Impressionism in Photography

Photography impressionism offers the kind of calm to soothe your nerves.

“When the mind is calm, how quickly, how smoothly, how beautifully you will perceive everything.”

–Paramahansa Yogananda

 

 

 

 

Impressionist photography allows you to absorb a place and time.

If Monet were alive today and had the benefit of a digital camera in hand, would he create gentle brushstrokes by blurring photos with movement? Perhaps his impressionist photography series would include the subtle motion of a breeze stirring up a patch of red flowers in a green field of grass. Maybe he’d capture the tussling of the branches in a tree. I believe he would have created amazing impressionist photography with the rest of the masters: Monet, Renoir, Pissaro, and Degas.
 

The movement of the camera creates a painterly look.

We are accustomed to using cameras to capture sharp detail. But life is in motion, so why shouldn’t photography art move? Especially when it allows us a rich experience. Movement photography creates an impression of a scene: a dreamy, soft, painterly piece of art.

Using camera motion as a technique frees me from traditional rules of photography, much like the visible brush strokes freed the impressionist painters of long ago. I express the emotion of what is before me instead of the details.

For the viewer, the blurring effect frees your mind. You can imagine what you’d hear if you were in that place, what you’d smell, and who you might be with instead of analyzing the concrete nature of a normal photograph. The abstract image slows your pace down. And at each viewing of a photo created in an impressionistic style, you’ll experience new sensations and discoveries.

 

Long exposures create gorgeous gradient colors in impressionist photography.

When creating a blur effect, impressionist photographers need longer exposure times. One of the effects of a long exposure time is the emergence of beautiful gradient colors. Setting the camera in motion blends upbeat colors into geometric abstract art images. The lines and swirls give off a fun, youthful vibe.
 
Abstract impressionism photography allows us to view natural scenes in a new light. Take a new look at autumn, one that dances, swirls, turns, and rushes by. Abstract fall colors open you to new sensations about how fast the season blurs by. Or see how trees seem to stand up taller and stretch out their limbs in communion with the rest of the forest.
 
Impressionist photography also draws us into new perceptions of traditional landscapes. First, we behold the treasures of rich golds, blushing reds, and royal purples that we may not have noticed before. Then, as the sun sets in the desert, melting into a mountain range, you can hear the lyrics of “purple mountains majesty” from that voice inside.
 
Rugged rock formations of canyons, wind-swept vistas, and vast spaces open up to us, drawing us into an abstract land: a place where we no longer have the precision of sharp horizons and solid ground but a gentle place where we can rest.
 
I love how practicing intentional camera motion requires reflection, where I must immerse myself in the mood of a place before I begin. This type of art emphasizes a deeper appreciation of the little moments.
 
 

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