exhibit

 

Michael Kenna (minimalism)
Brett Weston (abstracts)

 

Wassily Kandinsky's Concerning the Spiritual in Art

Books / references on abstract photography and art:

 

The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography

Encountering the Spiritual in Contemporary Art

The Spiritual Dynamic in Modern Art
The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985
The Spiritual in Twentieth-Century Art