Teen photographer puts surrealist spin on summer photo project


With summer finals out of the way, 17-year-old photographer Ian Komac has devoted his newfound free time to a photo project. Called 60 Days of Summer, the Belgian teen’s manipulated photos give landscapes and everyday objects a whimsical twist. He’s 20 days in, and My Modern Metropolis has published a selection of his work in the project so far. 

 In the dreamy world of Ian Komac’s photos, leafy forests house oversized antique phones and everyday objects behave unnaturally.

Photos: Ian Komac

We’ll go ahead and state the obvious that his skill level is quite impressive for his age. There’s still time to get started on your own summer photo project, whether or not you’re past the age of final exams. Are you working on a project? Let us know in the comments. You can Follow Ian Komac on Flickr or Facebook to see more of his work.

via My Modern Metropolis



good stuff but i’m going to echo that this is in the realm of digital/graphic art already. any time you take one thing and start recompositing, it becomes digital art or mixed media art.

the photos may have been the starting point. i’d only classify this as photography if he prepped the scene as is THEN shot it. it’s obviously not done or shot like that. it’s compositing other items in.

that window with clouds i’ve shot a similar effect but instead of achieving it in ps, i shot it as is through 2 layers of windows with reflection filling in the shadows. had i composited other shots in, i’d tell you clearly it’s digital art, not photography.


Not my cup of tea, but it is impressive for someone that young to master Photoshop like that.

old joe

i don,t get it but i do admire the imagination to do it to bring something different, to those who say it is boring, rubbish there is nothing more boring than endless birds,portraits,weddings etc,etc. photography after all is an art form as well as all the other uses it is put to.


Well Done for thinking outside of the square. The picture of the huge telephone in the country lane now thats’s what I call “Global Roaming!”


I think this kid is a genius bigger than Dali. This is surrealism at its best. My son is working on it too and I do my best to encourage him. Last week he did this really clever photo of a Mediterranean young lady jumping rope inside his grand father’s left ear


Great work… he’s definitely seeing outside the box where most that roam here are stuck with pointless banter and gear bashing. Photography would be a sad boring state if we’re to go by the definition of some here.


Nice job the kid has vision, at least it’s not iPhone junk with filters, this takes some talent and shows the art of photography is not dead.
I have to agree with QuarterToDoom a little,this is more graphic desigh art than photography, but I’m not putting the kid down


Imagination is an individual’s greatest asset.
Well-done Ian!


Great imagination and all that but this is more artwork/graphic design than photography. Yes I would say then same thing is some used film to make the same style of images. It turns into art created from photos and not photography.


Define your definition of photography?!?


Please photographically define the definition of your photography and your photographic definition before you photograph your definition.


Very creative. Kudos!!

Zoran K



very very nice..


Imagination, poetry, and a real attention to any detail, he’s clearly talented, but he’s also a hard worker!


Once upon a time one was an enfant prodige before the age of primary school. Now we have to wait for the college or the university!

(nice pictures, however)




This kid has a gift. If he’s doing this at 17 and he sticks with it, I can only imagine what he’ll do in another 17 years 🙂


This young man is talented and shows a great deal of imagination, something sorely lacking on this site. Some of the comments here are woefully ignorant, but then, that’s just par for the course on dpreview.


I can only strip the gears I got :^)


I can understand why you would make that statement. I would suggest that dpreview come up with categories of articles, clearly identified by symbols, such as: technical, artistic, business etc.. Then the readers can pick and choose what to read based on their preferences and needs… Alternately, you can visit sites that specifically have that focus, and there are many…


This kid has great imagination! Keep at it and have fun!


I wish I had this boy’s imagination and creativity. Some of his pictures on Flickr bring Man Ray and Yves Klein to my mind. If he focuses on a style of his own, he’ll go far.


I think everybody should start out in their own end of any creative matter. Most of us seem to loose our own personal creative touch in photography when trying to impress others with stuff everyone is already doing. What is more boring than a over processed HDR sunset? This kid is a refreshment.


Daniel, I couldn’t agree more!

Aleo Veuliah

Not bad, in fact he is good, but I have seen better pictures on many sites like flickr and 500pix, and those do not had the luck to appear here on Dpreview or other good site and in an article.

I think that Ian will be a good photographer and may have a bright future if continues to improve his photographic technique.


He “will be”. lol.


Nice! love the storm in a bottle.

Laurentiu Todie

My advice to the kid would be to keep at it,
but match contrast in the collage.
(the forest is flatter than the phone)

And learn about iconic art:

Aleo Veuliah

Good advice.

To me Salvador Dali is the master of surrealism.


No offense, but after looking at his project, I’m quite sure the kid doesn’t need any advice or pointers.

On the image you reference, he’s using a low-contrast filter for a reason. It’s obvious that he knows exactly what he’s doing.

TN Args

Pity about the churlish comments posted most recently, especially the guy who thinks he is personally above surrealism and Dali. hah! Congratulations to the 17 year old lad and I like his way of seeing.


I never said I was above anything but that I find surrealism boring and I can explain you why. surrealism is an absurd idea in the sense that every idea is surreal anyway but to realise that you require a thinking brain. that’s why surrealism used to be and still is so popular especially among young people and those who never really “grow up”. because it explains things visually and obviously and it doesn’t require any mental efforts to get the point because there is no point. a huge antique phone in the middle of a forest can easily catch attention but what’s really the meaning about it apart being an eye catching visual trick? none whatsoever.

you want to impress someone who doesn’t know a thing about art? then do something surrealistic. it will always work. try to use surrealism to impress someone who’s artistically educated and theoretically demanding. well, good luck with that. surrealism is like fairy tales. they are nice and enjoyable but at some point you grow out of them.


No way dude…Dali and Magritte are the most aweseom artsits ever. Espcially when you are totally baked. One time me and my buddy Rob smoked up a bunch and check out that painting of the train coming through the fireplace and we were all like “woah, dude, that sh*t is deeeeep!”


@caseycomo, I totally believe you that. and thanks for making my point.


Yeh and that one where like the clocks were all mealting and crap was like we were all totally just like “duuuuuuuuuuddddde…”

Yanko Kitanov

I always thought that PHOTOGRAPHY is about story, idea, message, composition and of course quality and color….here we see a manifesto of the combination – digital filter(cross-process/B&W/Artificial artifacts and noise) and collage…I miss the idea, message and composition of almost all snapshots in this set.


I agree with you too. When I read the title I was hoping for some ‘youth in revolt’ in reflection of Larry Clark or Nan Goldin. It’s over manipulated but it shows promise of something better. Hopefully. It’s good work its just not great.


Why did you think that? Photography isn’t an inherently narrative medium. It can do a lot more than tell stories, just as painting and music can. The kid is doing fun stuff that’s well beyond what most adults ever do. It’s not yet consistent in style nor is it perfectly executed, but it’s very good, nonetheless.


I am amazed people still fall for such tricks. when I was a teenager my favorite artist was dali. I thought his surreal art was pure genius. when I grew up I changed my mind. now I find his art childish, empty and boring.


I don’t think its so much a photo project than it is a retouching project. Its no doubt naive. It pays homage to another era of art that we now dismiss as advertising illusion. I think its good for a young artist and this work suggests that he isn’t disillusioned to the real world. I don’t think it makes a difference if you or I critique this work harshly as he’s taken a chance to broadcast this work to the largest possible gallery and forum on the planet – the internet. I say be happy for him but I absolutely agree that its a naive project.


Accepting all you have said as the natural order of life, there are younger people following after you. Maybe they will change their mind as well when they get older. In the meantime…

Also, why should younger people be attracted to Dali. I imagine some are. Some might want a new Dali. Who knows. Have to wait a several decades to see if anyone now fiddling with photo filters ends up retrospectives.


“now I find his art childish, empty and boring.”

Perhaps that says more about you and less about Dali. You are now an empty and boring adult, and have lost the wonder of youth. It’s sad when that happens.


To quote someone about art “this is art, not math. there is no 2+2=4 formula. there is no doing it right or doing it wrong.”



I didn’t really mean to critique his work. everyone is free to do what he or she likes and especially at such age there is no point for criticism but quite the opposite because that’s how one develops his creativity and talents. I used to do exactly the same stuff as soon as I put my hands on photoshop and discovered layers etc. so, I have nothing against that. what amazed me was that editors of this site found this to be something so important to be worth mentioning in this way.



if you find me boring and empty because I don’t fall for empty visual tricks but rather enjoy in complex ideas then I have nothing to complain about.


love the set.


Creativity knows no bounds.

Keep on truckin’ kiddo.


Fredy Ross

Just wonderful. He has a great future.


From the country of Rene Magritte…following in the master’s footsteps.
Nicely done.

mehran langari

nice job


Pretty rad photos. Nicely done!


Great fun,,, bravo.

Source Article from http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/07/13/ian-komac-surrealist-photography