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How to Create Abstract Photos from Nature

Swaying Palm Trees of Huntington Beach, California

Nature truly is a beautiful thing. It can be an awesome and spiritual experience for many. Often, we can find some of the most unique and gratifying images in nature. However, for many, capturing those life-changing sights in the wild can be quite the challenge. If you are one of these peeps, and have an artistic eye, then you may want to learn how to create abstract photos from nature. And this is exactly what I’m going to talk about next!

The main thing with nature-driven, non-abstract imagery, is that, most of the time, it’s quite literal and factual. The shots are more scientifically driven. If you want to avoid that, then you’ll want to go for a more abstract look.

The primary challenge with creating abstract nature photography is that you need to look to capture a mood rather than a scene. For example, that stunning cherry blossom that you came across might not just reflect the beauty of nature, but the power of silence and serenity.

To create high quality abstract photography, you should get used to adjusting the distance that you shoot from. Abstraction often comes from shots which are extremely close-up, or extremely far-off. If we take an extreme macro, the image may be familiar yet unfamiliar at the same time.

What else matters when creating abstract photography?

Another important part of abstract photography in nature is to get the focus correct (or incorrect if it’s on purpose). Try working with manual focus for some of these shots. Abstract imagery often does not have the clear focal point that a more scientific shot would. Try and use an out-of-focus shot, and see what kind of impact that has on the wider picture. Try playing with different F-stops for depth-of-field.

Take note, though, that merely having out-of-focus photo art is not enough. A bit of movement can help to create an entirely different image than one you would get if you were to simply hold your camera still.

Swirly Trees of Fullerton, California

Keeping that in mind, you should try to move around (and move your camera and lens around) and see what kind of clicks you wind up with. Camera movement can help to change the lighting and help to remove a focus that you don’t really want.

Try shaking the camera and lens while using a slow shutter speed. You can shake the camera side to side, up and down and if you have a zoom lens you can zoom in and out for added effect. One of the techniques I like to use is twirling the camera while releasing the shutter as this gives a spinning effect to an image (see the image directly above).

On some older film cameras (remember film?), the lens can be removed and replaced with cardboard or paper with one or more pinholes in it. The resulting images can be abstract or even surreal.

Conclusion

If you keep these simple tips in mind, you might find it a bit easier to create abstract imagery direct from your natural surroundings. It’s not like normal photography, where you are stationary and have a literal focal point. Abstract nature photography is something completely different and, at times, wondrous!

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Finding Your Style in Photography

Dry Heat Cactus

Photo Art starts out as photography which is then enhanced in the digital darkroom. Let’s talk about the first step, photography.

As a beginning photographer, it is a common worry that you are having a hard time finding your own sense of style. It’s an issue that can leave you flummoxed as to how to find your place in the photo world. In such a thriving industry, with so much competition, it can be quite disheartening if you are creating photos (and photo art) that looks like what everyone else is doing.

In this article, though, I will try to help you find the best way to thrive.

Your style is equal to your values

First off, remember that your style is going to be applicable to how you view the world. For example, you might be someone who enjoys taking photos of real life moments. Some like to use photography to raise awareness for societal problems, such as poverty. Others use it to show people the true world that waits for us outside of working hours. Or others, like me want to show off nature (or at least an abstract, fantastic or surreal version of it).

Whatever you value in life, you can use that to define your style of photography. Are you someone with a burning sense of injustice? Do you want to help others see, in real terms, the reality of life for many of us? Or would you like to convey a since of wonder and escapism?

Once decided, your photography should maintain that kind of focus. Style is not necessarily the angles you shoot from or the kind of lens that you use. It’s about the kind of imagery that you want to put out in the world.

You’ll find your style through personal inspiration

Many high-level photographers find that their styles comes from a place of personal change and inspiration. For example, you see a scene on the street or a seashore that is powerful and profound that it makes you want to immediately take a shot. That gives you a sense of energy, and it will drive your desire to shine a light on that particular moment.

This is how many photographers manage to find their style. It’s not always about what is profitable or what is easy to shoot. They (myself included) find something that stirs their emotions and brings them to the very peak of creativity.

Your style is not going to come from only looking through a book of ideas. It’s going to come from something catching your eye (or your mind’s eye) and making you know that this is what excites you beyond all else.

Creativity is such a powerful feeling, and one that can drive you to higher levels. As a photographer, then, your personal style will be driven by your individual values and your ability to find something that genuinely shakes you into action. You won’t find the answer to what your style is anywhere else but within your own mind, heart and personal vision.

So, what are you waiting for – get that camera clicking!

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Abstract Surreal Nature Photo Art from Orange County Photographer

Facing the Beach

Photo Art by Kevin breaks new ground and is open for business. The new enterprise is the brainchild of California artist and photographer Kevin S. Kantola.

According to Mr. Kantola, “I’ve tried to deliver something new by taking an abstract and surreal re-imagining of traditional nature photos. Instead of the more cliché snapshots of flowers, plants, trees, streams and landscapes I’ve decided to add new twists which leave many people saying ‘Wow! Is that real?’”

The business offers signed and numbered limited edition prints of some truly bizarre nature themes, derived from California locations such as Big Sur, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Oceano, Fullerton, Vasquez Rocks, Morro Bay, San Marino (Huntington Library and Gardens) and Yosemite National Park.

A few of the more interesting categories of photo art offered include beach, cactus, flowers, plants, rocks, streams, trees and waterfalls. In all, there are over 550 images available for viewing on the website.

According to Mr. Kantola, “I’ve been doing photography and art for the past 40 years and digital imaging for the past 30 years. So, I thought that it was finally time to combine my two passions and show off my photo art online for all to see.”

Over the past decades, Mr. Kantola has worked as a graphic artist, photographer, photo editor, photo lab technician, illustrator and digital imager.

About this new venture, Mr. Kantola states, “There are so many great nature photographers and artists out there, many of which post on Instagram, that I wanted to do something different. That said, I didn’t want my work to be completely disconnected to nature, but rather celebrate nature. So I decided to turn this genre on its ear and hope for the best.”

This unique photo art can be viewed online at PhotoArtByKevin.com.

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New Business: Wacky Nature Photo Art from OC Photographer

Flower Red Dragon Characters Fullerton

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New Business: Weird and Wild Nature Photo Art Directly from the Artist

Photo Art by Kevin is open for business. The new enterprise is the brainchild of Kevin S. Kantola, a California artist and photographer.

The business offers strange and weird, surrealistic and abstract nature photos for sale as signed and numbered limited edition prints. Some of the California locations featured include Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Fullerton, Vasquez Rocks, Morro Bay, San Marino and Yosemite plus many more places (some in the other U. S. states).

A few of the more interesting categories of photo art offered include beach, cactus, flowers, plants, rocks, streams, trees and waterfalls. In all, there are over 500 images / products being offered.

According to Mr. Kantola, “I’ve been doing photography and art for the past 40 years and digital imaging for the past 30 years. So, I thought that it was finally time to combine my two passions and show off my photo art online for all to see.”

Over the past decades, Mr. Kantola has worked as a graphic artist, illustrator, photographer, photo editor, digital imager and photo lab technician.

About this new venture, Mr. Kantola states, “I wanted to do something different in regard to nature photography. There are already so many excellent nature photographers out there producing images straight out of camera, so I wanted to add a slight twist to this genre. My idea with this business was to show off my nature work that live somewhere between the real and the surreal.”

Purchases of this unique photo art can be made online at PhotoArtByKevin.com.