Before I discovered the sunny symmetry between our solar system and a pan-fried breakfast, I was planning on combining the pictures of a sun and a basketball. Thankfully, I did not.
If you’re somewhat familiar with my past online creations (might I introduce you to Pitfalls of Punning and Eggs and Existentialism?), you probably think I have a weird obsession with eggs at this point, but truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of the taste. Waffles and pancakes are far superior in my eyes, but it can’t be denied that eggs have a peculiarly appealing aesthetic value.
Both the sun and the sunny-side-up are yellow(ish) spheres, sources of life’s vitality, and can burn you if you’re not carefully, so they seemed slightly more appropriate to pair than the sun and a basketball. The abrupt contrast between the empty void of space and crispy-warm egg whites creates a humorous disorientation that I rather enjoy. I originally had the sun shrunken down to be nested in the pan, but I had to adapt because of the picture’s square edges; as such, we are now looking at one hefty cosmic breakfast.
Yet I wanted to give you all the opportunity to vicariously hold the world in your hands (or the sun in your pan), so I made a rather unorthodox combophoto that I think you’ll enjoy. Next time you sit yourself down to some scrambles, I hope you contemplate the power you now possess: the ability to cradle the crux of the universe in All-Clads and Calphalons.
Stephen Mcmennamy is an Atlanta artist and Creative Director at the advertising firm BBDO. He first came to my attention when I saw his series of “combophotos” that splice together two different images to form a surreal new creation.
Here are a few examples from him:
cauliflower + poodle
paintbrush + spaghetti
bridge + guitar
Take a few moments to look through the images he’s posted on his site linked above or on his Tumblr or his Instagram. Then create your own square combophoto and publish it to your site. You can take your own photos, but probably you’ll want to use CC_licensed images you find on Flickr — make sure you give credit to the originals that you modify to create your combophoto.
The level of technical aptitude for this assignment is actually relatively small, just simple cropping and resizing. The greater part of the challenge is thinking creatively and finding images that you can work with. That said, note that Mcmennamy comes up with ideas and then specifically stages photos to combine, and he seems to often spend significant amounts of time shooting and selecting his images. You won’t have lots of time, models you can hire, or expensive photo equipment to work with, so I don’t necessarily expect your final images to be as polished and perfectly aligned as his are. More important is for you to be playful and come up with images that combine to create something funny or witty or striking.
To edit the two photos together, you can use whatever photo editing software you’d like. Pixlr is a good free web app, as is PicMonkey. Adobe Photoshop is also available for you to use on the computers in the Media Library on the 4th floor of the Woodruff Library.
Once you have your image, publish it in a post on your class site. Don’t forget to give it a funny or witty title! Tag your post “sk4“
Write a paragraph about how you went about choosing the two images you combined and why. What challenges did you face as you created your combophoto? What do you think your final image conveys?