This project involves yet another step in the Seeing series, inspired by several symposiums at the Exploratorium on that topic. A still photo just doesn't accurately represent the way we see things as we stitch together an array of visual bits and pieces to form a gestalt. This collage format represents to me the way I actually see, and captures a more genuine sense of the "truth" of a setting. Below are three examples from a recent trip to Costa Rica.
|Monteverde Cloud Forest (click on image to see larger version)|
|Reading Clues in Nature (click to enlarge)|
|Wilson Botanical Gardens/Las Cumbres (click to enlarge)|
How to Make Your Own "Seeing" Collages
You can make these using a computer graphics program or you can work with photo prints, scissors, and glue, which is how I created the original series.
• First decide on desired end size. The ones above were six inches by eight inches. The original series was done in postcard format in 4 inches by six inches. Once you've got your end size, decide on your unit-square size, which has to divide evenly both vertically and horizontally into your end size. For example, the squares above are two inches, making a horizontal span of 3 squares = 6, and a vertical span of four squares = 8. Create your grid in your computer graphics program or draw a grid on a sheet of stiff paper. Your unit squares will be pasted (either virtually or in reality) onto this grid.
|Create a grid.|
• Next, sort through your photos looking at them with a new eye. What you're looking for are details and close-ups—a fragment from the original photo. Cut out the fragment in the size of your unit square (e.g., 2" x 2").
|Pick a visual focus for each square|
• Start playing with your squares on the grid, arranging and rearranging until they make visual sense to you.
|Arranging squares on the grid|
For those using a computer, remember that all images (including the original blank grid) need to be the same dpi. In some ways it is a lot more fun to cut up old photos and play with the squares at your leisure. Dig out old photos that are moldering in the closet and play with those.