Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Making Of “Multiplicity”

Text And Photography By Meredith Winn Published in Shooting
The Making Of “Multiplicity”
EDITOR?S NOTE: The image Multiplicity by Meredith Winn was featured on the cover of our October 2012 How-To Special Issue. We asked Winn to take us through her creative process in making the image. Also be sure to check out the related story by Winn from that issue, "Express Yourself."

I believe that nothing is ordinary, that everything and everyday life can be seen as art. Documenting my every day is how I take the time to appreciate all the beauty that surrounds my life. In a sense, the beauty I find around me actually becomes me. Photography helps me focus on the positive (or the negative—even chaos can be beautiful). What I choose to see is what I choose to shoot. Through my camera lens, I learn to look kindly at my surroundings and myself. And so I find myself drawn to self- portraiture.

I love photography full of color and emotion. I also love exploring all the versions of ourselves that make us who we are. Along the path of self-portraiture, I fell in love with the short stories I could create, as seen through one photograph and many versions of myself. The art of multiplicity photography is completely inspiring. It helps me think about (and see) all the versions of myself that exist within one body. It allows me freedom to be everything I want to be, all in one photographic package.

I?m drawn to the story of an image and how something so personal can, at the same time, feel so universally human. When I set out to create this image, a lightness within me was asking to be documented. I wanted to remember this time of newness when my heart felt open to joy. That said, I must say that I?m not always certain what I?m seeking; sometimes I just go looking for an idea of an image to help me feel connected. I fumble in the darkness of creativity and end up listening to my heart. The result is often a visual image that helps me tie the threads of past and present and future.

Life is the illusion of beauty...or beauty so true you believe it unreal.

I learn by doing. Photography catches the space between here and there, reality and optical illusion. The camera and your computer are the tools with which you can create an image of the world inside your mind. Multiplicity is a photography technique in which the same person is photographed multiple times within one scene. All the images are then digitally remastered in Photoshop. The finished image reveals multiple versions of one person all within one photo. This can be a brilliant technique for expressing yourself through self-portraiture.

When the photo shoot is carefully planned, it?s relatively easy to edit your work in postproduction. A tripod helps tremendously while shooting multiplicity images. This keeps your images all aligned, which makes for smooth edits. A self-timer or wireless remote can also prove helpful. Your only other requirements to explore multiplicity are Photoshop and layer masking. There are many different ways to get the same end result (as anyone with a camera and Photoshop can attest). Using layer masks is, in my opinion, the most efficient way to create multiplicity images.

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