See if you can spot what’s wrong in these photos of crowds

What's wrong with this picture?

caption
What’s wrong with this picture?
source
Pelle Cass, “Selected People”

Can spot what’s going on in the above picture of people walking down the stairs?

“Each person’s foot is hovering an inch or so above the next step,” Pelle Cass, a Boston based photographer says by email. “The odds that 19 strangers would be caught at the same crucial instant in the same instantaneous photograph just before landing on the next step must be astronomically small.”

How does Cass do it? Calling himself a subversive trick photographer, the artist takes hundreds of photos on a tripod in a single spot over about an hour. He then goes back to his studio and carefully selects content to include in a composite image.

“I don’t change a thing and I never move a figure or doctor a single Pixel,” he explains. “I simply decide what stays in and what’s left out.”

Photos in his series “Selected People” can show a perfect spectrum of colors, a collection of people raising their arms, or simply an arrangement the artist finds striking.

“I never pass up the chance to make a joke, visual or otherwise,” he adds.

Cass shared a set of photos from “Selected People.” See if you can spot what’s wrong.

Gus Lubin contributed to a previous version of this post.


You can look at a Pelle Cass photo for several moments before realizing it doesn’t make sense.

caption
“Esplanade I”
source
Pelle Cass, “Selected People”

Cass, however, claims he doesn’t change a thing in his photos.

caption
“Esplanade II”
source
Pelle Cass, “Selected People”

Instead, he takes hundreds of photos on a tripod in a single spot for over about an hour.

caption
“Esplanade III”
source
Pelle Cass, “Selected People”

He then goes back to his studio and carefully selects content to include in a composite image.

caption
“Bed of Tulips, Boston Public Garden”
source
Pelle Cass, “Selected People”

“I don’t change a thing and I never move a figure or doctor a single Pixel,”Cass explained in an interview with Vice.

caption
“Chestnut Hill Reservoir”
source
Pelle Cass, “Selected People”

Source: Vice


“I simply decide what stays in and what’s left out.”

caption
“Hawks from Under”
source
Pelle Cass, “Selected People”

The Boston artist calls himself a subversive trick photographer.

caption
“Emerson Park, Halloween”
source
Pelle Cass, “Selected People”

He never passes up the chance to make a joke, visual or otherwise.

caption
“Tree, Boston Public Garden”
source
Pelle Cass, “Selected People”

Cass likes to turn random crowds into fascinating coincidences.

caption
“High Line II”
source
Pelle Cass, “Selected People”

His subject is the strangeness of time and the world you can only see through a camera lens.

caption
“Cypress Field”
source
Pelle Cass, “Selected People”

Source: PelleCass.com


In “Selected People,” Cass uses Photoshop to “increase imperfection, not remove it.”

caption
“High Line III”
source
Pelle Cass, “Selected People”

Source: Vice


Cass explained that this photo, for example, looks ordinary. “But it turns out that it’s all men on one side, all women on the other.”

caption
“Greenway Crosswalk I”
source
Pelle Cass, “Selected People”

Source: Vice


“[T]he second picture … is made up from the same set of exposures covering an hour or so, which shows families holding hands,” Cass says. “It’s as if they procreated in the middle of the street.”

caption
“Greenway Crosswalk II”
source
Pelle Cass, “Selected People”

This photo is a spacial trick. “The people around the central figure holding the balloon form a rough circle that isolates him.”

caption
“Circle Greenway”
source
Pelle Cass, “Selected People”

Cass sometimes does a scene in more than one way.

caption
“Bethesda Fountain I”
source
Pelle Cass, “Selected People”

“I want my images to capture some of the texture of everyday life, the stuff you’d ignore or not notice.”

caption
“Bethesda Fountain II”
source
Pelle Cass, “Selected People”

Source: Photogrvphy