Abstract Photography – Composition

Creating abstract images can be a lot of fun and can result in some impressive images. However, creating abstract images does take some skill. One of the most important skills is composition. Composition is what determines how the form, color, and curves are arranged within an image. There are many approaches to composition. Carrying out a thorough review of the subject of composition is beyond the scope of this article. However, three aspects of composition, as they relate to abstract photography, will be covered.

* Rule of Thirds

* Golden Triangle

* No Rules

Rule of Thirds: The rule of thirds is one of the most common approaches to composition. The rule of thirds requires that an image be divided into thirds both vertically and horizontally. The center of interest should then be located where the dividing lines cross.

Golden Triangle An alternative approach is the golden triangle. When using the golden triangle, a diagonal is drawn from one corner of the image to the opposing corner. Then, lines are drawn from the other two corners such that they intersect perpendicularly with the first diagonal. The center of interest is placed near one of the intersections of these lines.

No Rules: While the rule of thirds and the golden triangle can create some great abstract images, one of the great things about abstract photography is that it is not always necessary to follow the rules. Sometimes, it is just best to go with whatever sparks your imagination.

Art of Subtraction

People tend to react to abstract photography on an instinctual or emotional level. Therefore, to create great abstract images, all one has to do is remove everything that does not, in some way, strengthen the viewer’s emotional reaction. This is the art of subtraction.

So, how does one go about creating an image that communicates an emotion? It comes down to a three step process: 1) identify the emotion, 2) identify the elements that strengthen the emotion and add them to the image, and 3) subtracting everything else from the image.

A natural response might be to ask why this is so important. The answer is that items in an image that help the image communicate its emotion strengthen the image. All other items serve only to dilute the image.In short, all things that do not strengthen the emotion of an image weaken the image.


Strong compositions lead to strong abstract images. Of course, there is a lot more to learn about abstract photography.

Source by Ron Bigelow