Portfolio – Mini brief 2: photomontages, collages and composite images.

THEME: Community

For mini brief two, I had to create 6 concept ideas using photomontages, collages or composite images, I based my six concepts off of composite images.

Composite image: A visual image consisting of two or more images combined to make one image, usually to present and communicate a message and to express feelings.

As an introduction to composite imagery, we had a task to photoshop a dog (Scooby) into a background image, this was to use/enhance our photoshop skills to gain more of a first hand understanding in practise of what a composite image really is. My image is shown here below:

How I created this composite image:

I used Photoshop to manipulate and create this composite image. I used the object section tool to select the outline of the dog from its original image, I then used the magic wand and polygonal lasso tool to perfect the cutout of the dog and layered it on top of the beach background image, i made the dog smaller and rotated the angle of the dog to fit the environment of the background image. I used an inner shadow on the dog to lower the brightness of it and make it look more realistic to its surroundings. I then used the dog cutout in a different layer to create the shadow of the dog on the floor, I made it black and lowered the opacity, stretched it out according to the shadows in the background image to fit the context of the image. I then used a picture of a boat and cut it out using the polygonal lasso tool and added it, again layered on top of the background image. I resized it and used the same process to make its shadow and again added an inner shadow to add more depth and context to this boat in relation to the image.


The first initial feeling that evoked for me when the word community came to mind was the feeling of diversity and unity of communities.i again used photoshop to create this composite image is to represent the different ages and unity of those ages as a community, the centre image shows a line of people who are unidentifiable holding hands, this represents that a community of people is unified despite individual identities. The Two images positioned to the top of this composition show the two opposite walks of life age wise, the right is two children holding hands in a forest which gave me a sense of peace and compassion, the picture on the left shows two elderly hands holding, this shows the kindness and compassion that is displayed through generations within a strong community. the image positioned at the bottom of this composition represents the whole community together, the abstractness of this image shows the diversity of the people in the community and how everyone is different but because of unity and community they are all bound together and working together. I wanted the typography to be simple yet effective, the text ‘all ages’, layered over the top images in this composition, really emphasises and simplifies what the images around it represent with the diversity of ages within a community. the text ‘One Community’ layered over the top of the abstract image really represents what I want the abstract image to show, the unity of the diverse people within a community. overall, I want this image to communicate a message of diversity and unity within a strong community.


Another feeling I got when the word community came to mind was structure, not only structure of a community, but how physical structure encourages community, physical structure provides a place for community to bind together and develop which is important for a community to be able to do to establish itself. For this I wanted to show buildings as the main focus and use the typography to communicate the fact that these buildings encourage community to build. I again used photoshop to create this composition. I found the first image that I used (the image in the foreground) which is an upwards looking view of some tall buildings which look like living spaces such as flats. I decided to cut these out of the original image and use it as the foreground image, this was because I wanted to have them pointing/leading up to the buildings in the background which are more communal buildings and areas such as workspaces and city centre. This overlay of these two images really emphasises the importance of structure within a community, the flat blocks representing where ac community of people is contained leading to the cityscape buildings where community comes together communally. I want this image along with the transparent typography ‘Encouraging community’ to communicate a message of structure and how that plays a part in building a community and developing as a community.


In the light of the current ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and with people being stuck at home, time spent with family is at the front of priority as its the main in person social contact that people are able to get for a long time. For this reason, I felt that family/families are really at the centre of community right now when it comes to fighting against the pandemic. I used photoshop to create this composition. I used a combination of three separate images, manipulated and overlaid in this composition. the image in the bottom foreground of this composition shows a family holding hands walking up a hill, this shows them enjoying quality time together and their physical connection displayed also gives a sense of love and compassion. their heads are also turned away which leads the viewer to look at the next image layered behind it which shows a family taking a selfie, the happiness and enjoyment showed through their facial expressions show how much they each value this quality time and they’re all happy to be together, showing a strong sense of unity. layered behind this image is the text ‘Family’ in full capitals and a bold font to emphasise that family is the centre of this composition and that family is what’s keeping people going and making people happy and valued. layered behind the text is an abstract image that I decided to include, this shows cartoon characters as a family, happy and throwing their arms in the air, I felt that this abstractness appeals to a younger audience as children tend to gain good understanding from abstract characters/imagery. This way I appeal to all ages that a viewer might be looking at this and communicate to them that family is at the centre of a community.


One thing that brings community together, especially in city centres is work. work is at the centre of community, whether that’s working as a team and community of being in the workplace itself, I want to communicate the importance of having a community around you in relation to work. I used photoshop to create this composition. the first foreground image shows a man sat with his head in his hands and clearly looking distressed from all the work on his desk. I cut out the man and the desk and folders, using the polygonal lasso tool, from the original image which had an office background. I wanted to use the two other images in a collage behind this man to encapture what he is thinking about and stressing about. The laptop and coffee represent the work he has to do and the how he gets through it. the image on the right represents him focusing hard at work which all clearly leads to his distress. The one main factor that is shown throughout this composition is that he is alone handling a lot, I hope that the viewer would notice this and understand the message of the need for community for people handling with a lot of work alone, whether that’s physical work or mental work, and that community is so important to ensure that every person within a community is cared for and helped.


The next thing that came to mind when thinking of the word community was social media and the online world. These days a lot of social interaction is based online and I thought that this is a good example of virtual community. I only used two images composited in this composition as I wanted to communicate my message of virtual communities in the simplest way possible. The foreground image shows social media logos on signs being held up, this represents the platforms that people use online to communicate and the different communities that these platforms have created. I layered an image showing people sat around a table all on their phones, not manipulated, which could be interpreted in different ways, it can be seen as virtual communities leading to neglecting physical social communities or it could also show that virtual communities allow for physical social communities to be brought together, people meeting online or online communities enhancing already existing offline relationships. I want this composition to challenge the viewer to think about whether virtual communities are good or bad, the dilemma between the positivity the social media provides as a platform to be able to spread positive messages easily and also the toxicity of social media regarding to body image representations and celebrity culture.


The next thing that came to mind when I thought of the word community was healthcare, one reason why were ‘privileged to have community’. Healthcare and the NHS has played a massive in fighting the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and I thought this was a perfect message and representation of community and why we’re privileged to have community. I used four manipulated and overlaying images in this composition to demonstrate this message. I used the first foreground image of abstract characters of nurses and doctors to represent them at the frontline of healthcare. I then used the picture of the old man learning to walk again as I felt a sense of unity and support that this man has from his community of doctors and healthcare. I used the right bottom abstract image to symbolise the different medical procedures and medical facilities that are used by this community of people to work together and help take care of peoples health problems. I then used the top image showing a piece of medical equipment and medical symbols, this was to further emphasise the complexity of the jobs that these people have but how they do it in the best interest of the community as a whole. I want to communicate unity, selflessness and compassion through this composite image.

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