I posted the following for my photo school classmates just to show what I’m playing around with and decided I like the look so much I’d add it to my personal blog. Surrealism has always been interesting to me since it’s such an extreme perspective on reality but I’m not artist enough to create that look from scratch. Instead I fool around with my photos to see what will pop out.
For example, the upper left quarter of this image is the original photograph, a series of branches and roots in a lake being reflected in the calm surface. I duplicated it, flipped it horizontally, then copied and flipped the result vertically. Added a couple of colored gradients to it on a diagonal and sharpened it much more than I would for my landscapes.
Looking it over I realize one aspect of most surrealistic images is the “floating in space unattached to any other element” element. There’s apparently something about an element of an image that is just out there by itself that puzzles our brain. The added color is here to prevent the viewer from noticing the empty space is actually just the surface of a lake, further confusing the brain.
I’ve played around with these type images a bit but realize now many of my other attempts have far too many elements in them, generating a kaleidoscope look that I think most people just glance at and then move on. This version, with much more empty space, feels like it holds the eye longer. Certainly merits further exploration.