Club Foundations
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§1. Preamble

Today is a great day for the club: from now on we officially expand our activity to Surreal photography, as a result of a recent poll (70 in favor/28 against). However, before starting to send us your surreal shots, please read §4 of that journal!

§2. Formal Definition of Abstract Photography

Abstract photography is the application of photographic mediums to the real objects so that the substance of these objects cannot be considered as intrinsic to the informative value of the final picture.
This way, the informative value of a picture is reduced to hues and shapes but no substance of the object being photographed.

[French]: La photographie abstraite est l’application des procédés photographiques aux objets reels de telle manière que la substance de ces objets ne peut être considérée comme intrinsèque à la valeur informative de l’image produite.

§3. Attempt of an Explanation

(i) The following guidelines as how to understand it apply:
(as picked from previous discussions with club members)
- if there are people/animals/plants/buildings/etc... on the picture, in 99% of cases assume it as non-abstract
- in 99% of cases the object(s) used for the photography should not be identifiable
- the purpose of abstract photography is generally focused on composition rather than informative value
- the actual message or point of the picture is generally conveyed by the elements in the photo rather than the subject itself
- in 99% of cases conceptual photography is not abstract photography
- "99% of cases" is a figure of speech ;). such as "generally"
- guidelines can go on and on and on...

(ii) In other words, when you shoot abstract, you use some technicals (e.g. macro, cropping, zoom-in while shooting, camera movement etc) that allow you to achieve a special effect that draws one's attention to shapes and hues - composition, and totally or partially diminishes the importance of the substance of the object itself, i.e. while one is looking at your photo he things of composition in the first place, and only then things "ok, this is...".
And, of course, some parts of this statement only apply in some cases ;)

These "guidelines" are here to give you an idea of what could be acceptable as an Abstract submission.

§4. Surreal submissions

I think that it's gonna be much easier to deal with surreal submissions, even though it could be controversial at some point. Hopefully, everything's gonna be smooth :pray: .
I would like, however, to give a basic definition of what I would consider as surreal photography:

A surreal photograph features objects, recognizable by their substance, in a way that is not generally considered as a naturally possible way.

Now go and shoot! :meditate:
And remember that we only accept pictures that are in Abstract & Surreal category.

§5. What's the big picture?

From now on I will stick to the definitions while accepting pictures into the club. §3 is here to help newcomers see what will certainly not be accepted. Also, only photographs categorized as "Abstract&Surreal" will be accepted. This will make you think twice on whether your shot is abstract/surreal or not. This restriction only applies to notes received after that journal was published.

anonymous's avatar
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Markus43's avatar
Markus43Hobbyist General Artist
thanks for all you do!
rockgem's avatar
rockgemProfessional Digital Artist
:clap: can we have a rule that states no photo-manipulations ?
Abstract--Reality's avatar
it's stated in the Short Guide to Abstract--Reality [link] : that is a link that I give to all new members
rockgem's avatar
rockgemProfessional Digital Artist
brilliant! :clap:
xestrellitax's avatar
I believe that abstract photography is defined by the aspects of it
when it takes a person a moment ot actually recognize what the picture is and there can be multiple conclusions :)

a picure that keeps you guessing and isn't just an object but a play on light

making something look opposite to what it is

ok- so none of that really made sense... sorry I'm no help!
Abstract--Reality's avatar
it perfectly makes sense, I see what you mean. however, I don't think that "it takes a person a moment to actually recognize what the picture is" is a good criterion, because 1) it may vary from a person to another 2) textures are generally recognizable right away, but still could be considered abstract.

after all, I don't want to end with a too strict definition either, because that would strongly diminish the amount of acceptable submissions :XD: .
xestrellitax's avatar
yeah- there's that :)
rockgem's avatar
rockgemProfessional Digital Artist
Abstract - in arts nonrepresentational: not aiming to depict an object but composed with the focus on internal structure and form,
irregularly patterned: decorated with irregular areas of colour that do not represent anything concrete

also i think somewhere in the criteria it might be wise to include something about 'no photo-manipulations' cause i have noticed that sometimes it sneaks in
Abstract--Reality's avatar
that's an excellent definition! a little bit focused on painting, but could work for us as well! thank you!

oh yeah, no photomanips... that's my fault, I should pay more attention to that. I have recently refused several picture that were digital art (not even photomanips). I will certainly add this one, thank you.
rockgem's avatar
rockgemProfessional Digital Artist
i think with some tweaking it could relate more to photography especially when it speaks on
pattern ,texture.structure and form cause elements like that to very much apply to photography

and i thought i'd mention the photo-manips cause i think i spotted one sneak in for the black & white contest.. not sure though :o cause i guess its pretty easy to just uses a photoshop filter to get an abstract result
Abstract--Reality's avatar
for sure!

unfortunately, there are at least 2 photo-manips there :sadangel:
I can't remove them once they've been accepted, but don't worry for the results ;P
rockgem's avatar
rockgemProfessional Digital Artist
lol ok then just it was a tad odd when i entered at first - cause i had one of those moments where i thought i had entered the wrong contest..:doh: :giggle:
Abstract--Reality's avatar
I'm sorry, I will be more accurate for the next one
rockgem's avatar
rockgemProfessional Digital Artist
its ok i'm just fat too easily confused :lmao:
azul95's avatar
azul95Hobbyist Photographer
I compleatly agree. The only thing that I would say differently is that the image could be totaly unrecognizable as far as content.
Abstract--Reality's avatar
sure, I will add it as well.
azul95's avatar
azul95Hobbyist Photographer
ok sounds good
yosh14ki's avatar
I think abstract is a form of art
that shows something in a very different
point of view perhaps a view from another dimension?
abstract is inter dimensional.
Abstract--Reality's avatar
that could be so, but it's not precise enough for a proper definition.
Silvarith's avatar
abstract to me kinda refers to trompe d'oeil. you see it, but is not what you think that you see, but something different or completely the opposite.

abstract is different from conceptual (i would put that in capslock if possible :lmao: )
Abstract--Reality's avatar
very good point, I will definitely add "abstract =/= conceptual" in the final definition.
anonymous's avatar
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