Spaced Out: A Senior Surreal Photo by Kiran Kothuri (2014)
In my surrealist piece, I centered my focal point on a bright green, thriving tree. I metamorphosed this tree to grow out of the stem of an apple, which I had also edited to partly metamorphose into a planetary object. Farther behind this intergalactic tree-apple planet, I placed an image of the night-time Earth covering a star, creating an eclipse. Finally, I used an image of deep space for the background, to complete the space-like theme. Using Photoshop, I edited each element of my piece to create the curious, dreamlike spacescape I envisioned. I used multiple adjustment layers and smart filters to tweak each image layer to further enhance the overall spacescape. In this piece, I included two edited HDR photos. I decided to use a macro lens when photographing the apple, as it helped focus on many minute details of the apple and it's stem. However, this proved to be a challenge as the macro lens was unable to keep the entire apple in focus, and after many futile attempts, I settled for an angle where the bottom right side of the apple was slightly blurry. As for the tree, I went out to the Baylands Park in Sunnyvale, and using a tripod, was able to capture the required photos. Once I had enough pictures in various different exposure settings, I merged them into a final HDR photo using Photoshop's HDR Merger.
In my piece, I want to convey the message that everything grows over time; the apple with time would blossom into a full tree. I chose to use a triadic color scheme, focusing on greens, reds, and blues, as they most vividly captured my original concept of a dreamlike spacescape. I chose to include the Earth in behind the planetary apple-tree, as I felt that it contributed to the cosmic spacescape, as well as added to the time-slowly-passing theme. I felt the Earth overlooking the morphing apple-tree planet helped convey that time was passing, as the Earth constantly moves forward but never stops, much like time does. I felt that the overall narrative in my piece is that time and growth are just two sides of the same coin; nothing remains permanently the same.