Monday, February 21, 2011

Digital collages

Here's my first try at making a digital collage by combining photos into one image. It's not technically perfect, but it's a style that I'd like to work on and use in the future.

I took these photos of my daughter on a bright, sunny day last spring. I loved the vibrant color of her pink shirt against the green grass. Since she doesn't pose for pictures (no toddler does), I simply chased her around and snapped as many shots as I could get. I got many of her running away from me, some of her playing with the pebbles, and a few of her staring at the ground.

I've always enjoyed putting several shots of the same scene on a scrapbook page. Photos taken just a few seconds apart can show completely different facial expressions, and it's fun to look at them side-by-side on a page.

With traditional scrapbooking, one must take each print and arrange them on the page. If you're really good, you may be able to crop around the person to make something a little more dynamic.

With the computer, however, you can take collage-making to another level. You can adjust the size and transparency of an image, duplicate an image, flip an image, and use many more simple techniques to make some crazy stuff. In fact, the most time-consuming part of this layout was cropping around each photo.

As with photography, composition is the most important part of making an interesting layout. I used the photo in which she is looking at the camera as the focal point. Following the "rule of thirds," I placed her to the lower left.

To add more visual interest, I threw in a supernova effect on top of the pebble she was holding. This is very easy to do. Go to Filters > Light and Shadow > Supernova. I adjusted the hue to a greenish color to go with the color of the grass.

I decided to lower the opacity of some of the layers to give the layout an ethereal look. Why did I do this? Simply because I currently lack the technical skills to get it to look, well, real. Once I master the skill of blending, I will make layouts that make people think that I have quadruplets.

Combining images like this into a digital collage is one more way to display your photos together. By playing around with the images, you can create some very neat effects.

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