During my time in Edinburgh, my brother and I decided to go up Arthur’s Seat where I felt it was a great opportunity to try out a photo montage of the city from there. The idea was simple; take a large amount of photographs from exactly the same spot, print the photos and piece them together to create a bigger panorama picture.
I’ve tried this idea a few times in the past; first time in Portfolio Preparation for an art installation I created; I tried doing it again with a country pathway (180 degree turn) and with a railway stop (90 degree turn). The railway and country road montages were quite mundane subjects, but were made interesting with this technique, although I’ve felt there was something missing with this technique; something to give them the complete wow factor which I have still to discover.
With Edinburgh, I thought the city would be a brilliant subject for a montage, and could maybe look nice as a piece of wall art. I decided to stop where blueish-purple flowers (named Viper’s Bugloss) are on the Arthur Seat’s pathway and set the camera’s zoom at 10 times. With my previous tries at this, it has always been a challenge to remember if everything has been photographed and sometimes parts can be missing (as can be seen below); it does add to the montage look, but I would prefer to get all the photos and take away some if it looks better. Another challenge with this project is piecing everything together once the photos are edited and printed like a eccentric jigsaw puzzle; I would want to look further into this idea and decide if the photos should click together perfectly (as much as it can), or if it should have more of a distorted abstract look.
As far as the individual photos are concerned if I were to do this again (which I hope to) I would like to spend more time when doing a montage looking into lighting, focus and composition of each photo and how it affect the overall look of the montage. What I found quite interesting in this test was the mixture of different focused photos of the Viper’s Bugloss flowers (seen at the bottom of the montage); could work well if there’s an interesting foreground and background.
One other thing I thought about which I didn’t really get much experience with this time…was the progress of time. I’d like experiment further with subjects that can change and show their progress within the montage (someone running, sun setting; maybe a mixture of day and night images of same subject). I tried to experiment with this idea for the railway montage, but once I finished photographing the station, I found out that the trains were cancelled at that time!
It’s definitely an idea I want to experiment further into in the future and I have a few ideas of subjects to use (Goatfell in Arran, motorway (day/night), Kilwinning Abbey, a big tree, maybe even portraiture). Keep a look out for montages like this in the future! Below are my previous montages: different toned montage of my Portfolio Preparation art installation; montage of an Eglinton Park country pathway; and thirdly my selective coloured montage of Corkerhill train station.