Week #36: Dreams & Fantasies

To be shot and submitted between Sunday, Aug 30 and Sunday, Sep 6 (noon, Eastern)

“You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination.”
Roman Payne

Dreams and fantasy are an essential part of how we think unconsciously. It is imagination on steroids and it shows us how far our minds can stretch beyond the borders of what is normal or natural. Artists often tap into their dreams and fantasies to create extra-ordinary art…cue Salvidor Dali! but everyone can tap into them to find inspiration.

A crazy dream about cannibals stabbing him with spears helped Elias Howe to invent the lock-stitch sewing machine. A fevered-induced dream about a vengeful robot inspired director James Cameron create the first “Terminator” movie and the singer Carlos Santana often tunes into a “spiritual radio” during his meditations.

For this week we want you to let go of what is rational and show us your dreams and fantasies. We know that translating the very slippery nature of dreams and the strangeness of fantasies into digital pixels may not be an easy task, but we have confidence that you can do it!! This is the challenge to let your creative spirit transcend all boundaries. SOAR!

Tips and Tuts for this week:

  • Revisit Salvador Dali’s paintings for some inspiration, And of course Picasso
  • Playing around with composites will allow you to layer in some odd elements into your photos. Here is a link to an introduction to layers in Photoshop, but if you want something a bit more fun to read, check out the 52Frames blog post on layer masks. This is a great opportunity to revisit your levitation skills.
  • Less is more when it comes to planning a great fantasy photo. Pick a simple idea and focus on that in a bold and straightforward way instead of trying to add too many elements. That way you can control all of the features of the shot, reducing clutter and unforeseen complications.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out the links in the tips and tuts section, or visit our latest Levitation album from 2014. Here is a tutorial that might offer some additional guidance – Creating a Fantasy Photo Manipulation. And lots of inspiration from GoogleFlickr, and elsewhere.

Extra Credit: Recreate a Dream

Create a photo of an actual dream that you had and who knows, maybe you will be the next Elias Howe or James Cameron! Did you have a crazy dream about flying paintbrushes or dancing furniture? Were you floating above your bed or swimming with feathers? Maybe a fortune-teller paid you a visit or you discovered a twin. Recreate an actual dream of yours (or someone else!) and let’s transform the fantastic into the digital!

Remember, it is not necessary to work in this Extra Credit piece. It’s extra credit!

Have a challenge idea for 2016?