Saturday, April 3, 2010

Computer Montage in Photoshop

What a way to preserve memories and connect thoughts surrounding events. I have a zillion photos stored in various folders on my computer. Events that go way back. In addition, it is easy to scan in saved mementos to add to the collection. Sometimes, these photo montages seem to create themselves.

I start with one picture for the middle. Unless I use one picture as the background. Usually I don't fiddle with opacity, but that is certainly very effective, especially in fading the background for a base. As I bring in each photo, I adjust the size, sometimes directly, sometimes I use the photoshop tools to scale them just right. The further along I get in the project, the more I am apt to use the scale tool, and then the mover tool, to fit the photo into a desired spot. Magnifying sections lets me see how well I am doing, as often the photos have to butt against others, but sometimes I overlap for a design effect. I haven't experimented with putting layers in front or back of one another...have to get into that. Also want to get into selection features so I can make backgrounds disappear if needed. But none of that has been necessary so far and I have been very pleased with just jigsaw puzzling around and making a composite of favorite and topical photos, usually combined with some type in appropriate colors. You have to remember to sample the color and adjust the font and size, and I keep each word separate, so I can move them individually if there are only a few words. That way, I have control over how the type is placed.

All in all, time flies when working on one of these projects, which really is a symbiotic process...a way to connect with the person I am making the montage for, the event such as a birthday, and the walk through the photo albums of time to create a world of special meaning. TG for photoshop and all the fine art tools it has to offer. Sampling a color helps with a quick airbrush to remove some errant colors in a snapshot, or selects just the right color of type to blend with colors occurring in photos. As with some watercolor collages I have created, you can just airbrush around some pictures, or draw with the brush, to continue a scene where a picture leaves off.

New ideas just seem to grow, from one project to another. Had a bit of a printing problem till it was revealed that the 32 bit did not gel, nor the tiff. Had to print at 16 bit, and pdf. Stay tuned.

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