Photographer Alex Hyner creates multi-layered photographs from thousands of images he has taken of skies around the world.
Hyner typically uses between 15 and 30 different photos in one of his artworks, and this can include moons, suns, birds, and jet streams.
He says PetaPixel about the intricate process he uses to construct his striking and unusual works of art.
“When I start taking pictures, I try to have a base to build on. For example, with ‘Party Skies’ which was made at the height of the pandemic, I dreamed of tropical climates, so I knew I wanted to link three photos of my islands at the bottom and go up to the sky.”
Hyner posted her photo, Party Skies, on Reddit where it received over 40,000 upvotes.
One commenter wrote, “Love the color palette so much. The moon, lightning and other small details in the room make it really interesting. The composition is also very strong as the use of line with color guides the eye around the piece.
Hyner says it’s pieces like Party Skies that take the most time because of the tedious prep work to select areas between power lines.
“Adobe Photoshop’s new sky selection tools help me, but they don’t allow me to go all the way. Once this step is complete, I comb through the thousands of photos I’ve taken since 2014 (when I got my first Canon) and pull out the images that might go together.
“Then it takes maybe a week or two of trial and error, testing different skies, moving shots around, deleting the whole thing, starting over, going out for a walk, and then finally finishing. It can be brainstorming, but I love seeing the puzzle come together.
Besides maze pieces like Party Skies, Hyners also creates concept photography using television and moons as themes.
“Television shots, which I personally like, are great to do. I choose a movie, then I loosely theme the shot not about what the movie is about, but about what my ideal viewing situation would be. I set up and play with a range of props, then take long exposure shots in total darkness and light everything up close with a flashlight,” says Hyner.
“Then in Photoshop I kind of paint all the layers together. This is how I achieve this specific look.
Hyner, who lives in Los Angeles, uses a Canon 5D Mark IV to create his works and says he finds his photography therapeutic and enjoys making whimsical images
“At the end of the day, I just make images that I want to see. I tend not to attribute meaning to any of them,” he adds.
To learn more about Hyner’s work, visit his website, Instagram and Twitter.
Picture credits: All photos by Alex Hyner.