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’.