French photographer and digital artist Cal Redback has been creating images that bring new meaning to the term, "organic portraits." Sparked by a fascination with double exposures, Redback began to photograph friends along with local plant life, blending the two together to create a unique set of portraits that seem to take on a life of their own.
When Redback began to blend a picture of a friend together with a plant in early 2014, he suddenly realized he was on to something different. Unable to conclude how he felt about the image – whether it was something disgusting, weird, or beautiful – he continued to develop this process in which organic elements meet human anatomy.
Redback admits that each image was very challenging for him to create. Beyond the technical skill required to make such realistic digital art was the intensive planning behind creating each image. He went on to explain that he wanted to create a body of work that fit one theme, but contained a variety of image styles.
Starting the process by photographing friends in common places, Redback would then go on to photograph a variety of plant life at different angles and in different lighting conditions, which would sometimes takes hours. This process would leave him with a pallet of leaves, branches, roots, thorns, and the other organic elements to work with while creating the final image.
People ask me how much time I spend making one image. It's very difficult to answer 'cause I spend hours and hours finding the perfect angle and part of the plant I'm going to use.
The end result after many hours of painstaking work in Photoshop is a set of images he calls Treebeard that will surely capture your attention.
When asked what's next, Redback tells Fstoppers that he's going to continue to merge organic elements with his portraits, so expect to see the series grow.
Images provided with permission from Cal Redback.