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Paper Crumbles: A Senior Surreal Photo by Drew Russert (2014)

At first glance, it appears that Matt Shearer is hanging for his dear life as a swarm of octopi try to swallow him under their arms. However, there is a deeper meaning to this picture. The tentacles represent someone's personal dangers, fears, or mistakes they've made in the past. The tree Matt is hanging on represents new life or the chance to escape. It is a hand wrapped in a tree texture and it appears to be giving something. That something is a new chance at life.

The picture could also be looked at differently. It could be that Matt is trying to enter the tentacles from the tree to try and fight off his fears or make things right. By doing this he hopes to help other people that are already swallowed up by the octopi. The background is crumbled paper to represent the consequences of the two choices. In order to create paper, a tree must be cut down.

To create this picture, I mainly used Photoshop in order to merge the pictures I created into HDR. I borrowed the octopi off the internet because it would have been difficult to capture a picture of an octopus under water. I also used photoshop to wrap a tree texture around the hand. For a color scheme I used mostly warm colors, but the red of the octopi and the green of the leaves complement each other, thus representing opposite meanings (safety vs. danger). My interpretation of this image is that Matt is trying to escape from his past in order to start a new future, but his past is too important to forget so the octopi crawling back to him.
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