Output can be as important as the design. What is the story that is created with the example work below utilizing composites? Yes, it is a photograph, but what does the addition piece add?
Output to me is just as important as the conceptual and processing parts of design. For instance, when using Photoshop to create and / or develop a photographic idea (sometimes from scratch, as in planning before a shoot), usually I feel compelled to add to such idea in order to enhance my visual theme or message. In doing so, I choose from a variety of tools and effects including but not limited to: layers, masks, text boxes, texture overlays, etc to an already shot photo. The resulting output ultimately will differ somewhat to greatly from my original work by adding whatever enhancements I so desire to choose. Composites of two or more photos (similar or different) further ties into the importance of creating strong artistic output, like in the example below.
In regards to the composite piece, I kinda get a hard read on the story the student was telling. If I have to guess, the subject is about an individual gazing upon someone or something in a relaxed and tranquil manner. What is confusing to me is the addition of what looks to be faded and mixed watercolor on top of the black-and-white sketch of the individual; at first glance, the composite piece looks like a portrait having had gone through age and water damage. But thinking more about it, I also believe that having a partial-overlay of dull (almost sepia-like) color on top of grayscale color is meant to give viewers a sense of dichotomy between the two schemes, all in the same piece, as if to show the world that there should be appreciation in looking at a headshot of an individual in two different ways (maybe eras of portrait making).
The student was particularly good at doing this because the underlying texture still remains under the colored (sepia) areas, showing uniform and continuing facial detail between the color schemes. The only minor to moderate difference I observe is the hidden and blurred outlines of skin but overall, the sepia addition in this piece at the very least made for extra thinking and attention concerning what the subject of the student’s work was.