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Untitled: A Senior Surreal Photo by Katherine Higgins (2014)

Using Adobe Photoshop and a photography technique called High Dynamic Range (HDR) which captures a great depth of light, I created a snakeskin-like texture by photographing the reflective tape on a traffic cone. I then applied that texture to the car mirror using a displacement map in Photoshop, which created the key metamorphosis in my piece. I also used HDR photography when shooting the boy on the bike to create high contrast and to effectively show parts of the image that were in shadow and those that were well lit. Additionally, I used the liquify filter/tool in Photoshop to make it seem like the concrete was oozing out of the car mirror, adding to the absurdity and surrealism of my piece.

I wanted to create a general feeling of unease with my piece to capture my trouble with nightmares. I also wanted to tell the story of the fight between nature and mankind, and how both tend to suffocate each other: the snake skin texture engulfs the car mirror, which in turn traps the boy in his location and separates him from the most natural elements, the two sky photos and the leaves. I used a triadic color scheme of green, purple, and orange because while all the colors compete, they tend to have equal power; this power dynamic lent itself nicely to my narrative.
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