Image may contain: plant, outdoor and nature

Karine Laval doesn't require Photoshop or Instagram filters. The magic in her photos happens in front of the camera.

You watching: Image may contain: plant, outdoor and nature


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Karine Laval renders psychedelic dreamscapes of light and color that look favor Instagram magic, but count on clever analog tricks to develop effects and also textures that digital filters ssuggest cannot enhance.

The French photographer began emerging the approach in the 1990s, doing things like shooting via glass or catching imeras in reflection to transcreate also mundane spaces into somepoint otherworldly. “I hope my imperiods sell an escape from everyday truth,” she states.

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Laval started her recurring series Heterotopia 2 years earlier while visiting a frifinish on Fire Island, New York. The yard remained in bloom, and also Laval felt compelresulted in begin taking images. It seemed favor a natural follow-as much as works like Poolscapes, a collection of similarly manipulated abstract photos. "Flowers are an apparent topic issue as they are beautiful and also seductive, however they likewise offer interesting trends that have the right to quickly allude to abstract develops or alien bodies," she claims.


The series led her to gardens around the human being, including the Central Garden at the Getty Museum, a festival in Bavaria, and also also her grandmother’s conservatory in southern France. Laval offered a range of cameras—consisting of a digital allude and also shoot, a Rolleiflex, and also her Blackberry—to create a selection of results and also textures while shooting reflections in mirrors, on tinted Mylar, and curved glass. Other tricks included illuminating plants with strobe lights and radically cropping imperiods to make the topic unrecognizable. Laval hesitates to disclose all her tricks, though. "I like to store some mystery approximately the process of making my imperiods so that the viewers deserve to let their creative thinking wander," she claims.

Laval loves exactly how the images feel all at once acquainted and foreign. She named the series Heterotopia after the term philosopher Michel Foucault produced to describe spaces that don’t fully exist in fact. Like Foucault's garden, Laval's images lie somewhere between truth and the sublime.