Date Collage Manual
Rule 1: Images are searched using the day's date in numeral form on Google Images, this numeral can be adjusted to influence results but this is the only way results can be modified. IE MMDDYYYY or DDMMYYYY or MMDDYY etc.
Rule 2: No watermarked, trademarked, or obviously copyrighted images are viable for the collage. Editing out attributive information is ethically wrong, that's someone's job you're stealing.
Rule 3: If at all possible avoid portraiture, professional or not. Models work hard to make their money.
Rule 4: No sexual imagery, even borderline, unless it has some form of artistic quality.
Rule 5: If you can cut or edit out a face, do it. Only the suggestion of facial features is allowed. The same goes for obvious iconography such as religious or historical figures.
I came up with the 'collage' idea on my own. It may resemble or outright copy a technique for learning photomanipulation, I'm not above saying this is already in practice elsewhere. This is for my own learning and to create something that I don't see happening anywhere else. If you choose to do your own collage then great! There are no rules for how you manipulate, color, crop, or otherwise mangle the images you use. The above is simply my own limitations for the sake of reducing the likelihood of someone getting angry with me. If I use your image, likeness, or you see yourself in the search results keep in mind this is a random sampling of the billions upon billions of images that get uploaded and hosted on the internet. I have little to no control over the search results and I choose images based upon certain criteria such as available lines, organic and inorganic patterns, and if it draws the eye well.
The goal of a Date Collage is to never have one image overpower the rest if at all possible. They should suggest things that aren't a part of the original sample, and meld together so that the viewer sees more the longer they look at it. Sometimes collages will focus around a certain image or pairing, other times they will combine into an overall pattern.
Why did you choose that image?
I choose images based upon the lines and patterns within. I rarely choose based upon subject matter, such as persons, places, or things specifically. Overall the goal in any search I do is to find one or two 'hard-line' patterns and one or two 'organic line' patterns. Oh, and I like butterflies, bugs and fish. If I find one, I'll probably use it.
That looked awesome and you ruined it, what gives?
The creative process is indeed subjective. I cannot explain what happens during the process that makes me continue on from some 'cool' or 'beautiful' result until it becomes something else other than 'It wasn't finished yet.' I do this to learn more about photo-manipulation and art in general, so sometimes I won't let things lie and push to take that extra step to see what else I can produce with a collage.
What program are you using to edit?
All collages are generated in the Gnu Image Manipulation Project (GIMP) under Windows 10. It's free and the program I'm most familiar with. I'm sure there are other programs that do certain aspects of my process more efficiently, but this is what I'm used to. I'll always appreciate suggestions on other tools, techniques, and programs, but switching from GIMP isn't easy for me.
Why do you do (x) thing to the image(s)?
The default answer is 'I like the results that function produces.' Things like desaturating the image and adjusting the levels and curves are for highlinting and enhancing lines, shadows, and other edges for easier combining of layers. I use 'Gradient Map' for the coloring and stick with the default gradients included inside GIMP mostly because they're quite useful, and I can tweak them as I see fit.
Can I use your process and/or one of your collages for something?
Absolutely! I ask that you give me proper attribution if you do, or at least notify me so I can enjoy the fruits of your labor as much as you enjoy mine.