Abstract photography is a journey into your own perceptions. It’s a modern art form, where shapes, colors, and textures mingle to evoke feelings and thoughts.

Unlike traditional photography, it’s not just about what’s in the frame, but about what it stirs within you. Remember the viral “The Dress” photo?

That debate perfectly captures what abstract photography is all about—It highlights how our brains interpret visual cues.

If you are Intrigued by this genre of photography, read this blog to find beginner-friendly abstract photography ideas you can explore right at home. Also, I’ll share essential tips to help you create your own captivating abstract images, since you are just starting out.

Abstract Photography Ideas for Beginners

Let’s lay a strong foundation for your exploration of the exciting world of abstract photography in this section. By following these ideas for abstract photography and letting your creativity flow, you’ll be capturing stunning abstract:

  1. Exploring Everyday Objects

Look beyond the ordinary! A chipped cup, tangled wires, or even a pile of buttons can become fascinating abstract subjects when you focus on close-up details, textures, and patterns.

Exploring Everyday Objects
  1. Textures and Patterns

The main elements of abstract photography are form, color, and texture. Our world is full of hidden textures: peeling paint, cobblestones, or even a woven basket. Use light and different angles to emphasize these textures and create visually compelling compositions.

Textures and Patterns
  1. Motion Blur and Intentional Camera Movement (ICM)

Embrace movement! Experiment with slow shutter speeds to blur moving objects or intentionally move your camera during exposure. This can create abstract streaks, swirls, and painterly effects.

Motion Blur
  1. Reflections and Distortions

Play with perspective! Use reflective surfaces like puddles, mirrors, or even shiny objects to capture distorted reflections and create a unique abstract perspective.

  1. Finding Inspiration in Nature

Nature is an abstract artist’s playground! Capture close-up details of flowers, experiment with slow shutter speeds on flowing water, or use light and shadow to transform landscapes into abstract masterpieces. 

Ernest Haas, a pioneer in abstract photography, used multiple exposures to create dreamlike compositions.

Finding Inspiration in Nature

4 Additional Beginner Tips to Consider

Black and White: Consider converting your photos to black and white. This can simplify the composition and emphasize shapes and textures.

Black and White

Fill the Frame: Get close to your subject and fill the frame with interesting details.

Fill the Frame

Experiment with Cropping: Crop your photos tightly to focus on specific elements.

Embrace the Unexpected: Sometimes, the most interesting abstract photos come from happy accidents.

Even if you’re confined to the comfort of your own home, there are numerous ways to explore abstract photography and create captivating images.

Before You Learn Abstract Photography Ideas at Home

This video is a fantastic resource for beginners who are curious about abstract photography. It provides clear and easy-to-follow guidance to get you started.

Abstract Photography Ideas – Change your Photography FOREVER!

Abstract Photography Ideas at Home: 4 Tips

Here are four easy tips to get you started on your abstract photography journey from the cozy confines of your home:

Setting up a DIY Photo Studio for Abstract Photography

Setting up a DIY Photo Studio for Abstract Photography

The beauty of abstract photography is that you don’t need high-end equipment. You can create stunning abstract images with the camera you already have, whether it’s a DSLR, mirrorless, or even a smartphone camera.

Transform a corner of your home into a DIY photo studio by clearing out clutter and setting up a simple backdrop.

A plain wall or a piece of fabric can serve as an excellent background for your abstract compositions.

Experiment with different angles and compositions to capture intriguing images.

Utilizing Natural Light Sources Indoors

Utilizing Natural Light Sources Indoors

Natural light will help you a great deal when you try to do abstract photography at home. Position your subjects near windows or doors to take advantage of soft, diffused light.

Pay attention to how light interacts with your chosen subjects, casting shadows and creating interesting contrasts.

Experiment with different times of the day to capture unique lighting effects and enhance the mood of your abstract photos.

Exploring Household Items as Subjects

Exploring Household Items as Subjects

Look around your home for everyday objects that can serve as captivating subjects for your abstract photography.

From kitchen utensils to household appliances, there’s no shortage of inspiration to be found in the objects you use daily.

Experiment with different perspectives, focusing on texture, shape, and color to transform ordinary items into extraordinary abstract compositions.

Creating DIY Props and Backdrops

Creating DIY Props and Backdrops

Get creative and craft your own props and backdrops to add an extra layer of visual interest to your abstract photographs.

Use materials like cardboard, fabric scraps, or even household items to create unique textures and patterns. 

Experiment with different colors and materials to complement your subjects and enhance the overall aesthetic of your photos. 

Abstract photography allows you to push the boundaries of traditional photography Find essential techniques below to take your abstract photography to the next level.

Abstract Photography Techniques

Abstract photography is your playground to experiment and discover beauty in the ordinary. Here are abstract photography tips to break the mold and see where your imagination takes you:

  1. Depth of Field Manipulation
Depth of Field Manipulation

Play with blurring and sharpness to create depth and intrigue in your photos. Isolate a subject with a shallow depth of field for a mysterious feel, or capture every detail with a deep depth of field. How you focus guides the viewer’s eye and sets the mood in your abstract art.

  1. Multiple Exposures for Layered Compositions
Multiple Exposures for Layered Compositions

Combine multiple photos to create unique, rich compositions. You can blend images to add texture and depth, crafting visual stories that go beyond reality. Or you can overlap subjects and play with exposure settings to unlock endless creative possibilities.

  1. Creative Use of Shutter Speed
Creative Use of Shutter Speed

Capture the energy of movement by using shutter speed creatively. Experiment with long exposures to show the flow of motion, or use fast shutter speeds to freeze moments in time. 

This technique is similar to light painting, where photographers use slow shutter speeds to capture the trails of light sources. Let your abstract photos showcase the beauty of both movement and stillness.

  1. Playing with Perspective and Angles
Playing with Perspective and Angles

Try taking pictures from angles and perspectives that aren’t usual. If necessary, get low to the ground or up high to change how things look.

The idea is to experiment with different angles and ways of arranging your subjects to make your photos surprising. It’s like seeing the world through a new lens and finding beauty in unexpected places.

If you’re looking to expand your photography skills beyond abstract art, why not explore the world of wedding photography? Check out our post on wedding photography tips for valuable insights and techniques to capture those special moments beautifully. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced photographer, there’s always something new to learn and inspire your creativity.

How to Take Abstract Photos: Step-by-Step Guide

There’s no single subject you need to capture to create an abstract image collection. How do you take a photo and make it abstract?

The secret lies in transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. To spark your creativity, consider the works of influential abstract photographers like Aaron Siskind and Wolfgang Tillmans.

Once you have general abstract photography ideas or feelings you want to evoke, here’s a step-by-step approach to bringing your vision to life:

Step 1: Choosing Your Subject or Scene

The world is full of potential! Look for interesting shapes, textures, patterns, or light play. You can zoom in on a tiny detail of a flower or capture the blur of city lights at night.

Step 2: Setting Up Your Camera and Adjusting Settings

Step 2 Setting Up Your Camera and Adjusting Settings

In abstract photography, experiment with shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to create your vision. Shutter speed can:

  • Freeze motion (1/1000s+) for sharp patterns (water droplets).
  • Blur (1/4s below) for dreamy effects, light trails, or textures.
  • Super slow (Bulb mode) for blurred movement or light paintings: shoot 1/10 or slower shutter speed to capture the motion.

Step 3: Experimenting with Compositions and Technique

Step 3 Experimenting with Compositions and Technique

Move your camera around, try unusual angles, or use intentional camera movement (ICM) for a blurred, dreamlike effect. Macro photography can reveal hidden details while manipulating light with long exposures can create light trails. 

Step 4: Capturing Your Abstract Photo

Step 4 Capturing Your Abstract Photo

Don’t be afraid to take multiple shots! Experiment with different approaches and have fun with the process.

Step 5: Post-Processing Tips

A image retouching company or using potent editing software like Adobe Photoshop can enrich your abstract photos. You can adjust colors, crop for better composition, or add subtle effects to further emphasize the abstract elements.

Final Remarks on Abstract Photography Ideas

Abstract photography is a unique form of art that allows you to see the world in a new way. It’s about capturing the essence of a subject rather than its literal representation. By following the tips and ideas in this blog, you can start creating your own abstract images and explore the endless creative possibilities of this art form. With a little practice and experimentation, you’ll be surprised at the beauty you can find in the ordinary. So grab your camera, start looking at the world around you with fresh eyes, and get ready to create some stunning abstract art!

Check out our other blogs on Photoshop and comment on what’s on your mind after reading this blog on abstract photo ideas.


  • Emily Duncan

    Hi there! I'm Emily Duncan, an image retoucher at Image Retouching Lab. With over 6 years of experience, I'm passionate about enhancing images to perfection. I love sharing tips and tutorials on our website to help others master the art of image editing.

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