Some of you have asked how I do my digital constructions. This piece “The Empress” is just a simple montage of photographic elements that I have cropped, adjusted, and filtered in Photoshop and then arranged on the background. It is really not that much different from doing a montage or collage of paper and mixed media elements. The principles of composition and color are the same.
After finding all the images, I lassooed and selected the parts I wanted to use, arranged them in layers in the Photoshop workspace, adjusted the brightness, contrasts, levels, hues, saturations, and colors, transformed the layers, applied blurs, smudges, noise, fills, and clones, rendered lighting effects and lens flares, painted in sparkles, and erased anything that just did not work well. Then I flattened the piece.
This one took about three hours to construct. As I was working, I found myself entering the same altered state (that “zoned out” state) that I get when I am painting, drawing or writing. In my opinion, the art is in making all the elements jive together and resonate. The photographic croppings and the photoshop program are just the tools… just like a paint brush or scuptor’s clay.
Here are all the images I used to make “The Empress.” They are all free use images from Morguefile and Flickr Commons plus a cannibalization of one of my previous montages.
LJG (c) March 2010, revised 2015