Drive By Abstraction

By: Gustav Hoiland

Aug 12 2010

Category: street, Uncategorized

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Focal Length:18mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:NIKON D80


While surveying some of my earliest work, or rather some stuff I shot just over a year ago after acquiring a DSLR, I came upon a folder of images of motion-blurred cars. I remembered the day I shot them, the strange looks I got from passersby, the gradual learning of how to create certain effects, and that they never much did anything for me photo-wise at the time. The shooting was more of an exercise, an attempt to expand my capabilities. But looking through them again, I started adjusting the colors and other total-image edits. Retouching skills I learned long after shooting these. Just so happens these tweaks made a couple of them into shots I’m entirely enamored with now.

I suppose this qualifies as an “abstract,” given that it was captured from a real-life scene, albeit with some distortion of time and shape through a long shutter speed. It’s not just lines and splashes of colors strewn about without any roots in anything but limbed motion (which can be quite wonderful, though technically it may not be an abstraction of anything). What I’m getting at is I like that it’s pretty far gone from what you see walking down Newbury St, but serves as a great reminder that things as mundane as traffic can be taken not for what it is, but away from what it is.

This particular image works because of a group of people that were standing on the corner dressed in very colorful clothing. They’re that top-right splash. There’s the red clay colored stripe hugging the left side, a brick sidewalk in actuality. And then… well, a BMW I think.

Panned, zoomed, and let the shutter breathe.

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