Even if you have attended any kind of sports game in the Massachusetts area recently, chances are you probably haven’t spotted the photographer Pelle Cass. His images, on the other hand, would be pretty difficult to overlook.
Over the past few years, Pelle has been making work for an ongoing series, Crowded Fields, composing images which see your average diving competition, hockey game or tennis match repeating until they fill his frame with frenzy. Describing the project as “the sports department” of his wider street photography portfolio, Pelle’s practice sees him arranging photographs that have “dozens of moments instead of just the one”.
And while Pelle continues to use this technique in other situations – a park or sidewalk, for instance – it’s sports where his work feels the most jarring for the viewer, shifting what you think you know about sports photography. It’s also a situation where most of the parameters Pelle would need are already set up. The players “move all around a defined space”, there’s “always a perfect perch to place my camera on” and, most importantly, he can nestle within a crowd and become invisible. “I wouldn’t stand out or be asked to leave because everyone takes pictures of sports, and hobbyists and pros even use tripods,” he explains.
On the first viewing of Pelle’s photography, we were convinced he was just some Photoshop master, a dab hand with a lasso tool that made us think, just for a second, “hold on, is this real?” There’s subtle trickery used in his photographs, causing the viewer to double take, rather than just automatically assume they’re collages. After admitting to him we were zooming in and out of his portfolio to crack the code, the photographer suggests that his work has this effect “because what I do is completely real, even though it involves tricks”.
Via The Morning News