momma’s day gift – a.k.a. photo collage #2

So I liked the letter collage I made for my friends so much that I wanted to make another one for my grandma for mother’s day.

But this time I went frame shopping FIRST cause I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to find something for eight letters.  Then I walked to Pearl Street to snap some more pictures.  (I’ve actually been carrying my camera around almost everywhere since the last project, always on the lookout for letters.  But I didn’t have everything I needed.)

Once again since I have no photo-editing software I used Word to remove color and adjust contrast, and here’s what I ended up with!

I’m actually quite annoyed with how Target printed my pictures.  Their machine is cutting off a bit off the edges, because all of these ended up zoomed in a bit from what I gave them.  That’s why the C especially on the bottom is really filling the frame.  (You can compare against original layout plans below in Word.)  Will have to keep this in mind next time I do this project.

Some tips if you’re going to make one of these yourself (which you totally should!):

Go SLOWLY and look at EVERYTHING.  Shadows, details, stuff drawn in wet concrete.  Letters won’t be easy to find – unless they’re on signs.  But if you think about it, half a bicycle wheel is a C and the corner of a rectangle is an L.  Patience, grasshopper.  I glanced down at my feet, and there was a K!

Be aware of ORIENTATION – that is if your letters are going to be in portrait or landscape.  I carried a scrap of paper in my pocket that I kept pulling out for reference.

If you’re like me and have no photo-editing software, make sure to CENTER and FILL (most of) THE FRAME.

Give yourself OPTIONS rather than saying, “Okay, I found a G.  Done!”  Find a few more Gs.  Sometimes things won’t look as good in the photo as real life, or they won’t work for the collage.  Like I was hoping to use the tail of the mountain lion sculpture in front of the Cheesecake Factory for the C, but then I realized that three of the letters on my bottom row would be dark shapes on a light background.

Take LOTS of shots of your subject.  Vary zoom, flash, try with and without macro settings.  Step a bit to the left or right to maybe get a more interesting angle.

And just because I’m an architecture major doesn’t mean you have to use industrial elements for a collage like this.  How cute would this be with photo letters from toys for a child’s room?  Or tree branches, stones, and natural elements?  Or maybe hands making ASL letters?  Be creative!  

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