What would it look like to travel through a wormhole? Maybe a little bit like this new photo series from Randy Scott Slavin. "Alternate Perspectives Two" challenges the very definition of panorama, turning simple landscapes into 360-degree spheres of beauty. You almost want to fall right into the photos, just to see where in the universe you'd emerge.
The effect makes a little more sense once you learn more about Slavin's inspiration. "My first major art influence was M.C. Escher," the photographer told US. "My work as a commercial and music video director always gives me reason to look for new and interesting photographic techniques, which is how I originally got into 360 degree spherical panoramas. Spherical panoramas then led me to the world of stereographic projection (which is the mapping of a spherical image onto a flat plane) and the rest is history."
It's a mind-bending brand of history. Some of the locations are more comprehensible than others. There's the photo of a tropical landscape, where it looks like the beach is bending up and becoming one with the waves. Others demand a deep look and a little bit of introspection. You could simply get lost in the image of Times Square.
For Slavin, the series is just as much about the process of shooting as it is the finished work. "When shooting landscapes, you have to wait for the right light and, in the process, deal with everything that mother nature has to offer," he said. "Ants, mosquitos, jellyfish, sunburn, rain (lots of rain), freezing winds and treacherous icy hikes are just some of the few joys I experienced while shooting Alternate Perspectives Two." He added, "The Alternate Perspectives series was always just an excuse to take my camera on long hikes in awesome places."
You can buy signed prints from Slavin's new series for $US100. It's worth it just to hang one on your wall as a conversation starter. That is, if you like to have conversations about the meaning of our very existence.
Randy Scott Slavin is an award-winning director and surrealist photographer based in New York City. He's widely known for his music videos and Alternate Perspective series. You can follow him on Facebook and his website.