Sunday, 20 May 2018

Things we lost in the fire

It's good to challenge yourself to try new things. This is a new thing I've been working on for the last month - my first composite image. It's by no means perfect, but I'm pleased with how it's turned out as a kind of trial run.

By good fortune - rather than highly skilled discrimination - it turned out to be a good image to use for a first attempt. The fact that the figure is quite dark and is set on an even darker background made it fairly forgiving. I was excited to see that, when you place the figures side by side, the line of their adjoining arms creates a very nice continuous line, providing a sense of flow from one to the next. The lenses of the gas masks became ready-made frames to surround the images that I placed inside them, making this task much more straightforward than if I'd had to blend them into a scene in a realistic way.

I've learned a lot of new Photoshop skills through working on this image, but developing the initial concept was more fun still. The original image was called "Close to my heart". In the composite, I wanted to develop the idea of the man holding tight to the gas mask, attempting to keep several things close to his heart. The images in the lenses show a girl, face turned from the camera, a couple walking into the distance, and a heart worked in wrought iron. There's a lightly sketched story there.

Did he succeed? "Things we lost in the fire" doesn't sound overly hopeful. 

The butterfly (vintage, carefully attached with a bendy wire and a piece of Sellotape), however, could be interpreted in a range of different ways - escape, a soul, forgiveness, change, death, resurrection....

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