Matthew Coleman’s Image of Falling People is an Illusion

The Illusionist

Image by Matthew Coleman. Used with permission.

“Serendipity.” That’s what photographer Matt Coleman says about the image above that he created and shared on the EyeEm platform. The image put Mr. Coleman in the running for the recent EyeEm awards for the Illusionist–a segment of the content dedicated to edited images. The image represents something that all photographers go through at many points in their career: wanting to try something else.

“I recently took out about two-thirds of my website, as I seem to be moving in a completely different direction with my photography, with a want to push into the direction of art tableau, of getting back to my love of Caravaggio (with the shadows and lighting), and with the inspiration of myths and art history, parallel worlds and minimalism, along with altered states of consciousness, though in a reductive, distilled way…”

Matthew says that the image was created as complete happenstance. He says that he was at the Olympus Playground in Berlin throughout the summer with friends who were playing about on a Leandro Erlich installation (they are the two in the central part of the frame, and were goofing about in the window). What we actually see in the image is a mirror reflection of an installation on the ground to give off the look that we see.

“Two other girls were also interacting with this space, who were on the left-hand side, when one of them suddenly began running and there, in that instant, I caught the picture.” says Mr. Coleman. “For me, the thing that caught my eye over the other frames I shot was the appearance of falling, which in turn creates a kind of psychological reaction, or jarring, when seen with the figure running across the side of a building, which of course can’t work in the realm of physics, at least on this dimension.”

To create the image, Matt used a Canon 7D, and an L lens. “The image was made (in) B&W, and I had to carefully take out a line that cut straight across the picture, which came from the join in the mirrors that was used as it was not in a single sheet in the installation.”

Be sure to follow Matthew on Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for more.