Japanese photographer shares a simple hack to achieve a surreal shot. 

It looks like a swarm of birds are flying” and “I thought this was a bug in a game” are just some of the comments that Japanese photographer Makoto Hashimuki (@MakotoHashimuki) has been receiving recently.

That’s because the talented photographer shared this amazing shot of Mt Fuji on Twitter, which strays from traditional approaches to capturing the beauty of the mountain with the sky as its backdrop, adding in some unusual extras instead, and all without the use of any major digital edits.

▼ It’s hard to believe these shapes on the screen haven’t been digitally added to the image.

It’s a little difficult to make out what’s happening in the image at first, which led people to comment:

“It’s like an optical illusion.”
“For a second, I thought these were insects!”
“It looks like an ukiyoe woodblock print.”
“It reminds me of a surrealist painting by René Magritte.”
“All I see is a floating world from Hokusai’s ukiyoe woodblock print collection.”

The photo does make Mt Fuji look as if it’s floating, while the shapes scattered around it do look like a swarm of insects flying in the air. And there’s a reason for that, which becomes evident when looking at the original image taken by the photographer.

As the above photo shows, the original photo has been turned upside down and the image we’ve been looking at is actually the reflection of the mountain, seen in the water-filled rice field. The flying shapes in the air are actually rice plants, which now look as if they’ve sprung out of the Earth and are floating magnetically in the air.

▼ It’s amazing the difference a 180-degree turn can make

With rice and Mt Fuji being two important elements of Japanese culture, the image that Hashimuki has created allows us to view these icons together in a whole new light. It literally turns everything we thought we knew about these images on its head, and the surrealism makes it hard to tear our eyes away from the scene.

So next time you want to get arty with your photos of Mt Fuji, try viewing it from a different angle – upside down. Chances are you’ll end up with something that looks like a surrealist painting or a scene from a video game, especially if you’re in the right place at the right time to capture a “miraculous” cloud cap on the mountain as well.

Source: Twitter/MakotoHashimuki via Net Lab
Images: Twitter/MakotoHashimuki
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