Montage Mirage Samples
After a brief introduction, “Beginning Montage Mirage” teaches 7 fundamentals & 4 “Basic Techniques” so you can CREATE YOUR OWN PHOTO TAPESTRIES. Each full color image occupies a whole page while the opposite page details descriptions. 25 layouts inspire you. Place your precious photos in a similar layout, follow the simple instructions & you can cluster your cherished memories into one-of-a-kind montages suitable for framing.
Generations is the cover photo of my book, Montage Mirage Photo Tapestries, How To Create Photo Art From Your Heart enlarged so it can be appreciated. The text from the book is below:
Let me introduce my family. In the center is an original photo of my maternal grandparents with the first two of their five children. (Three girls and two boys.) My parents’ wedding party photo (bottom) captures beloved friends and relatives. Clockwise from lower left is my daughter, Charlene, on the day of her second wedding.
I had a massage outside in the beautiful sunshine of a summer day and I was talking about the plans for Charlene’s upcoming wedding in Corte Madera, CA. Suddenly, with my eyes wide open, I saw a beautiful cherub with blond curls above me. I knew immediately that she was going to be Charlene’s daughter. Tashanna, left middle, was born five years later. Top left are myself, my son, Michael, at the apex and David and Carole, my nephew and sister (top right).
The large center photo was put down first. It’s height and width determined the finished dimensions and the oval shape. Because this old fashioned photo is in a monotone, the entire background is obscured with sumptuous flowers. They’re even sprinkled between the parents and baby. Layering blossoms continued until only the most essential elements were visible. Next, the wedding portrait at the bottom became the strong foundation. Finally, pictures of my immediate family encircled them – spaced for balance and allure.
My family portrait is framed in gorgeous roses of different sizes and varieties because the individual photos are mixed. The middle shot is large, serious and sepia-toned. Vivid blossoms were overlaid to blend in with the others. The bridal party is more horizontal and dense with black tuxes. Much of that black was camouflaged by the strategic placement of a giant flushed rose over the men and, similarly, some of the bridesmaids’ gowns were hidden under silvery ones. The remaining ones are smaller, modern and casual. The common floral medium provides a context within which to view these very divergent styles. The colors of the clothing are matched and accented with the soft hues of the bouquet. Each rose is cut around its periphery and positioned according to color, shape, size and direction.
PORTRAIT IN RED
Tashanna was an exceedingly active child who was always in motion. One still shot of her couldn’t begin to capture her effervescence. Snapping a series of photos while she was playing enabled me to present a dynamic representation of her inexhaustible energy. (A series of outside photos eliminates flashes going off.)
These photos were taken on two different days – one with a jacket and skirt when she was swinging, the other when she was digging in sand while chatting to me. Her bright cherry clothing brought them together. She’s looking toward you in a conversational progression along the bottom. Two shots with her head down (top left) create some distance and complete the circle. The bottom swinging photo creates contrast and balances the backward swinging one opposite (right, top).
Tashanna’s profiles break out of the circle on the top and right side. Most of the images are trimmed into silhouettes, then overlaid onto the previous ones. In the top right two photos, her pony tail from swinging flies on top of her arm and the feet of the second are on top of her back. This “over and under” technique is repeated in many portrait tapestries to blur lines, blend photos and interconnect. If a piece sticks up after manipulation, apply a dot of glue.
Gritty sand supplied the necessary cohesion while serving as grounding for Tashanna. The claret red and denim blue of her clothing contrasts with the bronze sand and her flaxen hair. Background winter trees were included to provide the outdoor context and give the eye a place to rest. A photo of her standing next to them mimics their vertical lines. (Repeating lines and shapes unifies images.) Three photos of bare trees outside my window were sliced along their branches and layered. Their size was selected so the piece would retain a circular shape.
This is one of my favorite montages because of its vibrancy, personality and simplicity.
(13″W x 14.75″H)
Only twelve photos were necessary to portray Michael’s college and post-collegiate life. The atmosphere of that particular time period comes across graphically. You share the ease and warmth of Florida life while becoming acquainted. It’s almost as if you’re visiting and talking with him as he prepares to take you out onto the boat or for a swim. His eye contact, along with close ups, put you into the action.
Besides his love of animals, witness carefree days living and playing by the water. Born in St. Petersburg, I taught him to swim at three months of age. He earned his scuba diving license in his teens, likes boating, water skiing, fishing and surfing. Michael is swimming with his dog, Oreo, and hugging Serendipity (Sara for short) in the hammock. He’s also fond of hiking and camping.
Nine square photos were laid out evenly at the start. Non essential material was trimmed along natural lines (like the top curve of the rope hammock that is reminiscent of fishing nets). The canal scenes provide location and natural bridges. Top left, the water’s circular edge overlaps the canal and follows the curves of the diagonal seating below – along with the boat to the right.
Bottom left, Michael’s profile (with a friend behind him) is overlaid onto the long shot on the porch. Next, he and a friend jokingly sport scuba masks and flippers on motorcycles. This technique of layering the larger shot over the further one establishes natural perspective. It depicts action, visual congruity and information simultaneously. The center position of Michael in the hanging chair became the focal point around which the rest of the photos congregate.
Whenever I find a curve in a photo that makes sense, I trim along it to fuse and dissolve pictures into one another. There are many curves in this piece, from the water and sofa to the hanging chair and hammock. Profiles are layered over blank spaces. For example, the smaller shot of Michael kneeling down to pet the dog fits nicely on the empty top section of the hammock. Cutting out the trapezoid shape of the hanging chair is more captivating and reflects the uneven, angular ropes below. A masculine flavor of activity and fun is maintained.
(13″W x 10″H)
Below a family album transformed into a prized keepsake to be handed down through the generations.
For ten years, Carole and I lived and raised our children together as an extended family rather than maintaining single parent households. The boys, David and Michael (left and right center), just eleven months apart became best friends. Charlene and Tashanna, (bottom left), the children’s fathers, Dave Sr. (left top and mid edge)and Michael Sr. (top right), along with our parents, (bottom right), Carole and I plus our two jet black dogs, Mugs and Max, all star in this illustrated familial essay.
Photos of Carole and Dave are organized mainly on the left with Michael, Charlene and I mostly on the right, with group pictures intermingled. Carole’s left hand rests on her hip mirroring Dave’s left hand on his. Below, Carole’s close up flows into mine. Collectively, these photos constitute a sweeping curve.
Images with all of us are scattered. The triplet of Charlene kissing Tashanna and two of Dave hitting a baseball (top left) generate motion. Triangles of the Golden Gate Bridge and the uppermost roof are repeated. Silhouetted family members share compatible backgrounds. Water and long shots became harmonizing elements. Ruby rhododendrons and raspberry roses accentuate cardinal colored clothing. Meandering edges are laced with lavender irises, creamy daises, and forest green foliage.
Core words, printed on my pc, announce the theme. From babies to college graduates, from learning to sail to the Renaissance Fair, from sporting fun to trips and outings, this compilation celebrates the current successes and victories of our nuclear family. The message applauds, “Terrific! You’re the best! Excellent! Good for you!” This mirage is a family memoir, a glance through our history, a retrospective and symbol of imminent love and support.
My fondest photos were chosen and woven into a photo tapestry that warms my heart with gratitude. This is Carole’s prize that occupies a place of honor in her home where her spirit is lifted daily.
(20″W x 22″H)
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