The "Abstract Beaches" series - How I got the shots

By April of 2019 I had become fascinated with a certain photographic style and needed to try it for myself. I thought that the resulting images from this technique were artistic and abstract - perfect for wall art.

These prints would not overpower a room with vivid colors or a complex scene. Rather, the prints could complement existing colors within that room and the abstract nature of the images would draw just enough attention to catch one's eye; but not enough attention to be distracting during conversations, meetings, etc. 

Learning the technique

I did quite a bit of online research and found out that the main idea was known as "panning". In simple terms, panning is used to capture subjects that are moving in pre-determined direction and/or speed.

Using this method allows the subject to be relatively sharp, while the background is blurred which conveys movement.

The above image is an example of panning.

When applied to wave photography, panning can give very unique results. Since there's no distinct subject or background, the entire image will convey motion. At that point, a typical beach or wave scene becomes a mix of colors and textures.

I took the opportunity to practice the panning technique when I visited St. Kitts in May. Known for having several beaches, I was certain that I could create a few beautiful images with the new method.

Trial and error was my best friend during this period!

When capturing still images, it is never a normal practice to intentionally move the camera, and I had to train myself to throw that thinking out the window. I also had to move the camera in correct timing and direction of the waves, so as to capture uniform motion in the image.

It was a tedious process, but fruitful! 

The images

I ended up creating three different types of images:

  1. those with a prominent horizon
  2. images that featured only water and sand, no horizon
  3. images that showed close-ups of the wave itself 

Below you can see a few of the results:

The Shore II by Yuri A Jones

© 2019 Yuri A Jones | The Shore II, captured in St. Kitts & Nevis (available as a canvas print here.)

The Surf I by Yuri A Jones

© 2019 Yuri A Jones | The Surf I, captured in St. Kitts & Nevis (available as a canvas print here.)

Update

Here are two more abstract beach photos I captured in Dominica: 

© 2020 Yuri A Jones | Number One Beach Abstract II, captured in Dominica (available as a canvas print here.)

© 2020 Yuri A Jones | Rodney's Rock Abstract II, captured in Dominica (available as a canvas print here.) 

To see all the images in this series, please click here.

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2 comments


  • Yuri A Jones

    Hi Barbara, thank you. I’m glad you like them. The ‘dream like quality’ is exactly what I was going for when I created this series.


  • Barbara Alice Ashworth

    Lovely! Gives an almost dream like quality to the photo.


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