Beautiful Yet Haunting: 'Torn' Portraits by Michal Macku


A Czech photographer has found a way to work with photographic emulsions and turn them into powerful portraits of anxiety. Curious? Read on to take a look at some of his photos and learn about his impressive technique!

At first glance, the photos taken by Czech photographer Michal Macku appears to be the product of skillful digital image manipulation. So, it may come as a surprise that like you and me, Michal actually shoots with film for his impressive portraits. However, the difference lies in how he works with film emulsions.

Gellage, the name of his series, also refers to the technique Michal came up with. A portmanteau of “collage” and “gelatin,” his technique involves “transferring exposed and fixed photographic emulsion onto paper.” To achieve his desired effect, he alters and moves the emulsion around then proceeds to printing the final image on quality photographic paper.

Photos via My Modern Met

This technique proves to be perfect and compelling for the themes his series explores: anxiety, depression, self-hate, and self-harm, with the subjects seemingly ripping themselves off the prints.

On his work, Michal says:

“I use the nude human body (mostly my own) in my pictures. Through the photographic process [of Gellage], this concrete human body is compelled to meet with abstract surroundings and distortions. This connection is most exciting for me and helps me to find new levels of humanness in the resulting work.”

Visit Michal Macku's Website to see more of his Gellages and find out more about his other works.

All information for this article were sourced from My Modern Met and Michal Macku's Website.

written by plasticpopsicle on 2013-09-10 #lifestyle #analogue-photography #torn #lomography #film-photography #analogue-lifestyle #michal-macku #gellage #film-emulsion


  1. pam-stach
    pam-stach ·

    Absolutely amazing!

  2. exit14
    exit14 ·

    Wow! Blown away! Nice work

  3. exit14
    exit14 ·

    Wow! Blown away! Nice work

  4. revolutionary13
    revolutionary13 ·

    I already saw his work, but I did not know he shoot film. Really amazing, beautiful!

  5. blueskyandhardrock
    blueskyandhardrock ·


  6. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    No Limits

  7. bellatrice
    bellatrice ·

    He really succeeds in expression of human feelings.. Very impressive !

  8. hanibale
    hanibale ·


  9. bsdunek
    bsdunek ·

    Looks like what we call Mordencage. Very creative!

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