Surrealist Photographers | Contextual Research | Surfaces and Strategies |

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Since my first attempts at visual roles and surreal edits, I wanted to continue my research by looking at other surrealist photographers…

Matt Wisniewski


To me this is double exposure on another level, we often see nature double exposed into portraits, but Matt has integrated the landscape into the minds of the subject. By selecting fashion models, is he implying that the models have a clear mind while in the act of modelling or is it just for the pleasure of unique visuals. I’m not graphic designer but if I can find a way to do a similar method of editing, I’m sure I could use parts of nature against a subject to reflect their inner emotions.


Now this image must had been achieved by layering a glass crystal images over the portraits face and erasing it where fit. This is an effect I would like too try out. Making use of external materials to impact the photo. The portrait to me looks damaged from this effect, something inside him has left him feeling broken, shattered. What I especially like about this photo is that his left is barely but just about visible, he looks sad. I would like to know more context to this image and Matts intentions but there is no information. This is from his singles collection.

Clever placement of the wave, it swoops as if it was her hair. I’m sure this would had been Matts intention. This to me looks like the girl is thinking, overtaking perhaps.


Another example landscape mountains being used but this time the whole face. I think this one works really well, it looks like a creature of some sort, its hard to explain this one because it just is what it is, a person with a mountain as a face, it just works well.


Mineral Minds

This one I really like as it has been placed as if the woman was wearing the nature as a mask. Or it could be taken as looking like a rare disease or infection. The choice of black and white adds heavily to its realism.

Matts Website

Victoria Siemer

“Victoria Siemer, also known as Witchoria, is a Visual Artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She works predominantly in the digital realm, creating surreal photo manipulations that reflect her penchant for ennui, existential crisis, and heartbreak. Her work has been featured in a variety of digital publications including Wired, Juxtapoz, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, and Business Insider. She graduated from SUNY Buffalo with a BFA in Communication Design.” – Source

Victoria also works with combining landscapes with portraiture such as…


But this isn’t the imagery Victoria makes that caught my eye, rather then her signature, subtle yet effective landscapes that combines two images (mainly one image duplicated) which are blended into one using a vertical reflection…


There is something about these images that make it overall flow very well. It could be the fact the image duplicated and flipped over has a gradient opacity decrease as it gentle touches the landscape. Either way, these images to me really stand out, they are visually pleasing to look at. It would be interesting to know how these images visually reflect her “ennui, existential crisis, and heartbreak”…


This image particularly stood out to me as the birds sweep gently through the centre of the image creating what looks like an infinite loop, very cleverly placed. The edit is also exceptionally sharp.


Again, a clever placement of the image used. It reminds me of the word minim due to the position of the moon, as if it was just the background image alone, the moon would be in a similar position to as it has been placed. Also the gradient of the flipped image adds to it subtly standing out against the original background.

Martin Stranka


Martin Stranka – Close

Martin Stranka is a self-taught professional photographer, born on April 13, 1984 in Czech Republic. Martin’s distinctive vision of photography etched as a unique space located in a balance and serenity, while his sophisticated and rewarding images exists in that narrow space of a few seconds between dreaming and awakening. – Source

One thing I especially liked about Martins work is the tones used in the edit. The yellowy green makes the image look abandoned and empty. Also the grain adds to the realism which is what I decided to do in my first visual roles attempt.


Before I go Blind

This double exposed image is works well, judging by the title and the face the head is complete disappeared. I would say that the subject is getting lost in the environment, in nature…


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I found Hayden Clays Instagram through one off his songs being used on a chilled, relaxed music channel, which I think is fitting for his style of photos. I absolutely adore his work and the clever use of edits to recreate in his words, “Dreams”…

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The overall colour scheme for his work is impressive and seems to flow very nicely…

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This is the first photo I found of Haydens. I really like this image and I find it hard to explain why. Like every photo, it could be Interpreted in many ways, but to me this resembles reaching out for paradise, reaching out for peacefulness and relaxation. The multiple arms amplifies this want.

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A good example of unusual colours used, it’s different from the norm. It seems Hayden likes keep a theme by using the colours pink and purple a lot to represent his visions of dreams. The colours match well.

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Here is another clever use of double exposure, it seems he is very good at selecting the images to use as when looking at them at first glance to me it always seems like one photo. A city placed upon a city with the mountain placed in the gap. It is very nice.

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Now interestingly, Hayden seems to replicate the infra red imagery, similar to the style of Richard Moss, But i’d be keen to know how he does it, I messaged him asking how this was done, this was his response…


As Hayden mentions, he uses a film camera and with this a specialist film called Lomochrome. I immediately sought out a tutorial to see if there was a way for me to replicate this look through photoshop. from the source, I will go for option two. I will learn how to do this and put it to practice towards my final project outcomes.

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In some cases there seems to be an overall tint of purple throughout the entire image.

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Others just the lower half, it would be nice to know the technique used…

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Here is another similar styled image however with and orange/red/pink tone to it. A good example of how colour can set the mood for a photograph, in this case representing the sunset. Seeing the beach has white specs to me makes it look out of this world as if in an alternative universe the beaches have snow.


Another great example of how Hayden uses double exposure successfully. When I first viewed this image it looked as if the flowers where hanging down from the tree, in a dream world. It also looks like the flowers are part of her dress. Bravo.


Jati Putra Pratama

“Indonesian graphic designer Jati Putra Pratama creates surreal landscape artworks using photo manipulation. Much of his work consists of mind-bending scenes where dreamscapes are flipped into unusual angles or folded into each other. For many, Pratama’s compositions look like scenes that came out of the science fiction thriller ‘Inception’.”Source

Jati Putra Pratama’s main platform again is Instagram. He is a self proclaimed to be a graphic designer, not a photographer, so it would be interesting to know if he takes the initial images himself, but either way, there is some good visual work done by him which are similar to the idea of dreams…

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I selected this image as I think I could achieve something similar if I wanted by photographing 3 layers and blending them together.

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I like this image due to the sunlight coming through the clouds. As the sky is not differently angled the same as the land I am assuming a separate layer has been used along with the manipulation of the rays of sunlight. It looks very powerful.

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Lastly, i’m assuming this was done through the perspective warp tool in photoshop which I found out through this tutorial. This is a tool I would like to get familiar with to see what I can make with it regarding the landscape or portraits. In this image due to Jati’s experience he has managed to make a smooth shift in the perspective creating a bend which effects the mind in a impactful way.

Charlie Davoli

“I Create Surreal Worlds Using Only My iPhone”

“The dreamy landscapes of Charlie Davoli resemble snapshots from a parallel universe. Yet they all come from the hands of the artist, who literally creates unreal worlds by shooting pictures with his iPhone and then editing them with apps like PsTouch, iDesign, Superimpose, Matter, and Mextures. He then posts his fascinating photo collages on Instagram.” – Source

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Anything to do with the manipulation of the face I find very impactful as it is of course the main way we express our emotions. In this case the face being completely swapped leaves this photo empty and with that my reaction. Visually it is interesting but at the same time I feel it is meaningless. Just like the person is represented due to the edit. Nothing but clouds. Some could say this is the visual representation of day dreaming.

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This immediately gave me the idea to use Silhouettes as elements in some form of double exposure.

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This image is a clever use of imagery that creates a sense of vertigo. The volcano to me represents the power the person is feeling at that time.

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First thing I noticed about this image is that I would had been shot twice to get the inside of the subjects left shoe.

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This comes across as some sort of invisible cloak, I very much like this style and has inspired me to put this to the test.

Viewing this inspiring work has filled my head with ideas by giving me knowledge of new techniques that I can practice to implement into my project.



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