ABBEY CAMERA CLUB SUMMER COMPETITION

WEEK 2 – ABSTRACT

Comment – Can I say at the outset that I enjoyed judging the selection of images presented which included many different takes on the theme – Abstract. 

It may only be my opinion but I do think that the “rules” of photography also generally apply to abstract images as it does provide a degree of structure.

The Mutation - 15

An interesting approach although I do wonder if the three figures make it less of an abstract, I think they probably do. I do think that the location is worthy of a further visit and it would be interesting to see what a different viewpoint would achieve. The large area of out of focus bricks at the bottom spoils this photograph bearing in mind it accounts for almost 50% the image. A revisit with the camera being tilted slightly higher and focus placed on capturing more of the red/white painted bricks could result in a more balanced image. 

Entwine - 16

I like the mono treatment of this image and how the little circles of light/reflections take on their own patterns within each cluster. This subject has huge potential, the key weakness in my opinion is that the plant material doing the entwining is out of focus and maybe could be a little darker. The other change I would possibly make is crop a little off the top of the image.

Azul - 14

Love the colour and the idea with the segments creating interest and texture. Not sure whether the white segment in the bottom left third adds to the image as it creates the question of what is in the reflection, would probably have cloned it out. Sadly, the image is quite soft and this has let it down.

Fence - 15

I always think that that fences of this nature offer the opportunity to create any number of abstract images. I like the use of the angles, not sure about the mono treatment as many fences have a great range of subtle colours. I wonder if the author has included too much of the fence in this instance, particularly as the bottom half of the image is slightly soft. I would have been more inclined to focus on a smaller area possibly a square crop of the top half and used the imperfections in the wood to create a focal point.

Get straight to the Point - 20

A very well constructed image, the mono effect allied to the selective colour popping works very well with detail retained in the light/white areas. This is the strongest image in the selection and is my deserved winner. I would however, being pedantic, have cleaned up the few small white spots on some of the pencils.

Tension -15

A different approach and you can sense the tension in the image. The colours work well, the blues and the copper tones are complimentary. As presented, I feel there is too much background in the image and would have liked to see the original photography as I wonder if there was a better option with a different crop. Perhaps a crop finishing with the centre of the current image on the top third. Well done for trying something different.

Tulip - 19

This image really appeals to me, the colours, the sense of movement created by the swirl of colour which also provides a lead in line to the centre where you find a nice little tint of gold. It may be churlish but there are a couple of small areas that I think need adjusting, namely the image would benefit from a little more contrast to make it really stand out. The other is softening the two pointed leaves on the top left edge. Other than that a lovely abstract.

 

Fork 4 - 17

Great use of an everyday object and again the treatment works well with the gold and purple complimenting each other. Whilst the bottom right hand corner of the image provide a focal point the tines of the fork keep drawing my eye out of the photograph. As such I wonder if something is needed to create at stop of some sort, maybe a grape, or a chip! A very good attempt but there are stronger images in the selection.

Graphic Fins - 16

I like the simplicity of this image and the mono treatment works well. Whilst there is no particular focal point the graphic nature of the photograph works does compensate.  Sadly, the two largest curves in the centre are out of focus with the consequence my eyes keep being drawn to the edges of the image which I find spoils the effect.

Bubbles and Circles - 14

An interesting approach and well done for trying it. The wide range of colours does work for me in a slightly strange way. Unfortunately the bubbles in the pink background are quite soft meaning my eye has to travel to the outer edges of the image for something to settle on. The sharpest part of this image is the brown bubbles in the middle at the bottom and that is where my eye returns to all the time. An innovative approach unfortunately it does not quite work for me.

Inner Flower - 16

Love the colours of this image and how the crop has created natural vignettes in the corners which draw your eye into the centre. The light streak top left also acts as a sort of lead in line towards the middle. Unfortunately the stigma is out of focus albeit the anthers are relatively sharp and the result is that the centre of the image is soft in the wrong places which spoils the overall effect somewhat.

Natures Brushstrokes - 16

An imaginative use of what I suspect are leaves with the curves adding to the effect as they sweep from right to left. The greens and yellows are complimentary colours and the black works well also. Unfortunately I do find the large area of white particularly dominating and wonder if there needs to be as much of it in the image, maybe a square crop from the left edge would have worked better.

Spine Tingling - 15

Getting in close to what I presume is a cactus certainly works as the basis for an abstract image. The concept is good but unfortunately there are only a limited number of the spines sharp which has a negative impact on the overall effect which is one of a soft image.  Certainly worth another try and experiment with your focus points. I would probably have cropped out the top right corner.

Straws - 17

Colourful and well thought out and designed with sharpness in the key areas and the longer straws all providing good lead in lines towards the focal point. This image was almost amongst the top images but there is one issue which I think holds it back. The straws in the top right corner appear to me to be running in a different direction from those in the main body of the image and once I noticed it my eye was always drawn towards them. Were they possibly dropped in from another photograph. The other comment is quite minor but again it is one of these things that when you notice it i continues to catch your eye. I would have repaired end of the straw near the right hand edge. Possibly also darken the image down a little to emphasise the colours.

Morass - 14

There are many abstracts in nature and well done to the author for checking some of them out and identifying this one. First comment is that I think this one works better in landscape mode (single green leaf in bottom right corner) as the image has more structure. There is a more natural flow to the image in this format with the grasses and stalks all providing lead in lines to the tangle in the middle. I would probably have cropped out the green/white area at the top right when in landscape mode. Sadly the overall structure of this image is spoiled by the fact that it is quite soft which does it no favours.

Gully - 18

Again the author has taken the image on the angle which helps the dynamics and I like the square crop. The mix of the hard straight edges of the metal and the soft organic quality of the leaves in between works well and provides a nice contrast. I would suggest that the highlights could be dampened down a bit and maybe a little more contrast applied. Final thought is that the image would have been stronger if the viewpoint had been moved slightly and the bolt placed more in the top third. A well spotted image.

Bunch of Tulips - 15

Another image using a nice blend of colours and I like the approach of either taking the image slightly out of focus or creating the effect whilst editing. It works quite well although I would maybe have increased the blur slightly more to maximise the abstract feel to the photograph. The red and greens work well together and I wonder if a square crop near the top would have been more effective. A good attempt  but suffers a little from a better similar image in the selection.

Art for Art’s Sake - 18

I do like this image and enjoyed looking at all the little abstracts that could have been extracted from the main part of the image with the background texture adding to the effect, well spotted. This is another image which I think would work better presented in a landscape format as against portrait. I do find the light edges to the image slightly distracting and wonder if a slightly tighter crop to remove part of them would help, or darken them down. Never the less it is an interesting image.

No Indication of Source - 18

The title suns up my thoughts entirely, I particularly like the angle this image has been taken at, it creates an almost three dimensional effect, well done. The lines, top left down and bottom up draw your eye back up through the image to the three orange items, three is good. I would maybe have darkened the highlights slightly and taken a little of the top of the image. A well spotted opportunity and great use of viewpoint. 

Screen Time - 14

The coloured rays shooting out from the white spot create a nice starburst effect and well done for thinking of using what I presume is a phone screen to achieve the effect. I do however find the white spot particularly dominating in this image and I would have cropped it down a little and maybe have added a little saturation to the colours to enhance the rays. This is another image where I find the softness of focus does it no favours.

Gateway - 17

I enjoyed this image with the mixture of sharp edges and the impression of movement . The two angles up from the bottom third give me the impression that something is shooting down past the gate which works well. There are a couple of areas I may have tweaked, darken down the central column and maybe crop a little from the bottom but this is certainly an interesting image, well done.

Orange Glow - 14

This is another abstract being extracted from a floral display, which maybe suffers a bit from other stronger plant based images in the selection. There is definitely potential in the subject with plenty of angles and curves to make good use of and colours which work together reasonably well. This image is similar to Bubbles and Circles in that the sharpest point is right at the edge (right hand side) and as such draws your eye out of the picture. This is confusing as sone of the curved petals also lead your eye to the well out of focus green area, bottom centre. Some thought needs to be given to where the focus point is.

Tyre Treads - 15

This a simple image where the strength is in the repeating pattern of the tyre treads. Not sure the high key effect works as it does not maximise the other, in my mind, interesting aspect of this image, the various cracks in the base of the tyre. I would have gone for a darker image and maybe cropped it a bit, left hand side slightly to isolate the treads and from the bottom up to the top of the third tread on the left. It is however an imaginative use of an everyday item, well done.