Photography walks on a fine line between representing the true reality versus the imagination, idea and concepts as intended by the photographer. The photographer can decide to merely record a scene as is, or choose to add a creative spin by showing there own perspective. Combined with lots of Photoshop knowledge, Photography manipulation has been a popular medium for artists to express themselves freely. For example, Rafa Macías from Spain playfully uses conceptual photography to showcase beauty while exploring an unreal, dream world.
Rafa discovered photography by accident when his wife gave him his first SLR camera a few years ago. He immediately fell in love with photography and started to shoot passionately. His initial photography intention was to shoot images that portrayed harmony and beauty. As Rafa explored further he found himself attracted to conceptual photography which enabled him to create images that can look unreal and boundlessly imaginative. He shared that the most important elements that bring his conceptual photography together were the idea behind the image and lighting. While many conceptual artistic work may look abstract and even random at time, the central idea or core theme is usually well presented and boldly emphasized.
The lenses of choice for Rafa’s conceptual photography work were 50mm f1.8 and 85mm f1.8 prime lenses, both used on a tripod. This allowed extremely shallow depth of field effect to be captured, resulting in blurry and dreamy background which contributed to the surreal-like quality in some of the images. He also put a lot of effort in post-processing and creative image manipulation to achieve the final conceptual look and feel that he intended.
Rafa’s work has won several photo competitions and was exhibited in a group exhibition for a month in the Muse de Arte in Durango, Spain. You may find more of Rafa Macías’ conceptual photography work at his 500px page or Flickr.