Tag Archives: Abstract Photography

A Blast From The Past – Swan Abstract

I was looking at some old images the other day and came across this one again.

Do you see the swan? So many people don’t see him until I point out his eye.

zoo photography black and white
1/320 sec – f/5.6 – ISO 200 – 79mm – EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS – Canon EOS Rebel Xti

I met this guy in January of 2013 as he “guarded” his lion friend at the Brit Spaugh Zoo in Great Bend, Ks.  He was wondering up and down the walkway along side the lion’s enclosure and wouldn’t let me get to near. Every time I tried to get close to the lion this swan would snap at my ankles and bite my pant leg and monopod.  At one point he even held onto my pant leg and tried to pull me away!

I have nicknamed him “The Lion’s Guardian”. I wonder if he’s still hanging around there?


Kitchen Abstracts – A Wintry Day Photography Project

1/100 - f/5.0 - ISO 200 - 105mm - 20mm extension tube
1/100 – f/5.0 – ISO 200 – 105mm – 20mm extension tube

It was beautiful weather outside today but a few days ago was a different story. Stuck at home I was looking for something to shoot and decided to revive an old experiment.

I was pleasantly surprised with how differently the results came out this time compared to my first take on these.

Here’s what you need to try a few oil and water kitchen abstracts for yourself:

  • A colorful background such as a wild Hawaiian shirt, crazy tablecloth, torn colorful paper scraps, wrinkled gift wrapping, or colorful placemats.
  • A clear glass baking dish.
  • Something to raise the dish up from the background such as a clear drinking glass at each corner [I did this the first time around]. Or you can experiment with placing the dish directly on the background as I did with this set of images.
  • Enough water to fill the dish over halfway full.
  • Cooking oil.

The set up:

  • Place your background on the ground, floor, or table. Outdoors in the sun on a nice day or indoors near a sunny window on a cold windy day like I had.
  • Place you dish of water on the background or slightly raised above the background.
  • Set your camera up on a tripod or plan to use a quick enough shutter speed to prevent shake.
  • Pour drops of cooking oil into the water and once the movement has stopped start shooting.
  • Aim carefully at the bubbles of oil on the surface of the water. Try moving around to different angles and getting in closer with a macro lens or the addition of an extension tube or two.
  • That’s it! Colorful abstract images created entirely in camera.
1/125 – f/4.0 – ISO 200 – 105mm – 20mm extension tube


Let me know if you give it a try!


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