A photographer Joseph Ford, behind the new book, “Invisible Jumpers” told how the project began. He spent 5 years creating these images with custom clothes knitted by an amazing professional knitter, Nina Dodd.
Nina showed him a sweater based on the seat covers of Brighton buses and that is when the project began. They took advantage of the opportunity and found a model and photographed him on a bus. Joseph was so pleased with the idea that he decided to come up with more ideas for camouflaged jumpers, and the series developed.
“It’s what I call ‘knitted camouflage,'” said photographer Joseph Ford.
“His clothes are real but they blend seamlessly with the scene. You need a double-take to figure it out,” Ford said in a phone interview.
For each photo, Ford worked with Nina Dodd, also from Brighton, who spent hours — anywhere between four to nearly 100 – crafting sweaters to match his vision and the physical fabric of the different venues.
“Nina actually sparked the idea for the cover image,” Ford said. “We first met for an unrelated series, and she showed me a sweater she’d knitted based on a bus seat. I thought it was visually brilliant. We set out to find a model and did that first composition.”
“Optical illusions are fascinating,” said Ford, who has been tweaking with the genre in different projects before.
“They make you look and think twice. At a time when our attention span is getting increasingly shorter, they demand your full focus. I like to take photos that have that effect on people, and really enjoyed using people to create that effect. The human element makes them all the more interesting.”
“Like most of my colleagues, I use Photoshop and CGI. For these pictures, I didn’t, besides color balancing and such in post-production. It was crucial to me to have a slow, imperfect medium knitting as catalyst for the illusion. I wanted to use something real to form a fantasy.”
When they find the location Joseph draws over scouting photograph and annotate the picture with different colors and patterns so Nina can plan how to knit.
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