PSDFan Extra

30 Beautiful Examples of Surreal Photography

Surreal photography truly pushes the limits of the medium. The surreal nature of the work can lead to some stunning compositions. In conducting research for this article I found some recurrent themes in examples of surreal photography:

Often regular looking compositions are altered, either by obscuring something (e.g.: by covering a face with cloth), or by altering conventional angles/perspectives (e.g.: by photographing something from a crazy angle, or by turning the camera upside down).

In surreal photography lighting and exposures are often played with more than in conventional photography, and this can lead to ghostly forms, abstract shapes and interesting use of light/shadows.

The conventions of physics are also overturned, as some photographers carefully construct the details of the photo, in order to present the impossible.

I hope that you appreciate these 30 works, and find them as inspiring as I have!



Get more of our great design content direct to your inbox
Join our newsletter and receive our best weekly content by email. Also get access to hundreds of free design resources via your Designer Toolkit area.

About the Author:

Tom is the founder of PSDFAN. He loves writing tutorials, learning more about design and interacting with the community. On a more interesting note he can also play guitar hero drunk with his teeth.

Leave a comment

37 Comments:

  1. Carlos Mal says:

    Great selection, I enjoyed them all. But some of them are not “surreal”. Just pointing that out. ;)

  2. Oliver Web says:

    Great collection of surreal photos. All of them are great and some are really bizarre. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Tom says:

    Thanks for the comments guys.

    Carlos: I agree that some are more surreal than others, but all of them had something a bit different about them, making them slightly surreal in my eyes. I’m really glad you enjoyed the post :)

    • Donna says:

      Hey Tom
      I’m looking for a photographer/artist who wants to help me with my EP cover ..
      I make alternative music, but with a poppy shine.
      If you like it I will send you a song, I wanted to ask you if you could make a photo of my face, and make it surrealistic.
      Let me know..

      Donna

  4. Carlos Mal says:

    I agree, Tom, they’re all inspiring and well-made.

  5. Devilnax says:

    Wow.. FFantastic selections of pictures.
    I love digital artwork and painting with speed painting.
    If you want visit my blog! :)
    Bye!

  6. Vim says:

    Awesome stuff, some of the images are freaky the bandage faces ones especially, the image of the woman in the bath with pig trotters lol, who would have ever thought of that idea? love the colours in that image.

  7. Tom says:

    Thanks guys!

    Vim: Haha yeah some of the pieces I just think ‘how would you think that up??’

  8. agnes says:

    yes i agree some of them are freaky.. but great collection :)

  9. Fantastic……Some of these are creepy though…But wondreful effects with water….the aerial images is also superb….the smoky effects in some of these images showcase exceptional talent….awesome creativity, good themes and great graphic art….The first image is simply stunning….thanks for sharing this….

  10. stoval says:

    Great collection!

  11. H dub says:

    These pictures made me “feel” great. Most photography just reenforces societies (fucked up) view of beauty. What you have done unique and amazing!!! Than you for sharing this with us.

  12. Matt Jordan says:

    check out some of my own stuff here…. yeah surreal photography has no limits!

  13. Lud says:

    tks 4 sharing i love it !

  14. Drea says:

    loved most of them. some seemed a lil on the scary side, haunting and well thought out but scary 2 me personally (the girl with her eyes covered by tape? or makeup? Also the ones where people are wrapped up. things like that just weird me out) My favorites where the ones where people where either in the air or looking like they just lept off the ground.

  15. Essence4u says:

    I guess even Dali would have said say “wow!” :)

  16. Daily Design says:

    Awesome they are unique photography and also weird as well

  17. Rob Wallace says:

    The young lady behind the fish is especially wonderful/ The collection is a reflection of the creative mind which apparently knows no bounds.

  18. Jessica says:

    For respect and proper authorship of those photographs, please reference the photographers.

  19. Drex says:

    These images are great and yes definately surreal. I like matey sitting down with his pipe. Well funny!

  20. XP Debugger says:

    playing with clouds is amazing stuff.. I prefer the mystic clouds of nostalgia to the real thing, to be honest.

  21. rwakoma eric kriecy says:

    you guys are killer. am impressed.kip da fire burning.

  22. kathryn says:

    amazinggggggggggg

  23. matthew schilz says:

    Just because something is scary doesn’t mean its surreal.

  24. eric says:

    Amazing collection…i just love those subjects, especially the women, floating in the air..truly surrealistic..dreamlike..hallucinatory.

  25. What a great collection!

  26. iris says:

    Truly awesome!
    i have fallen in love with this collection with head over heels. The exact meaning of surreal photography has been defined perfectly here. The girl with flower in her mouth has taken my heart already! What an idea!!!

  27. Johanna says:

    I enjoyed your photos ..my favorite was the bottle at the beach as little man is running. Although some others were unusual but beautiful. I have used psd it is amazing I mostly into surreal photos. Your photos are beyond mine :)

  28. Ben says:

    Beautiful, But you forgot to mension the names :) Of the photographers.
    I do not like the photoshopped stuff, but the others are great!

  29. Hannah says:

    could you please tell me the names of these photographers? :)

  30. Iriska says:

    Tom, there is no any link to the autors of this photos. It will be interesting to know their names.

  31. Gutless says:

    Good work Dude.. Appreciated

  32. Gracie says:

    I love the photos, could you tell me who the artists are please?

  33. Taidgh says:

    great photos, though it would be respectful to the photographers if you gave them credit for their work.

  34. Michele says:

    In your article titled 30 Beautiful Examples of Surreal Photography, I am interested in finding the artist who created the first image in your article of the dancing girl.

    Do you know who the name of the artist?

    Your help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks a bunch!

  35. Abbey says:

    I love this gallery. it is thought provoking and truly surreal.

Leave a Comment:

Related Posts

Subscribe to PSDFAN and Get Your Free Designer Toolkit

Have every post delivered to your inbox and get access to hundreds of useful design freebies.

Your Design Work, But More Awesome:

Do you know the basic tools in Photoshop but feel that your work is still looking average? Join our creative community at FanExtra and get the direction you need to take your work to the next level.

JOIN OUR FANEXTRA COMMUNITY TODAY