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Abelardo Morell on Capturing Dreams

“Artists, the good ones, tend to re-create the world for us.” —Abelardo Morell

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Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington from National Geographic’s October 2013 story Visions on Earth.

Abelardo Morell’s love for photography was founded in his uncle’s house in Cuba, pouring through the pages of photographs in National Geographic magazine. “The pictures always felt like they were magically made,” he says. Since immigrating to the United States at age 14, Morell has captured his own form of magic in his camera obscura photographs. Camera obscura pictures are created when light passes through a tiny hole in a specially designed camera, recording an image directly onto light-sensitive material. The image is then photographed. Morell uses this process to cast images of the outside world, such as rolling hills or Old Faithful, onto the walls of rooms or tents. Morell feels that his photos are earned because he is able to achieve something surreal with old-fashioned techniques and effort. He has received numerous awards and grants for his work, including the International Center of Photography 2011 Infinity Award in Art.—Kathryn Carlson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This video portrait was produced by National Geographic magazine in partnership with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. It is part of an ongoing series of conversations with the photographers of the magazine, exploring the power of photography and why this life of imagemaking suits them so well. Learn more about the making of the series and watch the full trailer here.

Follow Abelardo Morell on his website.

Video Production Credits
Photographer: Abelardo Morell
Producers: Pamela Chen, NGM
Chad A. Stevens, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Associate Producer: Elyse Lipman, NGM
Editors: Kathryn Carlson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Mika Chance, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Camera and Sound: Spencer Millsap, NGM, Shannon Sanders, NGM


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