Archive for April, 2015
The image I have created represents a student’s mind exploding under the pressure of dealing with money. The head is replaced with a piggy bank to communicate that money is all that is on the student’s mind, and that the original identity is taken away. The use of the piggy bank works with the points of the article, with it being about a student. Using a piggy bank brings a younger feel to the image and reminds us of children saving their coins. This creates the difference between the idea being about a student rather than a working adult. The cute, pink piggy bank is contrasted with the sharp smashed edges. The smashing of the piggy bank represents ‘breaking point’, when the pressure and demands around money get too much, and we see the coins flying out of the hollow head. Showing the hollowness emphasises the idea of only thinking about money and the loose change that we see further proves the point of the article, that students are left with very little money at the end of the week after covering their expensive living costs.
The communication objectives that I intended to convey with my image are: financial struggles for students, increased pressure, reaching breaking point, the difficulties of balancing demands of being a student. I also intended to use clear symbols to represent the main points, so coins and the piggy bank for money, and the literal ‘breaking’ to represent breaking point. I wanted my image to really get across the difficulty that some students face when it comes to dealing with their finances and to show how hard it can be for students to support themselves while balancing their studies. In planning how I wanted my image to look, I decided that I liked the surreal look of some images I had seen in my research, so I aimed to create this look with my image. To do this, I planned to have a very ‘clean’ looking image, with realistic shadows and textures to create a dark feel, to reflect the negative ideas within the article.
In class we learnt how to do non-destructive Photoshop. This involved using tools such as layers, layer masks, smart objects and smart filters. Learning how to edit images in this way was vital in creating my image as the more I progressed and the more elements I added to image, I found myself changing my mind about earlier decisions and using the techniques we learnt in class, I could easily find the bit I wanted to change and change it without much effort and without affecting the rest of the image. I am fairly competent on Photoshop but I have never before used only non-destructive techniques, so things such as creating paths with the pen tool, using layer masks, smart objects and smart filters was a learning curve for me, and a very useful one. I know that had I not used these techniques, I would not have been able to achieve the seamlessness of the image that I have created.
As well as these Photoshop techniques, we also learnt important ideas in class about the techniques behind creating an image. These included design principles such as composition and semiotics. With these techniques in mind when creating my image, I had an understanding of how the decisions I made would affect the visual appeal of my image.
Overall, I think that I have achieved my communication objectives and my image looks the way I intended it to. I am happy with the outcome and I definitely think my image looks ‘photo-real’.
Here are my best five comments on my classmates’ projects.
In the final stages of putting my image together, I need to know how I can create some shadows in my image. I need this mostly for the hand holding the piggy bank as the head. I may also play around with shadows on the flying coins and broken porcelain from the head on the wall behind the subject. I am interested to play around with the distance from the coins to their shadow I may create, to create the idea that they are in mid-air.
Something else I want to play with is adding some motion to the flying pieces to emphasise that they are moving, making the image look more photo-real. I think that if I do not add the shadows and motion, the flying pieces will look like they are static and stuck to the background. I have used this technique before in Photoshop, but I have not done this ‘non-destructively’, so it will be a learning process for me.
Here are links to the tutorials I will be referring to:
– Using Photoshop to create fake shadows: link
– How to add a simple shadow using Photoshop: link
– Realistic case shadow effect in Photoshop: link
– Create movement – motion blur Photoshop tutorial: link
– How to add realistic spinning motion blur effects in Photoshop CC: link
For this research post, I have found a photoshop tutorial which could help me to achieve the cracked look I am trying to achieve. The tutorial is below:
Upon first glance I was happy to find this tutorial but after watching it I realised it only helps me with an idea of how I can use my cracked pieces to achieve the look. This tutorial is done entirely with stock images so is not as in depth as I would have liked as it mostly involves dragging in the stock images.
However, this tutorial is useful as it has shown me how I can blend in the edges of the cracked porcelain images I have with the the piggy bank head.
It has also given me the idea to leave the inside of the piggy bank hollow to enhance my idea and show that money is all that the student can think about – hence there being nothing else inside the head. I did consider revealing some of the face underneath the smashed piggy bank but I think it will be more effective – both visually and for the meaning – to have a hollow head.
Semiotics is the study of how meaning is created and communicated, originally based on signs and symbols. Semiotics are a way of guiding the viewer to an interpretation. We interpret images around us in a particular way without actually being aware of how we interpret them. In understanding meaning, the context is important. The interpretation of signs, symbols and other imagery also depends on the cultural context. Different signs, symbols and imagery can have different meanings in different places and to different people. A sign has both the signifier – which is the object, and the signified. Semiotics within visual imagery and photography involves how the image is ‘read’. In reading images, semiotics involves denotation and connotation. Denotation is about the meanings within images, it is usually the literal meaning of the image. Connotation is the meanings that people give to an image based on their cultural experiences and knowledge. It is what is implied by the image based on how the viewer interprets it.
– Semiotics explained http://www.signsalad.com/semiotics-explained/
Composition is about the placement of elements in an image and is an important aspect in creating a ‘good’ piece of art. Effective composition creates the right amount of balance of elements in an image. Arranging elements in an image should be done in a way that enhances the objectives of the image and what it is trying to convey. Good composition is supposed to guide the viewer’s eye into the most important elements of the image and the viewer’s eye can be guided to look at certain things first depending on their size and placement. Good composition is something that eventually becomes second nature to creatives. Poor composition will straight away not look right and will feel unnatural. Some rules of composition include using patterns, symmetry, texture, depth of field, and lines.
- What is composition in photography? https://photographylife.com/what-is-composition-in-photography
- 5 elements of composition in photography http://digital-photography-school.com/5-elements-of-composition-in-photography/
Visual communication examples:
After choosing idea 1, I have found some images which give me a further idea of how I could edit my images together.
I think that it will be easier to not include any of the person’s head, and totally put the piggy bank head as their head. This will mean I will have to potentially take out the legs of the piggy bank. I also like the idea of having the glasses as it could emphasise that the topic is about students. I need to make the coin slot quite obvious so that people can tell it is a piggy bank.
I like this effect for the head. I think once I have put the piggy bank and the head together in photoshop, I will then do this effect to the piggy bank. I have found a tutorial which I will post as another research post which will hopefully help me to achieve the cracked effect. Then around the edges I need to add in flying pieces of the broken piggy bank, as well as the coins.
Here is my current Photoshop progress. I have put my preferred parts of the piggy bank together and given it a pink colour. I still need to fix up the pinkness of the nostrils. I have put the opacity down for the purpose of this post as I am unsure how I could (or if I should) incorporate some of the facial features onto the piggy bank. I need to still do the cracking of the piggy bank and the porcelain and coins flying out. I am also unsure about how to blend in the person’s hair with the piggy bank as the example for the cracking head I have seen (in research post) has a person with a bald head which is obviously easier to work with in Photoshop.
Current progress, decided to completely cover the head and took out the hair and chin that was showing. Next I still need to add in the cracked pieces and have them and the coins flying out.
I decided to go with my first concept.
The following are my source photos. I have taken various shots of each asset as I need to make sure I align the positioning of the head with the piggy bank.
I was also unable to find the piggy bank I was after. So I took shots of a couple of different ones. I want to have the porcelain look to mine as it will work with the pieces that are broken. But I like the colour of the pink one. I need to take out the images on the side of the white piggy bank and change it’s colour. I might also blend in some of the features from the pink one as it’s nose etc are more obvious.
Not sure if I will be keeping facial expression or if it will completely be the piggy bank but I kept it just in case!