Text and Image Photography

New Images Photography

The Birth of the Photocollage

Photomontage…Photocollage…Scrapbooking. The relationship of photography with the art of collage goes back a long time. The craft has morphed over the years into what is now known as scrapbooking. Today’s scrapbookers weren’t the first to arrange photos and other artifacts on paper.

Wealthy Victorian women were the first to cut up photos to create the photomontages, art pieces that often interchanged body parts from one person to another.

The mixing of photographs with other media is an art that dates back to the early days of photography. In the 1860s and 1870s, wealthy Victorian women constructed compositions that included cutout photos painted with watercolors.

Today’s scrapbook pages differ from the Victorian version. They include embellishments such as cloth, beads, buttons and stamps to their images to produce texture to on the surface of the page. They usually have themes and present the lives of their creators.

Digital scrapbookers emulate their paper sisters by creating scrapbook pages with their computers using image manipulation software like Photoshop and Elements. These pages also contain embellishments. The texture of these pages is presented as an illusion by including images of cloth, beads, buttons and stamps mixed with photos creatively arranged to emulate a real scrapbook page. The themes are similar to those who make the pages with paper and other materials.

The Victorian versions are rarely emulated. After all, who would want their head on a body of an animal? If you’ve made a scrapbook page a-la the Victorian style, please send to me and I’ll post on this blog.

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