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04/26/2004 10:51:38 AM · #1
"If it is recognizable as an object - it is not an abstract."

really?

Message edited by author 2004-04-26 10:52:28.
04/26/2004 11:02:28 AM · #2
I sort of had the same reaction Ray. Wish I would have had more time to go over some of the latest entries added to the challenge database but I've been busy lately. It seems there are at least two types of abstracts according to John Womack (from this discussion):

"Objective abstract art will present a recognizable subject in an unusual way. Non-objective abstract art will present lines, form and colors full of light and energy that flow from an non recognizable subject."

Perhaps it might have been nice to have that definition in the challenge details or had the challenge titled "Non-Objective Abstracts". =]

Message edited by author 2004-04-26 11:05:55.
04/26/2004 11:12:54 AM · #3
2. abstract - not representing or imitating external reality or the objects of nature; "a large abstract painting"

I think the key is for it to at least not be immediately recognizable. It does not have to be totally unrecognizable no matter how hard you try.

The key for me is to first and foremost see the forms, the lines, the shapes, and only very very secondarily the reality of the object, if at all. When I wrote this description with my suggestion, I found a defnition that was very literal to make this point. Too many "abstracts" are really just pictures where there's an emphasis on pattern or geometric design but the reality is still always predominant.

This is indeed harder than if it were left general, but it's a challenge! I hope no one penalizes people if you can "eventually" recognize the object. But given people give scores after looking at something for 10 seconds or less, the goal is to hide the reality for at least that long.
04/26/2004 11:26:44 AM · #4
Originally posted by EddyG:

I sort of had the same reaction Ray. Wish I would have had more time to go over some of the latest entries added to the challenge database but I've been busy lately. It seems there are at least two types of abstracts according to John Womack (from this discussion):

"Objective abstract art will present a recognizable subject in an unusual way. Non-objective abstract art will present lines, form and colors full of light and energy that flow from an non recognizable subject."

Perhaps it might have been nice to have that definition in the challenge details or had the challenge titled "Non-Objective Abstracts". =]


Eddy, as the person who submitted this definition (if that matters) I don't have an objection to this definition being "expanded" to something like:

The emphasis must be on pattern, form, lines, shape, etc., and not on the reality of the object. The reality of the object should only be secondarily recognizable if at all.

I would like people to challenge themselves, but I don't have a problem with challenges that give people some leeway. To me DPC is about giving people personal challenges to produce one's own interpretations of topics and techniques as art.
04/26/2004 11:29:30 AM · #5
Abstract can be in the idea or theme presented by a completely recognizable subject. This challenge eliminates that idea.

04/26/2004 11:33:30 AM · #6
Originally posted by jmsetzler:

Abstract can be in the idea or theme presented by a completely recognizable subject. This challenge eliminates that idea.


I don't understand how that would qualify as an abstract photograph. Sure, it can be an abstract concept. Or an abstraction of something else. But if I understand you correctly, in my own opinion and research, I don't think it would be an abstract photograph.

Can you give some sources of discussion or articles that describe it so? Or an example of what you would consider abstract by this definition?

04/26/2004 11:46:20 AM · #7
Originally posted by nshapiro:

Originally posted by jmsetzler:

Abstract can be in the idea or theme presented by a completely recognizable subject. This challenge eliminates that idea.


I don't understand how that would qualify as an abstract photograph. Sure, it can be an abstract concept. Or an abstraction of something else. But if I understand you correctly, in my own opinion and research, I don't think it would be an abstract photograph.

Can you give some sources of discussion or articles that describe it so? Or an example of what you would consider abstract by this definition?


6445.jpg

5821.jpg

38082.jpg

50400.jpg

2892.jpg

7238.jpg

12545.jpg

6019.jpg

Each of these has abstract meaning. You can define each of these photos as 'not abstract' when you only consider the image itself.

I don't have a particular problem with the challenge as written. I will even look at the photos when they come out. Durning my stay here at dpc, I have seen exactly one photo where the subject was not 'recognizable' that I liked tho.

Abstract, like anything else around here, has multiple definitions depending on who is defining it. You define it as unrecognizable. I can accept that definition, but it's not the only definition. To me, photography is not only about what you see in the image. It's also about what you conclude from the image... just like any other kind of art.
04/26/2004 12:00:27 PM · #8
Neither example (below or above, depending on your list order) fits my sense of 'abstract'. The urinal without an apple though, would. If I studied my own senses more closely to be able to articulate what I mean, I'd miss the challenge by a thought and a day.

But I was thinking 'No idea but in things' (William Carlos Williams)...

Message edited by author 2004-04-26 12:00:47.
04/26/2004 12:09:45 PM · #9
So what about this picture that I took of a Shelby Cobra. I did not take it for the object itself - i.e. the car or the mirror etc. but I took it and cropped it like this to show off the abtract curves and shapes within the object.

If I see something like this, I will vote it as proper challenge subject.

What would you do?

71840.jpg
04/26/2004 12:10:17 PM · #10
My understanding of abstract is not that the objects should not be recognisable at all but that the identity of the object should be irrelevant or certainly secondary to the visual appeal of the image that comes from shape, light, colour, texture etc.

With that in mind I believe that all these images from my own Favourites list qualify as abstracts, though not necessarily with the challenge definition as it stands.

44285.jpg
59127.jpg
40351.jpg
43008.jpg
51385.jpg
38732.jpg
17363.jpg
42087.jpg
14686.jpg
60897.jpg
68228.jpg
04/26/2004 12:14:39 PM · #11
Just studying and trying to learn something from all this.....
I viewed some photos listed in the abstract gallery and I like these for good examples......
Anyone say otherwise?
59997.jpg
60411.jpg
61586.jpg
61385.jpg
61449.jpg
04/26/2004 12:18:47 PM · #12
Originally posted by jmsetzler:

Originally posted by nshapiro:

Originally posted by jmsetzler:

Abstract can be in the idea or theme presented by a completely recognizable subject. This challenge eliminates that idea.


I don't understand how that would qualify as an abstract photograph. Sure, it can be an abstract concept. Or an abstraction of something else. But if I understand you correctly, in my own opinion and research, I don't think it would be an abstract photograph.

Can you give some sources of discussion or articles that describe it so? Or an example of what you would consider abstract by this definition?


..snip..

Abstract, like anything else around here, has multiple definitions depending on who is defining it. You define it as unrecognizable. I can accept that definition, but it's not the only definition. To me, photography is not only about what you see in the image. It's also about what you conclude from the image... just like any other kind of art.


The way I intended the challenge was a VISUAL abstract. One way to look at this, is that if these were paintings, would any of them be classified by a gallery as "Abstract"? And not meaning surrealism, which I have suggested as a separate challenge.

The only one of these I see as close to what I mean by visually abstract is "Liquid Logic". I really like "Rising Sun" in it's surrealism, though.

I understood that there can be many definitions of abstract, and I wanted to see what people could do in the visual arena, so I intentionally worded it using the more restrictive definition. However, as I've indicated in my response to Eddy, I do recognize that another visual definition of abstract is when form or color has much greater emphasis and is more recognizable than context.

For a lot of interesting views, more links, and examples of visual abstracts, see:

//www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=001QYy

04/26/2004 12:20:10 PM · #13
Originally posted by tolovemoon:

Just studying and trying to learn something from all this.....
I viewed some photos listed in the abstract gallery and I like these for good examples......
Anyone say otherwise?


I think these are good examples.
04/26/2004 12:22:35 PM · #14
My sense of a visually abstract image would be subject matter that is presented so that it is unrecognizable as anything ordinarily or easily identifiable. That would be a strict intrepretation.. surely an image that may incorporate easily recognized objects could qualify, but would have to be in a composition that either distorts or places an object in a irrational, unsuspected or unconventional juxtaposition to other objects in a visual environment.
04/26/2004 12:22:47 PM · #15
Originally posted by Kavey:

My understanding of abstract is not that the objects should not be recognisable at all but that the identity of the object should be irrelevant or certainly secondary to the visual appeal of the image that comes from shape, light, colour, texture etc.

With that in mind I believe that all these images from my own Favourites list qualify as abstracts, though not necessarily with the challenge definition as it stands.


I'm not sure all of those would qualify in my own definition, but many would. I would probably argue the fourth and the last are marginal as examples, IMHO. (Added after blowing them all up: the 6th is surrealism, not abstraction, IMHO)

Message edited by author 2004-04-26 12:24:05.
04/26/2004 12:25:24 PM · #16
Originally posted by nshapiro:

Originally posted by Kavey:

My understanding of abstract is not that the objects should not be recognisable at all but that the identity of the object should be irrelevant or certainly secondary to the visual appeal of the image that comes from shape, light, colour, texture etc.

With that in mind I believe that all these images from my own Favourites list qualify as abstracts, though not necessarily with the challenge definition as it stands.

I'm not sure all of those would qualify in my own definition, but many would. I would probably argue the fourth and the last are marginal as examples, IMHO.


That's fair enough since Abstract is often in the eye of the beholder. To me the identity of the objects in the 4th image I listed is unimportant - what draws me in is texture, shape, light.

In the last one, while I can work out the identity of the object - we can all see it's a person - the image itself is about colour and shape.


Message edited by author 2004-04-26 12:31:54.
04/26/2004 01:05:48 PM · #17
Originally posted by Kavey:

My understanding of abstract is not that the objects should not be recognisable at all but that the identity of the object should be irrelevant or certainly secondary to the visual appeal of the image that comes from shape, light, colour, texture etc.

I like your description the best ...
9827.jpg 35910.jpg
04/26/2004 01:09:55 PM · #18
41386.jpg
04/26/2004 02:39:29 PM · #19
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by Kavey:

My understanding of abstract is not that the objects should not be recognisable at all but that the identity of the object should be irrelevant or certainly secondary to the visual appeal of the image that comes from shape, light, colour, texture etc.

I like your description the best ...


Thank you!
04/26/2004 03:33:47 PM · #20
Would this be considered abstract:
thumbimg_0992.jpg

Or this:
thumbimg_0498.jpg

What about this one:
thumbimg_0807.jpg

Just checking, because I believe that they are a bit different from the ones that have been posted here so far.

There are a few more of those here, if you are interested, btw.
04/26/2004 03:41:14 PM · #21
Originally posted by Kavey:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by Kavey:

My understanding of abstract is not that the objects should not be recognisable at all but that the identity of the object should be irrelevant or certainly secondary to the visual appeal of the image that comes from shape, light, colour, texture etc.

I like your description the best ...


Thank you!


This is how I interpret the challenge as well. While we're at it, should we play "guess what it is" too?
04/26/2004 03:46:51 PM · #22
Originally posted by bruchen:

Originally posted by Kavey:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by Kavey:

My understanding of abstract is not that the objects should not be recognisable at all but that the identity of the object should be irrelevant or certainly secondary to the visual appeal of the image that comes from shape, light, colour, texture etc.

I like your description the best ...


Thank you!


This is how I interpret the challenge as well. While we're at it, should we play "guess what it is" too?


Sadly, as I have relearned recently, it doesn't matter that some people take the time to understand or research and it doesn't even matter how the actual challenge description is worded... majority of voters will make their interpretation based on nothing more than the challenge title and their whims.

Message edited by author 2004-04-26 15:48:07.
04/26/2004 04:06:50 PM · #23
Originally posted by Kavey:

...Sadly, as I have relearned recently, it doesn't matter that some people take the time to understand or research and it doesn't even matter how the actual challenge description is worded... majority of voters will make their interpretation based on nothing more than the challenge title and their whims.


Like you, I do appreciate a minority though. ;-)
04/26/2004 04:26:37 PM · #24
Personally, I'm not going to vote something down if it fits any definition of an abstract (as in an abstraction of an object), even if I can recognize the source of the object. However, I may be a kinder voter than others. I'll still vote something down if it totally and completely doesn't resemble an abstract - like you can see the entire object.
04/26/2004 05:15:31 PM · #25
Originally posted by zeuszen:

Originally posted by Kavey:

...Sadly, as I have relearned recently, it doesn't matter that some people take the time to understand or research and it doesn't even matter how the actual challenge description is worded... majority of voters will make their interpretation based on nothing more than the challenge title and their whims.


Like you, I do appreciate a minority though. ;-)


Yeah, isn't it great when ONE person gets your image?
My March Free Study entry got a so-so score and even several 1,2 and 3 votes but it also seemed to touch one viewer deeply - how wonderful!
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