MeYouUsThem: Introduction to collaborative project and First images

  • We got our introduction to the collaborative new project, tandem project – tangential assignment for each week. We’d be going through rigorous , iterative process. “Explore image-making techniques and styles.” While we were discussing this I guessed that the styles would change depending on my interpretation of the audience.

We had to change the mood and communication through our skills as a designer. Some techniques are more appropriate for some content/messages than others. The goal was to explore many variations of our object – start with using different software and media, but not overthinking the stylistic approach.

  • W1 -week by week approach – takes the pressure of perfection off – more about process
  •  8x8inch square format – 6, 5, 5, 5, 5 = 26

We were given a list of different ways that we had to photograph and manipulate our object:

Context – place and relationship: hand – child, male, female/ with henna? Crazy nails holding prayer beads, old, young? Two hands, many different meanings


How lighting creates emotions – with basic background? 


Abstraction – using angle/scale/cropping.


Colour manipulation – photo editing, duotone/monotone/grayscale/gradient, solid background vs colored background


Image manipulation – transform using photoshop – bitmap/patterns/color separations/overlays/superimposed/mirrored/high contrast/filters – I wanted to try distortion/warping/liquifying – Got suggested that it could ruin the image quality – I could try it just to see.

  • I realised that in this class we were not focusing on me-you-us-them at all. Didn’t even mention it in class. But I plan to keep it in mind, it makes sense to think of it that way.
  • Started photographing. My camera doesn’t work nicely it seems. Tried getting Simone to give me a brief crash course, but I was still left in a blurry zone (and my images were yellowish-tinged). Nathan suggested cranking the settings on either ends of the spectrum (for aperture or exposure) just to see what the settings did and get a better understanding. The thing is I’d already been trying that, but it still didn’t help. Got my white space photos somehow anyway. (after trying many different angles) Decided to move on to experimenting with lighting


  • Not working at all. Don’t know how to get the camera to focus in this kind of lighting. Trying to use exposure and what not (aperture) to make the camera focus but it just didn’t. (many failed attempts – blurred photos). The shot was so perfect in my head, and the camera would even focus at times, but then it refused to shoot (or it would focus, then I would shoot, then it would capture out of focus). I hate cameras. Asked Law for some help day before this was due, he suggested photographing on manual (and he told me to use a tripod…). The only reason I hadn’t used a tripod yet was because I felt like I could hold the camera at odd angles, better than the tripod would. I ended up not using a tripod. I really did get better shots that way.
  • Went out later and shot in the playground to get an in context photograph. (shooting in a workspace is in context too, but it would be in context more for ‘us’ or ‘you’, for ‘me’ it’s more like play and fun than just the building and technical part).
  • Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 7.53.21 PM
  • ^ what I like about this image is how the forms and colours in the playground matched the forms of the robot.
  • Later:
  • photographed lighting and final images again (out of context, interaction). For the interaction I gave my object to a person in the ‘them’ group and told them to just ‘interact’. Shot a lot of photos over the time that she fiddled with it. What was good was that she ended up doing things that were perfect (wiping the dust, twirling the wheel) and these things I would never have thought of directing her to do, especially since my mind doesn’t care about the dust, since this object is so much more important to me.
  • Decided to use manual like law had suggested but also decided to continue shooting without a tripod. Because of my workspace, it really was much easier to shoot with my hands (awkward angles would have taken a long time to get (and might not have even been possible) if i had used a tripod).
  • While setting up my files into square formats, I had found that my images weren’t as blurry as I had imagined, in fact, most of the ones that seemed focused, were actually focused. I also stopped worrying about the camera not shooting the lighting perfectly, because since I was shooting in raw, it was easy to adjust the lighting as a needed in photoshop/lightroom.
  • Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 7.48.03 PM
  • For image manipulation I tried multiple techniques. Tinting, using strong visually or conceptually colours, like red for ‘you/them’. Chose not to experiment with a coloured background for now since I already know how to get that effect (will test to see how it looks later).
  • Wanted to work with effects/tools/filters/adjustments that I’d never touched before.
  • Increasing height of emboss filter makes it look like a double image…
  • Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 8.12.39 PM
  • kind of like the effect.
  • Amount makes the image more or less visible. Wave and ripple seem very similar…Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 8.14.56 PM
  • wave has more options to adjust it and make it look more natural/spontaneous, instead of like a constant filter. hah, mosaic looks like i’m censoring something out. pointillize has a similar visible from a distance affect that mosaic does, but it’s clearer, since the image is sectioned in dots. It looks more intentional and less like an overly pixelated/censored image. Not much difference between crystallize and pointillize, apart from the shape of the fragmentation. Halftone = comic books.
  • Editing options, e.g make the radius of the circles bigger. Extrude. Median noise looks like a weird blur. Solarize looks more to do with color manipulation (looks like thermal image).
  • Dust and scratches is very interesting. Created a ghostly kind of look…
  • Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 8.18.21 PM
  • still not sure how it works.

Discussion of Images:

discussed what we had produced so far. A lot of our ‘bad’ effects and filters were effective because of the way our objects were, e.g. an electronic robot was effective with an emboss or wave filter. Some of the others were effective because the object was transformed into something else (inverted and strong shadows made a notebook look like a pillar/monolith). One of my peers used a pebble that was slightly translucent at some parts, so simply using lighting created interesting compositions. I got a reaction from the lighting photograph that I took of the robot in sunlight (in sand). It gave an out of this world/martian look. One of the reasons for this reaction could be that all my friends had gone and watched The Martian recently…I also got a lot of people thinking it looked like Wall-E.

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 7.53.35 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-06 at 8.20.12 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-06 at 8.23.35 PM

  • Thoughts: martian robot, when looking at the emboss on in comparison to the different viewpoint (from bottom). In context of white – screws = them. Dark, shadow, sinister = you. Different types of contexts exist. Context of material vs meaning. So the robot is out of context in a playground. but not conceptually (in that sense it is in context for me).
  • By the end of it (when I got to image manipulation) I was no longer working in strict sets (lighting, abstraction etc). I was combining abstraction with image manipulation, cropping in WHILE taking photographs for lighting.

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 9.00.49 PM copy

^ My best images from this week. The interaction images are weak in my opinion. I really liked the way the colour/image manipulations and lighting ones looked. The strong lighting set up ended up being very successful (despite the very unhelpful camera). I think it was the lighting images that evoked the most reaction from my discussion group. The images turned out emotive (mysterious).


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