Photomontage is one of those techniques that I dabbled with back in the day. Many hours in the darkroom printing then cutting out and sticking together, before re-photographing and maybe the odd bit of painting to hide the joins.
Roll forward a few years, add Photoshop and Deviantart is awash with photographic manipulation! I have to say I enjoy mixing images together as much now as I did back in my college years.
For those of you out there who have no idea what Deviantart is, it’s a place where artist’s amateur and professional can showcase their art and idea’s and is well worth a look.
These are just a few of the images I’ve worked up over the last year, I have two Deviantart ID’s for my work.
These images and others can be viewed here.
My professional showcase is here.
I wanted to get some different portraits of Charlotte for the re-launch of the website. We got hold of two Venetian masks and proceeded to muck about. This was a very silly session, I look like a right wally with either of the masks on and ‘no I’m not posting pictures!’
I was using a single light source (elinchrom D-lite with softbox) close to Charlotte. We also had a fan on to introduce some movement to her hair, the background is a smoke grey Colorama roll. This set up is very small and portable so can be used in most houses for a single or couple’s shoot.
During a trip to Namibia I was lucky enough to visit the Bushblok factory and meet some of the guys and girls who work there. I was shown around by Alfred Hendricks (pictured right). Alfred has been part of the team for a number of years and has worked his way up from harvesting Acacia to factory foreman.
Bushblok is project set up by the CCF (Cheetah Conservation Fund) in Namibia, the primary goal being to reduce thorny bushes in Cheetah habitat. We should all be aware that the Cheetah is an endangered species but the Bushblok project highlights a lesser known issue that Cheetah face. Cheetah are reliant on their excellent eyesight and speed but larger bush density means they can have less space to get up to speed when hunting. More importantly a scratch to the eye from an Acacia thorn can blind the animal instantly.
As a side note I picked up a flat tyre on my hire car from a piece of Acacia branch the plant is like steel, solid with little give and thorns that are 4-5 inches in length.
Acacia although native is an invasive species and in Namibia as with many other parts of Africa the wildlife that would naturally keep these plants in check are increasingly being forced into reserves. So the Bushblok was started to tackle the issue, essentially a team is constantly working in the field chopping down and chipping bush. These chippings are then either sold as is, or sent to the factory where it is compressed into fuel logs.
So all in all a great idea and project. I had been out in the field with the team that was cutting bush but all the images I took where backed up to a hard drive that failed. I lost a lot of work to that tech issue, I think humidity was the cause.
If you want to know more about Bushblok and the CCF here are there links.
Cheetah Conservation Fund