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Photoshop Comedian Makes NYC A Whole Lot Stranger

Joel Treton's subtle and hilarious Photoshop jobs depict the New York of our day dreams.

by Beckett Mufson
01 August 2014, 7:40pm

Images via

New York City's crowded streets are a playground for photographers and people-watchers alike, and self-proclaimed 'photo humorist' Joel Tretin combines the two in a surreal photo set called Stranger in Paradox. In the photos, Tretin takes everyday New York situations—trying to park a car on crowded avenues, for instance—and Photoshops them into their hilarious, logical conclusions. From cars stacked four doors high to the city's often precarious-looking skyscrapers falling like dominoes, Tretin's work speaks to the wild, hyperbolic imaginations that living in the city can nurture.

Possibly his most interesting photos are the less obvious ones, with just a single sign changed or stone smartphone added. These works might look right at home in any stock photo collection, until closer inspection reveals the tongue-in-cheek switcheroo. "I consider these to be Undocumentary Photographs," Tretin told The Creators Project. "They are clearly faked but the sentiment they portray is true." The photos are technically 'inaccurate,' but they wind up more honest than many pictures from professional photo shoots. 

Tretin also said that he was a "failed stand up comedian, who now tries to make people laugh through photography,"—and we think that he's finally found his niche. 

The complete set of pithy photo edits is up on Tretin's website, and you can also find them popping up on his Twitter and Instagram feeds.

h/t Beautiful Decay


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