Thursday, July 28, 2011
Jan Von Holleben: Adventure Is Out There!
Posted by Jay at 8:53 PM
As cute and cuddly babies become rambunctious little kids, their little minds look out on the world and scream. "Adventure is out there!" Even without the luxuries of video games, kids can find adventure out there, even if it's just out there in your neighbor's backyard or on the streets. It might be a little hard for adults to picture the fantasies that their children play out, but photographer Jan von Holleben makes it easy with his creative captures.
Jan von Holleben has worked in different capacities in the world of commercial photography, but it is his own simple yet ingenious recreations of his childhood, both past and present, that has captivated the world.
In his series Dreams of Flying and Journey to Everywhere, von Holleben takes scenes out of the most exciting children's stories and makes them a reality with the simplest of tools. The underlying themes in both projects are repeated in his other works as well.
In Dreams of Flying, the grey pavement or plain sand become the magical canvas for his young subjects, usually the children of his own neighbors. By simply tilting the camera downward, von Holleben is able to make kids swim through oceans, fly through the sky or float through space.
With only the simplest of props and costumes, these action scenes come alive, animated by the kids' enthusiasm.
In Journey to Everywhere, the same thought is repeated, only the props become fantastically magnified through the magic of forced perspective. Here, the young actors play their part against the backdrop of a blue sky.
The only difference here is that the foreground props are enlarged, giving the impression that the subjects are immersed in the land of the giants. Suddenly, small heads of wheat become looming trees and teddy bears become colossal (but still cuddly) beasts.
These are the kind of images that anyone with a childhood can relate to, and indeed this is what von Holleben set out to accomplish. His efforts however go above and beyond what anyone else could care to realize, and to think that something that started out as pure documentary work turned into something much more memorable.
There are more adventures out there if you care to check out Jan von Holleben's website. You'll find more pictures of both Dreams of Flying and Journey to Everywhere there. A behind-the-scenes-video is also on the site which shows you how much effort goes into creating a relatively simple looking shot. You can also purchase a copy of his book, Dreams of Flying, and a calendar of Journey to Everywhere there.