When doing ICM (Intentional Camera Movement) photography in a public place, I have received some funny looks. Whilst most people are carefully composing their images on tripods, I'm next to them moving my camera around, flicking it up and down, spinning it about and generally not acting like a normal photographer. And I love it!
Figuring out that a camera is just a tool, and that it can be used in almost any way you choose, to create whatever you like, was a revelation to me. Sure you can learn about things like the Rule of Thirds or how to use a tripod correctly but there's a certain freedom and enjoyment that comes from sometimes letting go and just experimenting.
I have had a lot of fun in recent months, whilst the weather and light hasn't been at its best, playing with abstract ideas. This could be me simply moving my camera around using ICM as the shutter opens and closes. Finding out how different camera movements can create different feelings, textures, colours and shapes is great fun.
I also like to try things such as rotational blur or zoom blur, spinning the camera or zooming in/out as the shutter fires. The variety of images you can create is pretty much endless.
I particularly enjoy using a mix of ICM and multiple exposures, either in camera or in post processing, to create images with a sense of detail yet which remain abstract as a whole.
The long winter months have been the perfect time to learn new post processing techniques and how to recreate some of what you can do using ICM, zoom and rotational blurs and multiple exposures in camera. Taking images and totally transforming how they look and feel is enjoyable and can create work with a very different feeling to the original image.
Learning to free your creativity and work only to the limitations of what your imagination can come up with is incredibly rewarding. I also think it helps you become a better overall photographer. My eye is becoming more attuned to looking for shapes, colours and textures in what I am seeing. When I am out I am more aware of the feeling of the place I am in and whether that can be conveyed in a photograph by perhaps doing something different with the camera.
These are the reasons why I enjoy abstract photography.