The definition of abstract landscape photography is somewhat subjective depending on who you ask, but the overall object of abstract landscapes is to essentially present the landscape in a way in which is different from how a human would normally perceive a landscape.
This is most commonly done by composing your image in a way that removes or distorts some of the surroundings–presenting it in a fashion where it is not necessarily nor immediately recognizable as a landscape.
For example, a traditional landscape usually features a natural horizon and may include some trees, maybe a pond, and some mountains. Traditional landscapes are highly recognizable to the eye meaning we immediately know we’re looking at a landscape.
But, an abstract landscape may take the viewer a moment or two to study before they really “see” what it is they’re looking at.
Let’s take a look at some examples as we discuss some of the ways we can turn an ordinary landscape into an abstract landscape.
1. Use Textures
Using texture may be something you’ve already practiced incorporating into your photography, but if you haven’t worked with texture as a compositional tool yet, abstract landscapes can be a great way to start. You can capture interesting textures in abstract landscape photography with numerous approaches. One being example being aerial photography where you can photograph large portions of land from a very high vantage point such as an airplane or using a drone.
Another way to capture textures without having to leave the ground is by looking for textures on a smaller scale. Perhaps the tall flat side of a rock wall or the inside of a canyon like we see in the image below.