As many people do, I carry my cell phone with me almost all of the time. I really like the camera feature and use it often. I love the spontaneity of happening upon a flower, animal, landscape, bug or whatever and snapping a shot. As you can see I have snapped a shot of a single leaf because I love the color and pattern of the leaf. It was that one leaf that inspired me to go through my photos and create a digital collage of a moth.
On one of my walks in the yard a large moth lit on my shirt. I of course pulled out my camera and began taking pictures. I managed to get the moth onto my hand where I photographed it and when it flew to the ground I took more shots. In a couple of the shots I photographed from directly above. Eventually the moth flew off, but I felt sure I had some shots I could use later.
While visiting my family in Florida I took some pictures of the food, place settings and linens on the table. A large papaya had been halved lengthwise and was placed on a green plate. I loved the color combination and took a picture thinking I would paint a still life later. I still plan on doing the still life, but when I decided to use the single leaf as a wing I thought of the papaya as the moth body.
Here begins the how to part of the blog. I gathered together in a file the leaf, the papaya, a shot of the real moth and a shot of the tree in fall colors. If like me you love playing on the computer and have access to a photo manipulation application you can use to silhouette your separate images.
First I uploaded the real moth picture and separated the moth from the wings so only the wings were left.
I also silhouetted the single leaf so that it would have a transparent background.
I then used my selection tool to select only the top portion of the half of papaya and I left a part of the plate showing to use as antennae. I used an eraser tool to erase parts of the plate to make the antennae look like fringe.
I created a new file and layered the real wings on bottom, then the papaya as the body and on top the leaf on the right and then the flipped leaf on the left as the fore wings. Once you have the layers and image arranged satisfactorily be sure to name it and hit save.
One fall weekend I was working at The Greater Baton Rouge Arts Market and took some pictures of the trees in all of their fall glory. The leaves are various shades of orange, yellow and red. The trunk and limbs are dark and are visible through the leaves.
If, as a teacher, you want to do this in a classroom setting the procedure is slightly different. First the pictures can be taken in the school yard during a data gathering excursion. You can take pictures of natural and man made things to use to create a moth.
Upload to a computer, print the pictures in color and have the children draw wings on the print and then cut out the wing shapes. They can cut out geometric shapes to glue onto the wing shapes. This can be a great exercise in counting and symmetry. Some examples for moth bodies are tree trunks or the slide.
The possibilities are endless for moth designs so, get out your camera, boot up your computer and start your digital collage.