Himba Moon Was initiated by photographing a group of leafless trees from my livingroom window

Like many Americans, as well as others worldwide, our lives have been significantly altered and most likely changed forever. I've been frustrated this Winter, and now Spring for not being able to go out and photograph nature, due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the weather.

I've been utilizing my time indoors reviewing, editing and deleting many of my photographic images. And at the same time trying to learn and improve my Photoshop skills.

I took the photo for this from my living room window of the leafless oak trees during a bright, but sunless afternoon in early March.

I then cropped and mirrored a portion of the original photo. This just started out as and experiment. And I had used this mirroring technique on clouds while working on my Carnival project

As you can see, mirroring resulted in some interesting patterns.

The image in the upper center, in particular, caught my attention. I can imagine a pair of eye glasses.

Focusing on this area peaked my interest further.

As did the strange images that imerged from the “tree trunk."

Some of these appear as demonic creatures or strange and scary insects.

By changing the location for splitting the tree and mirroring once again, I was beginning to see the possibility of creating a composite with a face in which the "glasses” structure could be superimposed over an image of a face.

It was at this point, this project began to take on a life of its own and the final image began to merge and form seemingly on its own.

In looking through my photos, I decided to use this image of a Himba woman from my 2017 safari in the countries of Southern Africa.

The Himba tribes are located in Namibia, and as you can see are very colorful. The older women braid their hair and apply a mahogany colored mud over the strands of braids from their scalp, but leave the ends of these braids in tufts.

Colorful beaded necklaces and bracelets are common among both men and women of African tribes.

It appears that her headdress is made from animal parts

I used Photoshop to seperate the Himba woman from the background.

Then I thought it may be interesting to overlay the tree onto the face of the Himba woman and simulate the facial tattoos seen on the Maori men of the Polnesian culture in the South Pacific whose tatooed their faces were originally used to instill fear in invaders and became a status symbol within their culture.

Maori man with Tattooed face

I then resized the portion of the mirrored tree (with a transparent background) and used Photoshop to layer it over her face. I reduced the transparency of the tree to simulate a face tattoo popular with the Maori tribes in the South Pacific.

I did the same Photoshop layering of her with the tree over her body, but also below her necklaces.

I took this photo of the full moon rising in October 2013. I thought it would make a good background for the Himba woman and the mirrored tree.

This photo shows the multiple tree image and the Himba woman.

This is an evening landscape photo from Spitzkoppe in western Namibia, The rock formations are bald granite peaks called bornhardts and are formed from volcanic activity.

This is my final version. I used the bald granite peaks to simulate the potential habitat of the Himba people.

I didn't start out with this image in mind. It was an evolutionary creation that began with the mirroring of a group of bare tree branches. The eyeglass discovery in the tree image eventually led me to complete this fantasy photo.

Contact Information

Chris Bower

(603) 557-4128