Shooting abstract pictures can be a great time spent with your Lumix G. You can be outdoors with your camera and try to spot things that you can turn into an abstract composition. Or you can shoot indoors, setting up your abstracts to your own composition specially.
It’s the way you compose your shots that is vitally important. Try to fill the whole frame, getting in really close – this can be a good way of creating an abstract shot. Also, the direction of the light is important – when outdoors, try shooting into the sun.
Experiment with shooting using a wide aperture to minimise the depth of field. Also, use various different film types, e.g. Dynamic Black-and-White as well as Vibrant Colour. Change the White Balance setting on your camera, too. Try Tungsten when shooting in daylight, and vice versa – the Daylight setting when shooting in semi-darkness. This can give you some interesting looks.
For my abstracts, I have used both the GF1 and the G2 Lumix G cameras. The first and third shots were taken while on holiday, using the GF1 with the 20mm f1.7 lens. Aperture priority f8, ISO 100, White Balance set for Daylight; Raw.
The shot below is a late-evening cloudscape that I thought was just amazing. The trails from the cloud make it look like it’s jet propelled!
This shot is reflections in a swimming pool. I rippled the water from the right-hand corner of the pool and composed the camera on a diagonal to the ripples; I really like this graphic image.
The next shot is a self-portrait in shadow. I noticed my own shadow when I was shooting the ripples, so I composed my body position to create an interesting composition.
The forth and seventh shots were taken in the studio, all using the G2 on a tripod with the 45mm f2.8 lens. For shot 4, which is sheets of A4 paper stood on their edges on a tabletop, I’ve got the aperture at f 5.6, shutter speed 1/4 sec, ISO 100, White Balance set to Tungsten; Raw. The sheets are lit from the left by daylight from a window. The flow of the paper with a short depth of field and a blue colour balance really makes a good abstract.
This shot, for all you music nuts, is a nice black-and-white study of my guitar. Aperture f4, 1/30th sec, ISO 100, White Balance setting for Flash, Dynamic Black-and-White film; Raw. I composed the shot across the diagonal again, using a short depth of field. The guitar was laid onto a piece of black velvet and lit directly from above with a soft box light.
For the sixth and seventh shots showing ink drops into water, the settings are aperture f16, 1/125th sec, ISO 100, White Balance set for Flash; Raw. This type of shoot takes a bit more planning. I filled a small tank with water and stuck a piece of tracing paper to the back. Behind this I placed a battery-powered flash-head with a photocell. I used the pop-up flash on the camera to light from the front and fire the flash behind the tank.
You need to predetermine where the ink will drop into the tank, so I dangled a plastic ruler into the water to manually focus the camera and test the exposure before I started dropping the ink. Also, if you position the tank at an angle to the camera then you and the camera/flash won’t reflect in the glass. This shoot needs to be achieved ideally in a fairly dark room, so that only the flash is lighting the subject. As the flash gives a duration of approx 1/500th sec, freezing any movement will be OK.