In his series Knitted Camouflage, photographer Joseph Ford makes models blend in with their surroundings using not military fatigues, but rather, sweaters.
The UK-based creative has been working with knitter Nina Dodd for the last four years to bring the project to life. By mimicking the textures and colours of certain backgrounds, the two are able to make people vanish with their hand-sewn garments.
For instance, these twins seemingly look like their heads are disembodied, thanks (or no thanks) to their clever fashion ensemble.
This dog, meanwhile, appears to have his torso missing. Don’t worry, no puppers were harmed in the making of this series.
Goes to show that you don’t need a magician’s hat or Photoshop to make things disappear! We recently had the chance to talk to Ford, and got to know more about Knitted Camouflage.
Where’d you get the idea for Knitted Camouflage?
“I’ve always been interested in the way that objects can blend into each other as you can see here. My friend Nina loves buses and knitting so we decided to shoot a picture of a man knitting on a bus and the project started there.”
How do you choose the settings that influence the sweater designs? Are there certain criteria or specs you try to look for?
“It’s a complicated process. I look for locations that have a graphic feel to them – generally clean lines or patterns, which will enable them to link well with the sweaters. They also have to be places which allow me to take time taking the photos, as careful positioning of the model is crucial to making the picture work.”
How long does it take for Nina Dodd to make each sweater?
“It varies – the girl on the blue track was pretty quick as the pattern was very simple, whereas the 3/4 length portrait of the guy against the blue/grey tiled wall was very time-consuming. Design and hand-knitting took Nina around 40 hours.”
Which sweater is your favourite?
“Tough question – I feel differently about each one because of the way I felt while I was shooting the images. How smoothly shoots go always influences how I perceive the images afterwards. Overall, probably the white gridded sweater against the tiled wall. I like the simplicity.”
Which sweater is Nina’s favourite?
What do you hope for this series to become or mean for people?
“I’d love to do a gallery exhibition with the images and sweaters. It would be nice to show that not all images are created in Photoshop, and that the sweaters really exist.”
What project are you working on next?
“A combination of stills and motion with a papercraft designer.”