[see also my more recent post (March 2014) on this subject]
Let me try to define this term, for I use it a lot to describe what I do. First let's look at a couple of examples
|Brutalist Architecture, softened (1)|
I created the effect in the computer from an original photograph. The twist in the building is a simple geometric construction. It is something that is probably quite simple to produce in (for example) Photoshop.
I call this Photographic Abstraction because it was an idea that I had for an Abstract image that I realised by manipulating the Photograph. Originally, my idea was to do this to an image of the Shard, but my photographs of the Shard were not good enough. It's difficult to get a decent photograph of the Shard from the ground.
|Brutalist Architecture, softened (2)|
|Rain Forest - I imagined The Forest being washed away in the rain.|
I noticed Richter's images often suggested water so I looked for a set of trees that might look wet if squeegeed. This time the computer is used to scrape down across the photograph.
It isn't sufficient to just create a multiple-exposure, I found. Rather I had to define a squeegee function based on a geometric transformation from physics. This final image was one of many that I tried. The one that most realised my abstract idea, of trees through rain.
|The Church at Domburg (1)|
The process for creating "Church at Domburg (1)" has been to lay down a grid of 100 by 150 circles in a overlapping geometric arrangement. These circles have then been filled by colors derived from a photograph of the church. The colors have been manipulated to try to get close to Mondrian's colors (not there yet). The issue for us here is that the image is Abstract and it is based on a Photograph. The idea is the creative part. The Photographic Abstraction is the means to realise it.
|The Church at Domburg (2)|
Each of the images shown here is based on a photograph or a set of photographs. However, none of the images depicts reality. Each has been recreated in some way to accomplish an idea. The images abstract from reality, creating an impression not as seen, but as imagined.
That is why I refer to them as Photographic Abstraction.