Interested in producing images on “the fringe of the otherworldly,” landscape photographer Paul Hoi creatively combines science fiction with psychedelia. Using a camera modified for full spectrum infrared, Hoi is able to craft dreamy scenes of nature that transform familiar visuals into foreign lands. During a recent trip to New Zealand, Hoi took this practice to new heights, turning his striking surroundings into stunning studies of color.
While car-camping through the country’s South Island, Hoi used a camera with a special lens that reveals an otherwise invisible light. This technological trick drastically alters the color composition of his photographs, transforming the region’s lush rainforests and verdant hills into brightly colored, bubble-gum pink landforms. Though slightly desaturated, the non-green tones of the cloudy skies, glacial lakes, and roaming wildlife remain relatively in-tact, culminating in perplexing landscapes that act as “vaguely familiar visual anchors of an alien world.”
Though Hoi’s specialty is landscape photography, he is not attracted to images that replicate reality. He is fascinated, rather, by depictions that alter perceptions and experiment with expectation. “I’m less interested in portraying landscapes ‘as they are,’ per journalistic or documentarian tradition, and more in seeing beyond the surface of an otherwise familiar landscape,” he explained to us. This creative approach to the craft sheds new light on the traditional type of photography, resulting in a beautiful body of work that is as mind-boggling as it is eye-catching.