The surreal digital artwork of Kevin Cable

When I started creating surreal images in the digital darkroom (Photoshop for me), I was amazed at what could be done. In my early creations, I used shots from my photo library and manipulated them together using layers in Photoshop. This can be complicated at first, but then it becomes easier as you produce more creative images. I had to find images that worked well together, and that would be satisfying in the final product. Believe me, I have many unfinished “work in progress ideas” in my working folders. Maybe someday I’ll finish?

After a few weeks at manipulating in Photoshop, I decided to create conceptual ideas in the camera and finish in the darkroom. One of my first ideas, is the image “Moon Bridge.” I could see the final product before I started the darkroom process. I was on location shooting my grandson skateboarding and noticed this bridge going across the bay, and it all came together in the viewfinder.  I have always liked anything to do with the universe and space, and that has become my niche in surreal photography. ~Kevin Cable


“String Universe” which is a theory in physics has always interested me, and I thought, let’s create a string universe image. It is by far nothing a physicist would see, but for myself, I would imagine this– A string instrument flowing in space among the planets in the universe.


“Flight” is another example of dark space that has a unique look to it. I was at the beach one evening and saw sea gulls flying around as the moon was out. I thought about that for a minute and shot the sea gulls flying. I then added the moon and a standard universe background of stars in Photoshop and everything came together.


“Country Moon”- I was in Michigan on my Niece’s farm looking down the country road and pre-visualized a moon at the end of the road.  This one was fairly easy to create because of the low angle shot down the country road giving the moon more of a massive look.


“Room with a View”- I found a very old farmhouse in Michigan and began to wander around looking for the best angles, when I came upon this room. The place had been abandoned for some time and it must have been over 100 years old. Back in the studio I decided to remove the roof and give myself a view.


“Zebra at Night”- While on a trip with my family at Busch Gardens I came across this Zebra having lunch in the pasture when we slowly went by on the train. I grabbed this image, deleted the background, and added the moon and space behind him.


“Walk on the Beach”- This is a self-image of myself and wife taken on time lapse walking up the beach. The sky was deep blue, so I changed it to black and added the night sky along with the birds and the starfish.


“Window Color” -This small worn down building was on the farm where I found “Room with a View.” This is a very simple image where I did a small splash of color in the window of the overall black & white image.


Layering images together is more than just placing them in layers. You will have to place them in an order that works. There will be a lot of time involved in cutting, dodging, burning, and manipulating the photos. Nothing comes easy, except the original idea. In the end, if it makes it to the show list, you will have a fine art black & white surreal image.  If you are interested- I have a black & white photography BLOG