Train theme Photo-collage
By Kranti Thorat (Student, Truman State University)
For my school assignment, we were given the task to make two composite photographic "grid" collages using the theme of our choice. The requirements specified for the photo-collage was that it must contain more than 30 images and it should be 22 * 17 inch. To get better understanding, I did little research and came across David Hockney's work. He is an English painter, photographer, draughtsman, printmaker, and stage designer who created a style of photography that involves standing in one place and photographing a scene or object as pieces of a puzzle. I was inspired by his work and it really helped me in bringing life into my work.
I started looking for theme and luckily it was just next door and i.e. none other than "TRAIN." So, for my first photo-collage I took a trip to Marceline, MO with my family. It was 1 hour drive from our home. We went to downtown park (Ripley Park) where there is a big black engine "Santa Fe and Disneyland RR 2546." I took 31 images of engine in a puzzle format at 50 mm. All of my photographs were taken with my Nikon D5200 camera and were put together with Photoshop CS6. For this collage, I put my camera setting onto manual and used my recently acquired skills of the light meter to determine the shutter speed and ISO (f11, ISO-250, Shutter Speed-1/400s).
For my second photo-collage I didn't have to go far, as it was just in my town "La Plata, MO," which is none other than our "Depot Inn & Suites." It is themed after an 1800's railroad depot and is decorated with many historic railroad artifacts making the hotel a small railroad museum. For this collage, I took 65 images at 50 mm. All of my photographs were taken with my Nikon D5200 camera and were put together with Photoshop CS6. This particular photo-collage was also taken using the manual setting on my camera and used my recently acquired skills of the light meter to determine the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. (f11, ISO-250, Shutter Speed-1/200 s). Find more information about the hotel at Depot Inn & Suites website.
I personally feel that train themed hotel collage is more stronger than the engine one because photo-collage looks better with a complete scene than a single subject. When you take picture of a whole scene there are many aspects for the viewer to consider and the collage enables them to criticise each aspect in turn whereas if its single subject there isn't as much for the viewer to look at and study. I used two different ways in photoshop to assemble all the pieces in both the photo-collages. For my first photo-collage (Engine), I used the Automate Photomerge tool in Photoshop CS6 which means that the software with automatically understand and place all the images in the correct position. It turns out good; I just have to shift some of the pieces to get in my canvas. I tried same process with my hotel photo-collage but somehow I got three different puzzles of one hotel. As the Photoshop software was struggling to put all the pieces together, I decided to do this one manually and it really works very well. The only difference is that it took 10 minutes to do Engine photo-collage with Automate Photomerge tool whereas it took 2 hours to do Hotel photo-collage manually. Finally, I can say that it was an immeasurable experience and I thoroughly enjoyed working on it.