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Creating a Scene

Journey at Home Day 34

As part of the History of Photography course I am taking, I had to create an image in the spirit of the first art photographers in the mid 1800's. At that time, there was a debate over whether photography should be considered an art. Many thought photos should simply records facts and that taking photos was something subservient to science or useful for people to remember trips. Others disagreed and saw the creative potential.

Many of the creative photographers at the time combined two or more negatives to build an imaginary scene. Henry Peach Robinson created this print in 1858 from six negatives. Fading Away depicts a dead girl and her grieving family. It was all staged, and the various parts of the image combined in post.

This next image, Two Ways of Life, is the result of Oscar Rejlander combining thirty-two negatives to create this amazing scene.

My task was to create something that would have been considered art photography, but using current tools, including the digital camera. I collected some specimens from outside and staged them indoors on a mossy log. Then I used various tool—Lightroom, Photoshop, Topaz Studio—to combine the scene with a background texture and then to add various effects to get something I hope looks artistic.

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