Photo of the Month
Tree Lovers

Student Benjamin Lappalainen makes photographic art with a friend’s helping hand


Photo of a tree in a forest with five pairs of arms hugging the tree

“Tree Hugger.” Photo: Benjamin Lappalainen

Engineering science student Benjamin Lappalainen enjoys photography as an art form. Take, for example, his “Tree Hugger,” the first in a series that juxtaposes arms with ordinary objects. “I found that arms extending from places they shouldn’t was one of the most subtle yet unsettling elements that I could fairly easily reproduce in photography,” he says.

The photo is a composite of 10 shots, one of each arm, taken on a tripod and merged in Photoshop. A friend lent a hand, or two arms in this case. A passionate collaborator, Lappalainen says, “Making art alone is one thing, but getting together with another person who has the same level of creative drive and is willing to contribute to your vision is an incredible experience.”

Check out his many striking portraits on his website and Instagram @blapphoto, not to mention his breathtaking astrophotography work.


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