As a child, Moroccan photographer and filmmaker Achraf Baznani was obsessed with movie miniatures and the magic of movies. So when this self-taught photographer began his photography career, he decided that he didn’t want to take “normal” photos and began focusing on creating photo manipulation. Using personal thoughts, scenes from dreams and things he really believes in or cares about, Achraf is the subject in most of his images to give it a personalized touch in the surreal, dreamy, and ironic world he creates.
In his series, “Inside My Dreams,” Achraf wants people to think outside of the box and ponder and reflect on his surreal images. “Viewers will find a mirror that will reflect the image of their lives and the situations that they deal with and the problems that they all need to face in real life.”
To create these surreal photo manipulations, Achraf gets inspired by and idea based on a story he heard or an idea or dream and plans it out on paper long before he pulls out his camera to shoot and edit the image. Once the images are photographed, his favorite parts are layering and image sharpening. Achraf writes, “by layering I create images and alter those using functions such as layers, edit an image by adding new layers without altering the original image or add and subtract layers as my work on an image to create the final product. In Photoshop, I use the smart tools to sharpen the image to minimize every issue with photo blurring. Although I also love the end of most projects when everything comes together and it looks great; then you can stand back and say ‘Hey, I made that!‘”
You might notice that Achraf favors a square frame for his images. This is to encourage the viewer’s eye to move in a circle, for a well-balanced perception. He likes to express himself through the precise four lengths of a square, so the viewer is not looking side-to-side or up and down, but is drawn straight to the story he is trying to tell. Achraf creates his images because he believes that,
We need a break from reality. Surrealism takes us from the real world to a dreaming one. We can recreate and share our dreams or surrealist ideas in real life through photography.
CREDITS: Photographs by Achraf Baznani are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.