Digital Collage: Rachel Lentz

Here I present a challenge to you: pick out the elements in the photo shown that are fake. Depending on the skill of both the observer and the artist, this can be a difficult task. However, the fact that one even can make such a challenge is a commentary on not just the technological advancements photography and other affiliated art has seen but also the skills that one must know to navigate our changing world.

“Real, A Challenge” by Rachel Lentz

Photography itself is a modern invention, starting as the technological wonder of chemical compounds registering light, first invented in the 19th century. Photography was the ability to record the world exactly as it was around us in contrast from artists renditions of subjects, no mater how realistic. However, people soon took this technology and changed our perspectives.

Collage and other alteration of photos and material allowed for the presumptions of photos to be changed, not only from what is being photographed but to the pictures themselves. Changing photos allows for one’s opinion to be settled into this otherwise impartial documentation of the world.  With the invention of digital photography (registering of light through a device that converts it to electronic signals), normally seen today, we get even more adaptability in photographs. Digital photography allows us to more easily and swiftly change and adapt our photos, making for a more interesting, and deceitful, world.

The challenge presented above is a comment on how changing usually explicit documentation, such as photos, into something that is changeable makes us ask questions about what is real and what is fake. People today have subconsciously and deliberately developed skills to determine the truth of something, or at least determine something they could believe is true. Such is the world that fact checking is having to become a necessary and much used skill. With epidemics like fake news, the erasure of varied perspectives and the whitewashing of history, it can be difficult to tell what is real and what is not.

The imagery for this collage comes from my own collection of photos. I wanted this collage to be hyper realistic so these pictures come from my own life and experiences. The pictures are then melded together to form something that i would see on someone’s Facebook or Instagram page. The design of the piece draws the eye to the center of the photo, taking focus away from the elements I have tried to incorporate in seamlessly. I hope viewers interpret this collage as an almost seamless photo, something one of them could take and put on their social media. This is because I want this photo to be a commentary on how very realistic altered photos can be, for either good or ill. I had to use many layers and masking tools to be sure to blend and match the photos and elements as best as I could. This work needed to be constructed digitally as it is a commentary on how effective digital technology is.

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