POTD: Victory of the Seven Sisters

Victory of the Seven Sisters
Bozeman, Montana

In an email exchange with my friend Teresa a short while back I mentioned how impressed I was with the sculpture Winged Victory of Samothrace when I first saw it in the Louvre back in 2013.  After I sent her a photo of it that I had taken at the time, she commented she was surprised it hasn’t appeared in any of my composite images. Given how taken I was by the sculpture it surprised me as well. So I decided to remedy that situation and this is the result. Thanks for being my muse on this Teresa!

The impetus for this setting for Winged Victor came from a book by N. Scott Momaday I happened to be reading when I decided to work on this. In it he was recounting the story his Kiowa grandmother told him about the creation of Devil’s Tower. All the symbolism of that story and the background I had read about the Winged Victory of Samothrace all got mixed in together in my head along with my impressions on seeing the sculpture for the first time and this was the result. It doesn’t faithfully depict the Kiowa story nor the meaning of the sculpture. It is a synthesis of all those ideas into a new story in my head.

3 thoughts on “POTD: Victory of the Seven Sisters”

  1. Any time. 🙂 Glad I could help.
    I really do like your composites, especially knowing what drives their development. While I can’t visualize images like that, I can appreciate all the work that goes into the process.

    1. Thanks Teresa, feel free to pass on any additional suggestions. I’m really pleased with how that one turned out. What was surprising about this composition was that the whole thing came together in about a day. By whole thing I mean getting the right components placed in approximately the right place. As is often the case, my original idea of how it should all look didn’t pan out but the main components seemed to work well together and lead to something maybe even better. Of course that one day of gelling of ideas was followed by several days of tweaking the details. Quite a bit of that tweaking is lost in the small scale on-screen rendering but very important in an actual print of the image. It was version 11 of the almost finished image that I finally declared good after multiple print attempts.

      1. I forgot to add that the version of the image in the POTD was not quite the final version in terms of what objects were included. In the posted version, the night sky contains the constellation the Big Dipper and a few other stars, including the North Star, all from an actual photograph I took one night down in Utah a few years ago. I did have to move the North Star a bit via Photoshop because it would have been cropped out in composite photo otherwise. I felt compelled to make sure it was in the composite photo simply because I can’t help but look for it anytime I see the Big Dipper.

        After posting the POTD version of the image, I also added (via Photoshop) the constellation the Pleiades to the night sky (towards the upper left of the image). More so than the North Star, it appears very much out of place in the night sky relative to the Big Dipper in real life, again because it wouldn’t be in the image otherwise. I felt it important to add the Pleiades, also know as the Seven Sisters, because they figure into the Kiowa Devil’s Tower story. (Note that even though it’s called the Seven Sisters and was named that by a number of cultures prior to the use of telescopes, there are only six stars visible to the naked eye. That mystery is a whole other story, one that provides interesting reading on the internet if one cares to pursue it.)

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