Photos Turn Paintball Fields Into Mystical Landscapes

Take a look at these photos, and tell us what you think you see: Khe Sanh after the first shelling? Residual of a mammoth nuclear blast? Maybe an outtake from Lost?

They’re actually paintball fields. Yep. Those outdoor funzones stuffed with prepubescent boys giddily blasting the bejesus out of each other also happen to make for some of the coolest, eeriest landscape photography we’ve seen in a long time.

Katja Mayer and Peter Chadwick visited various paintball facilities in the British countryside to shoot the series, Days Lost, using a 6×7 Mamiya. There are no special effects here, beyond minor color adjustments in Photoshop. The nuclear-orange plumes that hover menacingly over the forest floor are just smoke flares paintballers use as shields against enemy players.

Makes you wonder why no one’s thought to photograph paintball in this way before. I guess the answer is pretty self-evident: Stop to appreciate the beauty, and you’re just begging for a round of paintballs in the face.

Days Lost is on view at the Print House Gallery in London until April 19. Prints can be purchased for £250 to £900 (about $400 to $1,440), depending on size. Contact Mayer for more info.

[Images courtesy of Katja Mayer and Peter Chadwick]