Monday, February 10, 2014

Digital Collage or Hard Copies in Successive Sizes

What Lies Beneath 
Take your photographs to a completely new level—several, in fact. Build a layer cake, of sorts, with…um, layers! Besides working with digital images, you can even do this project with successively sized photocopies or enlargements of the same image, creating a collage.

technique, how-to
Photo copyright P. Guhin 

To Begin
It’s important to select a borderless photograph with graphic impact. Close-ups work well, as do longer shots with simple, empty backgrounds. A cluttered-up photo is too “busy” for this activity.
Lay It On
On a background of your choice (even a full page-spread of the featured photo itself), paste a copy of the image, scaled a bit smaller. Lose the rectangular format if you wish—the image can be square, oval, circular, even free-form! Adjust the brightness or tone of this second layer as needed, for better demarcation from the background.
 Center this photo or use informal balance. And now a word about that!
Combine the elements of a layout in a way that adds a sense of stability. Equilibrium can be achieved with symmetry or asymmetry.
 Symmetrical balance refers to a formal design in which the two halves of the piece mirror each other.
 An asymmetrical arrangement is informal and takes into account the visual weight of each part. For example, a large, pale shape on one side can be balanced with two small, dark shapes on the other side. Darker values appear “heavier.” The same holds true of bright, intense color—a spot of it goes a long way!
Build It Up
Repeat the process of pasting in another layer of the same image, scaled smaller than the previous one. If you wish to create an asymmetrical design, move this copy up, down, or to one side.
If you’re offsetting consecutively smaller images, you can either rotate each slightly or maintain a level appearance, whichever you prefer.

P.Guhin, photography, collage
Variety and Contrast
Be sure all your layers show up well. Desaturate every other layer (if the original image is in color), or adjust color balance differently in each layer. One cool option is to work from lighter to darker layers or the opposite. The possibilities are endless!
 If you’re using photocopies or printouts, set the copier or printer progressively lighter if desired, or use a different color of paper for each print.

Finally, if you wish, add text and any other embellishments in such a way that they do not interfere with the visual impact of your striking design.
 Do try this project—instead of a level playing field, play on a field of levels.

Paula Guhin

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