Collage of Enlightenment
I have always been strongly attracted to the art of collage. Before photography found me, I created digital collages using whatever interesting images I could get my hands on – scans from magazines, stock photos, clip art. Now that I have an archive of my own images available, you would think I would explore this method of artistic expression.
Except for one tiny problem. My images don’t lend themselves to collage or composite work.
There was only so much I could do with combinations of multiple doors and myriad windows. Diversity is necessary to create an interesting composition. I needed a human element – but I don’t photograph people. It was a conundrum.
And then, while walking the halls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, I experienced an “a-ha” moment. I was entranced with my usual subject matter – the building’s amazing architectural features – when I realized that I was surrounded by “people”. Greek and Roman statuary, Asian Buddhas, suits of armor, Medieval carvings. Here, right before me, was the missing puzzle piece, a way to add a human element to my collage work.
Of course, this revelation arrived at the end of the day. I only had time to capture a few images, one of which you see above.
But it’s a start. A beginning. An enlightenment. A new artistic possibility.
- Process Storybook Vintage action from The Coffeeshop Blog
- Process my midtone contrast action to bring out the texture of the door
- In the original Buddha image, isolate the statue from the background by creating a mask. Copy the masked image into the door image as a new layer. Set the blend mode to Luminosity – this sets the tone of the statue to match the background
- Copy the statue layer, setting the blend mode to Normal and opacity to 50% – this brings back some of the original statue coloring
- Process my midtone contrast action to bring out the statue’s texture
- Add a new blank layer below the statue layers. Select the statue mask, expanding and feathering the selection by 25 pixels. On the new layer, fill the selection with a dark gray. Using free transform, skew the shadow down and to the right. Set blend mode to Hard Light and opacity to 73%
- Add a levels adjustment to increase overall contrast
- Add Golden Texture, blend mode set to Multiply and reduce opacity to 70%
Below are the original images used to create the collage:
Linking with Texture Tuesday