Carl Warner considers himself a ‘photographic illustrator’, one who creates something from nothing or transforms one thing into another rather than simply capturing it. And if you want to find out what that means, look no further than his series called Bodyscapes.

Through inventive and precise composition and lighting, Warner has sculpted monumental landscapes out of a well-built muscular body. That’s right, while most of the scenes appear to be composed out of several models, all of them were actually sculpted from a single person; the images were painstakingly stitched together from multiple shots.

Elbows and knees became mountains, backs and necks turned into valleys and desserts, and the illusions are really impressive. Continue scrolling and check them out for yourself.

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Valley of the reclining Woman

Image credits: Carl Warner

Desert of Sleeping Men

Image credits: Carl Warner

Fingers Cave

Image credits: Carl Warner

Warner sketched out the compositions before each photoshoot, but once he picked up the camera, he saw other poses, too, so he incorporated the new shapes into the series as well. He shot these unexpected elements to fit his new vision, often using both tungsten and flash lighting equipment to highlight the contours: the photographer tried to recreate natural sunlight in the studio, which had to enhance the sense of realism within the landscapes.

Shin Knee Valley

Image credits: Carl Warner

Cut Throat Valley

Image credits: Carl Warner

The Cave of Abdo-men

Image credits: Carl Warner

Elbow Point

Image credits: Carl Warner

Warner had both models and friends pose for Bodyscapes. “Since the work has gone viral, I have had many offers from people to pose,” he told Bored Panda. “But I would really like to move the work forward by photographing well-known people whose bodies have carried them through their personal journeys.”

Shoulder Hill Valley

Image credits: Carl Warner

The Sleeper

Image credits: Carl Warner

Headless Horizon

Image credits: Carl Warner

“The shoots have been quite intimate affairs due to the nature of shooting nudes,” the photographer explained. “So it was just me and my assistant. There’s very little preparation apart from making sure there are no clothing marks and that the skin is well-hydrated and moisturized.”

Twin Peaks

Image credits: Carl Warner

Pectoral Dunes

Image credits: Carl Warner

Warner admitted that the desert orgy scene from the film Zabriskie Point was a big inspiration for Bodyscapes, although he said he doesn’t think these images are erotic. Rather, the photographer believes there’s something almost geological about his work, where the folds and wrinkles mirror creases and gnarls in rock and sloping legs conjure images of weathered hills. Like organic representations of features devoid of life.

Desert of Backs

Image credits: Carl Warner

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