Surreal abstract of a bridge

abstract photography - palm leaves

The surreal abstract shows the underneath of a bridge at one of Singapore's most popular tourist spots near the Merlion statue.

Normally I don't have any interest in taking photographs at popular tourists spots. There are just so many images of the Singapore Merlion statue which actually makes it a real challenge to capture an image of it that is different and not cliche. Perhaps I am afraid, or just lazy, to take on that challenge.

But that day, I was there with two lovely Filipina friends who wanted their pictures taken at the Esplanade and the Merlion. I happily obliged.

I saw the bottom of the bridge, with their water reflections on it, and thought it would make a nice backdrop for a photograph. It is an interesting reverse of the usual water reflections photograph which, instead of showing buildings and structures reflected on water, shows water reflected on a bridge.

Well, the ladies didn't think much of the idea, so I just took the bridge bottom on its own.

Interestingly, this abstract image of a bridge bottom is the work of two people. I had taken the photo and done some Photoshop digital enhancements to saturate the colors and strangthen the contrast.

I emailed it to my buddy Joe Lee to ask his opinion. Joe, not knowing that I had already done some digital manipulation, felt that the photo needed more work.

He does not have Photoshop but uses a different image enhancement program called Paint Shop Pro, by Corel and applied a function called “clarify”. I am not sure if there is a Photoshop equivalent of Paint Shop Pro “clarify”, but it seemed to increase the contrast and hieghten color saturation at the same time.

So Joe emailed back a version that was more of a surreal abstract than before, with stronger colors the rust and green of the water reflections on the underneath of the bridge.

I then decided to take this surreal abstract one step further. It is actually quite a major change, yet the result is subtle and the viewer of this surreal abstract image might not notice it at first I converted the water to black and white!

Again, this is an example where the opportunity to create a surreal abstract came about unexpectedly. I had gone to the Merlion statue to take photos of my two lovely Filipina friends.

Sorry ladies, this surreal abstract is one of my favourite pictures from that photo shoot ;-)