Thursday, February 16, 2012

Impossible Photography

 I was assigned to work on the design of catalogue for the consulting company during my summer internship. While I was doing Google search and was trying to examine other similar catalogue designs, I suddenly saw one picture which I couldn’t understand in any way. It was some physical material made of three similar cubes, which were imaginable. But they were combined in a way, that I couldn’t understand and see there any “connection line”. By looking to that photograph I see that it could exist, but at the same time I know it cannot. I have spent hours to understand that picture, but it was useless.

 For my blog post I was searching any interesting topic, and I read the title “Impossible Photography”. This podcast finally gave answers to my questions.

 In the podcast young photographer Erik Johannson shows different interesting, impossible and extraordinary photographs which are unrealistic but at the same time look like realistic. This video also attracted me because my father had professional camera and was taking different pictures. Therefore from childhood I used to see how photos come out. I was familiar with the process started from pressing the trigger till taking already paper photo in hand.

 Erik Johannson (2011) starts his talk by telling how the idea of making unrealistic images came in his mind. These images are images which can’t be taken by camera. When he was 15, he got his first digital camera and by using camera, he understood that the process is very simple: one click and the process ends. It is very simple, it is about being in the right place at the right time and anyone can do that. His desire was to create something different, where the process starts after pressing the trigger. In all impossible photos he is putting photorealism, which means that those photos cannot be captured really, but those could have been captured as pictures. All these are about capturing ideas not the moment really.

 But what’s the trick that makes it look realistic? Is it anything about the details, the colors, and the light? 
The perspective is the illusion. It’s not about what is realistic, it’s about what we think looks realistic really. Erik looks at the photos as a puzzle of reality, where he takes different pieces of reality and puts them together.

There are 3 simple rules to follow to get realistic results: 1. Photos combined should have the same perspective, 2. Photos combined should have the same type of lights, 3. To make impossible to distinguish where the different images begin and end.

Match color, contrast and brightness in the borders between the different images, add photographic elements, erase the borders between the different images; make it look like a single image. Getting realistic results starts with planning, with the sketching an idea, then combining to different photographs. The process results into beautiful and realistic images. "Tools are available; the only thing that has limits is imagination". Erik Johannson

The author precisely defines the main idea, purpose, settles several important questions and gives answers to those. He clearly identifies his assumptions, shows his point of view concerning to photography, how he understands it. He uses logical explanations while answering to settled questions. He talks clearly, the topic is accurate and the talk is well organized. I really enjoyed it :).

Source: Erik Johannson (2011) TEDTalk videos "Impossible Photography" Retrieved from:

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