Surreal Photography Examples, Techniques & Tips (2024)

Summary: Explore the mystery of surreal photography, get inspired by amazing surreal images, and discover how to create yours.

Have you ever been curious about those photos that capture or present visuals that do not exist in the real world? You may think: how can a rabbit lift a castle? or is it possible that a chair floating in the air?

Aha, such artwork form is called surreal photography, belonging to the unique art genre of Surrealism. Those impossible scenes are shaped and created using clever manual manipulation and creative techniques by genius photographers or surrealism artists.

Let’s dive into surrealism art and get inspired to do your surreal photography in no time!

Introducing Surrealism

a pavilion in the lake

Derived from a cultural and art movement, surrealism is an art form that visualizes dreamlike and illogical scenes and breaks the boundary of imagination and reality, allowing people to express themselves after World War I.

Surrealism and its artistic expression lead everyone into a fascinating world that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary via creativities and imagination. As the famous surrealist André Breton said, “It’s to resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality into an absolute reality, a super-reality, or surreality”.

Thus, surreal photography challenges our perceptions and inspires all of us to explore the depths of our subconscious minds to connect with the real world.

Surrealism Photography Examples

Genius surrealists and photographers are creating fabulous artwork all the time, let’s enjoy some amazing surreal photography that reflects the psychic intensity.

a surreal scene with water surface in the upper part and a person's body suspended upside down in the lower part
a surreal photo of a woman with her eyes covered in the forest
surreal scene of a stairs and bed in the clouds
surreal scene of pink clouds in the sea

How to Do Surreal Photography

Since surrealism photography captivates people with its mysterious creativity, it’s time to join in and unleash yours to express how you connect your subconscious sense and dream with this magic world.

Before that, equip yourself with practical techniques and tips to obtain higher chances of successfully doing surreal photography if you are trying it for the first time.

Techniques in Surreal Photography

Usually, perfect photography not only requires basic knowledge but also practical photography skills and techniques, and so does surreal photography. Thus, we’ve listed the top 5 must-have techniques here:

Double exposure

Nothing is more creative than using double exposure to combine two unconnected things or images to get a unique and creative one. This can be done via photoshoot or post-processing by digitally overlaying two images.

Levitation Photography

Think about a picture of a cat crawling in the air, and it would be interesting and eye-catching. That is called levitation photography, which appears as the subject in the photo is defying gravity. To achieve that, you can physically suspend your subject in the air, or just edit to create the illustration of levitation and floating effects in the post-processing.

Forced Perspective

Have you ever seen a picture that which the scale of the objects is reversed, like a dog biting a cabinet? It couldn’t happen in the reality, right? However, utilizing the shooting angle manually is the key to making it. Make your subjects and objects appear larger, smaller, closer, or farther away than they are by placing them at different distances from the camera.

Photo Manipulation

It is a post-processing to do your surreal photography. Either can you use the photo editing software, or take advantage of the online photo editor. Adjust the brightness, contrast, hue, and saturation; try creative AI photo editing like image compositing or replacing the objects with something else to achieve surrealism art. This is an amazingly useful technique that allows photographers to create and invent masterpieces that go beyond cameras.


Montage is also a technique that combines multiple elements or images to invent a composition that coordinates your dream and imagination. It’s to create a new visual narrative or concept by blending different photos, textures, and graphics in an unorganized manner. And you can create the mood with a photo montage.

Tips for Creating Surreal Photographs

Woman standing on the beach with her eyes covered with ribbons

As a creative art form, surrealistic photos are sometimes hard to shoot or create. Here with us, you don’t have to worry about that, we’ve collected some great advice and tips to upgrade your photography skills.

1. Experiment with different angles and perspectives when you are shooting landscapes, buildings, portraits, or pets. Practice, experiment, and innovate to transcend the boundary of traditional photography to reach the maximum surrealistic art effect.

2. Tell your story through a surreal image visually. You can incorporate symbolism and metaphor in your images to express your emotions like a novelist because you are telling your own story differently.

3. Play with lighting and shadows to create a mood. Sometimes, you may notice that a huge quantity of surreal photos is dark, full of the color of black and white. That could be an amazingly great way to express your mood and attitude.

4. Communicate and collaborate with other genius surrealism artists. Learn from their artwork and experience to enrich your knowledge, especially when you are in the bottlenecks. Communication is always preferred to make a big leap in your photography career.


Surreal photography is a charming art form to express ourselves. If you are captivated by it, do not hesitate to join in to do your surrealism photography. In this blog, we’ve introduced surrealism and shared how to do surreal photography. With these techniques and tips, you can easily start your journey to become a surrealist!