Mental Eruption: A Senior Surreal Photo by Rohit Padmakumar (2016)
My surrealist piece captures the snapshot of a young girl who is currently dealing with an overload of information. She is in a pensive state for she is attempting to control all of her personal stresses and duties, but she lacks control of herself. Since she cannot maintain this stream of data that ultimately encompasses her mental life, the splatter of colors coming from the back of her head symbolizes that she cannot handle all of her external pressures. The different colors represent the numerous aspects of her life that she must deal with.
For the piece, I used a variety of tools from Adobe Photoshop. Primarily, the liquify tool allowed me to distort the images on multiple layers individually. The tool is most evident on the background image. The trees in particular, which have an infrared filter on them, are mangled to facilitate an unreal and confusing environment. I also used the liquify tool on the splatter itself, which is the focus of the piece. After creating the splatter using a variety of intersecting lines with the pen tool and filling each individual box with a different color, I once again used the liquify tool to create the illusion that the splatter was a running fluid. Since having an HDR photo was a requirement for the product, the girl was shot at three different exposures initially. When put into Photoshop, the three pictures were merged such that we could see the highlights and lowlights on the girl. Lastly, I also changed the levels of each layer such that the colors would be more aesthetically appealing. The girl is particularly contrasted such that she pops out from the black and white background. In doing so, this guides the viewer's eye from the girl, to the splatter of colors, as if he or she are reading a book.