Monday, October 16, 2017

HTML Reflection

I made three linked webpages using the program "Brackets." It was my first time experimenting with coding, so it was fairly interesting. I had a little trouble trying to figure out how to use a picture as a link, but I used text instead and the rest went smoothly. I was also unsure of the root folder situation, so I put all the .html's and photos I used in one folder. The pages seemed to work fine and all three are linked to one another. All in all this was a fun experience and I enjoyed learning something new.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Monday, September 25, 2017

GIFs

GIFs these days are so commonly used that it is pretty much just a part of our society. Almost every day I am using GIFs in conversation, whether it’s as a reaction or just to start a conversation. GIFs are a huge part of today’s “meme culture” which plays a large role in how millennials communicate with each other on the most basic level. Everything is becoming more about technology than it is real conversation. Most of the time, if two people are actually talking face to face, technology, or memes, are the subject. I am constantly referencing them in day to day interactions with friends and acquaintances. It seems that GIFs and memes are becoming the new language in today’s culture. It’s easier to express how you feel with a reaction GIF than it is to try and explain with words. I believe it would be possible (however exhausting) to have an entire conversation with only GIFs. It is hard to picture a world where memes, especially in the form of GIFs didn’t exist. However, it is surprising to find out that GIFs have been around for longer than I have! 21 years ago and the first program wasn’t even meant for making animated images!

GIFs have changed a lot since they were first created. Now they are used to make certain scenes in movies or TV shows into loops, or to capture someone’s reaction for others to use. The first GIFs, the ones on the first article, are almost “vintage” in a way. They seem old and outdated, however, are still relevant. I am always seeing glitter/spinning text or just short little pixelated animations while on the popular social media website, tumblr. It’s funny how after sites like Myspace shriveled and died, GIFs lived on, even in the same style that they did before.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Mother Nature


          My formal project was inspired by the multiple natural disasters that we have seen as of late. I chose to make my project based on three different forces of nature: "Earth," "Sea," and "Wind." These three forces make up my collection titled, "Mother Nature." They all feature a humanoid female, composed of a drawing with multiple animal parts added to the mix. I belive this artistic choice gave a fantasy-like appearance to my pieces. Recent events (multiple hurricanes and earthquakes) played a huge role in the inspiration of this series. You always hear the news and whatnot villainizing "Mother Nature" and blaming disasters on Her, when in reality it is often the fault of the government and infrastructure for not being built to withstand disasters. Both natural and man-made. I wanted "Mother Nature" to be depicted as multiple strong and fearless women, standing up in the face of blatant criminalization and placing blame on those who really deserve it. 
          As for my technical process, I started with the drawing, which I then colored and added shadows and highlights. Then I decided which animal pieces I wanted to add to the drawing and which elements I wanted each piece to represent. I chose the animal parts in coordination with the type of force (i.e. Reptile/Earth, Fish/Sea, etc.) After the main focus of the piece was complete I searched for the perfect images to make up each scene. For example, the Earth piece features a fault line in the distance while the Sea piece pictures a giant wave. 





Sunday, September 17, 2017

Formal Project 1

For the formal project I am continuing the idea of "Mother Nature," but this time I will be focused on the natural aspect instead of the industrial aspect, specifically disasters (such as hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes). Since we are doing 3 projects, I will make one wind, one earth, and one sea, with the main point of each one being a female body, taking on characteristics of animals such as feathers, scales, or slippery skin. I intend to draw some parts of these pieces, probably the female bodies. I have selected some images that I want to use, which I have attached below. Even though the women will be covered in scales, etc., I still want them to look pretty, because despite how cruel nature may be, it's still incredibly beautiful.



















Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Digital Photography vs. Dark/Wet Room Photography

There are many differences between digital photography/development and photography developed in a dark room using various mechanical tools. Of these differences, the main ones are the actual process of manipulating photos before the capture, and then the manipulation of an already taken photograph. Both of these things directly lead to the implication that all photos are faked, staged, or manipulated in some way.
            This first difference can be seen in numerous photos, both old and new. The essay* we were given to read is all about how photos are not what they seem to be, and are in fact lying to us every single day. It even gives multiple examples from history when photos were staged to have a greater effect. But what does this mean about the photographers and the audience they so skillfully tricked? Does it mean they are evil and their audience is na├»ve? I do not believe so. As the article explains, pictures are staged in such ways to have a greater impact. And does something that definitely has happened before (like the woman walking down the street in the article) lose its voice once the moment has passed, once someone actually has the chance to pull out a camera and snap a photo? No, it does not. They might not be telling perfect truths but these photos that have been recreated are “true enough.” However, the staging of battlegrounds and scenes depicting dead bodies should not be “set up” or faked. The act of doing this is morbid and if a photographer is trying to capture the essence of how horrible something is, then it should be the whole truth, not a metaphor. Moreover, modern photography and staging is a bit different. Today photographers have the luxury of digital space to take as many photos as they want until they get the perfect shot. My mother, an amateur photographer and collector of vintage cameras, absolutely loved taking pictures of me when I was little. She used all kinds of lenses for effects, etc., but she always had to go buy film and have it developed at the drugstore. However, now that she has a digital camera she can insert an SD card and take hundreds of photos, adjusting scenes however she wants to capture it the way she intends to. This can also be seen in advertisements. Usually everything in an ad has some purpose within the shot. It can be as simple as the colors of the advertisement subconsciously making us feel calm and relaxed with blue tones or joyful with yellow.
            The second contrast is post-capture editing. In the modern world we have a lot more options when it comes to photo editing, especially with the capabilities to edit photos non-destructively, but older photography still has some tricks. With photography edited in a darkroom you could adjust exposure, you could crop, play with contrast, and much more. These may sound quite familiar, as most photo editing software has some basic form of all of these techniques, but darkroom editing was a real skill to be mastered. Now you can just click a few buttons and be done with it. But since editing is so easy, does that mean that every photo is manipulated to make us see what we want to see? Such as air brushing women’s flaws on magazine covers or adjusting the color tones of a plate of food to appear more appetizing? I would like to think not, but sometimes you really can’t tell. Photo editing is so popular that basic applications like Instagram and Snapchat have presets for filters you can apply to your photos to make them look better. And if you’re not happy with the ready-made filters Instagram offers a wide range of photo editing options. So how are we supposed to believe anything we see? I have tried to cope with my insecurities and completely warped self-image with basically just rejecting every piece of advertisement media I come into contact with. Unless it is clearly stated that the images have not been altered, I refuse to believe any of it. This may seem a bit extreme, but growing up as a little girl with the TV and magazines and billboards saying you need to look like THIS and buy THIS and wear THIS to be pretty, it can have a huge impact on the way you see yourself and the way you think people see you.
             Yes, I do believe most things are staged or faked in some way, but it is much more common and much more harmful in this day and age where we look up to the people on the billboards and say “I want to be like them.” I yearn for the days where Marilyn Monroe flaunted her armpit hair and no one gave a shit.


*http://newtraditionalists.net/uwf_assets/docs/gefter_p_Icons.pdf

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Photomontage Reflection



          For my Formal Montage Project I would like to continue with the theme of my three informal montages. A working title for my formal project is "Mother Nature." I was trying to go with the idea of industrialism and pollution harming the environment. However, the fruit and flowers, some of the most colorful things found in nature, are shining through brightly and cheerfully. This also goes along with the idea that women (Mother Nature especially) are strong and vibrant creatures. In other words, not forces to be reckoned with. I think my final project might include images of hurricanes, using current events to push my ideals into the foreground. Additionally, I would like to make my formal montage a lot more detailed than the three montages I've already produced. I believe more details would increase the impact of the piece, allowing viewers to make out highlights and shadows within the female body.

HTML Reflection

I made three linked webpages using the program "Brackets." It was my first time experimenting with coding, so it was fairly intere...