Why I never hung this photo on my living room wall

Aug 3, 2016

Antti Karppinen

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Why I never hung this photo on my living room wall

Aug 3, 2016

Antti Karppinen

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

endless-2

Sometimes you find what you are not looking for

I always tell people to plan the photoshoots ahead, and urge them to try to see the complete image in your head already before taking the first shots… However, sometimes it takes a full U-turn and completely uncharted routes to end up with an amazing image. Now, I am doing a full breakdown on this image on my workshops, but I wanted to take a second and explain how this photo came to be, and why it failed to serve its purpose.

The story of this image started with the weird things the long holidays does to the brains. Generally a vacation tends to get your creativity in full speed; for me it means that I see ideas for images everywhere. For my wife it means seeing renovation projects everywhere… This could have ended badly for me, but luckily she had already renovated our living room walls during my trip to France and only asked me to make a new picture of our kids for the newly painted walls. Like I said, my head was already bursting with images so this was a perfect opportunity for me to explore one idea I have been wanting to try: to take well known M.C. Escher –style optical illusions such as the “impossible” penrose triangle or steps and make them look more “real”.

My initial sketches were about penrose triangle, but the idea of the endless steps won me over after doing some simple outlines in photoshop. Drafting the steps I thought it might be a good idea to add water flowing from one step to another, and while at it, maybe add some small paper boats too to show how the river actually never goes anywhere. I took pictures of my son with a paper boat in his hands and fitted him in the picture, sitting on the edge of the river. Now I only needed the background for all the elements and tie it all together with the right tones. As I was adding elements of clouds into the picture, the mood of the image striked me as eerie, somehow more sad than what I intended. Then I knew what was missing: little angel wings for the lonely boy playing with paper boats in an endless river. I just stared at the image…that’s how it is supposed to be, just like that.

Showing the image to my wife I already knew that this is not what she asked for, and I was right –she loved it, but we both agreed that this image will not be on our living room wall, to avoid the heart wrenching feeling of seeing our son as a little angel boy every time we walk into the room. That’s what a powerful image can do, make you think and feel what you see. It also means that the same image can lead you to see different stories in it, depending on your own mindset and frame of reference. Maybe this is the boy from my previous work, an orphan boy who didn’t make it and sits now at an endless river, waiting for his friends to join him.

Coincidence or not, this is not the first time a photoshoot with my own kids produces images even I was not expecting to create. Earlier this year it was my daughter in the picture, holding a small wooden box with a heart symbol on it –a picture that ended up being one of my favorites and a picture that has stopped also others to look again, as it has already won some competitions too.

Antti_Karppinen_portfolio_heartinthebox-001

I hope this image moves you like it moved me. I hope seeing this makes people hug their own kids a little tighter and be thankful for still having them with us. For those who have lost their children, I can only hope this shows one version of a beautiful place where they could be waiting for the rest of us.

YouTube video

About The Author

Antti Karppinen has won dozens international awards for visual artistry & commercial photographer and belongs to a new generation of image artisans to whom all things are possible. You can see more of his work on his website. Antti’s “How to become an Image artisan” workshop unveils the whole process of creating pictures from the idea to the finished image. The workshop extends beyond the techniques of creating images, covering also the crucial areas of creativity, marketing and networking that will help you on your path of revealing the true image artisan within you.”

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

DIPY Icon

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

10 responses to “Why I never hung this photo on my living room wall”

  1. Vortex Avatar
    Vortex

    kitsch…

  2. praxis_62 Avatar
    praxis_62

    It’s beautiful.

    But it is in no way a “photo”.

    1. catlett Avatar
      catlett

      Agreed, image or composite yes. Photo … no way.

      1. Rocco Avatar
        Rocco

        Absolutely nothing now a days is just a photo. Backgrounds are extended, hair is added, eyebrows are trimmed, skin is fixed, vignettes and textures are added, backgrounds are replaced, people are added or removed from photos. Many photos for magazines, specially those that have many people are composites.

        The only difference from these photos and those that appear in most magazines is that these are of a fantasy nature, and so the composite is obvious. On the other hand, real world photos (the ones you consider photos), when done well obviously, are exacctly the same, only that you dont realize it.

        So I dont think that now a days the disctinction bethween photo and digital manipulation is now so thin, that we should just call them digital photos.

        1. Kimmy84 Avatar
          Kimmy84

          On the other hand, real world photos (the ones you consider photos), when done well obviously, are exacctly the same, only that you dont realize it.

          Not sure of your point here. My photos, esp the ones submitted to shows, are exactly what is in the eyepiece when I hit the shutter release. My only adjustments are the usual contrast, light levels, crop, dodge and burn, etc.

          1. catlett Avatar
            catlett

            Exactly. You are doing essentially what Ansel Adams did and it is still a photo. Calling it a photo when there are obviously far more composited items in it is like trying to ride a motorcycle in a bicycle race. It started with 2 wheels … what’s the problem?

    2. Morgan Glassco Avatar
      Morgan Glassco

      First thing that came to mind.

      Digital Art ≠ Photo

  3. Eleonora Gambola Avatar
    Eleonora Gambola

    Because uglyness?

  4. Keith Rowland Avatar
    Keith Rowland

    I love it

  5. Trino Pam Avatar
    Trino Pam

    Because it’s so tacky… (>.<)