Muscle act

A photograph is a perfectly frozen moment in time – or is it? These days, Photoshop and a tendency to touch up snaps to the nth degree make photographic reality a movable proposition. This makes the new work from Alex & Cocco all the more eye-catching. Photographer Alexander James has been working on a series of images capturing parkour, the high-octane discipline which sees practitioners overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles in gravity-defying motion. There is a glut of images of the daring sport, but James’ Particle Parkour series of photographs are presented ‘as shot’, without any retouching or digital alterations. ‘We’ve made an effort to present things differently to convey the energy and explosion of the display,’ says James, who pushed the visual energy of parkour not only in the athletes’ motion, but with light play on exploding particles of water and powder. ‘We tried to engage with their energy and present it in a different light,’ he adds. Alex & Cocco are completely dedicated to its ‘in camera’ approach. ‘It’s a focal point of our work, almost in direct response to the amount of post-production in our commercial work,’ explains James. ‘Photoshop can do anything, but most art directors work with us because they can sketch something and we can generally shoot it in camera. Clients know that post-production is there, but they don’t want to have to depend on it.’ By the look of these images, we might say ‘do away with it altogether’.

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