I've posted a few sets of proofs in the past that could be considered abstract. In fact some of the very first experiments I did for the project were heavily weighted towards abstract crops. As time went on and I went down different roads trying this or trying that I've continued to make a few in a similar abstract crop attempting to distill the most basic elements of expression, gesture, and body language eliminating everything but. Isn't that what abstract means? Something abstracted from context, environment, and the whole?
I ran across these laying around in the same LR folder as a bunch of other pictures I made with Lily & Erika a few hours after these. I never really paid attention to them or did anything with them. I wanted to make them only because I made a literally a few frames weeks before with Erika as the light ran out and I liked the one frame that was an abstract crop. The very first picture in the referenced post is what I wanted to play a little more with.
I stuck a treatment on them the day I shot them that simulates what something like 35mm TMAX 3200P shot at extreme ISO and pushed would look like printed large. I left them this way because I think that initial thought works. I wanted to put up a note to myself as well as a follow-up to consolidate a few thoughts in retrospect.
Looking back, I've written quite a lot about how what comes before making pictures affects pictures so much that you can't ignore it. In fact managing it one way or another can lead to completely different pictures. It just so happens I chose this particular day as an illustration of the effect in a post. I forgot that Erika and I made these a hour or two prior to the photos I chose to illustrate the point.
I think this pre-pre-cursor sheds even more light onto the Lily + Erika dynamic observed. I'm curious as to why I ignored these for almost a year. In a lot of ways the couple of frames we made like this are so similar to a few I made on my very first experiment when I decided that this was a project in the first place. Here's the thing, in some ways these warm-up pictures we made are some of my favorites out of all the frames Erika, Lily, and I made that day.
Reflection & Distance
For as long as I can remember I'm not very productive in terms of making photographs during the wintertime. I hate the winter, I'm usually in some state of depression. Sure, I try to take a road-trip here and there to get out of my wintertime funk and force myself to make something, anything that's not some sort of commercial endeavor but not anywhere near the level of energy I have in the sprint and summer.
The upside to that is that I do go back and reflect on things I've made before. I discover things I didn't realize at the time of making the pictures. I learn things with that distance and make different judgements. Most of all I learn a lot about where I want to go next.
It turns out every one of the abstracts I've made have been not only abstract crops showing bits and pieces of body language, gesture, and expression but have also completely abstracted environment and context usually via a black background and absolutely zero environmental context.
While that's not a bad thing in and of itself it highlights one thing I've never tried with this project — similar abstract crops but with environmental context. That's exactly what I'm going to incorporate down the road and might be exactly what I'm looking for.
At the moment the above is one of my favorites from the few shots we made. I happen to love the gritty super-high speed 35mm film treatment and the darkness and lack of fine detail that the super grainy treatment obliterates. Then again I made an equal or slightly larger number of vertical frames I love to.
All photos made with the Fuji XT-1 and 18-55mm XF at 23mm and 35mm working quite close. I'm now more sure than I ever have been that the small, quiet nature of my Fujifilm X gear shows up in how people react and the pictures that follow. I can see it consistently as I go through images made with my X cameras and small lenses as compared to my Nikon full-frame gear with large zooms and I can even see it as compared my smaller Nikon full-frame cameras with primes.
Processing via Lightroom CC and a random one-off crazy grainy 35mm film treatment.