This week, turn the concrete and familiar into something new and mysterious.

The best thing about being nearsighted? It’s sometimes enough for me to take off my glasses and squint to see the world as a hazy canvas — one on which an abstract expressionist painter threw wild splotches of color. My brain gives me a break for a moment, not forcing me to see specific objects and people but rather shapes, compositions, and textures.

Sometimes I like going for the same effect with my phone’s camera — snapping a picture either so close or so far from an object that it stops being what I’d normally see it as.


I was recently struck by the gorgeous composition I saw on the trunk of a chestnut tree near my house, from the crevices in the bark to the changing density of lichen (I think it’s lichen — botanists, forgive me!). I drew closer, and for all ends and purposes this was no longer a tree.

This week, find your own (proverbial?) chestnut tree. Point your camera at something familiar and turn it into something else. Whether it’s a wall in your house, a friend’s arm, or a billboard seen from afar, we may or may not recognize what it actually is. But we’ll certainly discover something else about it in the process.

I look forward to seeing your take on abstract photography!

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  1. Oh I do enjoy abstract!
    The sun is shining here in Ireland… yes, it seems spring has arrived, at last! I’ve just come in from outside (to find your challenge) where I’m trying to use flexible bamboo to splodge paint (primary colours) on a set of canvasses… a new abstract is born? Looks rather messy at this stage.
    PS – I think it’s lichens and moss.. my guess! Great photo, whatever it may be! 😉

    Liked by 3 people

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