Imagine your mind as a path to another place, always present but hidden from the rest of the world’s view. Now imagine an image that shows your private world transposed onto the real world. You will create a composite image using a photo of yourself as a doorway to give your audience the chance to see how you experience the world of your own mind: your imagination.
Notice the contrast in the image of the kid on the subway above. Everything in the two images is designed to draw the viewer’s eye to their differences! The urban setting of the subway train is grey, drab, cold and colorless. No faces are seen, no personality exists. The child is alone in the foreground, partially facing us, his or her feet barely touching the ground (youth) to show us they have not yet evolved into this grown-up urban world. An air of loneliness or sadness is portrayed by the position and body language of the subject. Notice how their arms hang by their sides, listless and bored. The artist chose these details to get maximum effect out of their train shot perhaps.
Now look for all the contrasts we can find in the image of the sunrise. It is bright, warm, happy – full of promise. The sun’s rays come directly at us through this doorway, welcoming us. Is this the place the child goes to in his head when daydreaming on their daily train ride? Is it a fantasy of escaping the city that traps their life? This is the power of visual storytelling.
Here is a great example of this CONTRAST used in the title sequence for the HBO show the Leftovers. Notice the removal of some of the subjects, and the use of negative/positive space to draw the eye to what was edited. This relations ship is sometimes referred to the Figure/Gound relationship.
Write a half page in Microsoft Word about the difference between your everyday, ordinary, routine of life- and the perfect, fantasy life you daydream about…one paragraph describing what your ordinary day looks like, then a 2nd paragraph describing what your daydreams or fantasy looks like.
Save and name it DoorLastFirst.doc and turn it in to Edmodo.
Notice how the silhouette gives the child anonymity, we do not know their name – and we will not know yours either. You will only need your outline to use for the doorway, but you must plan the shot so that one part of you (like the child’s boots) is left behind to add a personal touch. This could be you wearing glasses, a hat, glove, or a scarf that will serve as the link between you and the background environment. You may choose almost any part of you that is not central to your silhouette to leave behind and not include in the mask. Leave as much of you as possible, so that we get as much of a view of your fantasy world as we can.
First you must come up with at least three (3) shots of you in ordinary situations: at school, at home, some place you spend lots of of time- where your life is, but not the life you dream of. Compose your photo so that when most of you (you will leave one small part- like the child’s boots) is masked out, there will be left enough of the background to establish the scene.
Do not shoot just your face or head, but also be aware of how much negative space is around you in the image. We will use the image of the child on the train for inspiration: you should take up about 1/3 of the space and the background should be the remaining 2/3.
Plan the scene: take into account who or what is in it with you. It could be a shot of you at the dinner table with your whole, huge, family. They are all chowing down on dinner, but you are sitting up straight, staring off into the distance. Use the contrast between others and you, or the contrast between the setting and the imaginary setting you will mask into your silhouette.
Now you will either 1. shoot or 2. download your imaginary place. This image will be masked inside your silhouette. This should be your daydreaming place, the fantasy world you go to in your head to escape the real world! It should be high-resolution (at least 150 DPI and larger than 8X10) and high quality. Save this file as DoorLastFirst.psd. Find an image that not only represents your special place, but also has a lot of contrast between it and your ordinary photo. Remember that when you mask this fantasy image into the silhouette of yourself, you must keep part of the image, as the photographer did with the child’s boots. Good luck!
Done with your Doorway? Turned it in to Edmodo? Choose File-Save for Web and optimize the image for Instagram. Save it as a JPEG Low or Medium. Email it to yourself, then post it on your school Instagram account. Add the hashtag #digitaldoorway2016 and #digitalphoto.
Once uploaded, your home screen should show both your before and after.