Frates Photo

Cactus Growing on Hillside - Dreamscape Captured in Time

The Art of Evoking Surreal Emotions in Nature Photography


Wilsonville, OR -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/21/2014 -- When one looks at this photograph, the image of the spiralling, spindly cactus is superimposed by distant memories of dreams or of fictional worlds or parallel universes that one might have imagined. The true beauty of a photograph is not just cosmetic, in the sense that the photograph is technically flawless. Real beauty lies in the photographer’s ability to kindle imagination and memory, allowing the viewer to fall into one’s own private world, quite separate from that of other viewers. David Frate’s photograph ‘Cactus Growing on Hillside in Mexico’ achieves this effect.

The photograph is reminiscent of the Shaman custom, of chewing the Peyote cactus, which contains hallucinogenic properties as part of their rituals. The participants of the ritual would then ‘visit’ other worlds and times and return with tales of rebirth and transcendence. The fuchsia and blue of the sky are in start contrast to the hard brown of the desert earth and the spiny green of the cactus. What gives the photograph a feeling of suspended time is the framing of the cactus, that seems to grow in an oddly gravity defying manner. While the spines look thick and heavy, they seem to twist and turn in the air and seem to be suspended in motion, as if pausing in what could be an endless dance.

David Frates has succeeded in creating an image that one might easily believe to be an alien landscape, or one that is too surreal to be true. One of the chief characteristics of this photograph, that makes it stand out from others, is the fact that one tends to become oblivious of the rectangular frame. The raw, non-linear nature of the cactus tends to pull the observer’s attention into the different shapes at play. One is lost in the illusion of a immense depth of field and therefore fails to notice that the image, in fact, does have boundaries.

Owing to over two and a half decades of experience and experimentation in the field, photographer David Frates has been able to morph what some might consider an everyday scene in the natural world, into an intimate, dreamlike experience.

About David Frates
David Frates is an internationally acclaimed professional photographer, whose work has been featured in National Geographic, Sierra Club and Audubon. While he feels he is yet to ‘arrive’, he takes comfort in the fact that he has emotionally touched thousands of people across the world through his work.

Media Contact
Dennis Frates Photography
10759 SW Wellington Lane
Wilsonville, OR 97070 USA
Phone toll free: 866-657-2717
Local phone: 503-685-9826
Website :