If you want to make more interesting photos, make more surreal photos:
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1. Cutoff limbs
In this painting by Rene Magritte (1927, the beneficial promise), note the surrealist technique of the woman on top of the frame looking left, and the hand in the foreground facing right.
I find this image so fascinating for many reasons.
First, the shape of the circular window around the woman’s head mirrors that of the (ball?) — (perhaps her own hand) in the foreground is touching.
Also the dynamic tension — the movement of her head looking left is dynamically opposed to the movement of the hand in the foreground.
Why is this image interesting?
As viewers we look at this image and it puzzles us:
- Who does the hand in the foreground belong to?
- Is the circle in the background and the woman —is it a mirror, or an opening?
The charm of this picture is the disorientation of the viewer in perspective, and the minimalist imagery (the woman’s face, the circle on top of the frame, the hand in foreground, and the ball).
My example that mirrors Magritte
When I saw this painting by Magritte, it reminded me of a picture I shot of a poster of a woman’s face, and my own hand.
Perhaps next time I shoot a similar photo, I should make my arm to the opposite direction from the face direction of the woman, for a more engaging image.
Cut out the faces, only show teeth.
Humans being trapped in boxes?
Try to make photos with your subjects in boxes, or use a simple box composition.
4. Discarded picture frames
Photograph picture frames — out of place.
5. Floating things
Photograph things floating above other things —to make surreal images.
6. Things about to crush things
This is a good technique in street photography: photograph objects suspended above the head of your subject, and add a little bit of negative space.
7. Horizontal bodies suspended in space
Photograph some subjects lying horizontally, just like what a magician would do when their subject is lying in a box.
Idea: study more magic, and magicians, for surrealist imagery.
8. Leading lines and trees
Shoot with a sense of space and depth —by taking a step back, and showing more.
9. Curved frame in frame
What is real, and what isn’t?
10. Parasols (umbrellas)
Nothing better than photographing umbrellas for surrralist imagery.
Some of my umbrella photos:
Idea: shoot with a flash when it is raining through clear umbrellas for surrealist effects:
Some examples from the masters of photography: