Photos of Falling Subjects Moments from Disaster


Photographer Brad Hammonds is fascinated by a concept that he calls “emotional delay.” It’s the idea that no moment is truly experienced until it has already passed. In the time the moment is happening, the brain is processing it. By the time the experience comes, the moment is actually gone.

His most recent series Falling Through Space explores this concept in an interesting way, by trying to get the viewer to experience the terrifying moment in the photo while the subject himself (or herself) is still processing.

Flickr featured Hammonds’ work in the most recent installment of The Weekly Flickr, allowing him to explain his work and the emotions he’s trying to evoke:

“If I can create a feeling of apprehension or even question the safety of the figure in my photos, that’s what really excites me and let’s me know I’ve done what I set out to do,” Hammonds tells Flickr. “I want the viewer to … ask themselves, ‘What happens next?’ And for them to come up with their own endings.”










Of course, there’s some post-processing involved here. As you might imagine, he has no intention of putting himself in danger of serious harm. So while the poses themselves are photographed exactly as they appear in real life (“Nothing is added, changed, or manipulated”), he’s in fact performing them in a stable position. The illusion of falling is created in post.

To see the entire Falling Through Space series, check out Hammonds’ most recent Flickr set. And if you’d like to browse his entire portfolio, be sure to visit his Photostream while you’re at it.

Image credits: Photographs by Brad Hammonds.

  • me

    This title is wrong. It should read “People in awkward poses Photoshopped into boring locations.”

  • chocho

    Denis Darzacq did it hipster-less

  • Ken

    I think these are pretty cool. Falling is always awkward.

  • stefan

    Nice, but let’s see.. Denis Darzacq, Philippe Ramette or Li Wei.

    Better than this work and also hipster-less. Also, they use far less post-processing, almost none.

  • Rabi Abonour

    The bicycle image is interesting (though I’m not sure how accurate a representation of flipping over the handlebars that pose is). The rest are boring.

  • mattyc

    I have no meaningful emotional response to contrived photos of hipsters. Other than I don’t like them.

  • Caitlyn Chapman

    juuust didn’t do a good enough job conveying ‘falling.’ looks like floating to me.

  • Matt

    Ya, overly obvious staging does not equate to emotional response. It looks very akward and embarising if anything.

  • BDWT

    Hm.. third from the bottom (of the guy with the red and white striped sweater at the bridge), I thiiiink I see some brush marks from clone stamping between his legs, most noticeable on the inside of the subjects right leg… I might be wrong, but it looks like he was likely sitting on a stool that was later clone stamped out? I hope I’m wrong, otherwise that’s some sloppy shopping.

  • BDWT

    So if these were contrived photos of “non-hipsters” (lets use the term muggles for humour’s sake), you might appreciate them? But since they are photos of men in their mid 20’s with beards and sunglasses, you immediately detach yourself from any possible notion that these photos could, potentially be worth looking at? Were you never a twenty-something yourself? Perhaps once upon a time caught sporting a beard and a baseball cap? Nah, I guess not, you wouldn’t be caught dead in a photo with jeans and sneakers on, for fear of being called out as a “hipster” :) just teasing.

  • Fullstop

    Wow I can’t believe this made petapixel. One of the oldest photo levitating tricks in the book.
    1. Lay subject on stool or other object
    2. Pose subject to look like there is no stool
    3. Take photo using tripod, do not move tripod after capture
    4. Remove subject and stool
    5. With tripod still in place take same perspective photo
    6. Layer photos on top of each other with subject’s photo on top of background layer
    7. Erase out stool

    If you look at these photos you can clearly see where the stool or object that they were lying on was situated by the unusually flat angle of their backs/stomachs/butts etc.

  • Mykeljon

    I was interested until I realized that all the pictures were staged. The whole concept is phoney.

  • Scott Adam Zanarky

    Horribly done. The facial expressions alone ruin it. They clearly don’t look as if they are falling. They should have had pained, fearful expressions. If you’re going to have a concept, make sure everything fits into it, or you get this.

  • yopyop

    It’s like… he almost completely missed his subject. I get that he doesn’t want to communicate emotions through the faces because the people are still “computing”. Cutting yourself from this way of transmitting emotions is courageous. But for the rest…

    It looks like objects frozen in space, not like instants frozen in time.

    Falling : did he even try to make it look like falling ? How can I believe even for a second that this girl on the bridge is falling?

    From the moment my brain realise that all this is fake, or at least not realistic enough, “how is it gonna end” is the last thing I think about. I can’t feel any particular emotions from this. But I have to admit that the subject is pretty difficult.

  • Nogger White

    The first hipster even fails at being a hipster. His bike has brakes and gears. Way too functional. (Perhaps that’s what makes it my favourite image of the posted examples; it’s not so hip.)