Abstract landscape photography – what is that? It sounds like an oxymoron. Prior to attending this presentation,
I really didn’t think that there was much place in landscape photography for the abstract mind. But maybe that is because I am an engineer and not programed to think that way. David Buzzeo changed that in about one hour.
David is a landscape photographer. He is an instructor at the Burwell School of Photography. His teachings are primarily in the landscape category, but he explores photography as contemporary art. His goal is to create innovative and high impact images. As we were about to find out, he achieves this goal in his work with abstract photography.
David’s’ presentation was divided into two parts: first on background and theory about abstract art, and second, his work in the abstract photography. At first the background seemed a little on the dry side, but it led in very well into understanding this very different form of art. Part two would not have made as much sense without the background.
As his presentation entitled “Abstract Landscape Photography” is available on our website, so I won’t go into great detail summarizing his points. But I will repeat a few quotes from the evening:
Texture, Perspective, Motion
Principles: Dominance, Balance, Proportion,
Rhythm, Repetition, Harmony
There are two ways to approach getting your image:
1. You have an idea in your head and you go look for it. Jeff Wall, the famous Canadian Contemporary Art Photographer, primarily uses this approach. He draws his ideas from paintings.
2. You head to a place that interests you and look for something to motivate you. Edmonton Photographer Larry Louie uses this approach to great success.
Here are some of David’s starting out techniques for Abstract landscape photography:
Abstract photography is not limited to landscapes. The world is full of colours, shapes, palates, and details for you to capture and manipulate. Train your eye to look for potential abstract subjects and experiment with techniques no matter how unusual they are. Abstract photography is seeing the world in a different light and recognizing your power to change it.
David leaves us with six tips for developing your future style:
1. Try new things;
2. Learn from your mistakes;
3. Always repeat and grow from your successes;
4. Find out what you don't like;
5. Learn to distinguish between what you admire versus
what you create;
6. Stay true to your style.
David’s final point of the evening was one that was very important to him— that is for each photographer to have a Code of Ethics. He felt very strongly about this. Again, in his words: "Code of Ethics: Even though you have great artistic freedom with abstract photography it is critical that you have a code of ethics. A set of principles and guidelines which, as Steven Covey has said, will be the compass that guides you through life.
These should be written and referred to constantly. We must be principle centered. If you do not have a code of ethics,
may I respectfully refer you to the League of Landscape Photographers. Not only do they have a sample code of ethics they also are proponents of the principles of “Leave No Trace" for when you are in the field."
Thank you, David for a very inspiring presentation. I believe the Club will be seeing a lot more abstract images in the future competitions.