Miss Amber May

Digital Approaches to Fine Art

Kelli Connell

October 2nd, 2013


What do you see in the picture above? Two lovely women relaxing on the side of a country road enjoying the sunset, right? Look closer… As hard for it is to believe, this image is actually a self portrait of the one and only Kelli Connell. Connell is an American photographer who is known for her hyperrealistic Photoshop portraits, displaying herself and…herself! She creates these photos in a way that they seem like actual photographs taken at that very moment, but in reality she takes two or more photos and flawlessly melds them together. Connell explains on her website that the purpose of her photographs is to express the “representation of social and interior investigations that happen within the mind.” This means she wants to recreate the moments that she’s seen or endured  by moving the moments to an external environment, in this case, a photograph.It’s almost as if she wants to imagine herself in these situations. What she has also done is project the conflicting personalities and ideals of herself in two different individuals; representing the battles her psyche faces. These outlooks can include, sexuality, gender roles, the rational and irrational self, the feminine and masculine minds ect.

When I saw Connell’s photographs, I thought they were just photographs of her and a friend; I didn’t realize both people were her until I actually looked. My Photoshopped images could never compare to how much dedication and time she put into hers. The cropping was precise down to the last pixel and the lighting in each image was perfect and worked flawlessly with the backgrounds she put them in. I was so enthralled in the photos that I didn’t bother looking into them for deeper messages (which was why I was happy that they were posted at the top of her website.) I think she did a great job giving us insight into the sorts of situations she sees in her life and how those moments keep playing back in her preconscious. In these photographs she’s basically turning her mind inside out for the world to see.

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