Photography is often described as the process of freezing a moment in time, capturing that single second forever. But I love to use abstract photography to record movement. Time is fluid. Everything around us is moving. Flowers blow in the wind, rivers flow, and seasons pass (more quickly as you get older!). I feel that recording movement with still images helps put one in a frame of mind, rather than in a specific place.
There are many ways to create abstract images showing motion. One of the most popular is ICM (intentional camera movement). You move the camera yourself, using slow shutter speeds to accomplish various looks. The image below was taken at night in Victoria, BC. I used a sweeping wave motion to get the pattern of lights. (f 2.8, shutter speed 1 second, ISO 100)
Another option for capturing movement is to let the wind do the work. We get a lot of breezy days in the Northwest. I was trying to get some still shots of poppies one spring day but it was quite breezy. Rather than give up, I switched gears and ended up with one of my favorite florals. (f 8, shutter speed 1/80, ISO 200)
Water can be used for wonderful abstracts as well. Landscape photographers often use long exposures to get that beautiful soft look on water. But moving water can create some interesting patterns even at faster shutter speeds. I was not expecting to find much on a recent outing but ended up at a lovely river. Unfortunately we arrived there at midday on a very bright afternoon. Not great for the broader landscape but I was able to find some nice patterns in the water. I liked the way both the movement of the water and the depth over some rocks created the appearance of the rocks themselves moving and flowing.
These are just a few ways to record movement. The possibilities are endless!