How to create a Site Collage

site collage photos 3 black white shadow

There is a fairly straightforward process to the start of any architecture project whether that’s at university or in the workplace. That process begins with a site analysis.

The site analysis whilst informative usually involves an inordinate amount of walking, plenty of battery degradation using the maps on your phone to find it followed by taking excessive amounts of photos, none of which you know what to do with. A simple yet efficient use of all your site photos is to combine them into a simple collage which shows the character of the site.

The collages shown above and below are of a university project I completed in the North West for the reuse of a former boating pool in Blackpool. When beginning your collage/s you’re going to want to begin by…

  1. Identifying the key features of your site

site collage photos 1 black white shadow

In this instance the key features were the stacks of artificial rocks, Grade II Listed Cabin Lift, the sunken boating pool and the sea. By identifying these key features you begin to gain respect for how your design proposal could accept, balance or reject these features.

2. Representation

I always start a new project with a defined set of RGB colours to organise how I present each piece. The project these collages belong to was monochromatic with a baby pink to represent the fun of Blackpool. Therefore it was an easy choice to de-saturate these photos using photoshop. However, by altering the colour balance or hue in photoshop you can match any colour palette.

site collage photos 1 red

Your style of representation doesn’t need to be limited to colour. Try playing around with the filter gallery on Photoshop to give your photos different effects.

site collage photos 1 blue pen

4. Intention

You may want to create a hectic collage using hundreds of photos or something simpler with just a few select images. You may want them all in line or like me alter the tilt to gain a better perspective.

5. Background and edges

The background and edges of the photos are just as important. I created the shadow on these photos using the drop shadow tool on Adobe Photoshop and went with crisp edges as if they had been thrown on a table and fell into a perfect image. You could fade them out using the gradient tool on Photoshop.

site collage photos 2 balck white shadow

I hope this helped you in the creation of a site collage for your architectural renderings. If you have any advice or tips please leave a comment to help out other readers!

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