If you don’t believe in happy accidents, you haven’t met Stephen Morris. Armed with his camera and his cute dog Button, Stephen headed out to his garden to take a personal portrait of him and his pooch. He turned his self timer on and stood in frame next to his dog but when he looked at the finished shot it was so boring that he decided he had to try it again…but this time, upside down. As he says, “Grass is soft so falling over doesn’t hurt. I used my socks as a focal point as to where my head was to go so I could manual focus on that point and then put my head there when the self timer was going. It took quite a few attempts to get it looking right and i nearly killed Button by falling on her but she’s a fighter and loved messing about! ‘The Master and Her Dog’ was the first shot and from it came a whole series.
The best part about Morris’s upside down photos is that they are not photo manipulations. As he tells us, “This is a series that I have purposefully kept Photoshop free. I get so many emails from people, often quite angry people, who just refuse to believe i don’t use Photoshop to do it.” So what’s Morris’s secret? “I basically just do it. There is no secret. The shot is exactly as it is in the frame,” he says. “I set my camera up on self-timer, manual focus on where I will be standing, then get into possession and do a head stand. No secret, no wires!” He continues, “Someone copied one of my shots once and put a tutorial up as to how I do it. They basically had someone holding the persons legs upside-down and Photoshoped them out. Another company did a whole ad campaign using people stood on their heads. They made a “making of” video for YouTube and it was quite amazing to see the lengths they went to to get the shots. They had acrobats in harnesses suspended from wires. It was a seriously impressive set up. The most technical thing I use is a Rainbow sandal when I want to take a shot on a hard surface!”
Aside from Morris’s upside down shots, take a look at his incredible balancing and sideways photos. They’re sure to leave you giggling, laughing or scratching your head. (Note: Photoshop was used in some of these, below.)