How to Take Saleable Abstract Shots

Take a look at these three pictures:

These were all photos submitted for this month's photo contest "Photos for All Seasons," and they're all what I consider abstracts.

When you first look at these image what do you see?  A floating leaf, clouds, the pines of a tree?  Or are they more an image of shapes and colors?

I like abstracts.  I like to look at them, and they're easy to sell in the fine art world (most people don't like to hang destination pictures on their wall unless they've been to that particular destination or have some connection to it -- either they fantasize about going there or their ancestors are from there).  But a lot of people buy abstracts so long as they match the color scheme in the room they plan to hang it in.


To shoot a good abstract, here are a few things you can look for…

1 Look for repeating textures and shapes. A pile of PVC pipes or a stack of papers, when shot very close, become an image of circles or lines. The abstract shapes become more obvious than the actual subject.

2.  Look for color combinations.  Colors that appear opposite on the color wheel will become the most vibrant -- Red and green, blue and yellow.  Colors that are monochromatic in your image are subtle and could, for example, blend well as a background -- the blue hues of the shallow waters in the Bahamas or the green fields of Ireland, for example.

3. To make an abstract image successful, it's important to visualize your subject in texture, color, and shape, and create ambiguity on what the actual subject may be.  This can be an added bonus as a viewer is drawn in and studies the image more closely to identify it.
The great thing about abstracts is they are all around you. You don't have to travel far to find the elements that create a successful abstract image.


To find out more about our photo contest click here.

First-time users should register first on the "register" link on the right side bar.  Once you have a username and password, click "Enter to Win" to upload your photos.  Only one photo per applicant will be considered.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]