APOY 2016 Round 1: Sense of Doubt - Abstract Images

APOY 2016

APOY 2016 Round 1: Abstract Images

**Please visit the APOY 2016 home page to find all the rules for entry, terms and conditions, the APOY ENTRY EMAIL ADDRESS and the disclaimers must be copied and pasted into an email entry.

Entries for APOY 2016 Round 1 : Sense of Doubt – Abstract Images must be received by midnight (UK time) on 27 March 2016

In APOY 2013, we ran our first Abstract round for a number of years. While we knew that rounds dealing with landscapes and black & white always did well, we were stunned to see the number of entries that came pouring in when we asked readers to send us their best abstract images. It was with this in mind that we decided to bring it back in 2015 to see if we would get similar results. We did, and that means it would foolish not to include an abstract round this year. So here we are with our opening of round of 2016 – Abstract.

APOY 2016 Abstract

Abstract photo by Aaron Yeoman

Abstract photography involves exploring the world through details. That doesn’t mean just getting in close with a macro lens, though. It means shooting a subject in such a way that it is separated from usual representations of that object. It can mean shooting and framing your images so the primary concern is squarely on the strange patterns, shapes and textures that make up the world around us. Finding abstract images means treating the world around you in a very different way. Every little nook and cranny holds potential: the moss growing on a garden wall; the rust of your car door; the melting ice found in your freezer. You can be as experimental as you like, even down to using in-camera techniques such as slow shutter speeds.

Abstracts can be found everywhere, and in everything, from the street where you live to the darkest forest. We’re putting no restrictions on your subject. This is your chance to be truly adventurous.

This month’s prize

APOY 2016 Abstract

WIN a Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens and a Sigma EF-610 DG ST flashgun

The Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM lens is part of the company’s Art line. With a focal length of 20mm and f/1.4 aperture, this lens delivers outstanding large-aperture brightness and bokeh, delivering unprecedented visual experiences. This lens is ideal not only for such ultra-wideangle subjects as landscapes and starry skies, but also for snapshots in low light, indoor photography, portraits with a natural bokeh effect, and much more. The Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) ensures silent, high-speed autofocusing, while the optimised AF algorithm helps realise even smoother AF performance.

The Sigma EF-610 DG ST flashgun is a multifunctional shoe-mount-type flash featuring a powerful Guide Number of 61m @ ISO 100 and designed to work with the most popular digital SLR cameras. This flash unit provides fully automatic flash photography for digital SLRs with automatic TTL exposure control.

In total that’s a prize value of £1,019.98 for round one.

We take a look at some tips and tricks to set you on your way to shooting abstract pictures

Finding abstracts

APOY 2016 Abstract

Finding abstracts photo by Penny Halsall

As we’ve said, finding abstracts requires you to retune your sight in order to reveal the world in strange and unusual ways. This example from Penny Halsall was actually taken while she was out for a run and was taken using a point-and-shoot camera, specifically a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS28. The image consists of three elements – Tarmac, a puddle, and oil. These three things work together to create a picture that can easily hold your attention. The image itself looks like a painting and wouldn’t look at all out of place on a gallery wall. The texture of the Tarmac peppers the empty space around the oil and water, offering ample visual interest and tiny spots of colour.

Man-made abstracts

APOY 2016 Abstract

Man-made abstracts photo by Paul Cooper

If you keep your eyes open, you’ll find that abstract images are everywhere. Perhaps one of the simplest places to find abstracts is in architecture. Take Paul Cooper’s image here, for example. A lingering gaze at the image reveals what it is – a swimming pool – but the slow shutter speed (180secs) has smoothed out the water and sky, rendering the scene as a minimalist and tonally muted image. It’s a perfect example of taking a familiar scene and rendering it strangely uncanny.

Natural abstracts

APOY 2016 Abstract

Natural abstracts photo by Chris Ducker

Nature offers us all kinds of subjects, but it can sometimes be tricky to find a way of producing an image that is original and technically excellent. Take a look at this excellent abstract from Chris Ducker that shows his dog shaking its fur and in doing so giving Chris a thoroughly original and utterly captivating shot.

Vital rules

APOY 2016 Abstract

Vital rules photo by Richard Moore

It would be churlish to imagine that abstract is simply the idea of shooting something a bit unusual and hoping for the best. You have to remember that the fundamentals of photography still apply. If anything, things like framing, exposure and composition become even more vital. This example by Richard Moore subtly uses the technique of leading lines. Notice how your eye is led from the bottom right-hand corner and swept around the frame to the cluster of branches at the top.

**Please visit the APOY 2016 home page to find all the rules for entry, terms and conditions, the APOY ENTRY EMAIL ADDRESS and the disclaimers must be copied and pasted into an email entry.

Entries for APOY 2016 Round 1: Sense of Doubt – Abstract Images must be received by midnight (UK time) on 27 March 2016

APOY 2016