Escape: A Senior Surreal Photo by Stella Ge (2015)
I photographed a mason jar on a textured wooden table, and separately photographed a dandelion, clouds, and Sara all in HDR and pieced them all together to create this composition. I placed shrunken Sara inside the jar, overlaying the jar image over itself so it looked like she was actually behind glass. I also placed clouds inside the jar using a similar procedure, and arranged the dandelion so that it looked like Sara was holding onto it, almost like a balloon. The dandelion is the only item in color, and I placed a black and white filter on all the other images I used and an infrared filter on the image of a jar on the table to enhance certain colors in the picture. Photoshop was the program I used to piece all of the separate images together, and I shot everything in raw for even higher quality.
In my piece, Sara is a girl trying to float away from the negativity and societal pressures that can often trap us, much like a jar. She's holding onto a dandelion, a symbol of youth and hope, because as kids we always blew them out and made wishes, hoping they would come true. The clouds are simply an extension of the metaphor of the uncertainty and cloudiness of this entire process, and the fact that she is flying out of them is representative of how far she's come but also of how far she has left to go.