Photoshop Surrealism Franklin Min

Original Photograph

Inspired by a quote from T.S. Eliot, “And time yet for a hundred indecisions, And a hundred visions and revisions”, a surrealistic scene was created depicting a hallway full of doors opening to different environments. The quote was interpreted as the possibility of decisions and the difficulties of making them. This sentiment was related to another well known quote "When one door closes another opens" which this mural presents; a multitude of doorways opening to new possibilities.

Inspirational Work, Reference Images
Copyright Free Images used
Work In Progress
Copyright Free Final Mural
Final Mural


This surrealistic Photoshop mural was inspired by the quote, “And time yet for a hundred indecisions, And a hundred visions and revisions”, from T.S. Eliot and depicts a hallway of doors opening to new environments. The closest door, and focal point of the mural, opens to a tropical beach scene with sand that blends into the hallway with footprints that further connect the two environments. The second open door leads to a forest with dirt and gravel blending into the hallway with a small deer poking its head through. The third and final open door opens to a sky scene with translucent clouds seeping into the hallway. The second version of this mural is inhabited by people interacting with the doors either leaving them or deciding which door to use. This relates back to the quote which was interpreted as the difficulty of making choices which used doorways to visually represent different possibilities. This also connects to another well known phrase of "when one door closes another opens" which relates to the original sentiment of possibilities and inspired the doorway imagery for this mural. In addition, the scenery of airport terminals was also inspirational and was an early idea which eventually became a more surrealistic take on the idea of travel and possibility.

With moderate experience using Photoshop, no big technical issues were encountered. However smaller design issues were present like the inconsistency of lighting for varying images used which was remedied through adjusting brightness and contrast layers with masked areas. Originally, all the doors were planned to be opened allowing view into different environments to create a even more dramatic and surrealistic mural. However, the result would have been too muddled with detail of the overall mural losing its focus. With a few selected doors open, the message is still present and the piece has a stronger focal point with enough breathing room which lends to a stronger design.

While at a glance this mural may seem quite simple, the subtle and intricate details add depth and believability to the mural. This includes the cast shadows from light that comes through each door, the different colour of lighting from each respective environment which is reflected on the door and the blending of environments (i.e footprints in the sand that lead into the hallway, deer poking its head through the doorway, clouds seeping in). All of these details really ground the mural and are quite cool.

Personally, I highly enjoyed this project and became much more comfortable with Photoshop which will definatley be applied to future projects involving photo manipulation. In addition, I appreciate the surrealistic aspects of this mural and will definatley be continuing to create more surrealistic work using Photoshop for art projects and even for personal enjoyment!


Created with images by @cdharrison - "Sky" • MichaelGaida - "airport terminal fly" • bones64 - "airport window architecture" • MIKI Yoshihito. (#mikiyoshihito) - "New CHITOSE Airport terminal." • Dan Zen - "Toronto Airport Terminal Walkers"

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