Thomas Barbèy’s astounding surrealism

Today, everyone’s a photographer, grabbing their iPhones for a quick snap. Pictures are posted at a moment’s notice on Facebook and Instagram, so there’s never a void of visuals. Perhaps this image saturation is why surreal photo manipulation is particularly intriguing; smartphone cameras and social networking can’t hold a candle to an artist’s vivid imagination.

One such visionary is veteran photographer Thomas Barbèy. Raised in Geneva before working for 15 years in Milan, this inspirational artist has spent more than 20 years perfecting his craft. Today he resides in Las Vegas and works exclusively in black and white, including sepia toning, masterfully transforming colorless photomontages into surrealistic fine art.

Some of his techniques include putting negatives together and then photographing them from above, along with traditional retouching and photoshopping. The result is a powerful collection of imaginative works that tantalize the eye. Sit back and enjoy Barbèy’s amazing art — and remind yourself how fantastical a photo can be.


Which of Barbèy’s images is your favorite? Have you ever experimented with surreal photo manipulation? Tell us in the comments.

  • dedide


  • Black Book Operations


  • Telmo Moreira

    Good, but I’m not astounded…


    This is really cool stuff. I especially like the cloud trees.

  • Michael D.


  • Dbakeca Italia

    wow awesome

  • Salahhe Sali

    I think some of these might be Photoshopped.

    • Diamonds

      you have got to be kidding………please look up surrealism and reconsider your post

  • brian landes

    I thought this was a time without photoshop? Your description ruined how really astounding Thomas Barbey’s photos are.

    • Diamonds

      The brilliance is behind his work, how he achieves it is still a testament to his ability.

  • XincontriAdulti.It

    Pretty awesome images.thanks !

  • Nogart

    Yeah these are OK but.. Most people could do this kind of work after you get the very basics of photoshop.

    • Immix Artistry

      Sure but most people don’t have the required imagination to create such images!

  • JallopyMacfurry

    Maybe the trees with clouds is my favourite. It’s not the most immediately awesome, maybe, but poignant somehow..

  • za30

    no good no bad

  • eugenio corrao

    It’s not necessary to own extra skills to replicate them, it’s fundamental to own creativity: unfortunately not everyone own this kind of things :)

  • Wurm

    I remember hearing about this guy before. He does NOT take all of these photos he uses. He’s been using another artists photos for some time. I wish I could remember that other artist, but an example is the book/waterfall photo. Those ledges and waterfalls were shot by another photographer who got really upset when Barbey was using them, uncredited, and pretending he snapped the shot.

  • kalaysa

    talent! :)

  • BBakeca


  • tracy

    really neat

  • c420

    is it just because im drunk it all looks photoshopped as shit?

  • c420

    ahhh i now get the pictures! turns out im too pissed for this internet malarky

  • Dave


  • crystal

    he’s so so amazing!!!

  • Zarmeena Khan

    Wow nice

    like your post and i found this post during stumble on stumbleupon

    Once again thanks for sharing

    God Bless You Admin

  • Margriet


  • Pascal

    simply…. great. ever !!!

  • ani19902712

    good ones

  • *✿*Blueburb*✿*

    Fantastic pix!!

  • thetotobox


  • WriteWoman

    A novel could be written about each one of these pictures. Highest respect for the creative talent at work.

  • Green Global Travel

    What great talent! These pictures are incredible. Great work, thank you for sharing!


  • Dharma Graf

    Wow! I’m really amazed! And usually I’m VERY hard to amaze, because I’ve searched a lot of surreal art and seen some pretty cool and unbelievable stuff. But this here is above all!

  • interplaycouture

    Wow. This is all some great stuff.

  • interplaycouture

    Wow. This is all some great stuff.

  • JonnockJess

    It is nice work but I cant get emotion from the collection which is why I am not all amazed, but again it is very original in its own right

  • Arianna Castellanos


  • Andy Lewis

    wow amazing stuff….

  • Sohan Dewan

    It’s a fantastic design

  • Dbakeca Italia

    this looks amazing

  • Donne Single Milano

    Nice artwork