Project #2: Photo Composite

Composite materials (also called composition materials or shortened to composites) are materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties, that when combined, produce a material with characteristics different from the individual components. (Wikipedia)

In the digital arts, photography and cinema, the term “composite” may be used to describe a wide variety of techniques. In cinema, for instance, a composite may refer to the effects achieved through the utilization of a green screen. For some in the visual arts, the term “composite” may be interchangeable with the term “collage”. For Project #2, we are focusing our working definition of composite to approach the definition of composite materials above.

Our definition of the term “composite” is distinguished from our use of the term “collage.” Where a collage may exhibit a rough quality, our composites should be smooth. We are attempting to create a convincing “illusion” in the final work. The image should not reveal visible seems, and (if applicable) have a realistic sense of depth and lighting.

For this project, we will be significantly altering at least three source images (but possibly many more, depending on the desired result) in order to create a new meaning. The resulting final image should blend aspects of source material to appear seamless. In order to achieve this, the source material will need to be significantly altered and multiple layers will be blended to achieve subtlety. Selections must be carefully made, as sloppy work will not achieve the desired result. Some techniques that we might utilize include working with adjustment layers (curves, hue/saturation, etc), adjusting opacity, feathering our selections, clone stamping, and spot healing.

Think about ways these parameters might be used in order to communicate meaning. Are you subverting something? Are you commenting on your source material, or is it simply material? In some respect, you should be trying to create an illusion. A successful result might be an illusion that is not immediately apparent.

As with Project #1, the final image turned in should be a PNG, but I also request the PSD as well as the source images used in a folder labeled with your name.