Complex

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photoI found this photo on Pinterest while I was browsing through the Photography section. I generally look for unique photos that I could re-make with my friends. This picture caught my eye for two reasons. One, because it looked like a neat photo or painting and two, because I was not sure what it was. Even after looking at the picture for about 5 minutes, It still looks like a painting. This picture gives off kind of a confusing appeal. We know it is a shadow of a person on a raining street. Is it a male or female? Is it day or night? Where are they walking?

The angle of this photo is I think the main confusing factor. Because it is taken from a further distance and from below. But this photo is rotated, it is upside down so it makes the shadow image look like it is the actual image in the photo. Not until you look close do you realize that the small opposite image at the bottom is the actual person, which I believe is a man.

To analyze this photo further, I actually turned the picture around. This is not the way it was meant to be viewed but it helped locate certain design aspects. A main aspect that they focused on is the rule of thirds. He is walking on the side of the road. Once I turned it around, the person actually appeared to be walking into the light, it looks like day time. Before I turned it around, I thought it was night time.

It’s crazy what angles and rotations can do.

-Alexandra McNab

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Husky friends

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Husky friends

I thought this photo was adorable. As you can easily tell from many of my other posts, I love animals. Whenever I come across pictures of animals such as these two huskies, I always have to stop to analyze it. This photo sort of tells a story, as many people say “a picture says one thousand words.” By just looking at this photo you can tell that the photographer captured a great moment with these two pups being friendly.

This photo includes a great use of contrast, focus, and it is monochromatic. The contrast between the black, white and shades of gray brings great exposure and brightness to the overall photo. The snow makes the photo very bright and light, which makes the grays and blacks on the huskies really stand out.

I really liked the focus on the huskies in this photo. The blurred out tree branches in the background put great focus on the huskies which I thought made the photo look very professional. I thought this photo was the best example of good monochromatic use. The blacks and grays are very contrasted and differentiated in a crisp way from the white in this photo which makes it look very clear.

Something I’ve learned is that if your viewers can easily tell what the main focus was meant to be when you took a photo, and if they understand the scene you tried to capture or create, then it was a job well done by the photographer and/or editor. Clearly the photographer knew what he/she was doing, and I really enjoy this photo.

– Maddison Wilson

Dove Evolution

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Dove Evolution

When is Photoshop too much? When will the real images be shown? Probably never. After seeing this video when Dove first launched this campaign I was amazed. I mean, we all know that what we see in magazine isn’t the real side of people or the real image of people but do we realize what is actually put into it or what it actually done to a picture before it is put in a magazine, on a billboard or even a person on TV. This is really the same Photoshop we do in class but you can do similar things to your own picture on Photoshop.

What do they really look like? Most magazines or billboard create this unrealistic image of what models or any famous person looks like. Most of us “regular people” aim to look like these models, but what we are trying to do is impossible because unless you get a professional make-up and hair artist, a create camera and the best Photoshop program around, you won’t look even close. And that’s just in a picture. You can’t be photoshoped in real life can you?

To think that this is how far we have come with technology that we are now able to change our appearance completely on a computer program. How is that even possible? I have seen it done in this video and I have seen it done by photographers in real life. So is this our perception of reality or do we see right through it?

Watch the video here if you haven’t seen it

Alexandra McNab

Jaguar

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Jaguar

I love animals and I love searching and finding awesome pictures of animals like this one. I came across this picture of a black panther and thought it was a great shot.

Whoever the photographer of this photo was is clearly very brave to get a photo so up close, even though I’m sure it is zoomed in a fair bit as well.

This photo is a great example of the rule of thirds. It is not a perfect example of the rule of thirds, but it still works and is a beautiful shot. If I were to draw the two vertical and two horizontal lines on this photo the main focus would be the Black Panther’s bright blue eye.

This photo is definitely very powerful and interesting to look at. I don’t think it would look as interesting if the photo was taken of the Black Panther’s full face. The fact that only the left side of his face was included in this shot straight on makes it much more visually appealing and interesting.

The diagonal rule also works in this photo. If you were to draw a diagonal line from the top left corner down to the bottom right corner, the bright blue eye would be along that line. If the eye was just a little bit lower in this photo then it might be a perfect example of the rule of thirds, but overall this is still a very intriguing and beautiful shot.

– Maddison Wilson

Shop ’til you drop

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Shop 'til you drop

I found this picture on Pinterest where I find a lot of my favorite pictures, ideas and styles. When I first looked at it I saw a woman falling, I thought it was real, keep in mind it was a lot smaller than this. When I clicked on the picture it got larger, still not as large as it here because it was on my iPhone. Then I realized this was an image on the side of a large building. But there were no words show so I was confused about why there was a woman falling holing a shopping cart.

I took a second to analyze it before reading the caption. The building was tall, with no windows, so it couldn’t be an office. I thought about what buildings I had seen that looked like this, shopping malls. Looking down at the caption it read, “Shop ‘til you Drop”. So it was an advertisement. This image of the woman falling was a shopper, and she was falling. It was an illusion they had created through design for advertising their shopping mall. With the contrast and different tints and shades, the lady appeared to be real and actually falling. The angle that the picture was taken at makes it all look so real. It’s essentially the semiotic of “shopping until you drop”, it’s a sign that a lot of shopping can be done at this mall.

I think this is a really interesting way of using visual design to advertise without words or a commercial etc. I would love to know where this is.

-Alexandra

Oh, the BigMac

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Oh, the BigMac

The other day I was eating Mcdonalds and thinking about how bad it is for you (but it tastes so good). I also thought about how Mcdonalds advertises itself. Everyone has seen Mcdonalds commercials on TV or in magazines, they show attractive people having fun and sometimes being active. When you separate Mcdonalds and their advertisements, you look at them differently. The semiotics of Mcdonalds would be an unhealthy person who may be overweight, which is also a stereotype. The semiotics of healthy and attractive looking people having a great time wouldn’t be fast food, it would appear to be a commercial about a family car or life insurance. Even though everyone realizes that they’re sending false messages, we are aware of the fact they can’t exactly make advertisements showing overweight people living unhealthy lifestyles.

I looked up Mcdonalds advertisements on youtube and google to see how ironic and false they actually were. After being in the United States I remembered there were a few bad ones in particular. On google images, one of the first advertisements that came up was this one, and I became distracted from what I was originally looking for.

I figure this advertisement must be old because they are introducing the BigMac which we all know of. Looking at this advertisement, I thought about how visual aspects have changed, because to me this didn’t look appealing or interesting. Evaluating it by the principles of design or C.R.A.P. it doesn’t have much to offer. It is lacking contrast, the colors are neutral and nothing stands out. The only repetition is has is the text boxes at the bottom, which are confusing and different to read because of the layout. The alignment is okay but simple and kind of boring and proximity wise there is so much extra space that could be used to enhance this ad.

Two different topics, but even after I saw this advertisement I wanted to talk about the semiotics anyways.

-Alexandra

Beyonce: Visual Rhetoric

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Beyonce: Visual Rhetoric

I’m a big fan of Beyonce for many reasons, and I loved this advertisement for her world tour. This photo represents so much power, and Beyonce’s stance and facial expression successfully portrays that power. By the way she looks, the accessories, and the focus on her it gives off the point that she is “taking on the world” for her world tour. This is a great example of a photo telling a story. Of course the text helps by saying “BEYONCE… THE MRS. CARTER WORLD TOUR,” and if there were no text at all you couldn’t just assume that Beyonce is holding a world tour. However if the text weren’t there, you would still understand that it is a very powerful photo. If you were a fan or know of Beyonce, you could probably go as far as assuming that she is about to do something huge by looking at this photo.

I find it very interesting how photos can tell a story or create meaning. Visual aspects and materiality contribute to expressing the meaning of this photo- the throne and jewels emphasize importance and success, and the way Beyonce represents herself in this photo proves that she is important and successful. The meaning of this photo is that Beyonce is back and feeling inspired. The Mrs. Carter Tour will be her first tour since she had her baby, which is a very big deal for an artist/entertainer, and this photo definitely gives off that meaning.

How Ironic

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How Ironic

I decided to look up “cool business cards” on google and see what interesting designs companies had come up with. The first 20 seemed different, somewhat “cool” and then I spotted this one.
This business card comes off as the opposite of “cool”. To me, it looks boring, it looks plain and if I were sorting through a pile of cards I wouldn’t even notice it. It was very ironic to me that this would end up in a “cool business card” search. This isn’t cool.
It wasn’t until my confused thoughts running through my head were over that I noticed the business card was actually for a company that worked on illustration and design. This shocked me. This was showing absolutely no semiotics of design or illustration. It was showing the complete opposite. This company was literally named “Supergood illustration and design” and had super bad design skills.
For a “Supergood” illustration and design company, they should have focus on good design to attract people. They could have used an exciting or colorful semiotic of design so show they are “Supergood”. They could have added contrast with the background and font. The cardboard looking background doesn’t exactly draw attention. The font seems to be aligned but it is all on an angle. The font type is even a boring font. With one glance at this business card I would never assume it was a illustration and design company, I would assume it was a typical office job that isn’t well known.
– Alexandra

Zebra: Contrast

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Zebra: Contrast

I love animals and love looking at photos people have taken or edited of animals, they always look so beautiful. This photo of the zebra caught my eye because of the way the black and white stripes stand out on the warm red and orange background. The use of the combined warm monochromatic red and orange colours on the background is what makes the stripes on the zebra stand out so well, you can clearly tell that the zebra is the centre of attention- which makes this photo a good example of properly used contrast. Whoever edited this photo did a good job of making the zebra look important, prominent, and the main focus of the photo. Although the background is also beautiful, the crisp stripes and outline of the zebra definitely stand out much more.

Contrast is created in a unique way through the use of colours, giving much visual interest to the photo. There aren’t really any solid colours used in this photo, it is a nice combination that flows very nicely and gives a smooth finish to the photo. I have learned in this course that our eyes like contrast and contrast on a page draws our eyes to the main focus- which is the zebra in this case. Even though this photo is very simple I think it is a very good example of good contrast.

Helping a Friend Out (Shannon)

A few weeks ago I was asked to create a Logo for a group project in another course.  Still unfamiliar with the Photoshop program, I sought the help of my friend who is a seasoned professional with Photoshop. I sat down with Zach Gallant, and we discussed things like, alignment, colors, contrast, size, and other important details. Using many of the tools that we have just recently learned to use in class, we used the lasso tool, the eraser tool, and created layers etc. We played around with colors, and one thing that I really noticed is you truly have to test them out to see what works. Here is what we came up with:SLAT logo

Just to give you some background, the marketing project was to design a shoe company’s logo.

We made the Sneaker the focal point, but remembered to include other important information, and made sure the image balanced.

Although I still struggle with Photoshop, it was nice to see how quickly things like a simple logo could be thrown together once you get the hang of it. Hopefully sometime soon I’m able to complete a task like this without that much help. Thanks again, Zach!

 

-SHANNON