surrealism Photo by Javier Peñas on Unsplash

How to Do Surrealism Photography: 18 Practical Techniques and Tips

If you love photography or art, you may have seen photos that look dreamy or unreal and wondered what they are and how you can make them. Some even look like they are from a different world.

This is the style of surrealism photography. It tries to create an image that is beyond reality, one that provokes the imagination.

This article will discuss what surrealism photography is, techniques you can use to create your surreal photos, and tips and ideas to inspire your surrealism photography.

What Is Surrealism Photography?

Surrealism photography is a photography style that aims to portray a subject in a way beyond reality. Most photographers describe it as weird, dreamy, or fantastical.

In many circumstances, surrealism photography tries to challenge its admirers by making them question what they see.

Techniques to Get Surrealism Photos

Getting surrealist photos can sometimes be a challenging task. This is because you have to be creative in your thinking and go beyond reality. However, there are some techniques that you can use to create stunning surrealist photos.

surrealism Photo by Yahor Urbanovich on Unsplash-

Photo by Yahor Urbanovich on Unsplash-

1. Photomontage

This is a technique where you can take two or more images and combine them to create a new image. You can do this by selecting a photo with a strong foreground and another with an interesting background. Then, you can use Photoshop or another editing software to combine the two images.

2. Choice of Color

You can also create a surreal image by playing with the colors in an image. For instance, you can make the colors very bright or very saturated. This will help to create an image that looks unreal.

3. Blurring the Image

Another way to create a surreal image is to blur it. All you need to do is reduce the image's depth of field by lowering the camera's aperture. This will make the background appear blurred while the foreground is in focus.

4. Shutter Speed

You can use shutter speed to create a surreal image in two ways. The first way is to use a slow shutter speed. This will make the image appear blurry. The second way is to use a fast shutter speed. This will freeze the motion in the image and make it look like you have suspended it in time.

5. Floating the Subject

This is a technique where you make the subject of the image appear to be floating in the air. To do this, you must instruct your subject to stand on something raised, such as a stool or a box, then take the photo.

floating surrealism photo

Photo by Sharan Pagadala on Unsplash

You will then need to edit the photo to remove the stool or box in Photoshop to look like the subject is floating.

6. Solarization

This is a technique where you expose a partially developed film to light while it is developing. You can do this by switching the lights in a dark room for a few seconds. This reverses the image's shadows and highlights, creating a surreal effect.

7. Using Camera Perspective

You can also create a surreal image by using a camera perspective. For instance, you can take a photo of a person from below. This will make the person appear to be a giant.

You can also move the person away from the camera so that they appear to be small. This is an optical illusion, but it can create a surreal effect.

8. Double Exposure

This technique involves taking two photos and exposing them to the same piece of film. You can do this by taking the first photo, rewinding the film, and taking the second photo. This will superimpose the two images on each other.

You can use this technique to create a ghostly effect.

9. Using Reflections

You can also create a surreal image by using reflections. For instance, you can take a person's photo in a mirror. This will create a reversed image. You can also take a photo of a person reflected in a puddle of water, creating a distorted image.

Tips and Ideas to Inspire Your Surrealism Photography

1. Going under Water

You can get some really interesting and surreal photos by going underwater. The underwater world is dreamlike, and the body and senses do not react with the same urgency as on land, making it a great place to take surreal photos.

2. Removal of the Face

surrealism photo by romoving the face

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

You can create a surreal image by simply removing the face from a portrait using Photoshop or another editing software. This will create an unsettling image and make the viewer question what they are seeing.

3. Relocating and Resizing Familiar Objects

You can also create a surreal image by relocating and resizing familiar objects. For instance, you can photograph a person in a field of flowers. Then, you can use Photoshop to make the flowers larger than the person. This will create an image that is out of proportion and make the viewer question what they see.  

4. Use of Light and Shadow

You can also create a surreal image by playing with light and shadow. For instance, you can take a photo of a person in a dark room with a single light source. This creates a mysterious image and makes the viewer question what they see.

5. Creating a Portal to Another World

surrealism photo of going to another world

Photo by Yahor Urbanovich on Unsplash

You can also create a surreal image by making a portal to another world. For instance, you can take a photo of a person standing in front of a door. Then, you can use Photoshop to make the door look like it is leading to another world.

6. Playing with Food

You can also create a surreal image by playing with food. For instance, you can photograph a person with a cake. Then, you can use Photoshop to make the cake look like it's made of meat. This will create a strange image and make the viewer question what they are seeing.

7. Resizing a Person

You can also create a surreal image by resizing a person. For instance, you can take a person's photo in a room. Then, you can use Photoshop to make the person look like they are small. This will create an image that is out of proportion creating a sense of unease.

8. Distortion of Vision with Motion Blur

Using a camera to distort vision with motion blur, you can also create a surreal image. For instance, you can photograph a person in a moving car. Then, you can use Photoshop to make the image look blurred. This will create a strange image.

9. Use of Forced Perspective

surrealism photo of human and clock

Photo by Zohreh Fatemi on Unsplash

Forced perspective is when you make an object seem closer or farther away than they are by changing its size in the image. You can use this technique to create a surreal image.

For instance, you can photograph a person besides the moon. Then, you can use Photoshop to make the moon appear larger. This will create an image that is out of proportion.

Conclusion

Surrealism photography is a great way to express your creativity. It is also a great way to challenge viewers by making them question what they see.

Knowing what surrealism photography is and some techniques to create your surreal photos, will hopefully inspire you to create your surreal images. With practice, you will be able to create some stunning and mind-bending surrealist photos.

 

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