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Chapter 1. THE CREATIVE PROCESS AND CONF... > A BRIEF HISTORY OF COMBINING IMAGES

A BRIEF HISTORY OF COMBINING IMAGES

The history of collage and montage is rich and varied. Its roots are in the history of painting, as painters often used symbolism and metaphor to convey a thought or perception. Photography is infused with artists who use combinations of printing, montage, and collage to overcome technical limitations or expand creative expression. Digital compositing continues this trend because the computer enables you to combine images from disparate sources, eras, and mediums to create new and compelling work.

In the 19th century, photographic materials were overly blue sensitive and couldn't differentiate between sky and clouds, causing the skies to be very white and uninteresting. Photographers used combination printing to add skies, as Camille Silvy (1834–1910) did with his highly regarded river scenes. Oscar Gustave Rejlander (1813–75) used combination printing and multiple exposures to choreograph and create complex images, which even today would be impossible to take with a single exposure. Rejlander often portrayed moral scenes that created quite a stir in the viewing public.


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