Digital Media I – ART 1550
David Sullivan

1.  COLLAGE - Due Feb 4th

One thing the computer excels at is bringing different types of data together into the same space. In pictorial art, this is represented by collage or montage (Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, David Salle, Romare Bearden). You can also think of this as a form of hybridization or grafting. To produce quality images for print, web, and video, you need to understand essential graphic design principles and how digital images are created. Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended is an image-manipulation tool that can help you analyze, enhance, and edit images. In this project, you will learn the basics of image digitizing, image composition, and elements of visual design as you create a collage.
You will take photos and gather images from various sources, identifying elements of visual design that reflect good composition. Then you will use Photoshop to retouch and manipulate these photos and images to build a collage.

This assignment is to quickly get you into thinking of how computers can be used to realize YOUR ideas. Each person will have different levels of skills in different areas. It is up to you to figure out how the computer will help you do what you want. Learn from the strengths and skills of the other students in class.

I want you to play and experiment.  The computer can do many different things, but you don’t need to know all of them to use it to make good images.  You only need to figure out how to do what you need to do.   There is no required mastery of a specific set of applications necessary for creating YOUR work.  Applications change, interfaces are outmoded. It is better to have a general understanding of how the computer processes information, than specific steps in a specific version of a certain application. Your job is to conceive of possibilities.   Mine will be to help you find ways to achieve those possibilities.   I will not point the way so much as help you get there.   This requires substantial self-direction, self-motivation and self-discipline on your part.   It also requires you to experiment with and learn about the possibilities.   This exercise is the start.

For more on collage
For some ideas on how to use objects, take a look at the work of Joseph Cornell
information on copyright:
• Tips on digital photography composition:
• A variety of information about digital cameras:
• Tips for image composition and definitions on the elements of visual design:
• A comprehensive look at scanning and graphics:
• Tips for working with layers in Photoshop when creating collages:
• Techniques for creating photo collages in Photoshop:

The Language of Visual Design

Student Guide (PDF) - Photoshop basics, scanning, color afjusting, cropping, saving, etc
If you forget what i was talking about in class, and you need an overview of the interface and for more information on the technical aspects of Photoshop, please remember to use Photoshop's Help in the top right of the menu bar. It knows more than I do about Photoshop and is available everytime you work in Photoshop, and it is searchable.


a. Bring to the next class six “objects.” that you feel represent you or the things you are interested in.   In a sense, by using these objects, you will be creating a self-portrait. The selection of objects is itself a part of the process of making the pieces for this project.   Do not pick lightly!!!   These objects can be anything, EXCEPT someone else's artwork.   It is up to you to define what an object is, and to be aware of the associations your objects carry with them. (Andres Serrano, Jeff Koons, David Hammons).

b. Digitize your 6 objects using the scanner or a digital camera. Make sure you try both devices. use at least two of the images to make three finished pieces printed on the Epson Stylus Pro 4800 printer. Use PhotoShop to manipulate these images.   Think about what material you want these printed on and what you want to do to them after printing, etc. Your image may be composed on one printout or spread across many.

c. Besides the prints, you will submit your photoshop files. I expect to see use of layers, layer masks, and adjustment layers.

Here are some samples (done for a similar project) from a previous classes:
Image1, image 2, image 3, image 4, image 5, image 6, image 7, image 8
Your images do not have to be in black & white!