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How To Shoot Better Abstract Landscapes Now

Is the weather not playing ball? Well make your landscapes abstract with these hints and tips.

|  Creative
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Ice in Canada

Photo by David Clapp -


What Gear Do I Need?

When it comes to gear choices, your first thoughts might be to pick up a macro lens but shooting with a wide-angle zoom will give you a larger area you can crop into later. You'll also need a tripod as well as an ND and polarising filter.


When Can I Shoot Abstract Landscapes? 

If your landscape shooting plans are put on hold by a grey overcast day, still head out as you can shoot some abstract landscapes instead. As shadows, which can help create perspective, aren't something we need in abstract landscapes you can shoot when the sun's hidden by cloud. After it's rained, when the sky's still decorated with grey clouds, is a perfect time to head out as the light will still be even and everything will be damp and drying which means they'll be plenty of different shades to capture.


What Subjects Make A Good Abstract Landscape? 

Basically, you need to frame your shot so it removes it from its surroundings, focusing on the patterns, shapes, texture and colours. Here are a few examples:

  • Wet, colourful pebbles on a beach.
  • The patterns the tide creates in the sand.
  • Close-ups of rusty objects.
  • Lines found at the bottom of reservoirs after they've dried up.
  • Areas where water has pooled, as the rocks and foliage they collect can make an interesting study. (You'll probably need a polarising filter to reduce the amount of glare coming off the water's surface.)


How Should I Position My Camera? 

You need to stand parallel to your subject so if you're shooting pebbles on a beach, for example, you need to stand directly above them and shoot down. Just remember to have a look around the viewfinder before you take your shot as the wide-angle view can mean your feet end up creeping in at the edge of the frame.

What About Aperture Choices? 

For front to back sharpness try using an aperture around f/8 which on an overcast day does mean you'll end up with slightly longer exposure times so using a tripod is a must. If the tides coming back in, filling channels it originally cut going out or you're at the side of a stream that's meandering round and over a group of rocks, dial down to a smaller aperture to give you an even slower exposure so you can blur the movement of the water, adding further interest to your shot.

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leftie 5 15 United Kingdom
25 Nov 2017 11:15PM

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