Ruth Borchard

Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize 2017

This event takes place biennially and is currently in its fourth iteration it is for arts from both Britain and Ireland and is to celebrate contemporary art. The prize itself offers the opportunity to artist both established and new and upcoming to compete for the prize of £10,000 and the chance to have their work purchased for the Ruth Borchard Next Generation Collection 2017.

The Prize is open to “all artists working or living in the UK and Ireland, of any age, are eligible to enter their self-portrait into the Prize. Works must be a self-portrait of the artist, but this may be alone or as part of a group, from life, from memory, from a photograph, figurative or abstract.” Ruth Borchard Website

What is Photo Collage

“A photo collage is a collection of pictures that are put together to make a single picture. The traditional art involved cutting pictures into pleasing shapes or trimming out specific images for placement, but digital photo manipulation opens many new possibilities, including blending images to make a seamlessly realistic picture.” – What is a Photo Collage

Collage is an art form that dates back to 200 B.C.E. Japanese calligraphers used to glue together bits of paper and cloth to make paper so they could write their poetry. around the medieval period, artists and artisans began embellishing religious works using vellum made from calf skin and using gold and silver, artifacts, gems to create illuminated manuscripts.

Later on around about the 19th Century, a new medium called photography was becoming very popular and so to the photographic images that this process created and they became the popular medium for collages.

The Idea

I had was to create an ethereal image and to slowly build up the depth by adding more facial images at different angles to produce a maniacal style image which would show the torment and anxiety of depression as though the soul is struggling to exsanguinate itself from the body as you can see from the example images collected from the internet.

The image below is one of my attempts at creating a self-portrait for the Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize 2017 it was created using a photographic image taken in a studio it was then imported into photoshop where I manipulated the image using different layers and applying brush strokes using a chalk style marker brush highlighting specific parts of the image other effects used were turning a part of the image to a negative then using a square style brush create a block wall style effect produce the image below a posterised effect was placed on the part of the image visible which gives an artefact type of look and then using a highlight marker  I coloured in the beard and added a blur to give it blended look.

Positive Negative

The image below will probably be the one I would consider entering into the competition it consists of approximately 9 different layers each with a different image on and a different effect applied to those images there may also be a possibility of extending the image by placing a word cloud on a separate layer dropping the opacity and increasing the saturation of colour and selecting a blending mode. The orange colour of the images sets off against the pale background with a cloud dispersion on it and also the darkness of the glasses frame gives some definition to the images as well.


The Leonardo Da Vinci drawing of the (Madonna Study) was my inspiration and starting point for producing the image below called ‘Multiplicity’.


CYMK Image Idea for My Shoot.
Second Experiment (Multiplicity – My Soul)
Photoshop process of Multiplicity

To create this image three lights were used one to light the background, one lighting the back left of the body and a third lighting the front right, a meter reading was taken at the centre of the background were the light hit and gave me a F2.8 at ISO 100 but when this shot it very underexposed so I adjusted the F-stop to F8 first and F11 to see what results would occur the unfortunate thing was, I was working alone and that made it more difficult to set the camera up focus start the timer and then sit back on the seat in the same position as I had focused the lens on.

The lighting diagram shows the position of the Lights and subject relevant to the position of the camera. the power of the lights was adjusted between F5.6 and F7.1  with a timer range of between 4 and 13 seconds was used for the long exposures of the portraits and can show the movement of a person as they talk which in term can indicate lots of expressions.

Because this is a long exposure technique which any photographer can use there are no specific professional photographers who I can field use it on a regular basis but lots of amateurs and student photographers do so examples of their work is available online.

It is these images that I am using as inspiration for my work on the 2nd portrait I will be creating my new portrait for the Ruth Borchard competition.

Above are some examples of the long exposure process to capture movement in images it also shows what types of emotion can be captured as well.



On Thursday night the piece of work for the Ruth Borchard Prize was uploaded and the management fee paid, evidence will be upload later as evidence the final image for the prize can be seen below, I did actually try going round the image with a fine pencil line so that it looked like the drawing by Da Vinci (Madonna Study) which inspired me but I was not convinced it was as good as the original.


Second Experiment (Multiplicity – My Soul)


Here is the proof of sending in my entry to the Ruth Borchard Prize from Paypal.


Another artist who interested me was a contestant from last year’s prize called John Keane with this image using different media, the image below used an inkjet process to find out more about John Keane and his inkjet process John Keane

Photographer: Antonio Parente