Has it really been a week since I posted my first Photo of the Week? Yikes, well okay then, here’s the second – my favorite photo(s) from this week, with some background …
Okay, obviously not a straight photo. It’s a collage from three photos I took this week. I started with my photo of a red admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta):
George and I trekked up Albany Hill to check on the monarch butterflies – starting around this time of the year they overwinter in the eucalyptus trees there. Last year we only saw a few, so this year we were very encouraged to see far more. Hopefully they’ll keep coming. I didn’t get any photos of the monarchs because they were fluttering around high up in the sky, but there were a lot of red admiral butterflies flitting lower down and then landing to sun their wings on the duff. This one let me creep close enough to get a shot.
I blended that photo with a closeup I shot of a small bouquet in a vase on my windowsill. It’s a black and white striped hen’s feather next to a dried stalk of some soft pouffy grass.
I was struck by the conjunction of the lines and disparity of the textures and tones.
The third photo in the collage is another closeup of part of the same bouquet.
It’s the remains of a seed pod of a money plant (Lunaria Annua), also known as silver dollar plant. The plant has been slowly eroding, and I liked the juxtaposition of the frame of the disk with the empty spaces and few remaining tattered pieces.
I used the layer blending tool in Photoshop Elements to blend the photos. I liked a few of the different settings to blend the first two, but finally settled on the ‘overlay’ setting. I then added the money plant and blended them all into the final collage. When I make my blended abstract collages I usually take photos from different years – it was fun to use three that I shot on the same day. Here are some of my other blended collages. You can see that butterflies appear in many of them. What are your favorite subjects in your art or photos?