18 July 2016
Both photographs were taken in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed and Pixlr.
Let me know which you prefer. Click on image to enlarge, which takes you to another page. If you decide to leave a comment, please return to this page.
Lately, I’ve had the urge to delve into photomontage, which I enjoyed during the analog days. Whether incorporating two photographs or more, the results (surprisingly) can be rewarding to the image maker and viewer.
My first experience was overlaying one image onto another and creating an intriguing otherworldly scene. The second experiment had five images and became a story of deep personal meaning. A feature of this method is a built-in continuum of possibilities that are difficult to realize with one image. Still, one does not want to make the final photograph too complex.
Questions arise. Will the viewer be able to discern the layers of introspection? Or even see the palette of time included? Why create multiple images that drift across the small frame? Does the final image become more aesthetically pleasing than the originals? Why not make a diptych or triptych? Do this technique make a better image? Does it matter?
I believe a worthy photograph must evoke (on some level) an emotional response: curiosity, joy, sadness, surprise, or…The history of the final image may be illusive, the image itself may be illusive, but the photograph must have an appeal in whatever visual arena it inhabits.
The photomontage acts almost as though it is a visual short story where the narrative skips back and forth across the frame. That energy and movement appeals to my aesthetic, which usually pushes the “simpler-is-better” philosophy.
In the Lens section are two images that are the result of my initial experimentation with this technique. The discovery of the app Pixlr boosted my enthusiasm, and a quick tutorial on YouTube gave me the confidence to dive into its features. Over the last few days I have created photomontages that consist of two to five photographs. Each surprisingly appealing, at least to me.
Photographs in the Lens section are made from two images that were taken months apart, and have no relationship to each other. But now they are inextricably bound together, creating a third narrative. It’s quite intriguing.
A few of the others were made with the sole purpose of combining photographs that had a relationship by subject or theme. The blend of several images build another story that now serves as a gateway for reinterpretation.
These experiments sent me back in time to my basement that served as my first darkroom. That space spirited miracles in small doses. To bring an image alive in the dark is beyond description. In that space time seemed to halt as I discovered a world of black and white–a world that is simulated (not replicated) in today’s digital darkroom.
Still, as an image maker I feel immense joy as I build a photomontage and reach the apex of my intentions or step into serendipity. This experimental phase tests my perceptions and understanding of how I see the world and record it. The experience gives me pause to consider the direction of my photography.
The creative process is a limitless exercise in self-expression, self-directedness, and aesthetics. It has no bounds, only possibilities to re-imagine, re-invent, re-create my individual way of seeing the journey called life.
Tip of the Week: The master photographer Robert Frank (b. 1924) is immortalized in a recently-released video called “Don’t Blink–Robert Frank” (runs an hour and 22 minutes). I’ve written about Frank’s contribution to the oeuvre of photographic history, and this post re-emphasizes how important his body of work continues to be. Frank has influenced and inspired scores of artists and non-artists. Now in his 90s he especially is known for his ground-breaking documentation of Americans–people who can be described as everyday folk. That was the 1950s, and the result was The Americans (1958). This book changed the trajectory of modern photography. That work continues and became his signature. He also developed a keen sense of the landscape that he first discovered driving across the United States, and visiting small and larger towns to record the nuances of American life that are found in The Americans. Later in his career he became know for his avant-garde films. To read a review about the video, click here. The film was released in theaters on 13 July 2016.
View other entries for this week’s challenge:
As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.
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If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming challenges:
1st Monday: Nature.
2nd Monday: Macro.
3rd Monday: Black and White.
4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Panorama, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).
5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.