Switzerland-based photographer Fabian Oefner has built his reputation around unique, high-concept imagery that has earned him a TED Talk in the past, and for good reason: his 2013 series of disintegrating model cars with engine parts flying in every direction were surreal, beautiful, and meticulous. Now, he's got a second set of five — and there's a brief video where we can get a glimpse into how the images are made.
As you might have guessed, a lot of magic happens in Photoshop — everything needs to be composited together into a single image — but there's still a lot of work that's done by hand. Scale models of car parts are photographed by Oefner, and each is grafted onto the source image — presumably a real photograph of the full-scale car. The Creators Project quotes Oefner as saying that each photo takes around two months to create, even though the end result seems to capture a split second in time as a priceless car shatters into hundreds of pieces.
So yes, while these images involve a lot of digital magic, there's a lot of manual labor, too. See Oefner's site for all five in the new series.