All photographs taken by Alma Haser. Used with permission.
Strange and complex conceptual images define award-winning London-based photographer Alma Haser’s body of work, separating it from all others. From her ongoing The Invitation of Life series, in which she drapes her subjects with a thin see-through fabric, to the awesome album covers she’s photographed, she combines her minimalist style with peculiar ways to represent the stories and concepts she wants to convey.
And in our humble opinion, none of her photographs are more distinctly representative of her craft than Cosmic Surgery, a bizarre and thoughtful series born of her love of origami and a need to create something unsettling.
“Alma has always made things with her hands and now tries to find ways to combine her fine art background with photography. She has used origami in the past as props in her photographs, but in this series ‘Cosmic Surgery’ the origami has become an integral part of the final image. With the simple act of folding an image Alma can transform each face and make a sort of flattened sculpture. By de-facing her models she has made their portraits into her own creations.”
Minimalistic and weird all the way through, Cosmic Surgery is a portrait series in which the subjects’ faces are replaced with their origami versions that are created using multiple prints of their own faces. In effect, the subjects transform into something disturbingly inhuman or into characters in an insanely hallucinogenic horror story.
And yet, inexplicably, while the integral elements in these photographs are disconcerting, the process of making them is meditative and their overall impact to spectators is somehow calming and familiar.
See the rest of the photographs from Alma’s series after the jump.
To experience more of Alma Haser’s incredible work, visit her website.
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Want more Useful Photography Tips? Check them out here.
Lots of folks say that you should only use a flash during the evening hours and in dark situations. But the truth of the matter is that during the daytime is perhaps the best time to use flash. For example, let’s say that you want to photograph someone and there is bright sunlight in the scene. If you make them face the sun, they’ll squint a lot. Conversely, if you make them not face the sun, you’ll need to overexpose a lot to get the details on their face–which is called backlighting. The solution then is to backlight the subject and expose normally while illuminating their front with a flash. That way, you get a more balanced image overall in terms of exposure ratings.
But besides this, using a flash during the day only adds to the beauty that natural light can deliver. It can bring out details in your subject that you wouldn’t see otherwise (specular highlights) and it can also fill in shadows when done correctly to give a very beautiful and shadowless look. But to do this, you’ll need to either set your flash to the widest zoom head angle or bounce it off of very wide surface. Alternatively, you could also use a softbox of some sort.
When adding flash to a daylight scene, it’s best to add it a little bit at a time–gradually making it stronger until you feel that you have something close to the image that you want.
Try this quick tip, and be sure to check out our other bite sized useful photography tips.
One of the main characteristics in digital photography is that you can shoot more at no extra cost. With film, every frame is money spent, which can inspire more carefully thought-out compositions. If you’re footing the bill, that’s something to keep in mind. DSLRs, on the other hand, lend themselves to a certain laziness–a sort of haphazard shooting that can lead to large crop of bad photos, and when you’re sitting down to edit, you don’t want to trudge through the muck. This isn’t always the case, but it happens.
More importantly, whether you’re at a concert, a party, on assignment or anything else, you’ll want to use the film mentality while taking advantage of digital’s inherent capacity for multitudes. One of the worst feelings is when you realize during the editing session that there’s a shot you need that you didn’t get for whatever reason. It’s happened to me and many others, I’m sure.
Shooting more often entails having several different angles of the same scene. It means that you have more options to work with, some of which could possibly be repurposed for future projects, but it also means that you need to be just as judicious in your editing process. Don’t allow a photo through that doesn’t fit the bill entirely, but don’t delete it. You might be able to use it somewhere else.
Working with more photos can be overwhelming at times, but it’s easier to cut down than having to struggle to find the right one in a smaller batch. Exercise care in shooting means you’ll have an easier time editing because it feels far better to deal with a batch of good photos than a mixed bag.
When you shoot more, you also stand a greater chance of getting the perfect shot. Why settle for anything less?
All images by Jeff Gusky. Used with permission.
If you stumbled upon a discovery of a lifetime, how would you react? How would you photograph it? That’s what we were curious about with photographer Jeff Gusky, who as we previously reported on discovered underground cities under surface inside the WWI trenches in France. They were intricate and made by various peoples: the French, Americans, Germans, etc.
Photographing these places was a major historical finding of great significance. We had the opportunity to talk to Jeff about the WWI Underground and what it was like to find all the artifacts.
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Creating an image is similar to constructing a building. If you don’t get it right, you have to go back in and fix it. Some people like to say “I can fix it in post” and while this is true, it’s not always efficient. Sometimes if you take your time and get it right in the camera first you can shave hours off of your production time by taking a few extra minutes to get your exposure and composition correct. Sitting in front of your computer may not always be a choice depending on circumstances.
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Many associate the golden era of documentary photography with the heyday of picture magazines such as Life and Look magazine, but the practice of the photo story is still alive and well. Though such work may not find a home within the pages of most of today’s consumer magazines, there is still an interest in such bodies of work which can be frequently found online.
These photographers, many of whom I have had the opportunity to interview on my podcast, The Candid Frame, focus on more than just getting a nice-looking singular image. Instead, they show the power of a photo story where multiple images are used to convey facts, emotion and drama. These techniques can be used just as effectively by the rest of us whether we are focusing our lens on the lives of others or our own.
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