Montaging

Like slide sandwiching and multiple exposure work, a print montage can combine elements or events that did not in fact occur together in real life. One person with eyes shut in a group can be pasted over with a cut-out print from another negative that is bad of everyone else. A strong foreground lead-in to a landscape can be combined with a distant main subject, when they were really hundreds of miles apart and shot on different days.

Again, most of these forms of manipulation are now handled digitally, but there is still plenty of scope for those who prefer to work in a more handcrafted manner.

Another form of reconstruction is to carefully dissect a single print into a regular pattern of slices, concentric discs, squares, etc., and then reassemble them in some different way, like the church architecture shown in Figure 43.2. In Figure

43.1, four prints have been butt-mounted to create one pattern. Look at the bottom left-hand quarter only and you will find that the subject is simply the inside of a shed door, including the shadow of the handle. It was constructed using two normal prints and two printed through the back of the negative.

The landscape (Figure 43.3) shows a more subtle form of repeat patterning - two butt-joined prints, one enlarged through the back of a negative and one from another negative, straight. Notice that having the dog on only one half breaks up the symmetry of the final result, making you wonder if the scene is real or constructed. Pictures like this need to be planned out before they are shot. If possible, make them pose a question or express some point of view. Figure 43.4, for example, says something about the fact that we work with hard edges to our pictures, unlike scenes observed by eye. A print of the man was pasted onto a seascape print and the shadow by his feet painted in with watercolor.

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