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Task 1: Abstract and Concrete Concepts

Concrete Concept: A physical object that we can see in the real world; e.g. a building, a chair, an animal, etc. It is something that we can literally touch, see or hear in front of us.

This simple image of a deer was taken by photographer Philip Pilz. It is an example of a concrete concept as it explicitly shows a deer in its natural habitat, and there is no real meaning or idea that we as the viewer can take from it. Source:

Abstract Concept: A concept that we can interpret to convey an idea that does not exist in the real world; e.g. community, friendship, sadness, family, etc. Usually something that we can’t touch, hear or explicitly see at first glance – but after taking a closer look, we can denote the meaning or idea behind the image.

This photograph taken by Amy Murgatroyd is an example of an abstract concept as it implicitly conveys a sense of family, love and together-ness through the emotion and close-ness displayed by the family in the photograph. Source:

Mixture of Abstract and Concrete Concepts: Encourages the viewer to think about the content, and find the meaning or idea within the image.

Street Photographer James Maher took an image which can be interpreted as a homeless man sat next to a poster of the monopoly man. This is a powerful example of both concrete and abstract photography, the viewer can visually see the man as well as the poster (concrete concept). However, looking further, we can see that the layout of the image has been done purposefully to send a message to us. The juxtaposition of the man and the poster brilliantly conveys the contrast between the classes (i.e. the rich and the poor). Source:

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