Hannah Rothstein
By Samantha Grossman
April 9, 2015

Have you ever looked at a photograph and wondered what was happening just beyond the frame? Well, if you haven’t, this new series from artist Hannah Rothstein might make you think differently.

Rothstein partnered with online learning website Udemy to share her vision of what was really happening in some of history’s most iconic images, like the Beatles walking across Abbey Road, above. The series is called “Context Is Key: Beyond the Frames of Famous Photos.”

“I was interested in examining the concept that photographers choose what we see,” Rothstein tells TIME. “They almost can lie — or rather, they can tell the truth that they want to see. And we forget that, because images are very powerful and they are a representation of reality, but they are someone else’s reality.”

Rothstein began by choosing photos she knew people would recognize. She eventually settled on five images that had a clean physical composition and that were posed. (Several of the more photojournalistic images she found depicted serious subject matter that she didn’t want to make light of, she says.) She got to work sketching her own additional scenes by hand and then she digitally blended those with the original photos.

The result? A series of images that are funny and lighthearted — but which also remind us to think a bit more deeply about what we see around us.

Hannah Rothstein
Hannah Rothstein
Hannah Rothstein

See the complete series here.

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