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Sunday, 9 March 2008

Photomontage requires a lot of free time if the files you use are large. Because a mistake can be costly, you need to be able to transform a finished draft at leisure. A bad decision can result in lost data, which may have taken hours, days or even months to collect and assemble.

It is necessary to wait for each processing delay to complete before moving away from the computer monitor. A single lapse in concentration - unless you write down what you've just done and what remains to do - can result in disaster.


The Burwood Road combo here is made of a street photo taken in Burwood (4 November 2007), and of traffic along New Canterbury Road (15 July 2007). There is also one of traffic signals on Victoria Road, Top Ryde (2 September 2007).

Other images include television news stories and one scan from a printed news story:

  • Arrest of Kaihana Hussain on the Gold Coast, The Australian photo published 1 November 2006
  • Today Tonight (Channel Seven) story on, and interview with, Ayaan Hirsi Ali (visiting for Sydney Writers' Festival), 30 May 2007
  • Channel Seven News story on underwear-maker Bonds' spring fashions, 2 August 2007

Painting clips:

  • The Torture of Prometheus (1819), Jean-Louis-Cesar Lair
  • Three studies from the Temeraire (1998-99), Cy Twombly
  • [sic] (1988), Juan Davila

There are also three Internet download photos:

  • Samantha Harris, aboriginal model
  • 'Anna' porn model (photo taken 5 August 2002)
  • AFP photo of Carnival, Rio de Janeiro (in The Sunday Age, 22 May 2005)

The second montage constitutes photos taken at Westfield Burwood's carpark on 4 November 2007.


This picture is relatively straight-forward and will always seem, for me, slightly contrived. I attempted to create movement using arrows painted on the carpark floor and lines made from other vehicle guidance elements applied to the concrete pavement immediately after the building's construction.

For me, the contrast between the pristine shop access lobby and the various spilled drinks, chewing-gum blotches and assorted rubbish discarded by consumers rushing to leave the building after completing their purchases, is signal.


The last picture is made from snaps taken on the evening of 31 December 2007. The location, as is clear, is The Rocks. There is also one taken further south, down Sussex Street, on the edge of Sydney's CBD.

We spent hours mingling with fellow revellers - ourselves revelling in a rich confusion of faces in the crowd of 1.5 million.

There were 1500 police in attendance. The fireworks took a total of about twenty minutes to burn. The first bout started at 9pm and the second immediately before midnight.

In Canberra a month later, we saw Australia Day fireworks off Commonwealth Park, which sits beside Lake Burley Griffin with the National Library, the High Court and the National Gallery distinct on the far shore.

All photos by me were taken with a Canon PowerShot A530 and I assemble the files at the default resolution (with a height of 1944 pixels) that applies when a photo is loaded to the computer.

Each montage in the original Photoshop ('.psp') file format is about one metre square (303MB, 346MB and 228MB respectively). Files loaded here are JPEGs and are much, much smaller (121KB, 112KB and 58KB respectively).

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