Incredible Landscapes Made Out of Bodies

The Photo Blog
Aug. 16 2013 11:57 AM

Turning Bodies Into Wonderlands

Shin Knee Valley
Shin Knee Valley

Carl Warner

Carl Warner can make fantastic landscapes using just about anything: office supplies, nuts and bolts, even clothing.

He might best be known, though, for his "Foodscapes," an idea that came to him in a food market at a time when his career as an advertising photographer was stagnating. Now the images are frequently used for advertising and commercial purposes.

Lately, Warner is in the habit of making "Bodyscapes" after finding inspiration in the scenes of naked bodies in the dusty, rocky terrain of Michelangelo Antonioni’s film, Zabriskie Point. "I was fascinated by the relationship between body and landscape, and I have always been looking at my own body in terms of its form as something structural and sculptural," Warner said via email.

Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks

Carl Warner

The Cave of Abdo-Men
The Cave of Abdo-Men

Carl Warner

Advertisement

Compared to food, Warner said, the human body is more limited in the types of angles and shapes it can make. "It is less versatile, but it is often the case that having some restriction pushes you harder creatively, which makes it all a worthwhile challenge," Warner said.

In the images featuring a single shot of a torso or back, only a small amount of digital manipulation—to add the sky—is required. For the shots using multiple body parts, however, the process is more complicated. Mostly it involves stitching together many photos of the same subject to create a scene.

"I know people would love these to be made with many different bodies, but doing this would mean having different skin tones, which would lose the sense of continuity within the landscape. I also like the fact that it is all made from one individual, as it offers an aspect of alternative portraiture and becomes a more intimate connection with the subject," Warner said.

Pectoral Dunes
Pectoral Dunes

Carl Warner

Fingers Cave
Fingers Cave

Carl Warner

Elbow Point
Elbow Point

Carl Warner

Unlike his “Foodscapes,” which require the help of a food stylist and several days to build, Warner said “Bodyscapes” require little preparation. All Warner and his assistant do ahead of time is ensure that there are no clothing marks on the body and that the skin is hydrated.

"I usually have some sketches of what I would like to achieve, but they don't always work out as I imagine them to, and often there are shapes and forms which I see that inspire new designs of a scene as we work,” Warner said. “I can build up a foreground, midground and background quite quickly, but I like the fact that there is a certain amount of unpredictability within the image-making process."

Warner’s subjects are friends and models. Since the series has become popular, Warner said he has frequently received unsolicited offers from people wanting to pose for him. "But I would really like to move the work forward by photographing well-known people whose bodies have carried them through their personal journeys," he said.

Desert of Sleeping Men
Desert of Sleeping Men

Carl Warner

Desert of Backs
Desert of Backs

Carl Warner

The Sleeper
The Sleeper

Carl Warner

The Valley Of the Reclining Woman
The Valley of the Reclining Women

Carl Warner

Headless Horizon
Headless Horizon

Carl Warner

Shoulder Hill Valley
Shoulder Hill Valley

Carl Warner

Cut Throat Valley
Cut Throat Valley

Carl Warner

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 17 2014 7:03 PM Once Again, a Climate Policy Hearing Descends Into Absurdity
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 7:23 PM MIT Researchers Are Using Smartphones to Interact With Other Screens
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 11:18 AM A Bridge Across the Sky
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.