Sketch 8- Combophoto

I really enjoyed browsing Stephen McMennamy’s gallery of combo-photos.  His artistic combinations are made in a seamless manner that almost trick the eye and brain.  Each piece is unique, satisfying, and very fun. One of his photos had bones involved which sparked my idea for this assignment.  At first I thought I would make pencils the bones in a cartoon skeleton image. That initial idea posed a challenge as skeleton images on their own have tons of details that I would not be able to match even with different sizes of long pencils.  So, the X-ray idea came to mind. For some reason I also began to think pretzel rods would be more fun than pencils. It was challenging to cover the original X-ray in this cartoon image and even more difficult to shape, size, and angle each pretzel to make up a rib cage.  I was not able to add other bones and details; I stuck with the bare minimum. Without professional tools, I also was unable to crop the pretzel rods perfectly as background space is shown. In general, however, I definitely appreciate the simplicity and playfulness of my final product for this combo-photo sketch assignment.  IMG_8567

Cupcake ComboPhoto


I came up with this idea as I was eating a cupcake from the infamous DUC-ling. I had our ComboPhoto task in the back of my mind, and I just thought that it would be interesting to replace the icing with other images, and see how it turned out. My next task was to think of white objects that could possibly look like icing. As demonstrated by my 5 ComboPhotos, I had plenty of ideas. The main challenges that I faced with this task were removing the backgrounds from the original photos, and cropping/ resizing the images so that they fitted together. My favourite creation is the cupcake with cotton balls as icing, I think the images just fit together well. I’m not too sure what the final image conveys, it is just fun to look at.


Red Velvet Cupcake image

Soap Stud image

Bubble Foam image

Cotton Ball image

Fluffy Cloud image

White Football image


Sketch 8: Combophoto

Due: 4/1

Tag: sk8

Stephen Mcmennamy is an Atlanta artist and Creative Director at BBDO. He first came to my attention when I saw his series of “combophotos” that splice together two different images to form a surreal new creation.

Here are a few examples from him:


milk + rope

turf + cake

squash + paint

Take a few moments to look through the images he’s posted on his site linked above or on his Tumblr or his Instagram. Then create your own square combophoto and publish it to your site. You can take your own photos, but probably you’ll want to use images you find on Flickr — make sure you give credit to the originals that you modify to create your combophoto.

The level of technical aptitude for this assignment is actually relatively small, just simple cropping and resizing. The greater part of the challenge is finding images that you can work with. That said, note that Mcmennamy comes up with ideas and then specifically stages photos to combine, and he seems to often spend significant amounts of time shooting and selecting his images. You won’t have lots of time or expensive photo equipment to work with, so I don’t necessarily expect your final images to be as polished and perfectly aligned as his are. More important is for you to be playful and come up with images that combine to create something funny or witty or striking.

To edit the two photos together, you can use whatever photo editing software you’d like. Pixlr is a good free web app, as is PicMonkey. Adobe Photoshop is also available for you to use on the computers in the Media Library on the 4th floor of the Woodruff Library.

Once you have your image, publish it in a post on your class site. Write a paragraph about how you went about choosing the two images you combined and why. What challenges did you face as you created your combophoto? What do you think your final image conveys?

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