Abstract Photography - An Elevator captured in motion and repeating lines
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Abstract Photography – What’s in A Name?


Perhaps abstract photography is too abstract to get much notice online? It’s been a slow but beneficial journey for me, learning how important the words that accompany art are online. Our search engines are smart, but they don’t yet know with any precision what’s in a picture or whether it’s the one you’re looking for just based on your search request. Maybe you’d like to help me describing a piece of abstract photography?


Over the course of  many months, I started working to improve the descriptions that accompany my visual art, trying to balance my descriptions with enough detail to make them useful to search engines and at the same time enough background to be interesting to viewers who take the time to read them. It’s only recently I came to realize that the names, or titles, of my art work was just as important. If you doubt me, do a quick web search for a phrase and see how many of your results include that phrase in the bold title line of the sites! I’ll wager a lot of them unless you’ve searched for something truly obscure. So, a catchy, emotional title is well and good. I like them myself, but I’ve come to realize online that the title is valuable literal real estate. Even the newspapers once known for catchy headlines have largely abandoned that practice online in order to be among relevant search results.

Abstract Photography – What do I call thee?

Abstract Photography - An Elevator captured in motion and repeating lines

This example of abstract photography is not remotely new. In fact, it’s far enough back to be considered a classic Mark E Tisdale picture. And it’s a photo that has never failed to attract attention. What is it? is a common enough refrain. Well, it’s a classic example of experimentation meeting with opportunity. I was waiting for a friend during DragonCon several years ago admiring the hotel elevators passing. It was only natural I started taking photos. First trying to set a high enough shutter speed to freeze things but after seeing a few shots I realized I much preferred the feel of motion from a long shutter speed. The more observant might even notice the odd shapes of the figures in the elevator. They’re barely visible but almost alien looking for a good reason. This was after all DragonCon where there’s no telling what costumed alien species they may have been!

I have always called this photo Photon, as a nod to the properties of light that make it possible as well as the light streams trailing behind the elevator. But when you think about it, that’s not an overly descriptive name. And even my description for it is probably lacking so far as connecting with people who’d like this framed on their wall. I doubt it’s only me, but this is something I struggle with for many photos. Give me a good familiar landmark, and I can describe it in detail. The who, where, what and why are obvious, but the more abstract the subject, the more the well dries up for good descriptive text and titles.

What Would Someone Searching for This Picture Type?

So, there’s the big question, but I’d love your help reverse engineering this one. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who’d love to hang this piece of abstract photography on their walls if only they could find it. What phrase(s) do you think they’d type into their favorite search engine that could lead them to this piece of art? Clearly we have abstract photography covered in those phrases, but are their feeling words like happy, excited, exhilarating? Is there a term that leaps out to you the moment you see it?

If so, sound off in the comments or drop me a note. I’d love to hear your helpful suggestions! They may influence a name change for this print and will definitely help me in better describing it.

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One Comment

  1. Chastity Hartley says:

    ” Gotham Gold”

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