Stocksy Top 5 of the Month – June 2018

It seems that the top for last month has taken a turn for the dark. There were a lot of great new additions to the Stocksy collection in June but these seem the most interesting because they go hand in hand and they all share this dreamy dark surreal esthetique. It’s almost a mini series of surreal imagery. The only image that is a bit merrier is the one with the winding road going through the enchanted forest, but it too is full of mystery. Here is my Stocksy Top 5 for June 2018:

Dark man silhouette

timeless_man_silhouette_in_mysterious_dark_forest
Dark man silhouette

Abstract fire texture background

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Abstract fire texture background

Dark angel concept

dark_surreal_angel_concept_with_wings
Dark angel concept

Winding forest autumn road

enchanted_autumn_forest_light_shining_on_road
Winding forest autumn road

Dark surreal ghost

dark_surreal_ghost_silent_hill_haunted
Dark surreal ghost
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Winter Fairy Tale Walk

winter-fairy-tale-walk
Man walking in fairy tale winter woods with snow flakes falling

I’ve had this photo added to the curated feed recently on Stocksy.

I’m glad others like it too, because I feel that it has a special winter fairy tale atmosphere. It is a photo taken in 2012, but I couldn’t find the perfect balance when editing it until now, so it spent almost 4 years in the making.

Even tough this doesn’t happen with all my photos, I do spend a lot of time getting everything right, and getting the right feel trough a discrete enough editing. Not to mention the planning of the trip, getting there and actually taking the photos in the right conditions.

Quality does need time, unfortunately the world has less and less time for quality. Just think about how quickly a new book, a new album or a new movie gets obsolete. Everyone just wants the next one and so on. There’s too little place for soul in art nowadays.

Man Under Starry Sky

man under starry sky
Silhouette of man going to the light under starry sky

I really like taking photos in the night because it’s such a surreal and out of this world experience. I have posted before about the thrills of night photography here.

The photo above is made using a really long shutter speed – 60 minutes, so that the stars become star trails. This is due to the movement of the earth and the fact that the Northern Star (Polaris) is realtively still, so the whole night landscape is eerie, strange and beautiful. I’ve added a light source and a silhouette that could be the one of an alien so everything has the grandeur of the cosmos.

Man on the Edge of the forest

Man on the edge of forest at sunset
Man on the edge of the forest trough fog at sunset

I’ve always found interesting how different people see different things in a photo. Some look at the photo above and see a man walking out of a forest, some see the man entering the forest, a person with imagination could say that this is an apparition of a ghost in a surreal forest. A sad person could say that the man in the picture is walking sadly at sunset. An insecure person could say that it’s a photo of a man lost in the woods. A single image can be interpreted differently by different people.

The way we perceive reality differs, so our interpretation of art differs too. I think art is the interpretation of reality through the mind of the artist. But the result is also  subject to interpretation. So everybody takes from art what they need at a certain moment in time and space.

http://www.photocosma.net/

Hidden valley exploration

hiiden valley with man exploring
Man exploring hidden valley with steep cliffs

There are a lot of hidden valleys that are still unexplored near the place that I live. I often go trough these wild valleys in search of natural wonders and inspiration, and there isn’t a single time I come back without finding something really interesting and worth photographing. You can’t access these places with any kind of transportation, there isn’t any cell phone signal and even GPS signal because of the huge steep cliffs that border the various valleys, so these places feel really remote and wild. Because of this isolation, they have managed to remain pretty much uncharted. It is always a relief to explore such places.

This is a photo take on the same tour as the macro shot here. The river that shaped these rocks and formed beautiful steep gorges still flows today and has a permanent stream of water, so advancing is really difficult. There are also fallen trees and branches that are obstructing the way, not to mention the narrow path that someone exploring this place has to follow. I remember that the first time I  was there I really wanted to go further and see new wonders awaiting me around the corner, but the water was just too high so I had to call it a day. I returned many times and every time I managed to go a bit further than the last time, finding some of the most giant caves and some of the most beautiful gorges I have ever seen. Sometimes it’s difficult to come back in one piece, and I have found myself stranded on narrow steep pieces of land because of the rain, but nothing beats the feeling of discovering new things even after years of exploration.

The photo above was taken on an autumn day, the leaves not quite fallen from the trees. The human figure you see is my brother, with whom I was in quite a few risky situations due to our desire to uncover the secrets of this valley. I needed a human silhouette so the viewer would get a feeling of the size of the cliffs, so I told him to go forward and used an ultra-wide angle lens to capture this shot. I used a f 11 aperture to have everything in focus, and the shortest shutter speed that the light and my lens allowed. This kind of photos are usually used for environmental campaigns and also – like many of my photos – for horror movies posters. I think it has something to do with the unknown, the mystery of such photos, because they give a sense that you don’t know what may come after the next corner. I really like this feeling too, so I will be taking and posting more images from this place in the future. The “hidden valley” series is always expanding.

You can license the image exclusively here: https://www.stocksy.com/987261

 

 

Man and Nature

Silhouette of man in mysterious frest with fog on Halloween
Silhouette of man in mysterious forest with fog on Halloween

Taking a look trough my portfolio, I notice that a lot of the photos that are best sellers have just a glimpse of the human form. People are rarely present in my photos, and when they are they are just small silhouettes part of a much bigger picture of a bigger landscape. I think I do this to give a sense of size in my photos, but also to put the human form in contrast with the vastness of nature, the grandeur of it all.

Take for example the photo above. The silhouette of the man is much further from the tree, so I played a bit with proportions, but this helps give a sense of how big the forest really is. Plus it is a nice subject, visible but with no details, and left for the imagination to think about what it really is. Being just a lonely silhouette it makes the photo more powerful and one can almost feel the cold of the night approaching in late autumn. The mysterious atmosphere that the fog gives certainly helps a lot, and it seems like the character is walking in a fantasy enchanted forest. The day I took this photo was really cold and it was drizzling. I didn’t have a lot of time because everything was getting wet and the light was falling fast, but I used my trusty wide angle lens and a tripod and told my brother to go in the distance so I have a silhouette in the frame. I don’t usually like staged shots, and this is about as far as I go with them, but I think here it was important to have the small silhouette in the frame. The contrasting fallen leaves give a nice touch to a late autumn photo. Looking at the final result, I really think I managed to capture the atmosphere and coldness of that evening, and people who have not been there and see the photos tell me the same, so I have achieved what I wanted.

http://www.photocosma.net