Al Mefer is one of the artists featured in our selections of top photography projects on Behance. Al’s images are poetic and unique in their color schemes, taking us on a journey to far away lands. The images seem like they’re otherworldly, but the Al’s artistic eye and skillful, unique manipulations remind us that even the simplest landscapes are a creative opportunity. We had a chat with Al Mefer and here are some of his thoughts on his work.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your professional background.
So, I recently turned 26 and I was born in the city with the most high-rise buildings per capita, Benidorm. I discovered my passion for drawing when I was a kid, but I trained in criminology, psychology and neuroscience. Photography is a pretty new journey for me. It’s not even been a year since I bought my first camera.
What was the precise moment or experience that made you realize you wanted to pursue photography?
When I was a teenager I was very obsessed with art in general. Illustration and drawing were among my favorite disciplines, but one day I discovered photography and its storytelling power. I was very interested but as I grew older and got into college it almost disappeared from my mind. But during the last couple of years I was a lot into cinema and liked the idea of developing my own aesthetic. I started in photography then.
Your series ‘Deserts of the Future’ is quite poetic in its nature. Did you write the poem that accompanies it yourself?
Yes, I did. I love poetry and song lyrics. For some time I was writing poetry everyday. Usually the poems were telling a story or describing a scene that I was drawing or painting. That also followed the idea of creating a sort of complex film-like environment in which there was a story to tell and emotions to transmit.
The machinery of the future
Was thickening my breath
And well-predicted by computers
It would get us right to sleep
A dim light of strange hues
Opened my heavy eyes
With reflections of the moons
That colored alien skies
Of Western looks and colors
The deserts looked like dreams
And no winter, no summers
Would forge nor life nor seas
What other artforms do you pursue or are interested in?
I love cinema, illustration, drawing, painting, environmental art and installations, video art, music, poetry…I also have a secret love for dancing. I really enjoy watching people dance.
How would you describe your aesthetic and your approach to photography?
Photography has this character that it captures what’s in the world. Or at least that’s the most common notion about photography. I like to think of it as a means to rise consciousness about a topic through the creation of a particular world. I particularly feel concerned about environmental and humanitarian issues. I like to take an advantage of the power of beauty to make people think about climate change or mental disorders.
In this sense, I often aim to make things look “otherworldly” or “alien” to deliver the atmosphere of what the future could be like or what is it to be someone else. This surreal, sci-fi scenery flooded with colorful tones is a way to catch people’s attention and discuss important issues.
Your editing makes your work very distinct. What kind of time and work goes into post production?
It’s a very long and intricate process, I put a lot of passion into it. Among my favorite parts through the whole process. It’s hard to describe it because while I’m doing it, I’m just somewhere else. I don’t think in words. I simply do it.
Color is very central to your images. What are your intentions with the use of unexpected and manipulated colors?
Some colors are expected to be common in some objects and scenes. When colors that are uncommon and attractive appear in places they don’t belong they have a special impact on people’s perception.
What are some things that fascinate and inspire you
The mind and everything that has to do with cognitive science: the brain, Artificial Intelligence, psychology. I’m really fascinated by painting and music. It’d be wonderful to be somewhere I could mix them all.
What would you say is the main message or idea that you tried to communicate with your recent projects?
We have huge issues in the world we don’t talk about and need our attention. I also have a recurring topic which is tachypsychia, the altered perception of time. It happens commonly in stress disorders and I feel it very well reflects how urbanites see the world.
What can we expect from your portfolio in the future?
More portraits, probably. Also more technology. I’d like to get involved with those who’re making the future happen.
Do you have any tips for aspiring photographers?
Do it because it’s your passion. Do what you really enjoy. There can’t be something interesting and that everybody appreciates.
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