I tend to use the term abstract to describe this sort of work.   Impressionism and expressionism are equally used by photographers of this type of work. I find these terms misleading because they are specific labels for art movements.

Impressionism ties in very strongly with the artists such as Monet, Degas, Cezanne, Matise, to name a few.  Post impressionist Van Gogh definitely influences this work, as does the Expressionists. I love the expressionists Kandinsky, Schiele and Miro. 

Yet taking a movements name just doesn’t feel right for my photography.  Abstract just refers to leaving representational art and a moving away from reality in depiction.

It is not considered a specific movement, but rather a genre of art. 

The thing I like about abstract is it is considered a continuum as it moves further away from reality it becomes more abstract, yet even the slightest movement in that direction is still called abstract.  

You can be anywhere on it and be abstract.  What a beautiful freedom that is. 

Personally, I struggle with moving my photography to the further end of this continuum because I probably hang onto reality too much.  It is something I will push myself further with.  Many of my students do the most amazing abstract work that I admire so much.

This photograph was created during last years abstract workshop at South West Rocks.  It’s my, and my students opportunity to push ourselves out on this continuum to explore.   Sometimes I think composition is so much more important in abstract work as often reality saves poorly composed art.  So for me, learning abstract strengthens my composition. 

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South West Rocks, Photograph and text copyright ©️ Len Metcalf 2018

Artist | Writer | Photographer | Educator | Adventurer