Down the Rabbit Hole

Another assignment I have been working on is a photomedia project. We were asked to create a piece using a subject, theme or approach of our choosing. I have always been fascinated with the story of Alice in Wonderland, so it was the basis for this project.

The photomedia project depicts a warped sense of reality through the objects that are slightly out of proportion.

The shoes are blue to represent Alice, who, in adaptations of the story, wears a blue dress. The other objects within the image all represent part of Alice’s adventure in Wonderland including the tea cups from the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, the painted roses from the Queen of Hearts garden, the door Alice shrinks down to fit into and the potion she uses to do it.



Tying it all together

If you’ve been reading my blog so far, you’ll know I’ve been working on a photomedia project with an Alice in Wonderland theme. in some of the blogs I showed how I experimented with layout options and how I would go about acquiring the images I would need.

At this time, I’ve gotten to a point in my project that I’m quite happy with the layout I’ve chosen, however, no matter how much I tweak the individual images and edit their colouring, I can’t seem to make it all tie together.


After a few days of sitting on the project, I came across this blog:

It showed a step by step process of how to create a photo montage. Reading through the steps taken to create the final product, I found out that the designers last step was to add a textured overlay. That was the final step I seemed to be missing. Below is the texture I used and how it turned out.



Alice Layout

After acquiring the images I may need either through purchasing or obtaining them through taking photos, I can now start to play with the layout. Here are a couple of images of the steps I took to work towards my finished photo.


Image 1: Creating a background


Image 2: Creating a warped perception


Image 3: Adding in the elements


Image 4: Playing with image scales


Image 5: Playing with positioning

Acquiring Alice

The items I have chosen to photograph for my photomedia project include vintage tea cups, clocks, chess pieces, a desk of cards, legs wearing stripy socks and some white roses painted red.

Each individual image that I will select for the final piece will need to be prepped and edited ready for compositing. Most of the items in the images will need to have their backgrounds removed hence my makeshift green-screens.

The few images I may need to purchase through stock photography would be a rabbit and one or 2 potential background images that I could manipulate.

Finding my Alice

“If you don’t know where you are going any road can take you there.” Lewis Carroll

Alice in Wonderland is a story much loved by almost everyone as you can interpret it whatever way you like. I have chosen Alice’s story to be my concept for a photo media project I am currently working on.

Below is my moodboard for this project. These are some of my favourite Alice themed shots or just images that depict elements featured in Alice’s story. There is a common feature of the blues, red and whites and cards are featured quite a bit too. My favourite image is the one of the top right showing the girl in a blue dress drinking tea while holding a smaller version of herself, holding an even smaller version of herself and so on.


Image Compositing

Recently, I was asked to combine at least 5 photos I have personally taken and create a completely new and different image. After about 3 days of sifting through hundreds of holidays and event photos, and endless amounts of paths I could go down, I finally came up with this.



This idea behind this piece was to illustrate when your mind starts to wonder off to memories of places you’ve travelled to or to where you might go next.

This final image was creating in Photoshop. The top few layers (the hydrangeas and the girl on the couch) were cut out using the eraser tool and were then overlapped and tweaked to make it appear like the couch is floating in the hydrangeas. A slight shadow was then applied to the couch.

The two background images were put together with the ‘darker colour’ blend mode and then touched up with the eraser tool.

The image in the frame was distorted to fit within it and has a overlay blend applied to make it stand out more.

Lastly, the cat was cut out using the eraser tool and has a drop shadow effect applied to make it pop out a bit from its image.

Below are all the images I used to create ‘Daydreaming’.


Design Principles through Photography

Photography is the perfect way to capture a beautiful moment and preserve a memory you may cherish forever (or one that you wish your parents didn’t). I’ve always loved the idea of being a great photographer but never really had a chance to explore it in depth other than taking a few happy snaps at events, a selfie or two and about 1000 photos of my cat. So I decided to pull out my Sony DSC-RX100 camera and give it a shot.

And what better way to test out my camera, than to capture representations of design principles.


Light & Texture.




Once Upon a Time in Vogue by Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz’s Vogue fairy tale shoots are the perfect mix of fashion and photography.

Bouncing off the fairy tale craze and numerous live-action remakes of our favourite childhood stories, Leibovitz features some well-known celebrities including Keira Knightley, Drew Barrymore, Lady Gaga and Andrew Garfield in numerous fairy tale themed shoots for Vogue.  Although, even with the well-known celebrities, the focus is of course the fashion.


Her Alice in Wonderland shoot in the December 2003 issue of Vogue, features Natalia Vodianova and depicts a distorted reality of an oversize Alice stuck in a room too small for her. She uses contrast to her advantage which makes the bright blue designer dress pop from the page.


2 years later, in the Vogue December 2005 issue, Leibovitz gets lost in the land of Oz with Keira Knightly. After watching a brief behind the scenes video of this photo shoot, it became apparent that Leibovitz only post-processes her images by enhancing the light and colour within the images. All elements seen within her photos are in the original set which makes to appear more life-like.

Through additional research of her other shoots she has done for Vogue including her Beauty and the Beast April 2005 issue featuring Drew Barrymore and her 2009 Hansel and Gretel shoot featuring Lady Gaga, it is evident that Leibovitz sets all her shoots up out of the studio in different environments. She has said “I was scared to do anything in the studio because it felt so claustrophobic. I wanted to be somewhere where things could happen and the subject wasn’t just looking back at you.”


Fun Guerilla. 2017. Annie Leibovitz: Photos that brought Fairy Tales to Life. [ONLINE] Available at:


Alice by Elena Kalis

I have always been fascinated with Alice in Wonderland and when I came across Elena Kalis’s ‘Alice in Waterland’ photos, I couldn’t help but fall in love with them.

Growing up in the Bahamas and being surrounded by water, Kalis became interested in capturing the underwater environment as it portrays a “different perception of reality, weightless, a dreamlike surreal feeling”.  The concept behind the photos was that being underwater showed a different perspective, just like when Alice went through the rabbit hole or into the mirror.

The collection of photo took around 2 years to shoot. Her model was her 10 year old daughter Sacha who, at the time, was the same age as Lewis Carroll’s Alice.


Kalis focus heavily on the use of light and always features the surface of the water and the refection it causes. Her approach is fun and light and uses a lot of props such as the balloons, toys and mirror to set the scene and show connection with the story of Alice in Wonderland. The movements of the model are quite graceful and soft.

All of her images are post-processed in Photoshop with some just needing colour adjustments, while other a bit more overlaying and editing.



Elena Kalis’ “Alice In Waterland” | Fashion and Art Underground | Gutter Magazine. 2017. [ONLINE] Available at:

Digital Photography School. 2017. Interview with Underwater Photographer Elena Kalis [+12 Beautiful Underwater Images]. [ONLINE] Available at: