May 2014 | Erik Almas Photography

Suspending Disbelief

As I get older I get more and more intrigued by authenticity and how to achieve this in my images.
What makes an image honest?
What is real about a 2 dimensional representation of what we see?
Now add Photoshop to the equation and what’s authentic becomes even more questionable.

In 1817 the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge suggested that if a writer could infuse a “human interest and a semblance of truth” into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgment concerning the implausibility of the narrative.
He coined this Suspension of Disbelief…

In composite photography, even though the image is not real, one can still create an authentic emotional response to the image. One can craft something that in the execution feels authentic and honest to the eye and on a visceral level feel real.

Disbelief suspended and authenticity achieved?
It’s a big subject that is best solved over a good bottle of vine.

Till then I will explore authenticity in both the simple portrait and the larger composites…

I will leave you with a couple of my recent composites.
One done for Sky promoting the TV show 24 and another for Dassault Systemes.


The background image for 24 was shot over 2 days on Westminister Bridge. We locked our cameras down and shot a few frames every 10 minutes or so till we had captured beautiful weather and light and frames without people for the 24 hour time span we needed. We then had 20 minutes with Kiefer Sutherland. We set up a backdrop next to the stage where they were recording the show so Kiefer could just walk onto our set during a break in filming.


photo 1

In the below image for Dassault Systemes we shot designer Julien Fournier in Paris.
In this composite the idea was an interactive experience being so close to the real thing one can step right into Julien Fournier’s design studio…


photo 2


Connecting my visual language in both Still and Motion

Brand identity is not about showing off an image anymore. It’s about telling a story which consumers can relate to and identify with…

With the 5d being released every photographer got a film-making tool in their hands. This was, and still is, in many ways the perfect storytelling vehicle for us photographers helping brands go beyond the still image in their quest to tell their story.

It seemed so easy at first and I excitedly jumped in filming everything I saw…

Now, 4 years later, the craft and vision I have to my stills are getting translated into moving images and solid stories.


I have a great relationship with a winery in Sonoma called Repris. Having shot their still images we went on to translate these to moving images telling the story of wine from place to harvest to tank to barrel to the bottle enjoyed.

For me it was important that visuals of these moments translated perfectly between the two mediums, retaining my visual identity in both and leaving Repris Wines with a visual language translating across all formats.



As we collectively are becoming more and more visual I, as a photographer, have to continue to evolve. This both to have fun and learn new things but also to stay relevant in a fast changing visual market.

I’m excited to share the first OF many motion/still combinations that I am working on!

And here’s a Behind the Scene look on how it all came together: