That's right, it's just one photograph. Yes, we know it looks like four separate images fitted together but look a little closer and for a little bit longer and you’ll soon see that there’s a spoon handle crossing the divide, a lamp carefully poised and that the table and shelves are merely painted different colours. Here's the original photo to help you figure it out.
This manipulated photograph is by New York-based advertising photographer Béla Borsodi and was created for the cover of Terrain, the new album by experimental group VLP (which you can hear a bit of here). Borsodi tried objects in a variety of places before settling on the best place to position them for the effect he wanted. Watch the video below to see how the whole photograph came together.
Born in Vienna 1966, Borsodi studied graphic design before moving to New York in 1992. In 1999 he decided to focus on still life photography and since then he’s worked with Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Wired, and for Elle Accessories as well as undertaking more recent advertising projects for the likes of Hermès, Nike, Uniqlo and London department store Selfridges.
Borsodi tried out his illusionary method previously with his series of letters made of objects for a great editorial in WAD Magazine. It’s not the first time illusionary methods like this have been used for an album cover. Jay-Z’s 2009 album The Blueprint 3 used instruments painted red and white to create three stripes across the entire sculpture which when viewed from the side didn’t link up.
if you're a fan of photo manipulation check out the very fine Art and Photography, the first book of its kind to survey the major presence of photography at the centre of artistic practice from the 1960s onwards. It includes texts by theorists Roland Barthes and Jean Baudrillard, as well as artists Victor Burgin and Jeff Wall.