Depending on who you talk to, photographer opinions will vary and almost certainly explode in passionate defensive conversation about the thin line between art, photography and manipulation techniques. Photographer Sonya Kanelstrand, from Norway is a perfect example of where photography, manipulation, and art meet at a three way crossroad, but her photos are so out of this world that they can each walk proudly down all three roads. She is an amazing surrealist photographer!
At my request, Sonya provided a little backstory about the conception and inspiration behind the image she created above. Personally, I feel it’s always a truly rare experience to peek into the tiny crevices of an artist’s mind. We are often left to interpret the meaning on our own, so enjoy her guided tour.
“I love traveling. To be fair, much of it happens because of photography and if a day is not to my liking that is a good reason to stay at home. But that particular day was brilliant – sunny with a few scattered clouds, just enough to make the sky photogenic. And so, my husband and I drove to The End Of The World. Yes, that’s how the place is REALLY called. It is located at the southernmost tip of the island of Tjøme, some 100km from Oslo.
The rocks, beaten by thousands of merciless waves since the beginning of time have taken the shape of clouds, or sand dunes, or rolling hills, or anything your imagination tells you.
We had to walk on them – the clouds, the dunes, the hills – were calling us and so my husband took the lead, he is an explorer. And there he was some distance away, up on the highest of slopes, with the lush blue sky as a backdrop. I had to take the picture of the lone explorer in his element.
Not a gust of wind, not a ruffling of feathers, nothing could be heard right then. We were at the end of the world, connecting to its creator in this stunning day.
A few days later I sat working on this photo and quite naturally a tree grew from my husband’s hands. I guess it was the moment of stillness we experienced earlier that provoked the tree and all associations that swamped my head – our connection to nature, the realization that our existence is deeply rooted in the soils of this Earth and how intertwined our destinies are with all living beings around us. We are one. – Sonya”
Sonya uses GIMP for photo processing. GIMP is a free and open sourced photo editing software available for most operating systems. GIMP offers a plethora of free tools for image retouching and editing, free-form drawing, resizing, cropping, photo-montages, converting between different image formats, and more specialized tasks. It is suitable both for beginners and experienced photographers.
Kanelstrand is a book reviewer for Elsevier through one of its imprints Focal Press, which is a publisher of high quality photography and digital imaging books. Her Photography been shown in international exhibitions and published in magazines on and off-line. Sonya notes that she goes through life collecting moments and turns them into beautiful visual stories. Currently residing in Norway, she has travelled extensively throughout Scandinavia. The beauty around has taught her to never go out without her camera because she doesn’t want to miss documenting it, before spending days turning her photographs into unique pieces of art! She is both a photographer, and writer. Please check out her blog Kanelstrand: simple living for human beings.
Click the images below to visit her lovely Etsy shop and purchase some stunning surreal photography!