Modern film technology currently creates virtual worlds and special effects that are so realistic, immersive, and overstimulating, that audiences sometimes have difficulty discerning between fiction and reality during movies. For photographer Nathan Wirth, however, the beauty and virtue of old films, TV shows, and comic books lies in their utter and obvious unreality. With his latest photo series, titled Imaginations, Wirth pays homage to the nostalgia and fantasy of classic cinematography by inserting well-known characters into his long exposure seascapes.
Wirth emphasizes that he would like viewers of this series to “embrace these images' flaws and open their imaginations to the simple, whimsical stories each one tells. They are, in the end, meant to be merely nothing more than a nostalgic look back at my childhood engagement with such fantasies, and how— even though I no longer pay much attention to these worlds— that same inspiration, on some level, still inspires me to create my own stories.”
As Wirth shares, the rudimentary and unsophisticated special effects that he grew up with in the ‘60s and ‘70s were particularly endearing and allowed him to “see beyond their limitations because my imagination was an active participant in the process, one that readily accepted the invitation to consider that these things could be possible even though I knew that they were not– even if the effects struggled to muster any hope of looking realistic. Those clunky effects were all I and so many others needed (and many of those films have a charm not often found in the expensive over-the-top special-effects-laden spectacles of the 21st Century).”
Whether it’s Gollum crouching atop jagged rocks, an introspective Darth Vader pondering alone, or a Tardis from Doctor Who at the edge of a pier, Wirth hopes his photography sparks and ignites some whimsy, creativity, or even a smile through his playful and amusing series. You can view this series in its entirety and learn more about his inspirations on Behance.
All images via Nathan Wirth.