My Major Assignment.

Been an ‘interesting’ process, but getting there slowly. Still a lot more work to do 😛

The About page explains the concept.


My First GIF!

My First GIF!

Think I’ll use something like this in the major assessment. Now to figure out how to create the webpage… :S

Okay, that’s it. I am done with this!

Well, I couldn’t really leave Yi Ling the way I had her. Got some advice from a female perspective, and it’s abundantly clear that my make-up application skills are abhorrent! Anyway I think she looks better now, some light blush helped too. Also did some more liquify stuff, mainly with her hair and shoulders. My shoulders got a little bulkier as well (easier than lifting weights!), neck got thinned and treated myself to a vignette. Not looking at this again until print time.ImageImage

last one

I re-did this assessment, this time allowing some of the lines back in my face and creating a more subtle blurring of skin. My expression just looked too cold before. If I’ve learned anything doing this brief it’s that I actually don’t mind my wrinkles! Could do with a few less grey hairs on my chin but no big deal! “Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been” – Mark Twain.Image

Sorry Yi Ling… I was having too much fun!! ;P

I know Yi Ling looks substantially better in her original photo, but this was pretty fun! I just wanted to go a bit ‘over the top’ with this one. Learned some new tricks. For example I downloaded some new ‘brushes’ shaped as eyelashes, then ‘transform warped’ them to fit Yi Ling’s eyes. These processes can really suck the humanity out of people’s faces though! Yi Ling has a very kind and compassionate face, but you really lose that by taking all the lines out.Imageg

Musings on the Next Assessment: Online Identity

IImagedentity is a much debated concept, “though scholars generally agree that the (ongoing) construction of one’s sense of self is not concrete or static, but fluid, multiple and constantly changing”. The commonly held belief that we have one ‘real self’ buried deep within us, has been increasingly challenged by philosophers. Modern thinking suggests that identity is actually a unique conglomeration of interactions, social roles, status, expectations, gender, race, class, religion, skills, attributes and experiences. While some of these statuses are ascribed to us at birth, a crucial aspect of Western culture is that many statuses are achieved through ‘self-determination’. Each individual member of our society should be free to create, and recreate their own identity to a large extent, as a life-long process. In modern society, advertising purposefully targets our desired identities and many of us even maintain ‘online’ personas. For this assessment however I’m interested in exploring ‘identity in love’.

When in a loving relationship decisions can not be made with the same autonomy as before. The beloved should at least be considered, if not negotiated with. More than just this loss of independence, the individual’s self conception, as well as society’s, has changed from two individuals, to a couple.  In many respects it is as though two individuals have created a partly joined identity. An individual’s emotional state is partly influenced in the same manner as is that of their spouse. A lover whose partner suffers misfortune, will also feel unhappiness along side them. Lovers are not only pleased with each other, but will go to great lengths to please their partner.

In romantic love we play a private role rather than the many public roles that fill our lives. The idea of roles or selves, along with our Western concept of love, is said to have originated in Europe during the twelfth century. While playing so many public roles, often begrudgingly, the part we play as a lover has long been considered the one closest to our ‘real’ identity. But even within this private self, there are thousands of subroles that are constantly changing and being reinvented. Roles played while arguing, doing chores, walking together, kissing or watching TV all converge to make up the process of ‘shared identity’ which continues to evolve.

I will be using the relationship of my father and step mother in this study. I envisage the use of a time line, such as the one I present in my example, representing their changing identities as individuals throughout their lives until they formed a union, and then continuing the line as they grew together. I will feature many of the significant events that shaped their lives as individuals. Examples include my father’s service in Vietnam and mine-clearing in the Solomon Islands and my Step Mother leaving Mauritius due to civil unrest, arriving in Australia and working her up through the ranks at defence Australia while simultaneously learning English. Shortly after their timelines meet, they officially form a union by way of a Roman Catholic Wedding. The time line continues as one now, displaying meaningful moments they shared together until the current day.

Example Website that inspires my format:

Retouching… myself… :/

The one I was avoiding. That said, I’m not unhappy with it for a first attempt. I learn new tricks every time I do one of these. Think I’ll try and tone it down a bit next time thoughImage.

Yi Ling; Round 2.

In this version, apart from butchering the outline, I made use of the clone stamp tool and liquify filter. I like the effects but want to try again starting with a better photo. Next time I’ll work the hair, eyebrows and lips a little more too.Image

First Retouching Attempts.

Here are my first attempts at using the portrait retouching method taught in Sean’s class this week. Yi Ling and Berit kindly provided their modelling services. Quite a bit of experimentation involved but I feel I’m refining the technique. I wasn’t really happy with the look of Yi Ling’s eyes but have since worked out that by varying the brush size and opacity more often while painting in the mask, I can achieve a more natural appearance. So far the focus has mainly been on the skin so this week I’m planning some youtube time to investigate other methods of retouching the hair, eyes and lips. It’s a fun assignment and I really want to produce a decent image for submission.


InsideOut Assignment


So this was the image I selected, reworked and submitted for the first ACM202 assignment. I ended up first using Photomatix Pro and then editing the image further in Photoshop layers. Although it printed slightly darker than I had expected I was happy with the final result. I like the soft greyish tones with sharp jagged edges and smatterings of colour throughout the shadows and highlights. If I were to do anything differently it would be to include more of the broken wall at the top centre of the composition. My written statement is as follows:

Images are abstractions of ‘real world’ situations that have been reduced from four dimensions to two (Flusser, 2000, p.8). The process of creating an image that hopes to be comprehensible to a viewer, relies on the viewer’s prior experience in the real world. The observer will rely on information gained throughout their life in dealing with elements such as line, shape and colour to quickly understand a two dimensional image. During childhood we all learn that when looking through a partially opened doorway, that by actually walking through it, we will find more information about the space that was previously hidden from us. It follows that when looking at a two dimensional image of a doorway, we know that there is more information about the space that we are not able to discover from this image alone. This assumption is based on the experience we’ve previously had with space, and is quickly and superficially made through the glance of a photograph.

The process of ‘scanning’ over an image involves a longer viewing and is used for the purpose of gaining a deeper interpretation of the image (Flusser, 2000, p.8). Through this process we absorb the elements and principles displayed within the image, form relationships between them and even sort them in to a hierarchy of importance (Flusser, 2000, p.9).

The philosopher Charles S. Peirce explains that ‘semiotics’ is the study and analysis of the way images convey meaning (Hobbs, 2012, p.88). In Peirce’s ‘model of the sign’, we see a triangular diagram where a real life object or concept is the ‘referent’. A sign, or ‘representamen’ is made from this referent. The observer or interpretant then makes meaning from the signifier (Hobbs, 2012, p.88). Importantly images are connotative and ambiguous; there are multiple and differing equally valid meanings the interpretant can make from them (Flusser, 2000, p.8).

There are various types of signs that can be made from real life referents. The three most commonly used are symbolic, iconic and indexical (Hobbs, 2012, p.90). Symbolic signifiers do not resemble their object but their meaning has been agreed and learned; such as numbers and letters. Iconic signifiers incorporate some characteristics of the referent; such as animation, metaphors or gestures. Indexical signs have a direct relationship to the signifier; photographs generally fall in to this category.

New technologies in digital imaging however have provided a wider scope of possibilities to artists; using software such as photoshop a photograph can be altered to become an iconic sign. The image I have submitted with this assignment is definitely an indexical image because of it’s close connection with the referent. Images like this actually blend the object, representamen and interpretant (Bignell, 1997, p.15). With this understanding, photographic media can be said to portray more realistic representations than written media (Bignell, 1997, p.15).

I chose an abandoned derelict building as the site for my photo-shoot because such images are in direct contrast with the vast majority of interior photography that we are exposed to through mainstream media. These usual images reinforce the culture of a consumerist society and demonstrate a particular life style that we are supposed to aspire to (Rice, 2004, p.40). Derelict structures highlight the separation between a habitat and the inside space of a construction (Rice, 2004, p.41). Although various interpretations can be made from this image, the passing of time, or end of an era, is a common response to such representamen.

Reference List:

Bignell, J 1997, Media Semiotics: An Introduction, Manchester University Press, Manchester.

Hobbs, M 2012, Communication, New Media and Everyday Life, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.

Rice, C 2004, ‘Space and Image Inside Hill End’ , Architecture Australia, July/August

Flusser, V 2000, Towards a Philosophy of Photography, Reaktion Books, London.