This is a commissioned piece for a client who wanted a montage of the Great Buddha in Kamakura. I had visited the Daibotsu (Great Buddha) in the Autumn and taken lots of photos of it. It was a perfect blue, clear sky. The green statue stood out well against the sky. I had some late morning sun highlighting the Buddha. It was an impressive sight. I started my photographing journey from a distance; including the trees on either side and behind, as well as the paving stones. I walked all around the statue, taking photos from all angles; some close-ups of the head, and of the clasped hands.
My idea for the montage was one of distance and time. The distance that changed between myself and the Daibotsu, and the time I took to travel around the statue. The composition has the smallest image centered. To the left and the right, the Buddha get larger and larger as the angle tilts from center to side profile. There are two pleasing arches created, from the center Buddha, over to the left and the right. Please don’t refer to another two very iconic arches (that are yellow, and dotted all over the world!) Mmm-bah-bah-bahh, I’m (not) lovin’ it!
I have purposefully kept the face of the Buddha uncovered: there are no overlaying images on the face. But, I did love the way the edges of the photographs cover up the photos underneath. There is a choppy, angular sense to areas of the piece. It makes your eye stop over these places, and wonder why part of the Buddha is so much lighter, or darker. I wanted to keep the delicious blue sky, so all the edges of the photos can still be seen. This also adds to the depth of time and space.
And you know what, just glancing over the piece as a whole, I see how blue some Buddhas are, and how very green others are! All in the light change! It’s all the same subject, but very different perspectives and views. I like the exploring of this!
Hope you enjoy it as much I have. I’ve put together a little slideshow of the process of building up one of these montages. It’s a lengthy process, and involves a lot of trial and error. And sometimes, starting over again completely!
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