Can You Spot the Hidden Images in These Psychedelic Landscapes?

June 7, 2018 6:07 pm

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Terri Loewenthal uses special reflective optic lenses to project multiple landscapes in one frame, like this image taken in Lone Rock, Arizona.

A California transplant, Loewenthal intended her photo series to celebrate the spirit of the American West. Above, a sloping blue mountain in Lundy Canyon, California.

Loewenthal takes her Psychscapes images on camping trips—like this one is taken to Granite Mountain, California—meaning she hikes carrying all her photo equipment. Shooting outdoors can get “pretty precarious” at times, she says.

What began as a California-focused project has expanded to include more states in the American Southwest. Above, a mountainous terrain captured in Peach Springs Canyon, Arizona.

Loewenthal has been taking pictures for the Pyschapes series for the past nine months but she’s been planning the project for years. “Sometimes it fails,” she says. Above, a successful photograph taken in Tonopah, Nevada.

Loewenthal uses a Mamiya 645, a medium format camera that allows her to swap out the film back for digital depending on the type of image she wants to make. The result is images like this one taken in Whale Peak, California.

Landscape photography, like this image from Lassen, California, has been a change for Loewenthal, who usually takes portraits. “Working with people has been an exploratory process,” Loewenthal says. “You’re always aiming for the moment when you forget the camera isn’t around. It’s the same when taking Psychscapes.”

Loewenthal says Psychscapes was inspired by the autonomy in painting, especially the ability to separate the color from the subject. Above, a dramatic shot from Yosemite, California.

A colorful sky in San Gabriel Peak, California. Loewenthal says this kind of photography is a “playful process.”

Loewenthal says the best Psychscapes images, like this one from Thunder Mountain, California, aren’t taken from a peak. “It’s nice when there’s a mix of far away landscape and nearby,” she says. “Just far away places are less interesting.”

Loewenthal plans to spend more time in Arizona this summer producing Psychscapes. Here’s a picture she made earlier this year in Diamond Peak, Arizona.

A mystical pool of water in Buck Creek, California.

Loewenthal uses filters as a paint to color her photographs, like this rosy image from Buck Creek, California.

“To have a psychedelic experience is to free your mind from its normal constraints,” Loewenthal explains. “When I had the idea for these images, I was able to shift the colors of the natural world in my mind.” She took this photograph in Diamond Peak, California.

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