Abstract Photography

Abstract Photography is referred to photography which is viewed as conceptual or non-objective, a photograph that doesn’t immediately reveal its associated meanings.

Rise Art works with experts to handpick exclusive abstract photographic prints for you to buy. We sell a wide range of renowned photographers who have created multi-layered pieces of abstract photography which explores fascinating concepts about how we interact and represent the real and unreal elements of our world.…

Techniques of Abstract Photography

The process of abstract photography is created using the same traditional equipment of subjects such as a camera, computer and dark room. The equipment can be manipulated to create different compositions and effects of the subject matter creating ‘abstract effects.’ These effects can refer to the photograph only presenting a small isolated and fragmented part of the original, thus distorts the realistic representation.

History of Abstract Photography

The origins of abstract photography developed during the beginning of the 20th century when the whole art canon was transformed through new movements such as Cubism, Constructivism and Post-Impressionism. Photographers began to publicly display their experiments with abstract photography such as Erwin Quedenfeldt’s series Symmetrical Patterns from Natural Forms (1914). In 1916, Alvin Langson created the Vortograph series which displayed twenty-four photos produced by a camera with a fitted prism. This technique created photographs that were unrelated to the reality of the subject matter of portraits and cityscapes. By the 1930s and 1940s photographer Man Ray created photographs that abstracted and distorted the traditional representation of objects. His ‘Rayographs’ were made without using a camera by placing objects onto photosensitized paper and exposing it light. This technique enabled Ray to create unique compositions of everyday objects with abstract and surreal undertones.

After the Second World War, a new generation of photographers such Ray K. Metzker, Walter Chappell and Frederk Sommer continue to develop the genre. In 1950, Sommer started intentionally arranging a composition of found objects to create photographs that could be open to interpretation from the viewer. The conceptual ideas around challenging conventional photography subject matter and representation continued throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Susan Rankaitis created a series of photographys which used images from scientific textbooks to create artwork that would explore physical and conceptual ides of what is a photograph and how we engage with the medium of photography. In recent decades new generation of photographers have experimented with the digital camera and computer technology to create new techniques and forms of abstract photographs. Photographer Harvey Lloyd is credited as pioneer in developing ‘post-abstract’ photography in his movement of Breaking the Light. By flashing his camera during a long exposure, Lloyd is able to create post-abstract photography is New York City in his series ‘Breaking the Light’ which captures the blurred lines of realistic and abstract views of the city.

Abstract Photography at Rise Art

Paulina Korobkiewicz’s Perspective No. 3930 (2017) is apart of her series Perspective to explore the spatial representation of cityscapes and to reconstruct subject matter rather than capture a realistic observation. This method explores ideas around perception and how it is defined by one’s senses and engagement, how seeing is completely unique to the individual. Thus No. 3930 is an amazing example of how Korobkiewicz is able to invite viewer and force the viewer to delve into her minds perception and her own way of seeing the world.


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