Collage Draft


The topic I chose for my blog is “About Me” with a focus on ‘ohana. ‘Ohana is the Hawaiian word for family. While the concept of ‘ohana includes the Western idea of nuclear family of mother, father, and children, it encompasses far more. ‘Ohana includes family members now and those to come—members related by birth, marriage, official and unofficial adoption, and friends so integrated within the family we call them “uncle”, “aunty”, “brother,” or “sister.” ‘Ohana also includes those who have come and gone before us, our deceased and ancestral spirits (aumakua). We all share the same commitment, responsibility, and support of one another. ‘Ohana is a fundamental familial support system vital to Native Hawaiian culture. In keeping with the theme of ‘ohana, I decided to focus on generations of mothers and daughters for my collage. We work together to form the support system for each other. Those pictured in my collage represent only a part of our ‘ohana. The background image is a plumeria because a lei made of these flowers symbolizes the bond between all that is good, and for me represents the bond between the mothers and daughters of our ‘ohana.

When it came to creating the collage, I ran into some technical difficulties. I went to YouTube and did a search for additional tutorials to help me with my problems. My biggest unresolved issue is my background. I could not figure out how to get rid of the white background on the B&W image so I could place it on top of the flowered background. Instead, I had to lay the background over the B&W image. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know in a response to my blog. Otherwise, I may end up starting over…

I edited all the photos using the techniques we learned in the tutorials. I cropped all the pictures and adjusted most of them. From its original form, I separated the now B&W picture from its background. Now I just have to figure out how to “cut her out” so I can lay her image over the background instead of under. My idea was to have my youngest granddaughter as the focal point, surrounded by the others in a “circle of life.” Now, I’m thinking that perhaps there should be a chronological order instead of randomly placed. It’s a good thing this is a work in process.



5 thoughts on “Collage Draft

  1. Hello Ramona,
    I loved that you explained what ‘ohana means before showing us the image. You described your work (design process) beautifully; so after finishing reading your post I was able to look at your collage with a better understanding. I am really new to Photoshop so I have no idea how to help you get rid of the white background, but after looking closely at your collage you can’t even tell there is a white background at all.
    As far as suggestions go, since the little girl is the focal point and her hand is outstretched it looks like you may be able to move over the black and white couple pic to the left so it looks like the youngest is “holding” onto the eldest, to sort of unite you all as one ‘ohana.
    Also, is the poem at the bottom your work? If it is, I think you should put your name on it, if it isn’t, of course credit the author.
    Lastly, you have a beautiful family! I look forward to your final collage.

  2. Hi Tab,

    Thanks for the suggestion about moving the smaller black &white photo. I like it and will incorporate the idea in my final collage. As for the text, yes, I wrote it but didn’t think to put my name on it. Do you think that is necessary because our blogs are supposed to be publishable?

  3. I Ramona,

    I really enjoyed checking out your work in progress! I actually like the image in the center and how it blends in with the background, I think it makes her look like part of the background image and then the photos surrounding it come together in a circle around her. I like your idea of having the photos in chronological order. If you do decide to crop out the white background I did something similar with a “magic erase” tool I believe, hope that helps! I read the comment above and I agree, for the final product give credit to the author of the poem, be it you or someone else (its beautiful so if you wrote it you should definitely take credit:)). I also like the idea of maybe your daughter being moved to the side with the poem in the same position in relation to her body, and then have the pictures move around the top and other side of the image with the last image being of her “holding” the eldest. (Cool idea!) Either way, I think this is a great start to your graphic collage. My only other suggestion would be to touch a bit more on your photoshop process. I look forward to seeing your finished product!

  4. Ramona,
    I really enjoy the topic you chose for your blog! I think it’s a wonderful topic and you did a great job describing it! I also really enjoy your collage! I really like how you used the flower and had it kind of fade into the background instead of just a plane background! Overall, really great! Like the other comments mentioned though, I would move your daughter maybe to the side a bit or her hand on the side of a picture just so it flows a little better! Also I’d love to see her a little bit more bold because she seems to be the main part of your collage! Really enjoy this though 🙂

  5. Hi Ramona,

    You are off to a wonderful start on this collage. The elements are cohesive and focus well on the theme. The symbolism of the flower in the background wonderfully conveys the cultural backdrop and origin for your word theme, Ohana. I agree with the other commenters that you should attribute your writing as the author.

    I also like the idea of the older photo being placed in her hand. It symbolically represents her leaning on her ancestry. However, it is possible that it give a disruptive appearance from the other angled photos, so you will have to try it and then judge if its fitting with the style of the overall image. You might also consider adding a very subtle frame or a slight drop shadow to the surrounding images to give them some texture or depth. Nothing too obvious or it could be distracting and clash with the overall style of the collage.

    I am not sure if the magic eraser tool will accomplish what you’re looking for in the black and white photo. My understanding is that where you click with that tool sets the color tone it detects, and then it proceeds to erase all matching colors from the selected element. So you may erase much more than just the background. I did a lot of cutting out for elements on my collage. For mine I switched between the quick selection tool and the magnetic lasso tool.

    The magnetic lasso tool lets you trace a line around the objects you wish to cut out using a series of points. Complete a loop and then you can remove the entire outlined element from the rest of the photo. This works well for very technical edging and complex shapes.

    For a simple background removal the quick selection tool might be fast and simple. A single click on the white background will select a small piece. Another click will spread that piece to cover a larger section. Keep expanding the size with additional clicks over uncovered areas until the shape covers the section you want removed, then press the delete key. I recommend doing this on a copied layer of the image. Let me know if any further description is helpful.

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