Photographer creates otherworldly images of “icebergs” using fishtank, stones and breadcrumbs


posted Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 1:33 PM EDT

Photograph by Michael G. Jackson, used with permission.

There's something magical about the photographs taken by old explorers, before all the corners of the globe were mapped. The characterisically beaten and worn images gave a glimpse of the astonishing, almost unreal areas these people discovered. One contemporary British artist has managed to mimic that incredible old look using a method he's dubbed "the Inverted Water Process."

Using the process, photographer Michael G. Jackson has recreated the vintage, weathered effect with his photo series titled "A Child's Landscape." Using a relatively simple home setup, Jackson's images appear to be shots of enormous glaciers floating across the seas, or mountains in the mist. But they're really nothing of the sort.

Jackson detailed the process on his blog and in an interview with the BBC. He takes thin, jagged pieces of stone he finds and partly submerges them in water in a fishtank. With some experimentation, Jackson discovered that breadcrumbs could be used to create swirling, floating particles, and also that he could give depth to the light using his hands:

"I found out by chance that my reflected hands in the glass could be moved around at the time of exposure to control the depth of light – almost like burning and dodging with your hands in the darkroom. So when you expose you can do a kind of odd hand dance which is reflected in your image. Strange, but it works."

From there, it's off to Lightroom for flipping the images vertically, inverting the colors, and tweaking to create the astonishing final image. Jackson has taken the explorer vibe of the photos to the next level, constructing a fictional adventure around them, titled "The voyages of Dr Edward Sharp".

His setup to shoot these curious photos includes commonplace items: a fish tank, a piece of wood, stones, bulldog clips, and some breadcrumbs. But Jackson has managed to create something unlike any other photographs we've seen, images that seem to be pulled from a mysterious past. Given how straightforward his technique is, it's also something we're determined to try!

(via BBC, Reddit)

Photograph by Michael G. Jackson, used with permission.
Photograph by Michael G. Jackson, used with permission.
Photograph by Michael G. Jackson, used with permission.