Photographer Shoots Scary Self-Portraits Showing Himself Falling


Photographer and photography professor Kerry Skarbakka photographs himself falling. The concept sounds simple and straightforward enough, but when you lay eyes on the photographs themselves, you find yourself worrying about Skarbakka health… and sanity.

Each of the photographs shows Skarbakka in a seemingly horrible predicament, whether it’s falling off the edge of a high bridge, tumbling down a flight of stairs, or losing his balance on a step ladder.

His main photo series is titled The Struggle to Right Oneself. Skarbakka writes that his goal with the images is to capture the feeling of uncertainty everyone feels about life.

The photographs are not copy-and-paste digital creations: they actually show Skarbakka in the act of plummeting to the Earth. His trick is that he uses climbing gear, ropes, and other rigging in order to stop his fall before his body actually makes painful contact with the ground. In this sense, his work reminds us a lot of photos by Chinese photographer Li Wei.

Skarbakka does his best to keep the photographs free of digital trickery: most of his falls are from distances that wouldn’t seriously hurt him. When ropes are used, he tries to position them in a way that hides them from the camera. Finally, when all else fails, he admits to editing out glimpses of his safety gear during post-processing.










You can find more of Skarbakka work over on his website. He also tells us that he will be exhibiting his work at the Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles in May 2013.

The Struggle to Right Oneself by Kerry Skarbakka (via Wired)

Image credits: Photographs by Kerry Skarbakka and used with permission

  • Ivor Wilson


  • Mansgame


  • Steve

    would love to see how he shot these.

  • Jeremy Madore

    Okay, now THIS is edgy and creative. Would love to see the BTS on these…

  • Lee

    Hm…. so next time will be photographer shooting themselves being killed?

  • a

    What DO you like?

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    Yves Klien, Andy Warhol and Aaron Siskind were doing this kind of stuff in the 50’s and 60’s, still really great though! awesome images, 3rd one down is my favourite

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    see Andy Warhol’s “Suicide” and Klien’s “Leap Into The Void” and Aaron Siskind’s “Pleasures and Terrors of Levitation”

  • Anonymoose

    The horrible composition is really distracting.

  • Antonio Carrasco

    blah blah blah
    blah blah

    blah blah

  • Cochese

    I love it. Great idea and awesome execution. My favorite is the one through the office window. Or where he is falling down the stairs.

  • Jimmy Pratt

    I’m not creative enough to come up with something this intriguing. I spend my days sitting at the computer drooling over full-frame cameras and $2000 lenses that won’t improve my photography one bit because I can barely shoot with my rebel. Thus, I am going to try to come up with something negative to say about this dude’s skills.

  • Bob

    “reminds us a lot of photos by Chinese photographer Li Wei”?
    To me, it looks more like a knock-off!

  • hate

    Bas Jan Ader did similar things, but much better and no editing.

  • Mansgame

    Those mini-horses with the sweater were nice…

  • Stef

    First image is from the CD cover C-Mon & Kypski – Static Traveller

  • apostrophe

    Cest la vie.

  • Colby

    These are actually all real, the guy is just super clumsy.

  • Mansgame

    His hipster beard has magical powers that protect him.

  • Tbone

    why can’t anyone just accept the fact that these are creative. instead, just mad because you didn’t come up with it.

  • Damascus

    Stop talking yourself down. Go take a shot at being creative with the tools at your disposal.

  • Erik Lauri Kulo

    The second to last is my favourite. It made me cringe.

  • Fredrik Wall

    No…next time will be this photographer being killed shooting himself! ;-)

  • Thomas Brecheisen

    Somebody didn’t get the joke.

  • pixelizer

    this guy does everything to get attention!