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Just as a photograph can record fragments of reality, it can also be created out of fragments. This is what a photo composite does. It juxtaposes and melds seemingly disparate objects into a cohesive whole, fragments from many sources, to present a different reality, in the way a dream might present fragments from different times and places.
Blurring the line between photography and painting, a composited image can invite the viewer to enter into a world of magic or mystery, of whimsy or the unconscious. It permits us to create extraordinary images out of ordinary things. This workshop in Santa Fe with Fran Forman redresses the idea of what a composited image is and what it can become.
Our week is devoted to creating a strong work of art with an emphasis on composition and craftsmanship. Participants use images from their archives or scanned images. There are also opportunities to photograph around town for background elements, objects, and people, as “assets“ are acquired to incorporate into our photo composites.
In The Workshops state-of-the-art Digital Lab, participants use Adobe Photoshop to composite their selected images. We experiment with and fine-tune: masking, edge treatments, color space, texture, perspective, depth of field, harmony, symmetry, and the consistent use of shadows and highlights, and of course, composition and narrative, all in the service of creating a cohesive composited image. To create a sense of magic realism or the possibility of a new reality, we see how the disparate elements meld seamlessly. Once many of the technical issues are mastered, we address what makes the image work as a piece of art.
Fran gives demonstrations throughout the week and works closely with each student, always available for critique, suggestions, and troubleshooting. We share our composited artwork with our fellow workshop participants by critiquing each other’s work as a group. We also look at other artists’ works; after all, none of us works in a vacuum, and we learn as much from other types of visual artists as we do from photographers.
Be prepared to be confused, baffled, and to experiment and have fun. Fran promotes a class atmosphere that is energetic, supportive, and collaborative. Participants receive continual assistance and feedback on their works in progress. Fran encourages experimentation, laughter, discovery, play, and the open exchange of concepts, ideas, and techniques.
This workshop is for experienced Adobe Photoshop users.
Fran Forman’s photo paintings have been exhibited both locally and internationally and are in many private collections as well as the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (Washington, DC), the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and others.
Fran’s second major monograph, The Rest Between Two Notes: Selected Works by Fran Forman, published by Unicorn, was released on September 2019. Escape Artist, 2014, was selected as one of the Best PhotoBooks by Elizabeth Avedon and won first place in an international competition.
Recently, Fran has mounted solo exhibitions at The Fox Talbot Museum, UK, Griffin Museum of Photography, AfterImage Gallery (Dallas), University of North Dakota, Galeria Photo/Graphica (Mexico), and the Pucker Gallery (Boston). In the past decade, Fran has won numerous significant awards and prizes and is often asked to juror and curate photo exhibitions. Fran received an MFA from Boston University.