Abstract Photography from Maui

Here are a few of the abstract photographs I took when re-learning how to use a DSLR camera. I first learned film photography in college (1974!) and fell in love with the ICM (Intentional Camera Movement) photos my partner was creating back in 2014-2016. Shane moved on to abstract painting and taught me some of the secrets behind this type of abstract photography that is made entirely in camera. No photoshop tricks or digital manipulation here.

The key element of this, for me, is the word intentional. It is a way of engaging with the subject matter that is not about a normal image or a superficial engagement. It is about communing with the subject matter — in my case flowers and plants — and asking them to reveal something of their true nature to me through the camera lens. The act of moving while capturing the image enables something normally hidden to be seen. It’s somewhat like the contrast of a person dancing with their formal portrait. You might see two ‘different’ people.

The flora of Hawaii are so photographed – what is it like to see the soul of a Ti plant in addition to its formal garden planting? What happens when the light interacts with the molecules? And get this, is the plant in the mood to be photographed? This is one of the most fascinating aspects of this type of photography – you can master the technique, sure, but the images are ultimately up to the subjects themselves. Some days they are open and glowing; other days I found that ‘no one is home.’

Like any ‘portrait’ photographer, I respect my muses and their moods. In Hawaiian language, there is the concept of ‘naka.’ It translates as “To quiver, quake, tremble, shake, as jello or as with cold or fear; shaky, unsteady, shivering, shaking.” It’s believed that every thing has this inner vibrational state, this naka – not just animals and humans. So I feel seen myself when the plants and flowers show up and dance their quivering and soulful hula for me and my camera. And now I can share them with you, too. (Click any image to open a slideshow.)

Please email me if you would like to acquire a print.