Sunday 29 September 2013

MMC140 - Wk 5: Photo editing Adjustment layers

Now we're starting to get interesting! Photo editing! THIS is why I wanted to do this unit. :) I've got a couple of blank walls in my house, and quite a few "almost fantastic but not quite there" shots I've taken over the last few years, so I'm hoping this unit will fill in some of those "self-taught Photoshopper" knowledge gaps and help me make a couple of my photos really pop.

First off the block was the "Curves" adjustment. I'll be honest, I never had a clue what this did so I never used it (and now I'm wondering why not) but apparently the "Auto" option will fix up 9/10 digital photos on the spot. Awesome!

(As an aside, I'm already starting to identify a problem with this unit - right now, I'm ready to abandon the 4 tutorials I need to get through this week, and dive straight into editing my own shots.. but anyway)

For the other 1/10 shots, you can do stuff like changing the Blending mode on the Curves layer. For instance, sometimes the Auto setting will change the colours slightly - to avoid this, set the Blending mode to "Luminosity" to only alter the brightness/darkness values. If the colour is better but it's too contrast-y, set the Blending mode to "Color" and it ignores the contrast. Handy to remember!

Some of the other things we looked at this week included:
  • Hue/Saturation
  • Photo Filter
  • Black & White filter

And here is one of my efforts for this week. I took this photo earlier this year in Queenstown, NZ on a hazy day and I've been wanting to fix it up so I can put it on a canvas, so here's my first attempt.

This is the "Before" pic:
I then applied the Auto curve setting:
Finally, I added a Cyan Photo Filter because I wanted it to have a bluer, calmer tone, and the room it's going in has those colours.
What do you think? Ready for canvas?

Sunday 22 September 2013

MMC140 - Wk 4: Face masks / Exercise 1

Theme & Style
Beginning with a digital photograph of a human head, use the week 4 tutorial techniques to add masks or facial embellishments (e.g. tattoos) to the underling faces.

Portraits are an opportunity to explore human identity and emotion. Such images can describe a kind of character or express an emotional state.

To do this you can use the faces as a foundation to create a more intense and focused portrayal of character. If the person in your portrait looks dreamy, then use the mask to make them look more dreamlike. If they look slightly mean, make them look intensely threatening etc.

Alternatively, to invoke a kind of specific character (e.g. devil, angel, clown or Cyborg etc.) you need to (a) identify and then (b) create, the appropriate forms, shapes, textures and colours etc. that will illustrate this idea.

I'm not sure I did this particularly well but I enjoyed this more than the Glob thing last week, and for the assignment we could choose which week to submit, so here are my 2 submissions for Exercise 1:


For context, here are some examples the tutor provided from previous students. For some reason I can't explain, I find the full-face masks a bit... creepy, so I went with a less-is-more approach:


Turns out RMIT are quite speedy at getting results back and I got a Credit for this assignment, which I'm pretty happy with. If I'm honest, I didn't spend as much time on this as I could/should have because I wasn't that excited about it, and the feedback provided was all very interesting and informative so I'm pretty happy. :)

Final Grade: 17/25 - 68% (Credit)

Sunday 15 September 2013

MMC140 - Wk 3: Glob imagery

Theme & Style
The theme of this assignment - what you choose to portray - is completely open. You are free to create figures, creatures, scenery or abstract compositions etc.

However, the formal style of your imagery is, by contrast, relatively fixed by the visual characteristics of our source image (the Glob.jpeg) and the techniques and processes demonstrated in the tutorial movie. Therefore, the challenge of this assignment is to exercise imaginative freedom within the constraints of a pre-defined visual style.

Building a cohesive single image from a large number of elements will require you to organise, group, plan, connect, transform and duplicate multiple image elements across multiple layers within Photoshop. However, in this assignment you shouldn’t begin with fixed ideas of a finished image. Spend some time experimenting with, and freely exploring, a range of visual ideas and forms. Be playful and let ideas emerge naturally from the forms you discover.

At some stage you will need to narrow your focus and become more organised as you work towards some distinct idea of what your image will be of, or about. But in the beginning at least, you should work with as little pre-determination as possible. To quote the Pablo Picasso “I don’t seek - I find”

I found this quite challenging - I've used Photoshop a fair bit, but never to create stuff like this and while I like to think I'm creative, if this is a benchmark then I'm clearly not! I understood the techniques but found the whole exercise a little.. boring. The first assignment is a choice between this week and next week so at this stage I'm planning on submitting next week's options purely because it looks more interesting!


Sunday 8 September 2013

MMC140 - Wk 2: Mandala patterns

The second activity assignment invites you to create your own unique images using the techniques you have learnt from the tutorial movies. In particular we would encourage you to 'Experiment Explore & Manage Options' as outlined in the first weeks notes. Most importantly this activity has been designed to get you working quickly, creatively and enjoyably with Photoshop. Show your images to friends and family. Invite them to comment and share their response to it. This will help you develop an objective idea of your works value as artwork. We encourage you to share your work with other students by uploading it to the Student Forum or alternatively to MySpace or Flickr.

Here are my 2nd week efforts (click for larger version):