Shawn Stephens – Digital Collage

stephens-shawn-project-01-low-res

I based my piece off of a photo I found in the WSU photo archive. I immediately loved the photo when I saw it; the way the students are framed, the way some stick out of the crowd higher than others, the way they all look like they’re looking towards something. I thought it was a really poetic representation of the feeling we as underclassmen have looking towards our future here at WSU, and the way we perceive the adventures and challenges ahead. And since it’s a photo from the previous century, I thought it was an interesting way to draw a parallel between our predecessors’ experiences and ours.

As for value, I wanted to balance out the bright students so I used a really dark background to separate the students from the bright night sky. I wanted the direction to be consistent too, I wanted the horizon to match up with where all the students were looking, like they were trying to see past the trees.

I wanted it to be relatable for other students here at WSU; for me this image encapsulates all of the anticipation and excitement I’ve felt leading up to and during my time here at WSU. Putting actual buildings or places that were significant to me would have left too much to me, I wanted it to be up to the viewer’s interpretation, so I let the fluorescent sky represent whatever the viewer saw in it.

I used the color selection function we were shown in class, that made it easy for me to crop out the sky easily and quickly. I also used the mask function when cutting out the students from the background, it made it really easy to move around and make decisions about how much of it I did or didn’t want in the photo.

This work probably didn’t need to be constructed digitally, if I had the photos themselves printed it could’ve easily been done by hand, but making it digitally definitely made it a lot less time-consuming and way more convenient than it would’ve been otherwise.

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