Photo Friday: Abstracts
The Back Story
Inspired by Andre Gallant a Canadian freelance photographer, today’s Photo Friday is an abstract photo taken while riding on a the AMTRAK Acela Express somewhere between Boston and Washington DC. Andre creates images through a number of creative manipulation techniques that are created mostly in camera. In a genre he calls Expressionism he will shake his camera on purpose, create montages, pan his camera at a slow shutter speed and use multiple exposes to create very unique photography. He has a number of books available from his website that goes over these techniques.
While riding on a train to DC, I was trying to shoot images from the inside, behind the windows. Not an optimal experience where the windows were dirty, the train was bouncing and the landscape was mostly boring. So taking a lead from what I learn in a presentation by Mr. Gallant, I created the abstract below.
You can check my website for more abstract photos.
This image was created as the train passed through a train station without stopping. What you see is the platform and two sets of rails. Having lines across the image along a diagonal gives the image dimension and brings the eye from left to right. There is a vanishing point to the right causes the observer to wonder what is off to the right. There is nothing in focus in this image yet the rails gives the eye someplace to rest. In addition the motion blur convey momentum.
Notice in the upper right hand corner is a bridge which is the overpass to the north bound tracks. Also notice the reflections of lights from inside the train, their angle works well with the angle of the tracks and the station.
- Camera: Canon 5D Mark III
- Lens: EF24-105 F/4L IS USM
- ISO 100
- Shutter speed 1/5 sec
- 24 mm focal length
- White balance 5450K
Hold the camera as close to the window of the train as possible to reduce reflections from inside the cabin. Hold camera steady and let it ride up and down with the train. Wait for stations to come into view. Press shutter. Selecting the proper shutter speed is key. I needed a slow enough camera speed to create the motion blur that was pleasing to the eye. The shutter speed had to vary along with the speed of the train so I needed to adjust shutter speeds, shoot, look at results and adjust. Through trial and error it took several shots to figure out the proper shutter speed based on the train speed.
A little cropping
Increased clarity in Lightroom by 19%