Sunday, 27 March 2011

Collecting your work

Hey everyone,

Marie mentioned she was going to do a post about this, but she obviously hasn't had time.

Anybody who wants to collect there level 1 work, can do so whenever they want. She works on Monday, Tuesday and half day Wednesdays, so if you email her, you can probably arrange to pick it up at some point then. If none of these days are convenient, email her, and she might be able to make other arrangements.

Hope this helps, See you all soon. :)

Friday, 18 February 2011

Level 1 Results!!

Hey everyone,

just spoke to Marie, and she says if anyone wants to know their results, they can email her, and she'll tell them.

Hope this helps, see you soon. :)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Final Evaluation

Ok, that's it, I've finished everything! Time to write the final evaluation of my experiences over the last sixteen weeks.

The Course

When I first applied to the college, I was told that I could choose between starting on the level 1 course, or, because I'd had a bit of experience using my camera, skip straight to the level two. After reading up on the various requirements for each level, I decided that I'd opt for the level one (so as not to miss anything that might come in useful later on.) I know this initially caused Marie some concern, as she was afraid I was going to get bored, but I don't regret it at all. Wednesday nights quickly became the highlight of my week, and I was always disappointed when the three hours whizzed by and we all had to leave.

I'd had my camera for a couple of years before the course, but I'd never really tried it on anything other than the auto mode. And that's what I wanted to change. It might still take me a couple of tries to get exactly the right setting, but I'm now very happy using my camera on the shutter priority, aperture priority, and manual modes. I've also expanded my knowledge in areas I'd previously studied, and learned about all sorts of thing I hadn't! Of all the things we've done over the last few months though, the most enjoyable part for me was my time in the darkroom. Producing the photograms, learning how to operate the enlargers, and the whole developing process was fascinating. So much so, that I'll definitely be choosing darkroom printing for my optional unit on level two...and three.

As far as the main assignment is concerned, I have mixed feelings. False modesty and self deprecation aside, I know my images aren't as bad as I always claim, but there's still definite room for improvement. Having said that though, I've loved my time working on it. Learning about the studio, and how to operate the lighting rigs was great. I had loads of fun every time I got to go in to the studio (hope it wasn't too bad for the others who helped me.) My one regret though is that I couldn't transfer these skills to my final assignment in a way I was happy with. Ultimately it's my own fault. I never really had a clear idea of exactly what I wanted to achieve. This is the one thing I'd change if I did the course again. Taking more time at the start of the course to clarify my ideas, would have meant I didn't waste so much time. Both my own, but especially other people's!

Having taught myself how to do some basic tasks in photoshop, I was looking forward to the digital manipulation unit. I thought I might actually be able to show I can do something right for a change. Sadly it wasn't to be. Again I know they're not terrible pictures, but I'm also aware they're not as good as Marie and some of the others were expecting of me. Hopefully I'll get a chance to prove I can do it in the future.

The presentation is the one area I think went according to plan. I always knew I wanted to produce a large print, and if possible to get it framed. It's turned out to be a fair bit more expensive than I was expecting, but I'd rather spend the money and be happy with the end result, than save some cash and be disappointed.

The research element of the course was another part that I really enjoyed. Any excuse to read about photography is a good thing in my opinion! I tried to pick a mix of people I already knew about and who've inspired my interest in photography, and also a selection of people who I've been introduced to over the length of the course. I know this is hard to believe, but I really did try to keep the level of information down. Thanks to anyone who actually read any of them.

I've tried to do my best over the length of the course, and although that hasn't always been enough (at least in my opinion.) There's very little I'd change. As already stated, I'd spend more time thinking about exactly what I wanted to achieve, with my assignments. And for the level two I'll definitely try to manage my time better, things won't be quite so rushed then. I'd also like to try and get out and about a bit more for the next levels. By choosing to do all my shots in the studio, I haven't really improved my real world photography as much as my skills under artificial light. All in all, I've found some of the aspects of the course difficult, but this just reinforces my desire to improve, and fuels my need to show people that I can do these things. It's also made me all the more determined to pursue a career in photography. What this will be I don't know, but I'll get there in the end!

I know some of that sounds a bit depressing, but I've enjoyed 99% of the course, and the 1% is all problems of my own making. I've discovered whole new areas of photography that I'm desperate to try, and If I thought Marie could put up with me for another sixteen weeks, I'd happily do it all again. So don't worry Marie, I've had a brilliant time!


When I arrived on the first night I was incredibly nervous. Not knowing anybody there, I wasn't sure exactly what kind of reception to expect. Happily everyone in the class is incredibly friendly. They even put up with my incessant chatter, and questions. I've got to say a big thank you to a few people in particular though. Chris for coming to college early and helping me with my main assignment. Lucy for agreeing to model for me, even though she didn't want to. Rachael for helping me set up some of the shoots. And Ness for modelling for me, but also for putting up with me walking back to the carpark with her every week. It's sad that not everyone is moving on to the level two, but it's been fun.


I really can't express just how amazing Marie's been over this course. I know that sounds like hyperbole, but I'm completely genuine. I wouldn't have stood a chance of completing this course without her help. She's listened to me bitch and moan about my work. Let me come in to college early, week after week, when she obviously had better things to do. Answered god knows how many, emails and texts (except the one that got mysteriously deleted...Yes I know the truth!) And not once during all this has she complained. Even when I kept interfering in class! And after all this, she still let me use a picture of her for my final six images.

Thanks for stopping me becoming a gibbering wreck Marie, I know I can't repay all the favours I owe you, but I'll try:)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm of to look wistfully in to the sunset, whilst maintaining a manly yet approachable pose. Good times people...good times!

Monday, 24 January 2011

Research: Hiroshi Sugimoto

For my final research post, I've decided to write about another favourite photographer of mine, Hiroshi Sugimoto. I first came across his work through my love of Architectural photographs. I won't just focus on that though, because he's done some other amazing projects. Though Sugimoto does produce colour photographs, it's his black and white pictures that I find most interesting.

Barragan House, 2002, By Hiroshi Sugimoto

The Barragan house is part of his Architecture series, shot between 1997 and 2002. Sugimoto shot a whole selection of modernist buildings, with a large format camera, then deliberately altered the focus. He said he wanted to return to the core of the architects vision for the building.

The Luis Barragan house, is an example of the way an architect can use a combination of colour, texture, and light to define the character of a building. And the picture above, is an example of how Sugimoto likes to strip all of these away, forcing the viewer to concentrate on the form of the building, rather than it's constituent parts. By converting to monochrome, and deliberately throwing the picture out of focus, it becomes an abstract study, rather than a documentary shot.

Although the final shot is out of focus he still has to properly compose the original picture, In fact it's probably even more important to get the composition right, because you can't rely on other aspects of the photograph to attract the viewers attention. For this photograph he's used the lines of the building and the way they affect the light, to form a series of abstract shapes. If you were to view the original unaltered image they would clearly be walls and shadows, but after the transformation, it becomes almost like a cubist painting.

Lightning Fields, 2008, By Hiroshi Sugimoto

Part of a series of images called lightning fields. This picture isn't actually a normal photograph. Sugimoto produced it by placing a piece of film between a metal plate, and a van de graaf generator. The film then captured the arcing electricity. Sugimoto was inspired to create these images after a visit to William Henry Fox Talbot's home. He was fascinated by the links between Fox Talbot's use of science and the subsequent production of art. After conducting his experiments, Sugimoto produced a book called: nature of light (for which the above was the cover image), in which he looks at his work, and the work Fox Talbot created.

Of all the images in the series this is my favourite. As well as being an interesting documentation of the scientific processes involved, it also creates it's own mini landscape. The fractal nature of the arcing electricity forming two trees, and the other marks combining to give the impression of a sweeping hillside, and the hint of clouds. Like a lot of Sugimoto's pictures it reminds my of another art form, this time a charcoal sketch.

Lighting Fields, 2002, By Hiroshi Sugimoto

Part of the same series as the one before, this is another picture I really like. Rather than a softly undulating hillside though, this reminds me of a mountain pass. The markings seeming to sweep down forming a precipice. This time the trees are barely clinging on, having been battered by the wind. The shape in between the trees, reminds me of a phoenix, with it's long fiery tail. Although it still has elements of a charcoal drawing, it also reminds me of the type of woodcuts you see in Dante's inferno, or paradise lost.

Tyrrhenian Sea, by Hiroshi Sugimoto

Having explored Sugimoto's other works, I thought I'd finish with the subject that he's best known for, his seascapes.

This is a subject he's returned to again and again over the years. His intention with this photographs is to try to recreate a pristine image of the sea. The sort of view that our ancestors would have seen, uncluttered by the detritus of modern life.

The composition is virtually identical in all the pictures. The horizon is used to bisect the sea and the sky, usually straight through the middle of the picture but sometimes according to the rule of thirds. The only variations in the series are the level of light available, and the weather. Some of the pictures are perfectly clear like the one above, and sometimes they're taken in the fog, so the whole seems to blend together.

Well there you have it, my tenth and final research post. I've tried to keep this one a little shorter for you:)

Research: Brian Duffy

I'm rapidly running out of time now, so I'm going to have to curtail my natural inclination to go in to too much detail (what, no cries of despair, no pleading with me to reconsider?)

I've been a fan of Brian Duffy for a long time, and had originally planned to do a research post about him, but abandoned it after deciding on my initial theme. Now that I've changed my theme to black and white pictures though, he's suddenly relevant again.

Along with Terence Donovan and David Bailey (the so called terrible trio), Duffy's innovative style of photography redefined the way fashion was shot. That's not to say he was a one trick pony though. As well as his fashion photography, he also dabbled in documentary style street photography, and was in constant demand for his skill at devising advertising shoots. Born in Dublin in 1933, he tried a few different jobs before discovering a passion for photography. In order to hone his skills, he spent several years assisting other photographers, and accepting freelance commissions. In 1957 he was offered a job at British vogue, and quickly established his place in the fashion world. After several years of employment with various magazines, he decided to setup his own studio, as this would allow him to further explore and define his particular style. Having been at the forefront of the industry for almost three decades, he seemed to have become disillusioned with the business, and in 1979 decided to retire from photography. This wouldn't have been too much of a problem, but not satisfied with just retiring, he decided to burn all of his negatives. Luckily a friend came round halfway through and managed to save as many as possible, but Duffy had completely destroyed years of his work, in a single afternoon. In 2007 his son Chris started trying to assemble an archive of his dad's remaining work, and has kindly given me permission to use some of them in this post.

David Bowie/Aladdin Sane, 1973, Photo Duffy © Duffy Archive

This is not only one of Duffy's most famous photographs, but also one of the most famous images of the 70's. One of three album covers Duffy shot for David Bowie. This portrait was shot in 1973 as a cover for Bowie's Aladdin Sane album.

Like a lot of Duffy's studio celebrity photographs, it's incredibly minimalist. As well as being an album cover, this portrait was a good way of introducing Bowie's new persona to the world. By having the subject shot against a pure white background, and placing him in the exact centre of the frame, they become the only focal point for the portrait. This allows the person buying the album to get a good look at the new character. The white background and pale skin of Bowie, also help to make the colours in the hair and lightning bolt really stand out, creating a real visual impact.

The lighting Duffy's used has a duel purpose. Obviously the main lighting has to ensure that the overall exposure is well balanced, and that the features are clearly defined. The spot of intense light at the bottom of the frame though was deliberately setup to produce an area of blank space. This allowed the album title to be superimposed  over the top, without affecting the stark composition of the photograph.

Jean Shrimpton, 1964, Photo Duffy © Duffy Archive

Of all Duffy's photos this is one of my favourites, and not just because it's got Jean Shrimpton in...maybe!

It was part of a fashion shoot for British Vogue in 1964. A magazine both Duffy and Shrimpton had long connections with.

Shrimpton was one of the most famous faces of the sixties, and also involved with Duffy's friend David Bailey. As such, she worked with Duffy on quite a few occasions. This gave me quite a selection to choose from, but as I said, I've always really liked this picture. Being a bloke, the obvious reasons for this are nice legs, and an ample supply of heaving bosom, but there are other reasons...give me a minute and I'll think of some. Err...texture! Yes, texture. Duffy's use of a light coloured backdrop, and no set dressing means that the patterns and textures of her dress are in complete contrast to the rest of the picture, and as you'd expect from a fashion shoot, this draws the eye straight to it.

Shrimpton's pose is a strange one, with her leg slightly raised. and her arms splayed out behind her. I'm not sure what they were going for, but hey it works for me!

Sammy Davis Jr & May Britt, 1960, Photo Duffy © Duffy Archive

This is yet another example of Duffy working with the icons of his age. The portrait was taken in 1960, and is of the recently married Sammy Davis Jr, and May Britt.

There are two things I like about this particular picture. I don't know if it was left in for the final print, but I like the fact the black outline, and serial number have been kept. I think when framed this would make a great example of a frame within a frame. It reminds me of Dan Winters work today...or should that be winters work reminds me of Duffy? I also like the way Duffy's managed to capture an intimate moment despite it being a formal studio session. The different way they're dressed is another interesting aspect of the picture. Davis Jr's formal suit, a perfect counterpoint to Britt's casual clothes.

The last two pictures are examples of the kind of look I was trying to achieve with my own pictures:

Shutter: 1/60, Aperture: F/8.0, ISO: 100

Although I don't feel I really captured the essence of his style (though I did my best), hopefully I'll get another chance at a later date.

Benson & Hedges Advert, 1977, Photo Duffy © Duffy Archive

I've included this last picture as an example of his advertising work. In the late seventies Duffy was commissioned to produce various advertising campaigns for several different companies. The most famous of which was for Benson & Hedges. The campaign consisted of four Photographs, each of which was slightly surreal. They all had packets of cigarettes placed in surreal situations, like hatching from an egg, or replacing the stone on a ring. The picture above is the one I find most interesting though.

By placing the cigarettes out of context, Duffy has transformed an ordinary situation, through the introduction of an extraordinary element. By angling the camera so that the lines of the ceiling and wall converge, Duffy naturally leads the eye towards the birdcage. He also makes the cage and cigarette packet the main focal point through the use of a limited palette of muted colours.

Not having photoshop in those days, he'd have had to produce this using practical tricks. I'd assume the room was setup with the birdcage in it, and a second cage was placed out of shot, with the silhouette cast using additional lighting.

Ok, so that wasn't quite as short as I was hoping, but there's only one research post left, so I'll try a little harder in that one:)

Thanks again to Chris Duffy for permission to use the Photographs.

Research: Erik Johansson

 Fishy Island, By Erik Johansson, 2009

Everyone seems to be picking Erik Johansson as one of their manipulation research subjects (well...two people! But that doesn't make for a great sweeping statement to open a post with does it?) I don't think this points to a lack of other interesting subjects, it's simply that his humour, level of innovation, and the sheer amount of detail he puts in to his images, makes him stand out from the crowd. By the way, my swedish isn't as good as it should be, so you'll have to forgive me if some of the names of pictures are wrong, I had to use a translator.

Johansson is a swedish computer engineering student and photographer who specialises in the manipulation of photographs. He received his first camera when he was fifteen and dabbled with the manipulation of his photographs then, but only began to seriously look at the manipulation process when he bought a DSLR in 2007. Amazingly, he is entirely self taught! By playing around with the various settings in photoshop CS4 (now CS5), and doing the occasional online tutorial, he's managed to master the art of photo manipulation in an incredibly short time. His early pictures were all taken with a Canon EOS 40D, but he has recently upgraded to a 5D. Although he uses a number of different lenses from the Canon L series, his favourite is the 17-40mm F4L.

Lighting wise, he initially tried to use the available natural light, but as his composition's got more complex, he needed a greater level of control over each segment, so he started using on and off camera flash.

Apparently he always starts the process by making a quick sketch of the idea. He then goes out and takes all the photographs he thinks he'll need, before bringing them home and creating a rough approximation of the finished project. Johansson will then spend on average 10-20 hours, evolving and refining this initial image in photoshop, before completing a picture he's satisfied with.

Although he has a broad range of influences and inspirations, the most obvious is surrealist art, and M C Escher in particular. A lot of Johansson's manipulations deal with the alteration of angles, Sometimes subtle and other times far more complex, he seems to enjoy manipulating the senses as well as the photograph. The picture below is a good example of this:

 Perspective Squarecase, By Erik Johansson

This image is clearly inspired by Escher's pictures of impossible staircase's, such as ascending and descending:

Ascending And Descending, By M C Escher, 1960

His pictures are so cleverly and subtly manipulated, that it can sometimes be difficult to discern exactly what's artificial, and what isn't, so bear with me while I try to explain the process. I'd say the photograph is constructed from at least 9 layers. 1 for the landscape, 1 for the man, 4 for the individual stairs, 1 for the dark underside of the stairs, 1 for the shadows, and 1 for the supports. It's possible the stairs are constructed from several layers as well, such as texture, but I'm not sure. As for what's real in the photograph, again that can be difficult. The landscape is real, and so is the man, but I think the staircase is completely generated in photoshop (I mean completely, not just the weird angles.) 

Although not obvious at first, I think Johansson has split the image using the rule of thirds. He's placed the landscape and horizon in the bottom third, he then uses the lines of the ascending stairs to lead you through the middle third of the picture, before taking you to a point of interest (the man), in the top third. He's also used a landscape devoid of any landmarks, so that the stairs become the focal point of the image.

The next image is also inspired by a surrealist artist:

Border, By Erik Johansson

But this time it's Rene Magritte:

 Personal Values, By Rene Magritte, 1952

Although obviously not a carbon copy of Magritte's painting, Johansson has taken the idea of an inside/outside room, and added his own particular twist. Like the previous photograph I think this is a mixed media composition. The girl on the grass, the window, and the clouds are photographs, but the walls and view outside the window are created in photoshop.

Without Limits, By Erik Johansson

I've included this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, because it's a great picture, but secondly, because it illustrates that Johansson doesn't just create quirky pictures.

All of his pictures have a dream like quality to them, but this one especially so. The stairs leading out of the shot, the empty landscape against a turbulent sky. They all combine to make a really striking composition. The sepia toning and slight vignetting at the edges also remind me of early cinema. Especially le voyage dans la lune for some reason, but I'm not sure why! That film's not sepia, and there's no rocket, or giant moon with a face...weird how the human brain works.

Compositionally, he's clearly dictated the path the viewer's eye's will travel. By placing the path in the field where he has, and having it lead straight to the base of the stairs, you naturally follow that line, before continuing around the stairway, and to the top of the frame. After that you naturally wonder where it leads, you're imagination filling in the missing space. He's also used the rule of thirds to clearly define the real world of the foreground, and the fantasy world of the staircase in the sky, and like in the squarecase picture, there's only a small section of the the stairs in the foreground third to tie the two sections together.

To make the stairway, he's obviously taken a photographs of a spiral staircase and cut and copied the elements he needs, stitched them together, and added the figure walking up. I can't decide though whether the sky and ground are one photograph or two. the horizon is hazy, and that's either an effect caused by the receding distance, or more likely, Johansson's blurred the line to cover the join.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Unit 108: Final Images

Here are my final four images for the digital manipulation unit. Like my other unit, the idea for my manipulations has changed a bit over the last sixteen weeks. I originally had grand visions of incredibly complex pictures, using all sorts of different filters and cropped images. All this however, was before my main assignment began to spiral wildly out of control. I was concentrating so hard on trying to get that sorted, that this became an almost secondary consideration. As a result, I realised I wouldn't have time to take all the photos I needed for my other ideas, so decided to try something simpler. Having seen Faye Heller's work, I thought this would be a far more achievable style to try. Again though, I left it far too late to try take the architectural photographs I'd need, if I was going to emulate the pictures of hers I liked. I decided to use photographs of objects instead. Marie kindly let me come in to college early again last week, and we took pictures of almost every object in the studio. Unfortunately, I've yet again wasted her time (sorry!) After looking at the images at home, I couldn't find any that I thought would make an interesting collage. Having hit this stumbling block, I frantically checked all my personal photos, and came up with a plan! I recently went to an art event in Bristol, and while there, took pictures of all the street art in the area. I've therefore decided to make my collages using these. Although I keep talking about collages, that isn't my theme, the theme is Faye Heller's style, i.e. Black and white pictures, with large blocks of blank space, around single images, or collages.

Before we start, I'd like to make a brief apology (other than to Marie for wasting her time.) I'm not an artist, I've never been particularly artistic, and I probably never will be. So I'm afraid the collages aren't great, but they're the best I can do. You'll just have to suck it up, and try to battle your way through!

Three of the pictures are made up of multiple photographs (they are collages after all), so to keep this post as short as possible, I won't include the original files on here, I'll just give them to Marie in a file. I also decided that because I was using multiple pictures, I needed to settle on a standard size for the final composition. Knowing some of the images I wanted to use were small parts of larger photographs, I thought A4 would be a good size to go with. It's big enough to make an interesting picture, but not so big that any small files would have to be stretched too far, and therefore suffer from pixelation.

Because these images are all my own, I didn't have to worry about infringing any copyright regulations, or intellectual property rights. There might have been a problem, with reproducing other people art works, but as the photograph were all taken on public property, and the art itself is also on public display, legally, that's fine. Because they don't contain any actual people, the usual issues of confidentiality, obscenity, and using images of children weren't a problem.

 Image 1: Banksy

For this first image, I've used two photographs. The main one being the Banksy, and then the smaller one, a random piece of art I came across.

I'm fairly happy with the final result. I think the balance of the overall composition works well. I like the way the white line draws the eye towards the man with the glasses and then the direction of his gaze, further draws you to the main photograph. The only slightly unfortunate thing, is that his eye line seems to be pointing straight at the naked man's groin, but you can't have everything!

To produce the final image, I started by opening a new A4 document in Photoshop. I then opened the two photographs as well. Selecting the Banksy picture. I copied and pasted it in to the template file, and used the move tool, to position it where I wanted. Using the rectangular marquee tool. I then made a large vertical rectangular selection on the left hand-side of the picture, and went to edit-fill, and used black as the fill colour. Again using the marquee tool, I created a thinner vertical rectangle, and filled it with white. 

For the other photograph, I used the marquee tool to select the part of the picture I wanted, then went to image-crop, and pasted the resulting image in to the main file, before using the move tool to position it. I decided I wanted to have the man looking in the opposite direction, so went to edit-transform, and pressed flip-horizontal.

To tie the picture in with my overall theme, I needed to convert it to black and white. As I don't have photoshop CS5, there's no black and white adjustment option, so I created a new hue & saturation adjustment layer, and slid both bars all the way down.

All I then had to do was check the final quality of the image. Using the actual pixels zoom option, I checked that the sharpness and resolution of the picture was still high, and hadn't been affected by my modifications. Looking at the photographs, I realised they needed to be boosted a little, so created a brightness/contrast adjustment layer, and slightly raised both.

Image 2: Marvin & Andre

This image was also created from two photographs.

This is my favourite of all the pictures. I think the stark black and white features of the Andre the giant poster, make an immediate visual impact. I'd have preferred a photographs of the poster with no other pieces stuck on, but in Bristol people can't pass a flat surface without plastering something on to it. I also like the composition produced by having the more muted central section. It makes the other two parts stand out even more.

This was a fairly easy picture to produce. I opened an A4 template, then with black selected as the foreground colour, went to edit-fill. This created a completely black background for me to place the images on.

I opened the Marvin picture, and used the marquee tool, and image-crop, to produce the middle section. Then copied and pasted it in to the template file. To make sure the image was as centrally positioned as possible, I used the view-new guide option to provide a reference point.

Opening the Andre photograph, I again used the marquee, image-crop, copy and paste process, to make one large selection. Then used the marquee tool to split it in half, producing the upper and lower sections.

Creating a new set of guides, I used the move tool to align all three sections at the correct distances from each other.

Finally I reduced the hue & saturation in an adjustment layer, to create the black and white effect.

I then performed the quality checks on this image. The sharpness, was fine. But I need to provide a little more definition to the pictures again. I started by creating a layers adjustment layer, and moving the white marker a little to the left to increase the impact. This did however have an unfortunate effect on the middle image, so I used the layer mask to remove it from the adjustments influence. I did create a separate brightness/contrast layer though, because that section still needed to be altered.

 Image 3: Fly Posting

This was by far the easiest of the pictures to produce. Unlike the collages, this is only one picture with a large frame around it. 

To make this picture I simply opened an A4 template, copied and pasted the whole image in to that, then manipulated the size with the free transform tool.

To add the frame, I selected a 200pixel brush set to 100% hardness, then holding down the shift key (to maintain the direction), dragged it along each edge.

I also added some graining, with the noise filter.

Like all of the pictures, I really wanted to make this image pop! So I created a levels adjustment layer, and using the layers eyedropper selectors, clicked on the photograph, to define the black and white base markers.

When I performed the quality checks, I noticed a strange bobbling along the edges of the frame. This was easily solved by using the marquee, and brush tools to redefine the edges.

Image 4: Devil Girl & Friends

I'll be honest, my already shallow pool of creativity was starting to run dry at this point. I spent about 30mins looking at the photos I had left, and was drawing a blank. I knew I wanted to include the devil girl, but I wasn't sure exactly what to do with it. I eventually came up with the picture above. Although I think it's the weakest of the four pictures compositionally, I do like the positioning of the two pictures on the right. It gives the impression that they're looking in to each others eyes. Whether this is due to some predetermined cosmic romantic inclination, or a simple mutual sense of disgust at having to appear in this collage, I don't know...but I like it!

To create this picture I opened an A4 template, and again filled it with black. This time however, I decided to alter the aspect, by going to image-rotate canvas-90° CW. I cropped, then copied and pasted the three images in to the template file, then positioned them with the move tool. Creating three new layers, I used the brush tool to draw the frames (again holding down the shift key to maintain the direction and width of the lines.) I then created a hue/saturation adjustment layer to convert the image to black & white.

After performing the image quality checks, There was the usual need to boost the overall look with a brightness/contrast level.

Because this was all done on the computer, I needed to take a couple of health precautions. I made sure I took regular breaks, allowing my body to adjust and relax. I also ensured the light was at an acceptable level, so as not to strain my eyes.