PetaPixel

These Vintage Photos of Coastlines Were Created Using a Fishtank

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Flip through photographer Michael Jackson‘s “A Child’s Landscape” series, and you’ll find what appear to be vintage photographs of rocky coastlines that were captured with some old photographic process over a century ago. The images are actually modern photographs captured quite recently in Jackson’s studio using rocks in a fish tank.

Jackson says the project helps him remember his childhood, a time filled with excitement rather than facts. “I imagine these views through a telescope. I imagine pirates and explorers. I imagine swooping gulls and terrible storms, shipwrecks and stories of adventures and heroism,” he writes.

The images are meant to show Poppit Sands in northern Pembrokeshire, Wales, an area that Jackson has been photographing for six years. In addition to photographing the real thing in the great outdoors, Jackson decided to recreate the area in the comfort of his photo space.

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After sketching the real scenes on paper, Jackson recreates what he sees using a fish tank, some rocks, and some breadcrumbs.

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His technique involves placing his objects (namely the rocks) upside down in the tank and then flipping the photo afterward. In the resulting photos, what we see as “air” is actually “water,” and “water” is actually the surface between the fish tank’s water and the air above.

During the shoot, he tosses the breadcrumbs into the water and swirls them around. He also uses various reflections in the tank’s glass to “dodge and burn” the photo. Finally, he inverts each photograph to turn the positive image into a negative.

before

after

Here are some of the resulting photographs:

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You can see the entire set of photographs over on Jackson’s website. You can also find a detailed writeup of his “inverted water process” on his blog.

(via BBC via Imaging Resource)


Image credits: Photographs by Michael Jackson and used with permission


 
  • Caitlyn Chapman

    Ahhhhh!! Amazing! I would hang some of these on my wall!

  • Richard709

    Yup.

  • http://www.observingtime.com/ agour

    normally I’m not a fan of ‘experimental’ photography, but I love these!

  • Jake

    These pictures are so fantastic, I’m not even going to mention the slightly unsettling connection my mind first made when I read about a man named Michael Jackson working on “a child’s landscape.”

  • HB

    Good idea – be sure you don’t mention that

  • VarmSaus

    That’s pretty cool

  • tarena1991

    His name is Michael Jackson?… i would at least go by Mike lol… that said i really do love these.

  • Vin Weathermon

    Beautiful…haunting a bit…

  • Ralph Hightower

    Great photos! I’d love to see him recreate the sinking of the Titanic.

  • Tyler Magee

    So much you could do with this simple set :) I love it