The Pencil vs. Camera collection could change your worldview

The Pencil vs. Camera collection could change your worldview

Ben Heine has been taking photos and drawing for nearly 10 years. The artist mashes up illustrations and photography in his Flickr series titled “Pencil Vs. Camera”, overlaying pencil drawing on top of actual photographs to create unconventional and creative images of the world around us.

In an interview with, Heine discusses his ideas and technique.

How did you come up with the idea for Pencil Vs Camera?

…The real idea came while I was watching television and writing a letter at the same time a few weeks ago. Reading my letter before putting it in the envelope, I saw in transparency the television behind the paper. I then realize it would be great to make something similar in a single image showing 2 different actions…

How do you pick the photos you use?

The photos and drawings always come from my own stock/production. I somehow consider the surface of the image as a battle between drawing and photography and the tools of this fight are my « pencil » and my « camera ». So I usually choose photos with a striking subject and a specific action. It can also be nice to use a background scenery with a very simple or low semantic effect and make everything happen inside the small piece of paper.

The great thing is that photo and drawing are 2 different ways of expression but they go well together and they definitely have the same purpose: share an idea, an emotion, a concept or a message.

How do you pick what to add?

There are no rules. There mustn’t be. Imagination and creativity are the leitmotif. This is why this series is so amusing to do for me. You can choose to draw something in a realistic way or to rather go crazy. I personally prefer to show unreal things on the paper because the photo is a mere reflection of the world we live in….

For more quirky art, check out Ben Heine’s Flickr collection. All rights reserved by Ben Heine.

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