Photo manipulations and composites can be sensitive topics for some photographers, yet it’s a common method used by many to realize their creative vision. Once in a while, we also come across projects of this nature that are simply praiseworthy works of art. The Traveller, a beautifully executed photo set by Berlin-based Maximillian Motel, is one such body of work that skillfully blends photography and digital art.
In this highly imaginative set, Maximilian gives travel a different dimension by telling the story of a space explorer making his way around the streets of Havana in Cuba. Or, at least, what he makes us believe is Havana. In terms of logistics and practicality, shooting his spaceman on location probably wasn’t possible or a wise choice, so Maximilian photographed him in a studio in Berlin. Then, he let post-processing work its magic in making the visual narrative unfold.
The result is a set that gives us a glimpse of what it would be like if humanity manages to achieve the seemingly impossible: to crossover of time and space into alternate realities, or even worlds like ours tucked somewhere billions of light-years away.
We see his titular character seemingly having a grand time; after all, Havana is a beautiful city to get lost in, whether in this world or its parallel counterpart. It’s fun seeing him take in the sights and think about how it feels like home even if it’s really not. He’s still a scientist here, erring on the side of caution and keeping his complete space garb on at all times. Also, I sure hope that map he’s holding came in handy in this cosmic adventure.
Or, what if it’s the other way around — what if it’s the story of someone from a parallel world finding his way into ours through a crack in space and time?
That, my friends, is how a powerful visual narrative works.
Given its sci-fi nature and space exploration vibes, I’m filing The Traveller along with Lars Stieger’s Spaceships and Julien Palast’s Stellar. What a fun and interesting collection this is turning out to be.