» Photography Composition with Cutouts Transforms Landmarks
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Photography Composition with Cutouts Transforms Landmarks


Photo copyright Rich McCor.


There’s a rather cheeky british fellow roaming around Europe and creating humorous compositions with his playful cutouts. His name is Rich McCor and you can find his photography on Instagram under the name “paperboyo.” Let’s see some more of his creations and how it relates to mastering composition.

Rich is a 28 year old that works for a creative company. But what is interesting is that he creates these fun photographic compositions with nothing more than a pair of scissors, paper, and a sense of humor. The last part being the most important of course.

In this one he transforms the powerful lion into a playful kitten. What makes us all see the same illusion? Well, it’s the way our minds perceive visual stimuli. It’s gestalt psychology at it’s finest. Gestalt Psychology? Visual Stimuli? Sounds nerdy I know, but so does splitting atoms…and we know how powerful that is. Obviously he’s not creating masterful compositions like the surrealist painter Salvador Dali, but he’s employing the same techniques to manipulate and take control of the way his art is viewed by others.


Photo copyright Rich McCor.

Does anyone recognize this next composition from the Lord of the Rings? At first glance the mind sees the “Eye of Sauron”…that is if you’ve seen Lord of the Rings. If you haven’t then your mind might see a strange bird. The point is that your mind will see the whole of the  before the individual parts. This is a Gestalt Psychology principle at work called the Law of Pragnanz. The mind will see the simplest interpretation…the mind is lazy and doesn’t want to work hard to understand the composition unless it has to. That’s where we can trick the mind. We play off of it’s laziness.


Photo copyright Rich McCor.

The Queen never looked better!


Photo copyright Rich McCor.

When Rich combines his cutout with the iconic landmark by using the Law of Proximity (another Gestalt Psychology principle) we get what looks like a robot. If the cutout weren’t close to the landmark, then the illusion wouldn’t be complete. Knowing these techniques will open your eyes to the types of fun illusions and games of manipulation that Rich is cleverly incorporating within his art. Mastering-Composition-gestalt-psychology-Robot-by-Rich-McCor

Photo copyright Rich McCor.

This interesting fact was posted with Rich’s photo. “When the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre, the museum shut down for nine days, the French bor­der was closed and all depart­ing ships and trains were searched. The mystery wasn’t solved until two years later though, when the thief turned out to be Vin­cenzo Perug­gia, a car­pen­ter who had been working at the museum and knew all the exits and escape routes. Perug­gia had even helped build the glass case that the Mona Lisa was displayed in, so he knew how to get the paint­ing out. At closing time, he hid in a broom closet and then walked out an exit after dark hold­ing the Mona Lisa under his coat.” Photo copyright Rich McCor.

This one is the absolute best! So true with everyday life now. The selfie stick is in full effect over here in Waikiki. A must have for any tourist wanting to capture that special moment over and over again until they get their duck-face just right.

Photo copyright Rich McCor.

Photo copyright Rich McCor.

I hope this inspires you and shows that something as simple as a cutout can transform a boring scene into something entertaining. Go out there and put these gestalt psychology principles to work and be in full control of the way people see your amazing art. See you next time!

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