Part One The photograph as document

Project 5 The manipulated image

Exercise

Instead of using double exposures or printing from double negatives we now have the technology available to us to make these changes in post-production, allowing for quite astonishing results.

Use digital software such as Photoshop to create a composite image which visually appears to be a documentary photograph but which could never actually be.

This is the first time that I have created a composite images and I composed them with the help of on line tutorials. I like my ideas for the images, however I know that I have a lot more to learn to improve my technique. I can see that in particular I need to improve the softness at the edges. I intend to spend further time developing this technique in the near future.

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I was fascinated by some of the images that I saw first-hand when visiting The radical eye: Modernist photography from the Sir Elton John Collection exhibition, (The Tate Modern, visited 12.11.16) following my attempts at manipulated images. In particular the Herbert Bayer “Humanly impossible” self-portrait (1932) where his arm is truncated and shown as detached and yet looks remarkably real. The notes by the photograph describe how at that time it was achieved by a photo montage technique, where the images were cut and pasted, then recombined and sometimes re-photographed to smooth the surface of the image out, thus creating an alternative reality. Similarly Josef Breittenbach’s “Forever and ever” (1938), though this photograph is more obviously a photo montage.

If they can achieve such remarkable images by physically manipulating the images what we can achieve today with technology and the digital image is immense and I look forward to experimenting further.