Developing A Photo Montage – Mix and Match – The Art of Experimentation

Continuing from the time I mentioned how I edited the photographs, I will now talk about the techniques utilized and the experimentation involved in mixing and matching the photographs into creating that very meaningful montage. The final montage will be uploaded tomorrow, along with the artistic intention.

Firstly, we have the technique. The photographs taken for my montage were actually from my balcony at night (you’ll see them soon). It’s a very clear city view, with no light displays of any sort. It’s just a scenery where you would find some buildings, lamp posts and a few shop lots and cars along the way. I will be breaking this explanation into three parts (there were three types of photographs).

1. Light Drawing – What I did was using my DSLR, I set my shutter speed to about 1.5 seconds and with an aperture of maybe 5.0. After focusing on the overall scenery, I pressed the shutter and quickly turned the camera 90 degrees clockwise, ensuring that the center still remained. This must be finished before the shutter has another “click” sound. You will find that the camera started from the original picture, but the many lines of light associated with turning the camera are also included, giving an awesome light display.

2. Light Car – Capturing cars that seem to be a quick spectrum of light is pretty easy. By setting your shutter speed also to about 1 to 1.5 seconds, taking the photo will not only capture the shot at that instant, but everything during the 1 to 1.5 second duration, which means that many lines form and these may produce stunning results.

3. Bokeh Flower – By using my mother’s flower on the balcony as the model with the city skyline as the background, I used a shutter speed of about 0.5 or 0.6 seconds and the lowest aperture I could go – 3.5. You must remember that what aperture does is the ability to focus on a subject. A low aperture would put focus on the subject focused on, while a high aperture would give almost equal focus to all elements of the setting. Shutter speed, meanwhile, is how long the camera takes before it’s second click, giving either more time to capture events over a period or giving less time to capture things at 1/4000 second, for instant. By using this effect and a lot of trial and error, you get the flower as such, with the background appearing as circles of light.

Meanwhile for the experimentation, I was quite unclear at first, when I thought of just connecting a few lines together based on the direction of the lines of light. By the end of my first mix and match session, here was what I got. (I am sorry if it wasn’t that clear…)


However, after this, someone suggested to me that I should connect the lines of light to form the outline of another character – another person, which would make it generally much more meaningful. From my next two experimentations, here is what I got.

photo (1)     photo (2)

The first one, if you look carefully, is supposed to depict the face of a lonely boy looking into air. Can you picture the lines ? I’ll tell you more for the second one in my next post, as so not to spoil it, as I used this as my base for the final product.

Anyways, I added in some of my remaining photographs in from the light car and put it at the sides, before getting this as my final experimentation.

photo (3)

The final product is close to this, so stay tuned for tomorrow with the final montage and the real artistic intention !


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