Hovering Swarms of Random Objects

Photographer Thomas Jackson has an ongoing project titled Emergent Behavior that consists of surreal photographs of swarms of various things (e.g. leaves, plastic cups, ping pong balls) in various locations. The images aren’t computer generated, but are rather composite images combining a number of photographs — probably similar to the “flock of phones” tutorial that we featured a while back.

Emergent Behavior by Thomas Jackson (via iGNANT)

Image credits: Photographs by Thomas Jackson and used with permission

  • Fart

    I’d say they are computer generated images. Unless of course they were shot on film and stacked.

  • CJ

     Guess you didn’t read the paragraph under the first image……

  • Fart

    Sure I read it. Where does it say that these were shot on film? You should hve used more periods.

  • 8fps

    So they are glued together? Nailed? No electricity involved? Incredible!

  • Fart

    The dark arts were involved, I know it.

  • Nicole Lewandowski

    They weren’t “generated” from the computer. They generated from real life, captured by a camera, and then the multiple photographs (either digital OR film) were combined, probably using a computer to mask different areas. 

    If they were computer generated you could photograph a cup on your desk and then insert it into the forest photo. In this case, the cup is actually photographed there and not copy/pasted.

  • Guest

    I’d like to see that sans photomanipulation.

  • Dennis Marciniak

    Anyone else hesitating to start a photo project that involves masking between two or more layers?

  • Goodinuf

    Layer masking is my friend. I love it.

  • Sheri

    Someone always has to be jealous and try to discount other’s creativity. I think they awesome no matter how they were made. It is a great idea and different.

  • Ibinvesting

    That’s photographers for you.   How many togs does it take to screw in a light bulb?  Four…One to do it and three to complain they could do it better.  (Judging by the comments so far).  btw I’m a Videographer =)  SCCA 

  • Roman

    welcome to the internet!

  • Anonymous

    Ever seen the straight print of Ansel Adams’ Moonrise over Hernandez (compared to his final print)?  If he wasn’t a digital photographer/photoshop manipulator waiting to happen, I don’t know who was.

  • Chris

    Definitions and personal taste. I think technically speaking any image from a a digital camera is a computer generated image since there was no film media involved but rather a digital impression was made. Purest version.
    Computer generated image is in the broadest sense any image that required a computer to create/generate it. In the narrower sense of digital photography I care to think about CGI as an image that includes items that were created by a computer rather than photoged separately and PS’d together.
    All that aside, photography is about creating art using a camera and these are really cool images however they were done