Taking Images Further with Photo Manipulation

It all started in 2007 within my Dumont, New Jersey one bedroom apartment.  I had just switched from my Pentax 35mm film camera to a Canon DSLR.  During this time I knew photoshop was the new darkroom and I had to dive in to gain confidence how to use it.  I don’t know what came over me. Perhaps it was the mere idea of double exposures with film,  but I thought to myself; how about taking images further with photo manipulation?.  And so the story continues.

Each week I would challenge myself to manipulate images in photoshop.  I would assignment self something like: Pouring myself coffee, falling dream,  infinity etc.

Surreal Portrait - Falling DreamThe process took days to untangle. It was like figuring out a jigsaw puzzle. First I would imagine a scenario like falling out of the sky for instance.  Then I would brainstorm how I would approach such a scene.  Okay, so falling out of the sky; that would mean I would have to position myself in a way to showcase this action.   I remember taking a stool and bending my back over it and lifting up my legs and arms as if I was really falling backward. Then I would position my belly over the seat and do the same in reverse.  From there I captured some cloudy skies and mix it all together in photoshop.  And this is what I came up with as a result.

Note: If you look really closely at the hand with the bracelet; my cat is sniffing my fingers. She really blends into the Van Gogh-like stormy cloud patterned sheets.

Methodical planning is everything when creating such visuals. Its no accident that I created a final image with stormy clouds and the sheets I selected.  Everything serves a purpose and meaning.

Here’s another example from this series of experiments. This time I will share with you a little behind the scenes before I transformed the image into another. I set up my tripod, placed myself in a bathtub and photographed myself holding my camera. Here’s the original before I manipulated it into something else.


I  cropped my head and placed the image within the lens over and over.  This photograph is my most famous one, mostly due to the fact that I use it on my square stickers with my ArtChick™ on the bottom left hand corner. I am proud to say: “Just google ArtChick and you will find me on the first page and within google maps.

Taking Images Further with Photo Manipulation

I also revisited the infinity theme 10 years later in 2017.  Perhaps I should wait another 6 years to do this again – just kidding. This time I let the camera logo shine through, Nikon D3X.  Shot this one with my Nikon D800.

Taking Images Further with Photo Manipulation

So once you have an image it’s pretty endless what you can do with it.  There are no boundaries but endless explorations.

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in commissioning me for a creative project like this.  I also have limited signed fine art prints – Here

Note:  The cover shot is my latest surreal self portrait – taken by the waterfront in Wilmington Delaware during covid.