Saturday, September 13, 2008

What makes a montage image 'come together'?

This entry is inspired by a question I was asked not too long ago:
" ..Is the perspective of the elements what ties a lot of the more complex photos together?"
Good question.
My short (ten words or less) answer posted quickly in response was: Yes, definitely. I use that a lot.
But the larger question - "What makes a montage image 'come together'?" - definitely deserves a better answer than 'Yes, definitely. I use that a lot.'

All this applies to traditional/chemical B&W darkroom - once you go digital(photoshop), it's a whole different thing, the sky is the limit, you can make as many layers as you have memory to work with, which actually is as much a curse as a blessing - it's very easy to get lost.
The reason I still prefer darkroom is that it keeps me focused on what's really important.

If you are doing B&W montage in a darkroom, and have different 'answers'? all means, do it!
I am offering mine on a 'FYI/FWIW' basis.

Perspective is just one way of bringing disparate elements together into a whole that works.
In no particular order, here some things I have found useful....
(or maybe I should say: "Here are the things I have found 'happening' -
I use the word 'happening', because it implies a certain lack of control,
an open mind to serendipity, which is exactly where it's at for me).
['The best way to do something creative...
is to ask a question you don't know the answer to...'
Francis Ford Coppola, in an interview, 2007]

1 - Similar perspective
2 - Similar lighting/angle of light/illumination
3 - Composition/desgn - shapes & forms that 'blend together', regardless of their individual properties.
4 - Concept - that is to say, a confluence of ideas amongst the individual elements.

In the course of writing this, it became much too long & with waaay too many pictures for this blog, so click your way to: to continue on.
I've spent several weekends the last few months in the darkroom, so that's what the next few entries will be about, for sure.
Happy 'Image Making' to one and all,from Northern California,
regardless of technique!