"I started out by shooting the magician using two flashes, one coming from the top and one from below," Goldman said. He and his friend then plotted out the spiral of cards, with each man holding four cards at a time. The cards were lit by the ambient light of the forest. A third man was at the camera, pressing the button each time a new card position was ready. The end result is a composite of dozens of images.
Photographer Ronen Goldman recreates his dreams through photos
A couple with fish bowls instead of heads. A magician who can make cards fly in a perfect spiral.
These images have to be real, our brains tell us.
That's the amazing thing about photography, says Ronen Goldman: If the light falls on the object just the right way, if the shadows line up naturally, our brains allow us to believe the unbelievable.
It's the guiding concept that drives 32-year-old Goldman, a conceptual photographer in Tel Aviv, Israel, who has been recreating his dream fragments in a six-year series called The "Surrealistic Pillow" Project. The project has appeared in the Affordable Art Fair in several cities.
Goldman considers himself more of a photographer than a manipulator. He shoots all the elements of his photos on location at the same time under the same lighting to achieve the best optic effects. He then uses Adobe's Photoshop editing program to layer the images together and mask objects as needed to create the illusions.
Analyzing the dream and figuring out how to execute the vision in the real world takes much longer than the photo editing, though that part of the process can also take many days, he says.
"Surrealism in my view is not simply Photoshop or photographic technique," he says. "The most important in my mind is the intention, or the concept you want to convey. It's not about levitation or multiplication of objects -- those are just tools I happen to use to convey deeper concepts I find to be interesting."
Sharing his work and deconstructing it for other photographers is a key part of his art. Goldman, who studied script writing at Tel Aviv University, learned about photography while on reserve duty for the Israeli army.
"Most of what I know today I learned from Internet resources, starting from shutter speeds and apertures, basic functions of the camera, to composition and Photoshop techniques. I bought my first camera and lens with the help from a guy I have never met," he said. "I basically look at hundreds of photos every day from around the world and try to learn what I like."
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