To Move Your Photography Forward

Let Your Right Brain Lead The Way

GE McKerrihan
4 min readMay 21, 2022


Close up view of a water puddle with foam in a cracked and broken sidewalk.
“A Puddle for Your Thoughts” — Image by Author

Creating abstract images is balm for my soul, this practice feeds my heart. Photography is traditionaly a representational art form. It doesn’t have to be.

This story will offer you you some ways of working, and ask some questions, to assist you with creating abstract photos of your own.

Close up, abstracted view of an Agave stalk with plenty of out of focus areas.
“Agave Flow” — Image by Author

The first step is sticking your lens right in your subject’s face, and the closer the better. This will eliminate at least one level of normal reality.

The image above is a very small portion of a large Agave plant. I used all of the techniques offered in this story to create this photo.

Setting your lens to its widest aperture also complements this practice. Thus my common tag line . . . “To wide open lenses, and wide open hearts.”

It also allows you to contemplate the nature, the feeling, the essence, of your subject.

This practice is all about how the image makes you feel, not what the image makes you think of.

Again, turn off that dominate left brain for a bit. It will do you good, I promise. I know it does for me.

Try photographing the bark of a tree, a leafy plant, blistered and peeling paint, or an Agave! Everything does not need to be in focus. The out of focus parts of your subject will only enhance the parts that are in sharp focus.

Staked concrete paving stones in shadow with dappled light on top.
“The Lightness of Being” — Image by Author

This way of making photographs, is inspired by Abstract Expressionism.

The Abstract Expressionistic movement in painting began in the mid 1940's.

The crisis of the second World War and its aftermath, are key to understanding the concerns of the Abstract Expressionists.

These young artists, were troubled by man’s dark side. They were also anxiously aware of human irrationality and vulnerability. They wanted a way to express their concerns, in a new art of…



GE McKerrihan

I’ve been using the camera for nearly 50 years. I write about Photography, Art, Travel, and Life. Top Writer in Photography, Art, Creativity, and Inspiration.


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