California Dreamin'

I swear, no collusion with @Marylynne_Diggs… although I must admit I’ve been inspired by her’s and other’s venture in to this genre. It’s just fun.

I posted a couple from this trip to the central Pacific Coast a couple weeks ago. This was captured from the balcony of the hotel room in Shell Beach, CA (next to Pismo Beach). Not that the location matters with this abstract, but for me, what matters is that I’m able satisfy a photography bug while on a non-photography vacation… I’m finding this free-form, unrestricted ICM concept to be quite liberating - no more rules or expectations…

For reference, here’s a cell phone 3-image pano stitch from the balcony… and yes, the above image is within the frame of this pano (although zoomed in…)

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Processing, color/sat, etc. All feedback welcome.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Abstract work for you?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

D7100, 16-85mm @85mm, f/29, 1/4s, iso 100 - handheld panned blur


It must be great to be free from all the rules so now and then.

Lon, wonderful slice from the original scene. By chance I shared thoughts yesterday with a UK photog on Youtube about closeups, or slices in this case, and no location I.D.
So, your point made with this is location matters not when one cannot find a specific marker to possibly I.D. or home in on a site. Our discussion was based on constantly visiting the same areas and how to push it for all it’s worth. Hence the ideas shared about closeups being somewhat unending from that POV.
Thanks for posting this timely image to backup our thoughts on the subject…:+1:

I knew exactly where it was taken the second I saw it. Lol. I like it! Abstract absolutely works for me.

I’m going to start trying this. I’ve done a little bit but never very intentionally.

This would be great for someone who doesn’t have much money to spend on a camera. Megapixels and lens quality are pretty much irrelevant since nothing is sharp. Buy a 20D and a kit lens for $60 and go for it.

You’re loving it and feel free from rules! That’s awesome!!! I wish all landscape and nature photographers could be free from “rules.” It took me a decade to free myself from the rules imposed by others. Weird how photography carries inherent rules of photorealism, like it’s unethical to include an abstract quality in a photograph.

Pablo Picasso said that “every child is born an artist, the problem is how to remain one once we grow up.”

ICM is an awesome way to do just that.

This is pretty! I like the alternating colors and I like the wavelike form that the horizontal lines create. Very pleasing!

I think this has to be extended to all images we create. There is no rule, only good images.

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Hi Lon,
There is something really liberating about doing this kind of photography. For me, part of it is the sense of discovery (it’s very hard to know exactly what you will get and it’s fun to find out) and part of it is the ability to do something interesting even if the light and sky are lackluster.

This one really works for me. I like the palette and the subtle lines and washes of color. It looks like it is the right half or third of the photo below it, not that it’s important to know what it is abstracted from.

I’m impressed that you got that much abstract at 1/4s. My efforts have mostly been at 10 sec or longer, but I do multiple passes (not a single pan through the scene).

And as for collusion, well, if I post another soon, I swear there are not quid pro quo’s either.

I can understand why you took to ICM “like a duck to water”. Your images of the Merced use such long shutter speeds that they sort of look like this. So it’s a natural progression, in my opinion.

The colors flow into one another nicely and they work well together as a combination. I don’t know how to critique these sort of images but I suppose a mild tonal variation is desirable, and this has that.

I think this is one of the better icms I’ve seen on NPN so far. I can see someone hanging this up on their wall, in a room with modern furniture and off white wall color.

This abstract works for me Lon. I like the diagonal flow and faint red / magenta streaks.

Definitely an interesting result, Lon. Intriguing ‘movement’ and beautiful mix of cool and warm tones. Hats off to your creativity!

Not my cup of tea, but I love to see what others are doing with it.

Really like this one, Lon. The alternating bands of color and the direction you’ve taken with the camera movement add up to a nice flow in the image.

Thank you all for your comments. I appreciate the honesty too. Yeah, this genre is not for everyone. I think there are a few reasons and perhaps this might be a good topic for discussion some time.

Paul - funny you mention your discussion with a tog from the UK. We also happened to meet and chat with 2 separate couples during our stay, although not photographers, just travelers on holiday - as they say…

Great quote Bradley, and thank you for the kind words.

Adhika - perfectly said.

I think I mentioned before, and of course “it all depends” on many factors, but the somewhat “faster” shutter speed at 1/4 also combines with the actually speed and movement of the camera. I have been “panning” a wide arch fairly quickly and press the shutter button during that sweeping motion, hoping the timing is good enough to catch the colors, shapes and contrasts in a pleasing way.

Thanks Igor - excellent observation! Agree, For as long as I can remember I’ve loved the motion of water and creating images from and with the motion - The only thing different now is that the camera moves, not the subject. Interesting… I wonder what will happen in a few weeks when I head back to the Merced river… hmmmmm…

I could also see a series of these type images lining the walls of a medical building, or some such place. Thanks!

Thank you again,
@Ben_van_der_Sande, @Paul_Breitkreuz, @bradley, @Adhika_Lie, @Marylynne_Diggs, @Igor_Doncov, @Eva_McDermott, @Dave_Dillemuth, @John_Williams and @Michael_Lowe

The color combo and motion implied breath life into this abstraction. I’m still fighting unintentional camera movement. Someday maybe I’ll be able to do one these intentionally ;-).

Lon, the gentle colors and sense of motion look great. This is so soothing to look at.