By Suellen Cook. I understand that my art work is probably not falling into the traditional view of photography, nor what you might be expecting, nevertheless I would appreciate whatever feedback I can get from experienced photographers.


The Gatherer’s Daughter by Suellen Cook
The image is a composite of 20 of my own photographic images and is a comment on the potential for loss of species with impending climate change and the need to act now to preserve vulnerable species and retain diversity. I used my Canon 5D Mk II for all the images, with two of my lenses – 70-200mm zoom and 100mm Macro. It’s is composed in Photoshop and consists of many many layers blended together to arrive at the final image.

Don’s response
This is a very tough one to comment on. As the photographer explains, it is a composite of 20 images, so in the end, the only thing I can sensibly remark upon is the way the image has been structured.

Overall, I think the picture elements have been combined in a reasonably eye-catching composition. I like the intricate detail in the contents of the boat and the placement of the figure of the Gatherer’s daughter.

Inviting the viewer’s eye into the composition (as this image does) also invites their close scrutiny and here, for me, the separate elements seem to not quite fit together seamlessly. The islands (particularly on the right) don’t quite “sit” in the sea. The blossoms are plausible and the flocks of birds work too, but the central image of the boat seems to be on, rather than in, the water (although the ripples around the tiller are effective). The same “on, rather than in” problem affects the contents of the boat too.

Utterly artificial as the picture is, viewers may still unconsciously expect even allegorical scenes to fit together in a natural way. The artist is clearly well advanced in photo compositing techniques, and we wish her well on the way to complete mastery.


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