There couldn’t be truer words than those found in the Latin proverb, “By learning you will teach, by teaching you will learn.” My cameras have taken me to more than 80 countries around the globe, but Tiffini Myers, a student of mine at The Art Institute of California in Hollywood, reminded me that there’s a whole world of photo opportunities waiting for us much closer to home. In fact, as Myers demonstrates in her series of abstract photos, they’re not only closer to home, but they can be found in the home. Myers and I discussed the best ways to discover and photographically capture these hidden gems that, while often in plain sight, are more often overlooked.
First, it’s important to understand what abstraction means as it relates to art. The word itself can be loosely defined as something that has been dissociated from its original form. For our artistic endeavors, this translates as a visual language of form, color and line independent in varying degrees from its “real-world” visual reference. For photographers, it’s examining the world in a new, unique way.
Look for patterns in manmade objects, nature and a combination of the two. Patterns in architecture are an endless source of photo opportunities for interesting abstractions. A long telephoto lens can bring you into an interesting part of a building, rather than just documenting the structure itself.