“Photography is the art of capturing moments the mind would otherwise forget and the joy of knowing the photo you hold never will.”
– Lorna Malan
There is something magical about making a nature photo collage. Photography is an extraordinary art, which I’m sure will never quite be ‘perfected’ – that’s the beauty of it I suppose… You are always learning something along the way and trying to out-do your last great image!
As a child I grew up surrounded by photos. My mother always used them as a way of expression and displayed them wall to wall as decor. I found it created a warm ‘home’ feeling, and as a result, years later, I have done the same thing. There’s nothing more exciting than heading down to the printers to get my next batch of memories handed to me on paper!
I cannot begin to think how mind blowing this must have been back in the day, when the first photos were captured and printed. Although there are many names we have to thank for this brilliant invention, it was in fact, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce who had the privilege of clicking the first photo back in 1814. After his small camera that used silver chloride coating on paper that darkened on exposure to light, we have evolved to what we have before us today.
I myself went into photography for many years. While I specialised in people, it was always nature that intrigued me the most. I’d never have to sit and do much editing or ‘fix’ anything. Instead, I could sit back and admire an already perfect picture, simply because it had no flaws. Sure, my lighting might not have always been perfect, but these images always felt like ones you didn’t want to tamper with.
Creating Art Through Nature Photo Collage
When I still owned my treasured Canon, I took a trip to one of my favourite destinations along the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast of South Africa, to a place called Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve. There, I captured some of the most beautiful pictures I’ve ever taken. With its wealth of wild life, mountains, waterfalls, plants and wide stretched landscapes of open field, I captured magic. It was there that I learnt a great deal about outdoor lighting and angles (nature certainly teaches you flexibility… If I needed to hang from a tree to get a shot, you’d bet I’d be doing it).
After getting back from my trip, I realised I had too many absolutely beautiful pictures to choose from, and that’s when I came up with an idea. My best shot at displaying the large amount of beauty I had on film was creating a nature photo collage. Years back, this was a hobby for both me and my mother. I remember always feeling overjoyed at our finished projects.
Images: Lorna Malan
With nature shots, you have a broader scope of options, for example one could create a mixed collage, or a collage pertaining only to wildlife. My personal favourite was creating an image out of images – for instance, one could collage each picture of a flower into an image that actually reflected a bloom.
I always found that people were drawn to my images of flowers. After considering many different types of photo frames, I found the rustic look worked best, contributing to its natural theme. Images of flowers are widely used, meaning that this type of nature photo collage gives any living or work space a touch of serenity.
This guest post on nature photo collage was written by Lorna Malan. You can find her over on her Facebook page, Life in Letters and Words.