I was excited to discover photographer Thomas Jackson has continued his Emergent Behavior series where he photographs airborne swarms of common objects like Post-It notes, cheese balls, and plates in environments where you would least expect them. He also reverses the concept, shooting items from nature like sticks and leaves against an urban backdrop. You’re probably wondering how some of these are made, so I’ll quote Jackson from over on Flak Photo’s Facebook:
I have struggled with the role of Photoshop in my work. I can’t make my images without it, yet I don’t really want it to be an integral part of my creative process. So I’ve set up some rules of the road for myself, and I’ve stuck to them while creating all my recent images. Basically I want the images to be as “in camera” as possible, so instead of employing PS to composite or more things around, I simply use it to remove elements I don’t want to be there. The sculpture in this image (175 glow sticks attached to a wire armature) is real, and it was photographed on the beach in Greenport, NY. I simply used PS to remove the support that was holding the thing up, and to make a few other minor tweaks. So on the spectrum between “retouched image” and “real time image”, I’ve strived to make it closer to the latter.
Jackson also mentions by email that the photo above using the leaves falls outside the realm of his usual approach and does involve a bit more digital editing.