Pineapple: A Senior Surreal Photo by Sasha Sobol (2015)
This composition was created using two cameras, Photoshop, and a creative approach to deriving striking imagery. I combined the bottom half of an upside-down black and white high dynamic range (HDR) pineapple with the bottom half of Sara's face in black and white HDR by smudging the two images into each other. To clarify, HDR is the process of combining multiple exposures of the same shot to allow for more detail in the highlights and shadows of the photo. To create the pink flames, I took a series of shots of a candle. I did not use HDR here because fire has a tendency to move around, making it difficult to capture multiple compositionally identically images. I then turned the flames pink because I wanted them to be a color not generally associated with fire, which meant that yellow, orange, red, green, and blue were out. I removed the backgrounds of the flames and tweaked them to fit the rest of the composition. I made the background a solid black so that it is in stark contrast to the Sara/pineapple composition, thus channelling the audience's attention to my work.
The way Sara's face, the pineapple, and the flames came together did not come about purposefully. I photographed many different objects and picked three to combine into this surrealist piece. While I was creating it, I was vaguely aware of human eyes being largely considered the most important and informative part of their face. I found it curious that noses are barely ever mentioned all the while being in the middle of the faces to which they are attached. Not showing Sara's eyes is bound to make the viewers uncomfortable. Sara's septum piercing, combined with her nose's central location and sharp focus made her nose the focal point of the composition, further amplify the sense of unease I hope to evoke. I like that this unease is provoked by what I consider to be a beautiful, high contrast monochromatic creation. Perhaps this is yet another source of discomfort?