dewdrop bokeh Water on a magnolia leaf. Image: Su Leslie 2018

“To abstract is to draw out the essence of a matter.” – Ben Shahn

The more photographs I make, the more I realise that I’ll never capture everything in a scene. And the more I try, the busier and more confused my images become.

I’m learning to focus my brain as well as my lens; to make judgements about what is important to me; what I want my image to say. Sometimes that means taking an image into the realms of abstraction.

img_6015 A starfish in the tide. Image: Su Leslie 2018

“The less there is to look at, the more important it is that we look at it closely and carefully.” ― Kirk Varnedoe

img_6013 Cactus leaves. Image: Su Leslie 2018
DSC09393 The storm. Image: Su Leslie 2013

“What does that represent? There was never any question in plastic art, in poetry, in music, of representing anything. It is a matter of making something beautiful, moving, or dramatic – this is by no means the same thing.” – Fernand Leger

img_6014 Tulips. Image: Su Leslie 2019

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge | abstract

52 thoughts on “Abstract

  1. Su–everyone of these images is outstanding. The sparkle of that first photo, the hidden starfish, the symmetry of the cactus. Goodness! My brain hurts just thinking of focusing like this. Gems…..every single one.

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  2. These images are wonderful, Su. They seem to embody the essence of a trance-like zen. Very ethereal, which, of course, is a necessity for your tulip because how else would a fairy crawl into it. Not to mention that shaggy fur coat (starfish), which I would like to snuggle into myself. 🙂 That Ferdnand Leger comment resonates with me. You didn’t have to tell us about the photos – we could have made up our own stories about them – but I am glad you did. ❤

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  3. Oh these are really wonderful, Su! I especially like the magnolia leaf, the storm and the tulips. It looks like you layered images for the tulips, but did you layer for the storm, or put your camera on a really slow speed and let the wind make the photo? They are marvelous!!

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    • I’m so glad you like it Darren. I took that shot two years ago, and it’s nearly disappeared in a couple of photo purges because it wasn’t as “good” as other images I shot at the same time. But something made me hold on to it and I’m glad I did 🙂


  4. Reading your comment to Darren about the starfish picture, it’s funny how some of the pictures we almost deleted turn out to be ones we like after time has worked its magic. I love the sparkling magnolia leaf too – I think of magnolia leaves as being dark and leathery so this picture completely confounded my expectations.

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    • You’re right. I try not to delete too many too soon (or to keep so many shots I can’t find anything), because I’ve so often gone back and seen a shot with new eyes. Responding to challenges helps too.
      The leaf was young — hence the paler, brighter green.


  5. Love your abstract photos, Su! They only seem to enhance the beauty of the things you capture with your lense. And the Varnedoe quote is perfect – going to copy it into my quote journal right now! 😄 xxx

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