Find the abstract all around you

Whether you’re visiting somewhere new or capturing the place you live, it’s always worth trying to find ways of shooting that will help you create more interesting, distinctive images. After all, even if you’re simply taking a photo to remind you of somewhere you’ve been, it’s great if that picture is as remarkable as the memories it brings back.

A good place to start is in choosing a point of view that enables you to emphasise the abstract elements of your subject: the shapes, colours and textures that make it interesting. Even the most mundane environment has the potential to be transformed in this way if you can work out how to look at it a bit differently.

Abstract - Canon
Krystian Olszanski Big Guns
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Four techniques

Here are four simple techniques that you can easily try out yourself next time you’re out shooting:

  • Get right down and look up at your subject from below, for example at the foot of a tall building or monument so that it rises up dizzyingly in your image.

  • Find a high vantage point and look down on your subject from above. Looking straight down from a bridge or a balcony can make an everyday place look very strange and unfamiliar.

Abstract - Canon
Antonio Thomás Koenigkam Oliveira, Carousel
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  • Explore interesting ways to frame your subject, such as through a rainy window or through railings. Think about the shapes the frame makes and how they relate to the shape of your subject.

  • Make the most of depth of field. For example try focusing on a less obvious foreground element, with a landmark in the background. How do they relate on the flat of the picture plane?


Try shooting some more abstract shots next time you’re out with your camera. The more you do, the more you’ll come to see interesting images all around.

And if you’re proud of the results, why not share your photographs with the Canon community? You can easily upload them to our gallery here.