Look at your everyday surroundings in a new light with abstract photography

Quarantine fatigue is setting in, and with it a lack of inspiration, so I began this week feeling my creativity blocked.

Since I’m surely not alone in this, for this week’s installment I thought I would offer a completely different way to see, and photograph, your surroundings.

As a photojournalist, our goal is to create photographs that capture a moment and tell the story in a way that can be quite literal. Recently, that work has included the play of the game as summer sports resumed, portraits of a local public health officials and a collection of images that tell the story of recent protests.

It’s counterintuitive to take a photo that is completely abstract and non-literal, but that’s exactly what I set out to do.

Feeling discouraged by a failed attempt at a floral abstraction, I came inside and wandered through the house with my camera. Without realizing it, I was drawn to abstract shapes and the play of light and shadow in corners of the house that would otherwise be ignored. (Speaking more literally, yes, I photographed the ceiling, and the handle of my microwave, and the shape made by frames without showing the art itself.)

While I had begun by looking for a way to create a painterly image with a wash of color, inspiration drew me in a more monochrome, geometric direction. Two photos I took with my phone several years ago came to mind, so I pulled those into my edit as well, as further proof that observation of the everyday can have striking results.

If this is all sounding a bit too far out there, think about it as a creative scavenger hunt. Join up with other members of your household and see if you can stump each other with photos of obscure corners and everyday objects. You may find yourself seeing your surroundings in a whole new light.