Abstract Photography in Reykjavik, Iceland
The Reykjavik Opera House, Harpa
As most of our readers know, I do a lot of traveling. When I travel, I like to explore and get the most I can out of every location. Most people would consider me a landscape photographer. Many landscape shooters I meet will only shoot landscapes and won’t venture into different areas of photography, like portrait, street, or abstract. I find that I feel refreshed breaking out of the normal and pushing myself to see things in a new way and capture images that are different. I always want to make an image that will make someone stop and explore it.
On the way to a trip to Greenland a few months ago, I met up with Steve Gosling, friend, and contributor here on PhotoPXL.com, and together we went out to walk the streets of Reykjavik, Iceland. I could have loaded myself up with my large Sony a7R III and a few lenses, or I could have approached this walk with minimal equipment. So both of us took our new Sony RX100 VII (B&H, Roberts, Amazon) cameras out, filled our pockets with some spare batteries, and went out.
This little camera is quite capable, with a 1-inch 20mp sensor. It has a pop-up viewfinder, can shoot 20fps, and has a full-frame equivalent lens of 24mm – 200mm. The auto-focus and controls on this camera are like what you’d get with its bigger brothers. The camera has eye AF and focuses very quickly. I’ll have a full report on this camera coming in a couple of weeks. We just finished the video segment for the report.
Our first stop was a cafe for some fine coffee, and there we planned our walk. We took a lot of photos of various things as we walked, as most of us would do. At the end of our route, we ended up at the famous and beautiful architectural wonder: the Opera House known as Harpa. We first went inside and were treated to a photographer’s delight, as the light played around inside the building with light areas, shadows, and reflections. We spent some time doing street-like photography and then focused our efforts on the building, inside and out.
The glass of this building is tinted blueish green, and while the colors were fun to see, I was envisioning that this location would work so well in black and white. I shot a lot of exposures, trying different angles, looking for straight edges as well as light and dark areas in the frame, keeping in mind that I wanted to make these into B&W as final images.
Upon returning home, I got caught up with workshops as well as other projects and just recently finally had the chance to process the images from this segment of the trip. I used the beta version of Capture One 20 to process these images and loved some of the new features. We’ll talk more about that in the future. I output the images as TIFF and then took them into Silver Effects through Photoshop. I worked on a number of variations until I found the right contrast and look and then processed the images in this article into B&W.
I hope you enjoy these images. As I mentioned in another article, I look for the picture in the picture, most of the time using longer focal lengths to isolate the subject. I did that with these too. I looked for contrast, bright areas, and shadows to give the ultimate abstract look. I challenge you to get your camera out this weekend to take a walk and look for the geometry and abstracts in buildings in your city. I think you’ll be amazed at what you find. Go take some photos and have fun.
Photography is my passion and has been for 50 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of picture taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can, hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through photoPXL.com, this site, as well as Rockhopper Workshops, and other projects, as well as teaching as Artist In Residence at the Indianapolis Art Center.