Backyard Abstraction

I have been back in my backyard. You know shooting for my backyard project. If you have followed my blog for a while, you don’t need any introduction to this project. But for new readers, here is a short and quick outline: Every so often—since 2011 in fact—I have used my backyard experimenting with my photography, shooting in ways I would normally not.

Now that autumn is about to fade out into the next season, the colours are maybe less intense than a month ago, but still plentiful. However, instead of focusing on the autumn colours in a traditional way, this time I went for a more abstract approach.

Moving the camera while using a longer shutter speed is nothing new. But playing around with direction and different ways of moving the camera, I discovered that shooting up against the sky created some beautiful, mixed shapes in the boundaries between highlights and the much darker leaves. I experimented with the shutter time, and shot with anything from a ¼ of a second to a couple of seconds. The images captured were extremely low contrasting, though, so in postproduction I had to amp up the contrast significantly. Usually increasing the contrast will also increase the saturation, so I chose to de-saturate the colours drastically.

If you haven’t seen my previous photos, here is the links to post about my backyard project: Shooting Sideways, Backyard Bliss, Experimental Backyard, My Photographic Retreat, My Backyard Project, My Personal Challenge, The World from the Backyard, Instagram my Backyard, Out of Comfort Zone and Challenge and Expand.

57 thoughts on “Backyard Abstraction

  1. What wonderful images, Otto — I really love the ethereal light and movement in this set. Just as I love your lesson that even familiar subjects can be fascinating when seen through new eyes.

  2. Love the abstract images and different ways of viewing nature. In fact many of your images in this personal project are interesting to view.

    (I have my own 2 series called ‘Nature Memories’ and another folder of ‘World in a Puddle’, which, would you believe, I was just looking through deciding on one for my B & W blog. Talk about co-incidence).

  3. Doing something out of usual way once in a while is a good way to have a fresh mind. These pictures just exactly the examples. They are nice abstract form – no agenda or real life story to be told. Your mind just stays sink in.

  4. It’s almost time for the Beaujolais Nouveau-style wines to be released, in the region where I grew up, and these are good visualizations for finishing the second bottle of that event. 🙂 just kidding. They have a very pleasing feeling of vapor streams, and capture the dazzling effect of looking up through the leaves in bright sunlight.

  5. The variety is especially pleasing: each image differs from the others in significant ways, and yet the play of light and colors join them as a set. The third reminds me of an urban landscape — skyscrapers! — and I do like the touch of realism in the last photo of the leaf.

  6. These images demonstrate that it is not always necessary to travel to exotic locations to find subjects. I estimate that over the last five or six years around 80% of my posts have been derived from or inspired by material sourced from my garden/backyard.

  7. I don’t go in our backyard, it belongs to the upstairs tenants, mine are front yard pictures, generally in the summer… i love these abstractions!

  8. I always enjoy what you do for this project, and these are no exception. They’re different from other intentional camera movement images I see, and I love the first and last photos. I can see how shooting into the light helped make this interesting. Very expressive!

  9. Whenever I see the results of your Backyard Abstraction posts, I imagine you dancing with your camera. No need for heavy contemplations; just a time to breathe and let loose. Fantastic!

  10. Lovely work, Otto. I very much enjoy playing with my camera in this way too. Mostly I favour the image where I can still make out what the image is, like the and the last one here, and sometimes the totally abstract ones looks the best because of the wonderful display of colours. Your backyard images are always a source of inspiration.

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