Posts Tagged ‘artistic’

Strange Worlds by Matthew Albanese

Our jaws dropped when we came across Matthew Albanese’s work. He uses everyday materials to create astonishingly detailed small-scale miniatures of stunning landscapes, and then photographs them using forced perspective techniques.

Here’s his statement and a taste of his work:

My work involves the construction of small-scale meticulously detailed models using various materials and objects to create emotive landscapes. Every aspect from the construction to the lighting of the final model is painstakingly pre-planned using methods which force the viewers perspective when photographed from a specific angle. Using a mixture of photographic techniques such as scale, depth of field, white balance and lighting I am able to drastically alter the appearance of my materials.

Tornado made of steel wool, cotton, ground parsley and moss

Paprika Mars. Made out of 12 pounds paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg, chili powder and charcoal

Volcano, “Breaking Point”, made out of tile grout, cotton, phosphorous ink. This model volcano was illuminated from within by 6-60 watt light bulbs.

Aurora Borealis. This one was made by photographing a beam of colored light against a black curtain to achieve the edge effect. The trees were composited from life ( so far the only real life element in any of these images) The stars are simply strobe light through holes in cork board.

Fields, After the Storm. This model is simply made out of faux fur(fields), cotton (clouds) and sifted tile grout(mountains). The perspective is forced as in all of my images, and the lighting effect was created by simply shifting the white balance.

To see more of Matthew’s work, you can visit his website.

An Artistic Image Compression Algorithm

American Pixels is an experiment by Jörg Colberg that uses a special kind of image compression algorithm to create a distinct look. Here’s Colberg’s statement:

These “American Pixels” are an experiment. Image formats like jpeg (or gif) use compression algorithms to save space, while trying to retain a large fraction of the original information. A computer that creates a jpeg does not know anything about the contents of the image: It does what it is told, in a uniform manner across the image.

My idea was to create a variant that followed in the footsteps of what jpegs do, but to have the final result depend on the original image: in a very direct way the computer algorithm becomes part of the image creation. The idea was to build a hierarchical compression algorithm, where the compression – in effect the pixel size – depends on the information in each uncompressed pixel and its neighbours. So adaptive compression (acomp) is a new image algorithm where the focus is not on making its compression efficient but, rather, on making its result interesting.

[…] What is more, it produces images that have spatial depth: as you zoom in you can see more and more details. acomps are designed for a wall: The viewer has to be able to walk back and forth in front of them.

Basically, the algorithm leaves detail where there needs to be detail, and compresses areas of less detail. By doing this, the resulting image doesn’t look entirely realistic, yet doesn’t look entirely artificial either.

Light Painting Animation by Freezelight

Freezelight is a Russian group that creates light painting photographs and animations. They have a pretty interesting blog showcasing their work, and opened up a Vimeo account a few days ago to showcase their films.

The above animation is titled “Freezelight Magic Forest“, and consists of roughly 300 photographs shot with a Canon 5D Mark II, EF 50/1.4, and EF 24-70/2.8. They also have a pretty interesting behind-the-scenes video showing the creation of a light painting animation.

This would have surely been included in our 13 creative light painting animations post a couple weeks ago had they been online then.

(via Gizmodo)

Neat Hand and Paper Parkour Animation

Here’s a dose of creative inspiration: a hand animated video of parkour. Created by Serene Teh and Noel Lee, parkour motion reel is a pretty unique take on the flip book style of animation.

While this video isn’t directly related to photography, the concept can definitely be done with photographs instead of being hand-drawn, and might make for some pretty awesome animation. Photographs have already been used in this kind of animation, but usually using stop motion (i.e. The PEN Story and stop motion with wolf and pig.)

If you have any examples of photographs being animated by hand in this manner, please link us!

(via Laughing Squid)

Superheroes Throughout History

This interesting collection of images by Indonesian artist Agan Harahap, titled “Super Hero”, features famous superheroes (and villains) inserted into iconic war photographs.

Though it’s not “photography” per se, we found this set of images quite amusing.







Here’s his statement on the work:

Have you ever wondered what life would have been like if Superheroes and Villains actually existed? For the most part, all we can do is ponder the infinite possibilities, often courtesy of video games, books, television, movies and, most importantly, our very own imagination.

Agan Harahap, a photographer and illustrator from Jakarta, Indonesia, has taken the concept of Superheroes and brought them into a pseudo-reality. By incorporating infamous characters into iconic World War II photographs, Harahap has managed to blur the lines between fiction and truth. In so doing, he has managed to merge the fantastically impossible with our past physical existence, in order to create a Superhero adorned alternate reality.

Harahap’s latest collection, aptly titled ‘Super Hero’, consists of memorable political and wartime scenes from the mid-20th century, but with one difference: the inclusion of notable Superheroes (or Villains?). This extraordinary combination is a true juxtaposition in effect.

For the rest of the images in this collection, check out the SUPER HERO Flickr set.

Image credits: All images by Agan Harahap and used with permission.

Photographers Must Think Outside the Box

Just came across this hilarious animation of two guys discussing “thinking outside the box”. Now, I guess these guys could be anyone from philosophers to painters, but I like to think they’re photographers who are trying too hard to be “artistic”. Enjoy.

Doesn’t the conversation sound like something you might hear between two students in a photography class?

outside the box by joseph Pelling (via A Photo Editor)

Journey to Everywhere by Jan von Holleben

Editor’s note: Jan von Holleben is the photographer well known for his project “Dreams of Flying”. He just completed a twelve month project called “Journey to Everywhere“, which is a “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” concept done without any digital manipulation.

I thought this series would be great for inspiring PetaPixel readers, so I asked him to write a little introduction to this project for you guys to go along with this preview of his project. In addition, he has included some “behind the scenes” photographs to give you a little glimpse of his process.

If you haven’t yet, definitely check out “Dreams of Flying” and our interview with Jan.

In ‘Journey to Everywhere’ I am revisiting my series ‘Dreams of Flying’.The village in the Kaiserstuhl, where I shot all the initial images over 5 years, is still the same and not much has changed except the trees have grown taller and a few new streets have been built. The kids have grown some years since lying on various local grounds for my camera and their parents have grown into amazingly supportive collaborators. The sets have become more complex in their simplicity and between the kids and me; photography has become a hot topic of critical discussion in its effect and its usage. We still meet up in front of my mum’s house, contemplate ideas, pack the VW Van with the weirdest potpourri of materials, take a drive up the hill which overlooks the village and from where we can also see the Black Forrest, the Swiss Alps and the Vosges in France. It truly feels like a place from which we can see far into the world.

Some of the older kids have mean whilst taken over positions such as technical assistant or art director and we start setting up the photographs. We debate to which country or adventure we should fly first and who is playing which part and stands where and how in our tiny stage set. Ladders for the background are being constructed; foreground is designed and put into position. For today, the itinerary shall be: First into the desert with little water reserves, then play cowboys in the wild wild West and as a finale: conquering a pirate ship and meeting a wonderful mermaid in the pacific ocean. Easy!!!


The Umbrellas


The Shoes


The Pillows


The Flowers


The Jungle


The Sweets


Behind the Scenes



Swinging Your Point and Shoot Camera

In this post I’ll briefly explain how to take photographs like this one.


Just like my previous post on shooting sprinklers, this isn’t exactly the most practical of tutorials. Sorry.

All you need is a small point and shoot camera with an attached wrist-strap. For the examples in this post, I used a Sony DSC-P200:


You’ll need to be able to control the shutter speed of the camera. Most point-and-shoots should have some way for you to do this. Take a look at your instruction manual if you’re not sure how to. For my point-and-shoot, I can control the shutter speed by shooting in manual mode:


Choose how long you want the shutter to stay open for. I set shutter speed at 30 seconds for the examples in this post, which is the maximum the camera allows.


Once you’ve chosen your shutter speed, find a dark place (you’ll probably want to do this at night), press the shutter, hold the camera by the strap, and start swinging your camera around like a madman. Make sure your strap is sturdy so that your camera won’t accidentally fly off of it.


Afterwards, you might have overexposed your image if you kept the shutter open too long with too much light.


A little Photoshopping can help you get the look you want:


Things to experiment with for interesting results:

  • Location
  • Shutter speed
  • Color of the lights around you
  • How you swing the camera

Good luck!

Spider Webs and Galaxies

This is another post geared towards ideas and experimentation, rather than practicality and general photography.

Here are two (kind of abstract) photographs I took recently. The first one is of some webs that I came across:


Canon 40D + 16-35mm f/2.8 at 35mm. f/10, 1/50s, and ISO 200.

The second photo was of the night sky packed with stars:


Canon 40D + 16-35mm f/2.8 at 26mm. f/2.8, 1/800s, and ISO 200.

Actually, neither of the photos were of what I claimed they were.

Can you guess what I shot to make these two photographs?

They were actually both taken in my backyard. My sprinklers were going off and I was curious about what the scene would look like photographed.

In fact, both photos are nearly identical in location and framing. What was different was shutter speed. Notice how the water drops in the first photograph appear as lines. The relatively slow shutter speed (1/50th of a second) is what did that. The faster shutter speed (1/800ths of a second) in the second one rendered the drops almost as points.

Here are the original, uncropped photos. You can hover your mouse over them to see what they looked like straight out of the camera, prior to post-processing:



For photos like these, the sprinklers should be between you and the sun. If the sun is behind you, then you probably won’t catch the water drops very well on camera. It also helps around if there’s a shadow or dark background behind the sprinklers.

Try experimenting with abstract photographs of ordinary things, using camera settings to give the photos different looks and textures. If you come up with some interesting ideas or find interesting results on your hands, please do share them with us!

Shooting Rainbows


Here’s a quick idea for you to try if you’re looking for some photo inspiration (after all, we have a whole section devoted to this kind of thing). I haven’t spent much time hashing out this idea, so it’s pretty undeveloped compared to some of the other walkthroughs I’ve written. Maybe one of these days I’ll go out with my assistant (AKA my brother) and really shoot this concept.

What You’ll Need

In addition to your camera, this will require:

  • A nice outdoor location
  • A garden hose
  • Something that can generate mist (i.e. garden hose spray gun)
  • An assistant

What To Do

Be sure it’s a pretty sunny day outside. Rainbows might be hard to catch if there’s too little direct sunlight (kind of the opposite of fish?).

You’ll want to stand somewhere between the sun and the mist. Otherwise, you’ll end up with photos that look like these:


Even though they might be interesting, you won’t end up with any rainbows shooting out of the spray gun.

Have your assistant spray mist in your general direction, and try to move around to see if you can catch a glimpse of any rainbow that may result. If you locate this rainbow, reposition your assistant’s spray and your own location until the rainbow matches up with the spray nozzle in your assistant’s hand.

I haven’t experimented much with the location or background, but try to keep the background dark to have the rainbow stand out more in the photo. Also, try shooting wide open (largest aperture) if possible, to throw the background out of focus and further bring out the rainbow.

That’s about it! If any of you try your hand at this idea and have interesting results, please do share it with us by linking to your photograph in the comments!