art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 209: “surrealism”

This week, we have a tough topic. Tracy, who posts at Reflections of an Untidy Mind, has chosen Surrealism. When thinking of Surrealism, I assume, that most people think of the painting by Catalonian artists Salvatore Dalí or Joan Miró. Surrealism began in the wake of the First World War when the horror and violence experienced by so many had shifted perceptions of sanity and reality.
But, what is surrealism?
What are the key characteristics? Surrealism is the doctrine of something going over the edge of reality. It is the try to imagine ideas, dreams, and/or emotions. A painter or sculptor can follow her inner voice to picture her imagination. But a photographer? Cameras are supposed to capture reality. So, how can they capture surrealistic images?
There are a few photographers active in this field like Brooke Shaden and Kyle Thompson. They create dream-like images by transporting the methods and ideas from painting to photography. Strange shapes, floating body parts, and bizarre landscapes: the Surrealists sought to challenge notions of normality through the power of photography. 

What makes a photo Surrealism?

“Surreal images tend to be dreamlike and tap into people’s unconscious,” says Tryforos. “They’re often made of different elements that are put together in unexpected ways.” Surreal images almost always contain recognizable elements from real life.
Features of Surrealistic Art
  • Dream-like scenes and symbolic images.
  • Unexpected, illogical juxtapositions.
  • Bizarre assemblages of ordinary objects.
  • Automatism and a spirit of spontaneity.
  • Games and techniques to create random effects.
  • Personal iconography.
  • Visual puns.
  • Distorted figures and biomorphic shapes.

 

Having this in my, I have a few images to show:

details: a fairie’s dream
following an idea from the fairytale “The flying suitcase (Der fliegende Koffer)” by Hans-Christian Anderson
  • wrong white balance or using coloring filters / colored light

  • focussing on shapes and shadows instead of recognizable subjects

  • find surreal settings around you to capture
a shop-window in Rennes, France, a couple of years ago.

 

tree mummies of Dead Vlei

 

huge parts of the Icelandic landscape are looking so surreal
  • settings were parts don’t fit

here, you can read a bit more about that shower

 

  • dreamy scenes


 

a dreamy forest on Kerkyra

 

apocalypse
surpresed landscape

 

  • infrared
photographing in infrared

 

You see, you don’t have to be a painter to be able to create surrealistic images. And, as you can see, the border between surrealistic images and abstract images can be quite small sometimes.

Take care!