Back in March, we shared a time-lapse that showed photographer Liu Bolin — also known as the “invisible man” — disappearing into the stage at TED 2013. The time-lapse showed what he goes through for every project: days of preparation followed by hours of standing still while artists paint him “into” the background.
His talk during that conference, however, went into much more detail. He talks about the process of creating some of his best shots, about his start, and about the motivation behind his most impressive work. Fair warning: the talk is given with an interpreter but you’ll find you need to activate and lean mostly on the closed captions as the interpreter only gets the occasional word in. Read more…
What defines a portrait? Is it still a portrait if the subject is present in the frame but hidden from the eye? If the answer is yes, then photographer Chris Buck has captured a series of unique celebrity portraits through his project titled Presence. If not, then each of the photographs simply shows a random scene.
The photograph above? That’s a portrait of famous American photographer Cindy Sherman. Read more…
Are you so bad at photography that all your photographs are completely overexposed to the point of pure white? Good news: there may yet be artistic hope for you. The Hayward Gallery in London is planning to mount an “Emperor’s New Clothes”-style exhibition titled “Invisible”, which will only feature artwork that can’t be seen. Pieces include Tom Friedman‘s “1000 Hours of Staring” (shown above) — a blank sheet of paper that the artist stared at for hours upon hours over the course of five years — and Andy Warhol‘s empty pedestal titled “Invisible Sculpture”.
Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before someone launches a photo exhibition consisting solely of blank white photographs.
JR (the TED-winning photographer who uses giant photos as street art) and Liu Bolin (the Chinese artist who photographs himself blending into scenes) recently got together to collaborate on a photograph taken by Liu Bolin in which JR blends into one of his large scale installations. The giant photograph that Liu Bolin helped blend JR into is a photo of Liu Bolin’s eye, created by JR. Can you say “photo inception”? Read more…
After his Beijing studio was destroyed in 2005, artist Liu Bolin (AKA “The Invisible Man”) began a project titled “Hiding in the City” that show him blending into various locations around Beijing. The photographs aren’t Photoshopped — Bolin carefully has his body painted to blend in with each landscape. TIME writes,
Each image requires meticulous planning and execution: as both artist and performer, Bolin directs the photographer on how to compose each scene before entering the frame. Once situated, he puts on his Chinese military uniform, which he wears for all of his Invisible Man photographs, and, with the help of an assistant and painter, is painted seamlessly into the scene. This process can sometimes take up to ten hours with Bolin having to stand perfectly still. Although the end result of Bolin’s process is the photograph, the tension between his body and the landscape is itself a manifestation of China’s incredible social and physical change. [#]
Here’s a Photoshop protip: before saving a final version of a photo for publishing on the web, make sure all the layers you want in the image are actually visible. Apparently some Photoshopper working for JCrew got careless with his layers, which led to the above catalog photo showing a model with transparent hair (in fact, the hair appeared by itself in a separate photo). The catalog entry has since been fixed, with the invisible-haired woman replaced with a boring photo of a blue blazer.
The Girl With 7 Horses is a creative project by photographer Ulrika Kestere that shows a girl traveling to various landscapes in search of her “invisible horses”:
Once upon a time there was a girl who had 7 invisible horses. People thought she was crazy and that she in fact had 7 imaginative horses, but this was not the case. When autumn came the girl spent a whole day washing all her clothes. She hung them on a string in her garden to let the gentle autumn sun dry them. Out of nowhere, a terrible storm came and its fierce winds grabbed a hold of all her clothes and all seven horses (authors note: since they are invisible they obviously didn’t weigh much). The girl was devastated and spent all autumn looking for each horse spread around the country, wrapped in her clothes.
Japanese company Nippon Electric Glass has developed a new type of ‘invisible glass’ that drastically reduces reflections, rendering the glass almost invisible to human eyes. The secret is a special anti-reflection film that is formed on each side of the glass, which allows more light to pass through rather than bounce off. In ordinary glass, about 8% of the incoming light is reflected, but with this new glass, only 0.5% is. In the photo above, we “see” normal glass on the left and the new glass on the right.
Gadget blogs are salivating over the glass’ potential benefits for phone and computer screens, but we’re interested in seeing whether the glass may prove useful for photography. Perhaps it could pave the way for next-generation lenses and filters?
Toronto-based artists Brad Blucher and Kyle Clements have an exhibition titled “Take a Picture” which features paintings that are invisible to the human eye but visible to cameras. To do this, they use a frequency of light that is outside the visible spectrum but visible to the CCD and CMOS sensors found in digital cameras. Read more…