This Sunday sketch was a bit challenging but I enjoyed it! The examples provided through the instructions were very cool and instantly reminded me of a forced perspective assignment I once had in my high school photography class. I find forced perspective photography much more difficult compared to this assignment though because I have to find actual items I can physically work with, which can limit my ideas. On the other hand, I have the entire internet and CC licensed images to work with for this assignment—the slightly challenging part is just deciding what photos to use and how. I remember, for that forced perspectives photography assignment, I had used a small teapot, held it out, and aligned it with a light cloud on the sky so it looked like steam coming out from it. Initally, I wanted to recreate that, but this time “digitally” using photos from Flickr—I found the prettiest teapots—but I could not find an appropriate cloud photo, so I started going through my own camera roll of endless sky photos. As I scrolled through, I found some sunset photos I took last semester while I was on campus, and then a new idea hit me. When I showed my mom those photos a few months back, she had mentioned how the clouds looked like some sort of explosion, so I decided to switch up my idea—just a bit, still on the topic of some sort of steam coming out from something—and looked for volcano photos on Flickr. I was not finding any that I thought were good, until I came across this one of the Ometepe Volcano in Nicaragua, and I just knew it was perfect.
I used Picsart to crop the volcano and put it over my photo; I also darkened the silhouettes in my photo. Then I used Polarr to add a filter on the image.
This combophoto depicts powdered sugar as snow, accumulating on a hilltop. I randomly got this idea while brainstorming ideas because I had just finished watching a baking show on the Food Network. One of the bakers made a remark about how the confectioner’s sugar they were using to make frosting looked like fluffy snow. One of the major challenges I had in creating this photo was trying to find an image of powdered sugar that made sense. A lot of the images I came across were of sugar in bags which did not really make sense if it was supposed to be snow falling out of the sky. Finally, I discovered this image of powdered sugar in a sieve being sifted. In terms of the editing, it was relatively simple and helps get the gist of my idea across.
For my Combophoto I decided to combine a water tower and a hot hair balloon. I had a lot of trouble coming up with an idea for this assignment so I spent to looking up random words on google images and trying to see what came up. I eventually found some inspiration with a water tower. Originally I was going to use just a regular balloon but it was a bit boring. The hot air balloon is a bit more visually interesting to look at so that is what I ended up going with. I like the final product, the fact that something meant for flying is now stuck to the ground in this odd manner is humorous to me.
I often go to the beach, since I live in Southern California and the beach is close to my house. When I stare at all the water in the sea, standing on the pier, I feel refreshed. As I love going to a beach, I chose a picture of a blue, clear sea. I wanted to add a picture of a faucet, but it took me such a long time to find a feature of removing a background. Through this Sunday sketch, I learned which photo editing site is the best to remove background as I want. I think my final image conveys that we should not pollute the environment. Lots of people enjoy swimming or surfing. Also, people love to go to the beach and pier. However, protecting the sea and the environment would be the number one thing that we need to care about.
So today was Chinese New Year and this will be the first time I will have spent it without my family. One of my favourite things about CNY was the “red pockets” which is a custom where money is given inside a red envelope and exchanged as gifts during the festivities. In my combophoto, I combined a picture of a chinese red pocket with a Canadian $50 bill which is also red. I guess this says something about my unique Chinese-Canadian background that I am proud of.
I chose my skateboard picture because I rode my skateboard to the library, and I thought it would be a good image to use. I chose the red car image because I want the car to be the top half of the image, with the skateboard being the bottom half of the car. Also, I edited these images on February 12, which is Chinese New Year, and red is a symbolic colour for Chinese New Year. I did not know how to use Adobe Photoshop, so it took me a long time to learn how to use it. That was the main challenge that I faced when I was editing the images. The final image shows that cars are not the only mode of transportation, hence my skateboard. There are a lot more modes of transportations in addition to cars, and some of those are less harmful to the environment.
Stephen Mcmennamy is an Atlanta artist and Creative Director at the advertising firm BBDO. He first came to my attention when I saw his series of “combophotos” that splice together two different images to form a surreal new creation.
Here are a few examples from him:
cauliflower + poodle
paintbrush + spaghetti
bridge + guitar
Take a few moments to look through the images he’s posted on his site linked above or on his Tumblr or his Instagram. Then create your own square combophoto and publish it to your site. You can take your own photos, but probably you’ll want to use CC_licensed images you find on Flickr — make sure you give credit to the originals that you modify to create your combophoto.
The level of technical aptitude for this assignment is actually relatively small, just simple cropping and resizing. The greater part of the challenge is thinking creatively and finding images that you can work with. That said, note that Mcmennamy comes up with ideas and then specifically stages photos to combine, and he seems to often spend significant amounts of time shooting and selecting his images. You won’t have lots of time, models you can hire, or expensive photo equipment to work with, so I don’t necessarily expect your final images to be as polished and perfectly aligned as his are. More important is for you to be playful and come up with images that combine to create something funny or witty or striking.
To edit the two photos together, you can use whatever photo editing software you’d like. Pixlr is a good free web app, as is PicMonkey. Adobe Photoshop is also available for you to use on the computers in the Media Library on the 4th floor of the Woodruff Library.
Once you have your image, publish it in a post on your class site. Don’t forget to give it a funny or witty title! Tag your post “sk4“
Write a paragraph about how you went about choosing the two images you combined and why. What challenges did you face as you created your combophoto? What do you think your final image conveys?