My definition of an abstract
I agree with Kushnirenko. While I think that your digital manipulations are great and I do not mind them being posted here, I do not think that they qualify as a real abstract. Of course, when you extend the definition of an abstract to something as wide as "not trying to show things as they would be seen by a camera" almost anything can qualify.
What I believe makes a photograph an abstract is that the work of art has a deeper meaning beyond what is shown. Obscuring the subject of the photograph with a brush-strokes filter does not give it a deeper meaning in my opinion. An abstract is not just showing your subject in a different way. For instance your picture of the spring flowers; your definition definetly makes this picture an abstract, but ultimatly, is there anything this picture shows beyond the flowers on it?
Kushnirenko's shot, on the other hand, shows a guitar and beer. It's a simple shot, as many abstract photographs are, but there are definetly deeper meanings one can attach to the picture. The picture could for example show the rock and roll lifestyle. Kushnirenko is not just trying to show us beer and a guitar, he is trying to show us more. Another example of an abstract I saw recently is a picture of a clock. That picture didn't just show a clock, but it has a deeper meaning, for instance the passing of time.
Another form of abstract you often see is that only a part of the true subject is shown. For instance, when you see a picture of a hand and a pen the true subject may well be the writer. Finally, an abstract can also be a picture showing colours and shapes to signify a certain emotion, mood or athmosphere.
We can of course emphasize the meaning or athmosphere of the picture in various ways. We can choose different exposure settings, opt to make our picture black and white, or even sepia. We can also add certain elements by changing our composition or even adding a certain object. And finaly, in the new era of digital photography, we can use filters in photoshop. However, this in itself does not make the abstract.
Don't get me wrong. This is not meant as criticism. This is just my opinion on the definition of abstraction as applied to photography. I guess this is not the only opinion. If you believe something is an abstract just post it here. This thread is often used as a thread where people - me included - post pictures they don't know where else to post, anyway. Keep posting your digital manipulations, some are really nice :).