In a traditional sense, abstract photography is using photographic equipment and methods to create a representation of an object that has no direct relationship with that object. I believe in an expanded definition for the age of computer systems and digital cameras that includes all the modern tools. Today our version of the subject object could be developed by use of hardware such a special lens attachments, photographic methods such as over or under exposure, computer software that edits the original image or software that allows us to create our version from scratch.
Abstract photography doesn’t even have to involve a camera or any creative steps that we might easily recognize as a photographic process. In 1988 Wolfgang Tillmans had an abstract photography exhibition where the images were made by laser copier. It was only later that he purchased his first camera.
Abstract photography may select and separate a portion of a scene so that we lose our original association with the subject object. We become free to regard the object as a complete ideal in its own right. We may also gain new insights regarding the object that we would not have seen when it was in its usual, larger or more familiar context.