This image is one of the favorites of people who visit my website and browse through the categories, so I thought I’d write a bit about how it was made. The timing should be great too – what better time to write about a dark scary image than Halloween?
Although it was June, the weather had been particularly cold so the weather conditions were great for mysterious foggy forest shots. Me and my brother had been wandering all day through the forest. The weather changed a lot of times from sun to rain so this brought a lot of opportunities. We ran like mad searching for light rays to capture and hid everything away looking for shelter when rain came pouring down. This happened throughout the day so later in the day we were pretty tired.
After chasing sun rays through the forest we reached a part that we didn’t know really well and were amazed to find some giant old trees with big twisted roots. It was really one of those special moments, one in which we felt our steps were guided there. One of those old trees stood out and I knew we had to make something special with it.
I’ve mounted my tripod in a strange position so I was afraid the camera was going to fall over, but it was worth it. I used a wide angle lens at 19 mm, an aperture of f/8 and an exposure of 1/3 seconds because the woods were really dark at that time. I had used hands before in photos to create a creepy surreal atmosphere and to make it seem like some kind of monsters were coming out from the ground. This time I used the hands of my brother coming from the sides of the frame and to the center. The final shot is a composite of 4 photos to make up for the fact that I didn’t have so many “hands models”. I love the darkness, the surreal feel and the overall mood of this photo.
That place really felt surreal and special so I am glad people like the image. For those of you who want to license dark scary surreal images, you can find it exclusively here: https://www.stocksy.com/1334681
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I love surrealism. I like surreal films, TV shows, images, paintings, literature, music and quite anything that has a surreal theme. Surreal art has always caught my attention and a lot of inspiration for my images comes from it. I guess surrealism bleeds through some of my images that have a mysterious and strange atmosphere just like dreams sometimes bleed through reality. My best known images have a hint of the surreal in them and I think it’s one of the things that draws people to them, or should I say into them.
It’s a no-brainer that one of my favorite TV shows is Twin Peaks. It’s resurrection and the first episodes got me in the mood for surrealism so I came up with some images to reflect on that. They fall in the surreal and fine art category, much like my Dark Dreams series. I think they would make for great prints, or backdrops for imagination, passages for the mind into other realms. They are mainly strange experiments that have materialized into something more coherent.
Old tree with long branches in scary forest at night
The Dark Dreams series is something that’s been a work in progress for the last five years or so. The majority of photos from PhotoCosma have a dark and mysterious side but this is taken even further in the series. While browsing trough our portfolio in the early days, we noticed that there are some photos that work well with a darker edit and that don’t fit in any particular series, but could be used to create a story on their own. After some time we got our hands on a selective focus lens – a Lensbaby – and realized that this type of approach could bring a whole new dimension and really made sense given the fact that PhotoCosma is all about mood and atmosphere. It seems to me that it’s a great tool for creating surreal fine art photography and seeing the world in a different perspective. This type of lens makes the edges become out of focus so it seems the viewer is drawn into the frame. I think this is why these images are so powerful and alive, sometimes even inducing motion feelings. Everything becomes blurry, dreamy, soft and some have even told me that some photos give them a sense of nausea, anxiety and restlessness. Putting it all together we realized that this is how some dreams that are surreal make you feel so the title stuck trough the years.