Page 1

Charley Rose I have decided to study how Adobe Photoshop has made the impossible happen within photographs. This title appeals to me the most because am personally interested in the effects which artists use to create the impossible, by researching this I also hope to find new techniques for me to use in my pieces. Through this essay I will look into different graphic artists, I will study their work to develop a strong understanding of their methods and how these can apply to my work. I will study it thoroughly and form a strong conclusion on my findings. I will be looking the work of three artists for my research, these artists are Nicholas Max, Taylor McCormick and Franck BohBot. All these artists use narratives to make the viewer more involved in the pieces which they have created. I will analyse their work and the techniques which they use to create the impossible in their work, I will be researching this because I have been asked to do it in my own graphics project. I have decided to research the work of Nicholas Max, Nicholas Max is a graphic artist who creates pieces which are impossible and the viewer easily notices this. One of his pieces of work features a girl standing in the foreground looking towards a tornado in the distance. His work does create the impossible but by using a good quality picture and merging these together it makes the viewer look twice. This picture takes my notice more than his other pieces because of its style and realism, he manages to create a grained effect on the image. By adding the grained style over the image the primary and secondary images blend in with one another. This effect also makes the image look like an old photo from a polaroid camera. In this image Nicholas Max desaturates the image leaving the colours very cold and dull in this piece. This helps to create a stormy atmosphere in this piece around the focus in the background, the tornado. A tornado is created in a storm, because of this the weather is cold and grey and is successfully represented in the colours used. The model in the image is wearing suitable clothes for the piece, she is wearing knitwear in a shade of green so that the model blends into the scene and does not look edited.


Charley Rose

This image was one of Nicholas Max’s more merged pictures where he created the impossible with the look of a polaroid picture to create something unimaginable. Another piece shows someone jumping or levitating high above the ground. This image is one of his pieces which are surreal meaning the pictures should not exist and they are not real. However they look unedited due to the use of lighting placement and the consistent colours. There is a golden glow around this piece which is highlighted in the shading and light of the piece, it shows the sun as a golden glow which highlights the images. In the image the light is breaking through the dark clouds over one figure, this gives a holy effect as if the sun is shining on the character on purpose. The highlights throughout this piece are consistent in the direction placed meaning the light looks realistic because the light is in the same position throughout. The ground in this piece is rounded which gives the effect that it is high ground making the model seem more valuable and important.


Charley Rose The positioning of the character in the image shows the figure jumping up however there are no signs of gravity pulling the character down. The position is also relaxed making the images look like a force is gently picking him up. Overall the effects of light in this image create the sense of realism and make the piece look possible but this character is doing something impossible and makes the viewer look twice. Finally one of his pieces which features lots of the same person however they are all in the woods on the floor in a line. He uses similar techniques to the ones he used in his tornado piece which was the first I mentioned of his work. There are a lot of muted colours in this piece featuring greys and moss coloured greens, this creates a natural look of the woods compared to the overall atmosphere and the weather just like his tornado piece. The model who is repeated throughout this image is wearing a grey jacket and some dull green trousers to help him blend fit into the image. Each representation of the model features a different position making each one look the same but in a different position along the same path. This makes the viewer ask many questions for example are they all in the same place, why are they there and are these different parts of the same timeline. By making the copies all along one path they take more notice and give the piece a simplistic look which is effective. By placing all of the people in the middle of the piece it manages to hold focus without there being too much happening in one scene. The artist has placed a camera on to a tripod so that he has the same background, he has then used a friend or set the camera on a timer. He has changed his position in the same location to make multiple photos, then he edits the photos by putting all the layers on top of each other with the front model being on top. Then he begins to remove the spaces in the images to reveal the other models but whilst retaining the same background. By doing this the models are all in the same location and because of the image behind them they are easily cropped from the background.


Charley Rose

My second artist I have choose to research is Taylor McCormick, I have chosen this artist because one of their pieces featuring someone ripping into another background. This has a similar effect and feel to the piece I mentioned by Nicholas Max where there is a person floating in a golden glow. This piece featuring a hand tearing into some paper or material, where the paper has been ripped there lays the background of a city skyline from a high up angle. This makes viewers ask many questions, the model looks so high up showing how impossible it is, no one would be able to get that high and would be allowed because of health and safety in paper. Or the picture could be someone opening up a secret world through the tear rather than being in the same one. There is a glow on the paper and the person’s hand which is golden like the piece by Nicholas Max, there is then a bright blue skyline behind the paper revealing a city. This makes the piece realistic, there is a great use of light in this piece which adds to the realism showing the light flooding through the gap in the tear. The golden glow and the bright blue glow which shows the difference in the dark behind the paper, this is also showed by the bright blue light on the end of the person’s fingers which go through the tear. This creates depth to the piece and gives the look a more 3D effect to make the impossible a reality and it is done successfully.


Charley Rose

Taylor McCormick also uses light and dark to create realism in their other pieces, the second piece which I am going to talk about is an image where there is a small planes flying over her. There is a shadow on the girls face which shows the depth and perspective creating a 3D and natural look. There is also a stream line following the plane which looks natural as well because the shadow in the piece is thinner compared to the planes shadow. Taylor McCormick has made the plane into two identical layers, she then uses threshold on the image to make the shape of the plane completely black. Once she has done this she angles the picture over the models face and stretches it to make it at an angle to look like the bottom of the plane rather than the side. She finally changes the opacity on the piece and as a result the image looks like a faint shadow on a giants face. The girl is asleep in the piece which shows her lack of reaction to the plane flying over her as she sleeps. The light positioning on the girls face is also shown in the placement of the planes shadow on her face. This shows how important the lighting is in artists work to make the pieces look possible.


Charley Rose

The third example of her work is an image where there is someone balancing on a floating pillow, this piece is interesting because it plays with gravity effectively. It also uses lighting like her other pieces which makes it stand out to other images which Taylor McCormick has produced. In this image they have balanced the pillow to get the picture and then cut it out to make the image seem naturally placed in the background. By having the woman on the edge of her toes it shows the balance of gravity and the weight which is held on the pillow. The light in this image is placed directly above the image at an angle making the light easier to capture on at the angle of the girls head and the pillow. The gravity and the light work well together to make the piece look pragmatic, it is hard to find any parts in this piece which make it look edited meaning that this is a very successful piece. To achieve this Taylor McCormick has first obtained an image of the background, once she has got this she takes the picture of the model with her head balancing on a stand. Because of the previous image of the background she is able to cut away the stand but leave the model in the same position. Finally she has obtained a picture of the pillow and placed it over the background but behind the model and then cut out pieces of the model, for example her hair going around the pillow.


Charley Rose

The final artist which I am going to discuss is Franck Bohbot, he uses similar methods to Taylor McCormick’s piece involving the plane. He has created a series of images which feature people levitating, the series is called Levitation and he uses shadows to make the images fit together. The first example of his work features a man writing on a van however his legs are off the ground and he is levitating there. Underneath the figure is his shadow which is very dark to show how close the man is to ground. Franck Bohbot’s levitation series is also in black and white, this is unique which gives the photo a sense of realism as though it is a primary photo but it’s clear to the eye it is impossible to achieve this position. The black and white takes the notice off the surreal effect of the man levitating.


Charley Rose

I have found a piece of his work which is in colour but features someone levitating, in this piece he uses techniques familiar to my last two artists use of light. In this piece it features a man tying his shoelace on the beach however he is floating a couple feet off the ground. Using light placement he has made the person look natural in the image however in this piece there is no shadow underneath him, this could be because the placing of the shadow based on the light in this piece may makes the shadow fall out of the canvas size of the piece. He achieves this effect by taking the photo of the background and the subject he wants his model to interact with. He then takes the picture of the model, he has done this either by the model leaning on something or he has jumped and Franck Bohbot has used a camera with a really fast shutter speed. Just like Taylor McCormick he then duplicates the image but uses threshold on the second, he then warps the picture to make the copy at the right angle of the light underneath the model. Finally he lowers the opacity so that the shadow matches the other shadows in the background image, the whole image has been desaturated which helps merge the Photoshop images together to create a sense of realism which would be impossible to achieve.


Charley Rose The final piece of his which I am going to mention features again one person floating however there is a man behind him who is normal. Again in this piece there is a lack of shadows however this effects both people, if you were glancing at the piece you wouldn’t notice however when you do notice it takes away the realism of the piece. This artist uses similar techniques however they are not as strong as the Nicholas Max and Taylor McCormick’s pieces but they do still make the impossible possible in photos but not as professional as some other artists who have perfected this technique.

In conclusion lighting is one of the key factors in making the impossible possible in photographs. If the placement of light in two different images is changed then it is easily noticeable that the two images are from different pictures. The colour of the light is also very important because if there are different shades of light in similar places highlighted on the object then the lighting looks fake and edited. There are other effects which make the impossible possible in photographs but they won’t work if the lighting isn’t performed correctly. One effect which Nicholas Max uses more than the other artists mentioned because he uses grain effects and saturations over the top of the completed image to make the one which has been edited in look more realistic and so it blends into the backdrop more.

Graphics essay  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you