Skip to main content
June 9, 2015

7 amazingly surreal smartphone photos explained by the man who took them

“A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.”

These wise words come from none other than the king of the surreal, painter Salvador Dalí. And when it comes to Lumia photography, we think Pritesh Patel knows a thing or two about inspiring others. His amazingly surreal work is inspiring on many levels, with a magical combination of skill, creativity, and originality all working together to create some seriously fantastic photos.

Pritesh is a 22-year-old Mechanical Engineering graduate from Anand in Gujarat, India who has been a big lover all things Lumia for quite some time. And luckily for us, he’s here to tell us all about the magic behind his super photos — what he loves about his Lumia, what inspired him to create his photos, how he does it, and how you can do it too. Over to you, Pritesh!

It’s a long list when it comes to things I love about my Lumia 1020. Firstly, total manual control over camera settings in Lumia Camera app. Sliding controls makes it even easier to set required parameters in no time. Time for a silhouette? No worries, adjusting exposure takes just 2 seconds by bringing up controls. Secondly, Xenon flash. Although I rarely use it, I always love phones that offer xenon flash (my previous N8 had it too). Finally, build quality and looks. People often complain about the camera hump on the back, but as far as I am concerned, the hump makes the phone look fantastic. It’s a perfect phone.

Framing through 2.0 

Pritesh Patel 1

I am always inspired by professional photographers who manipulate photographs to trick the viewers into thinking the only question, “How on the earth?”. I started with basic photography like macro and silhouette, but after going through a huge database of so-called “manipulated photos” online, I finally decided that I won’t stop until I produce similar pictures. This was the first frame manipulation shot that I did. After carefully thinking and analyzing the professional images, I figured out a trick to do the shots: blending two or more shots. I applied the trick and was flattered by the fact that I was successful in creating creative pictures. The next day I started looking for a location that would go well with this frame shot. After a short interval, I got to this place. It had perfect composition. The presence of foreground (fences), the mid-ground elements (shadows and the boy standing), and the background (the trees). I set up the tripod, auto-timed, and got the best creation I had ever done.

Shadow selfie

Pritesh Patel 2

This is also a multi-shot blend image that show two different timing situations in one. I decided to do this shot because I was absent on instagram due to my exams and I wanted to express the joy of coming back, scrolling through the instagram feed and also taking pictures. I expressed it as taking selfies instead of photos so that viewers would not have difficulties in understanding.

Hats off head silhouette

Pritesh Patel 3

Womens Day was approaching soon and I wanted to express my respect for women. I brainstormed, and finally used an idea that is basic and the most common way to express respect: ’Hats off’. I wanted the picture to be more dramatic so I decided to pull off the head instead of the hat so that it would result in offering respect of the highest kind (not practically haha). I invited my friends over and used the sky as the background composition, as nature always has the best compositions for photographs. After 3 days of trying and shooting over 60 images, I finally got a pretty good shot.

Framing through: Shadow play 

Pritesh Patel 4

There again, my favorite frame concept. This shot is just as similar to the frame shots I did over time. But this has another composition in it as well, the Shadow! I was inspired by one of my favorite instagramers, @arridj, who did a similar frame shot with a shadow. It quickly struck me on viewing his photo that I need a change in my regular frame shots, and as a result of adding a natural shadow, I obtained this beauty.

Frame in the frame

Pritesh Patel 5

Now at this point, it might be very clear that frame shots are my favorite part of creativity. This is certainly a different concept than the regular framing shots, with slightly different logic. I got an idea for this when I switched to front cam and projected on a mirror. It showed dimension within the frame and from the app ‘Fantasia Painter’ from the clone section of the app, I got a rough idea for creating this shot. Shot a trial and it worked like a charm. Edited in the clone section and repeated the technique for 4 times until I got this finalized version that is rather eye-catching.

Sneak and peek 

Pritesh Patel 6

Everyone knows the cartoon ‘Tom and Jerry’. Yes! Thats where I got the idea from! Exciting, ain’t it? I saw an episode where Tom was hiding behind poles and peeking out. Instantly it put a smile on my face, knowing that I got one more cool concept. Now you know how easy it can be sometimes to get ideas from sources.

Step in the frame

Pritesh Patel 7

Basically what I wanted to do with this was to create a portal-like thingy that would send the object or person to another location. I decided to do a trial and got this piece of art (I always do trials as it gives me the experience to get better composition in final shots). I have yet to do the original portal photo, which I will in the coming days.

Big thanks to Pritesh for spilling some of his creative secrets, we’re feeling mighty inspired by his work. But what about you, have Pritesh’s amazingly surreal photos inspired you to try your own hand at creating Lumia art? Let us know in the comments what you think.