One of our favourite photographers is back with a new mind-twisting project, Centro Verso. Tom Blachford goes back to his home town of Melbourne to create a series that toys with our perception of reality, with just a simple trick.

Perched upon a roof in Melbourne’s city centre, Tom Blachford has created a second reality through his lense.

Fifty odd stories in the air, the photos were created, not by hours in post-processing editing and adjusting, but by some simple camera tricks that had a mind-bending effect.

Centro Verso / Tom Blachford

Centro Verso / Tom Blachford

The incredible inverted metropolis he has created, with upside-down skyscrapers, intertwined apartment blocks and seas of blue, neon colours are all a very clever optical illusion.

By using extended exposure times and lens rotation, Blachford was able to create this alternate version of the Melbourne nighttime skyline on the spot, creating an “impossible dystopia”.

Centro Verso / Tom Blachford

Centro Verso / Tom Blachford

The bright colours and clashing architectures draw you in, before the mind is left completely muddled, searching for the ground, the sky, or where anything begins.

Blachford drew inspiration for this project from Dutch graphic artist MC Escher, whose work consisted of creating optical illusions with mathematically-inspired woodcuts, lithographs and mezzotints, with other worldly effects.

The thought process behind the aesthetic of this project was also attributed to blockbuster classic Blade Runner and other sci-fi “cyberpunk” movies, using stark neon blues and purple hues.

“I am fascinated by how one simple tweak can completely short circuit our brains ability to perceive depth, perspective and time” 

Centro Verso / Tom Blachford

Centro Verso / Tom Blachford

“The idea was to take my aesthetic of shooting at night in cities and try to confuse both when and where”.

Within Centro Verso it feels as if the viewer is being toyed with, overwhelmed by the cacophony of stimuli and senses, all achieved within one photo.

Also dabbling with some 3D-printing, creating some of the aesthetics within the photos, this project seems to be one in which Blachford is having a lot of fun.

His talent shines through the lens creating a project of serious stature.

Centro Verso / Tom Blachford

Centro Verso / Tom Blachford

Currently on exhibition at Backwoods Gallery, it’s a homecoming for Blachford with the show being his first in his home city in 3 years, having exhibited in Sydney, New York and London since the launch of his final series of his popular Palm Springs based Midnight Modern series in 2016.

His other works include the fantastic Midnight Modern, taking through an alternate version of the modernist Palm Springs, and also Nihon Noir, where he creates eerily quiet scenes in the heart of the manic city.