Abstracting reality: found abstracts

In addition to the five themed contributions on abstract art photography, it is now time for a final set, for pictures that do not fall under those themes (or at least less clearly). What they have in common is that you can encounter these opportunities all around you if you keep an open eye. Of course, there are plenty of these in Hennie Schaper's photography as well.

Here are a number of examples, with his own descriptions (click on the images to see them in his Flickr site).

Something from nothing

This is called Something for nothing for a reason: check the link to see the drab original shot of rubbish floating on a canal - which almost no-one would have photographed. Pushing the inherent but weak colours to the extreme yields a beautiful abstract.

Volcanic abstract

The top of a market stand near our home against a blue sky. The shape of the tent and the shadow of the tree on the linen create an abstract feeling.

Another green world

A plastic green curtain pressed against a window. I bet hardly anyone notices it, and yet it makes for a compelling abstract photograph.

Found diptych

I encountered this at an art exhibition. A rusty table used to support an art installation, and a blue carpet under it. Taking the shot like this makes a natural diptych with definite abstract qualities.

Fifty shades of green

A garden seen through frosted glass - the main trick here being to look around for opportunities (it was at the same exhibition as the previous shot).

Harbor wall abstraction

The wall decoration of the local harbour. Pure line play, with a particular strong composition (as discussed here).

Let there be light

Not really zooming in, since this shot represents the largest part of a lamp displayed in the shop window of a local home decoration shop. The competing horizontal and vertical patterns, and the hues caused by the back-lighting turn this into a personal favourite.

Abstract in rope and shadow

A rope against the side of a ship can already make a nice abstract due to the shapes in the background. The extra line created by the shadow of the rope is a bonus.


Similar to the third example (same house, different window, same type of curtains). The effect here is still sufficiently different to include this one as well.

Kampen roofs

Rooftops near our home, creating a beautiful contrasting pattern, enhanced by the various colours. You can immediately see what it is, and yet the overall effect is abstract.

Rolls 1

A freight ship moored at the banks of the IJssel, transporting a large number of coils, made for a good abstract. The black and white conversion helps to bring out the pattern, with the diagonal composition working very well.

Approaching red [2016 087/366]

There is some wear and tear here as well, but the big red line anchors the composition. It is the top of a wooden bollard.

I spotted this beautiful abstract pattern as a decoration on a Paris apartment building. A pretty big hit on Explore.

This is a decoration of a Japanese restaurant in Nijmegen. The shells form a distinct pattern which makes for a great abstract.