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When thinking about nature photography, many people instantly think of postcard-style scenes: grand landscapes under colorful skies. From my perspective, however, nature photography can be a much more expansive pursuit when considering the opportunities available with smaller scenes, including abstract renditions of natural subjects. In this article, I share some tips on learning to create abstract photographs along a continuum, from photos with abstract concepts that amplify an obvious subject to fully abstract photographs in which the scale and subject are difficult to discern.

This subject might be a little more obvious. Ice – right? Actually, these are evaporation patterns in a salt flat in Death Valley National Park. I took this photo at twilight, which added the blue cast. I like that the blue cast guides a viewer toward ice instead of salt, and thus this photo is a bit more of a surprise in a portfolio of Death Valley National

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