Posted by: photochika42 | October 17, 2010

Photo Manipulation + Critique

Below is a photo collage I made with pictures that I took.



Photo Manipulation

A Day In The Life of Smiley-Face Man



I feel that photo-tampering in the media is a small problem in the media. I feel that there are photographs that can be edited to enhance a model’s features (such as removing dark circles under his or her eyes), but there are instances of tampering with who attends events (such as Jane Fonda and John Kerry both attending a peace talk, but the image was a combination of two separate pictures, taken a little over a year apart. There are some pictures that include a disclaimer by the publisher (or the photographer), but many consumers believe the contents of the picture, and ignore the disclaimer.

One huge controversy that has been more recent in the media is a picture that surfaced in April 2004 of a U.S. Marine and two Iraqi children. One of the children is holding a sign that reads, “Lcpl Boudreaux killed my Dad then he knocked up my sister.” Boudreaux claims that the sign originally said “Welcome Marines” and that the original photograph was tampered with. To this day, there is no solid proof that the photo was tampered with or not.

An article titled “I Was There. Just Ask Photoshop.” does explain how some people use Photoshop to remove certain people from images, to add people to images, or to fix blemishes and red-eye that may appear in certain photographs. Adding or removing people from images can be a problem – if you add someone to a certain photograph, people will eventually believe that the person was actually there. Within this article, there is also an example of a woman who had a professional photographer use Photoshop to create a picture of her with her late father. In this instance, I feel that the use of Photoshop is acceptable.

“I Was There. Just Ask Photoshop.” can be found here:

Posted by: photochika42 | October 11, 2010

Photo Essay: Journey of Smiley-face Man







Full of sunshine








Just around the corner

















The overall focus of the photo essay is a stress ball with a smiley face on it and it has arms and legs. This little person was an entertaining focus to see throughout these pictures because it is the unexpected.

In “well-padded” (the subject is surrounded by bubble wrap), it was an interesting background choice for the subject. The lighting was there, but along the top left side of the photo there is some darkness. There is the idea of trying to light up that corner of the picture and to see the result. The way the subject is positioned in this photo is interesting, but there are other possibilities to try as well.

“Full of sunshine” (the subject is sitting against a wall in the sunlight) has a nice up-close angle of the subject. The use of the lighting is a nice way to light up the subject, but the shadow that is created from the lighting is okay. The shadow helps create balance of light and dark in this photo, but the shadow is at an odd position.

“Traveling” (the subject is inside of a metro station) has a good angle of the subject and the background. The position of the subject, however, is at a strange angle, and could be positioned in a different way. I feel that if it was turned so it was completely looking at the right side of the frame or completely to the left, then it would make a better photo.

“Just around the corner” (the subject is on a gray ledge and has an interesting ridged roof above it) has an interesting effect because of the ridged roof. The ridged roof makes the building behind it looks a little separated (on the right side of the building). The ridged roof is an interesting background, but could also be used as an interesting filter. The lighting for this photo is decent, but the photographer should try experimenting with lighting more.  It would be interesting to add more lighting coming in from the ridged roof, or from the lower left corner.

“Waiting” (the subject is sitting on a bench) has a good use of lines. There is a woman in the right side of the corner, which should be edited out. She takes away from the photo. Other than that, the reflection of the yellow of the subject is seen on the bench, and adds an interesting element to the photo.

“Ledge” (the subject is sitting on top of a sign in a bus stop) has a good use of lines. With the background of the bus stop, there is some reflection from the metal. Some of the reflections are giving off light, which is a nice element to this photo. It would be interesting to try shooting from different angles to get more use of lines or get more light involved.

“Relaxing” (the subject is sitting on a couch) is kind of a boring photo. The subject is very close to the camera, but this photo does not have the vibe of a more “artzy” photo. Looking at it now, I am asking myself “so what?” I do not really sense a point to this photo.

The use of lighting in some pictures helps illuminate the subject of these photos, but there are other pictures that could use better lighting.  Some of the angles of these photographs are strong, but other photos could try more perspectives.

The meaning of these pictures, in my opinion, is to bring cheer to unexpected places. With that, hope could also be the message of this essay because of the brightness of the subject.

It was difficult for me to emulate Polly Chandler’s style in some locations. I know all of these photos are in color, but if I played around with the filter or tried to edit them some – changing the tone to black and white could alter the meaning of these photos.

I do have respect for professional photographers, but I do not consider it a newfound appreciation. I always admired photographers and how much thought they put into each photo. The timing of each photo is everything, because a subject could move, lighting can change, or the photographer could move and change the angle very easily.  After college, I would love to be a photographer for Time or a sports magazine. I have always had a passion for photography and that passion will be with me for a long time.

Posted by: photochika42 | October 4, 2010

Polly Chandler

Biography of Polly Chandler:

Polly Chandler is an art photographer who takes many photographs in black and white. She graduated with a B.A. in art from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale in 1997. She also received her B.A. in graphic design at the same school in the same year. Chandler went back to Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and received her M.F.A in mass communications and media arts and specialized in photography in 2004.

Polly started her career in Austin, Texas as the photographer for the Texas House of Representatives. From there, she started to enter her work into exhibitions, mostly local, until she was well known. She has been in a few juried exhibitions and has had three solo exhibitions so far.

Her work has been featured in a few photography magazines such as the Photo District News, B&W Magazine, American Photo, Shots Magazine, and PhotoLife.

First photograph:

This photograph uses a few elements of photography. First, Chandler uses the shape of the curve to show movement. She also uses the rule of thirds to center her photo. There is also repetition with the lines at the bottom. The center of interest in this photo is the curve with the lines, and the subject is placed on the left of the frame. The curve of the shape (it could be a building?) helps frame the empty space on the right side, which makes this photo feel somewhat balanced. The viewpoint of this photo is interesting to me. I feel that if Chandler took this photo at any other angle, the subject would lose value to the viewer. The lighting illuminates the lines that support the curved beam, which makes this photo so beautiful to me. The perspective is something else I also admire about this picture.

Second photograph:

This photograph does use lines to show repetition in the background. The center of interest is the woman in this picture, who expresses a feeling of remorse or regret. This emotion that the subject expresses could set the tone for this photo as sad. The woman, who is the subject of interest is placed right in the center of this frame, which helps balance the background lines. The pattern in the background does take the attention away from the woman, but then helps bring the focus back to the woman. The use of shadows in this picture is something I admire. There are more shadows on the left side of the photo than the right side, which questions what form of lighting was used. I feel that this photo was taken outside by the gradual fade of the shadows in the background. I enjoy how simple yet complex this photo is, and I find that quality of a photo very interesting.

Third photograph:

One thing I instantly enjoy about this photograph is that Chandler took this photograph in color. The colors help show the playfulness of a carnival or of a local fair. The perspective that she used to take this photograph also interests me because of the way she is focused on the bottom of the ferris wheel carts instead of looking at the whole ferris wheel from the side. The placement of the ferris wheel right next to the coupon booth is also beautiful with this image. Chandler uses both subjects to balance the photograph well. The lighting looks natural to me, and the color of the sky is so beautiful. I feel that the ferris wheel should be the center of interest, but the angle and the placement of the coupon booth make me feel that it is the center of interest instead.


Posted by: photochika42 | September 27, 2010

Sony A900 Camera Ad Critque

This ad was found in a Danish magazine (or online at ). The creator of this advertisement was unlisted. The ad was created for the Sony A900 digital camera. The first thing that a viewer sees is the camera and the use of bubbles near the bottom of the advertisement. The ad draws the viewer’s eye down to the camera and how bubbles surround the camera. The ad is constructed so there is movement down towards the product being advertised, which in this case is the camera. The black background helps create a sleek, sophisticated mood of the advertisement.

In this advertisement, there is form and shape used.  The geometric shapes of circles are found in nature.  This advertisement is objective because of the real objects in this ad.  Lighting is also an important part of this ad.  The low lighting and the dark feel of this ad help the viewer look for the message within this advertisement.  The principles of design are used here are balance, emphasis, and proportion.

There is both symmetrical balance and asymmetrical balance in this advertisement.  There is symmetrical balance of the bubbles at the bottom of the ad from left to right, but the balance is asymmetrical from top to bottom because of the lack of bubbles at the top of the advertisement.  There is emphasis found by the camera being the contrast to the bubbles at the bottom of the ad. Proportion is shown by the relationship between the bubbles and the camera.  The visual effect of the ad is achieved by using the elements and principles of design to help emphasize how unique the camera is.

The statement of style and sophistication without actually saying anything about how high class this camera is makes this ad work.  Semiotics is used because of the use of a signifier and something being signified.  The bubbles are the signifier and the camera is the signified thing in this ad.  I think this ad means that anyone who uses this camera is able to catch the detail of anything, including bubbles like the one seen in the ad. I feel calm when looking at this ad. The bubbles are in a way, soothing to me. This ad means that a good camera is a good tool to help a photographer catch the right shot. I love photography and I feel that this camera could help me capture the shots that I want successfully.

I feel that this ad is designed well. The viewer is not overwhelmed by graphics found in the ad, and it has one main point. The subject matter of a camera that looks so sleek and elegant could be seen as unappealing, because a sleek camera could have a hefty price tag. The ad communicates a feeling of capturing memories that someone might cherish forever. This ad effectively communicates the message of elegance and sophistication. I think this ad might bore some people because there are no people involved, but other people might find this advertisement intriguing because of the lack of color or words used.

Posted by: photochika42 | September 26, 2010

Create Your Own Graphic Ad

My Graphic Advertisement

My ad critique is in a different post.
Read More…

Posted by: photochika42 | September 20, 2010

Japanese Culture and Design

The Japanese culture was strongly influenced by the Chinese culture. Japanese society, however, developed in a very unique way. This is because for many centuries, particularly from the 17th to mid-19th centuries, Japan isolated itself and avoided all contact with the outside world. It was not until the American Admiral Perry forced the Japanese to trade with the west, that Japan opened its doors to the outside world. However, once this connection between Japan and the outside world was made, Japanese arts became very popular in both Europe and the United States. Japanese arts became a very important part of the development of both fine and decorative arts in Europe and America through the 19th and 20th centuries.

When Buddhism reached Japan in the late 6th century AD, a strong Chinese influence was seen. However, after the 9th century, Chinese influence in Japanese art weakened. Japan developed its own strain of Buddhism in the 14th century known as Zen Buddhism, which stresses a life of contemplation and study in which the contemplation of nature in particular plays a very strong role. Along with the beliefs of Zen Buddhism, the fact that Japan was an island also influenced its visual emphasis on nature. Both religion and geography, in this case, influenced the way visual ideas developed in this country. Since wilderness was not available to these people, the essence of wilderness is what was sought.

The Japanese Tea Gardens - San Francisco, California

Japanese culture is visually unique because of adaptation of Chinese culture. The use of pictographic characters in the alphabet created visual symbolism of plants, animals, and other objects.

Japanese Pictographic Characters

This was strongly important in the content and meaning of Japanese design. Even though Japanese culture was strongly influenced by Chinese culture, the painting style was more abstract and naturalistic than the Chinese paintings. A style of painting called Ukiyo-e developed dramatic ways of using the elements of line and color in various forms of art.

Example of Ukiyo-e art

The architecture is an influence of different aspects from Chinese and Japanese culture. The architecture is based on the Chinese methods of construction. The Chinese influence can be seen in the buildings that survived from the 8th century. Japanese architecture, like other arts, is more preoccupied with form than with surface embellishment. In the 13th century, the influence of Japanese exteriors and interiors show stress on space and form, with decoration and furnishing limited to essentials. Frank Lloyd Wright, an early modern architect, was influenced by the multipurpose arrangement of Japanese houses.

The Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum in New York is an example of how Japanese architecture influences Western Society. Frank Lloyd Wright, a modern architect who was influenced by Japanese architecture, helped design the Guggenheim.

Bamboo Swords

Bamboo swords are also something that is found in Japanese culture that is found in Western society.

Japanese artists unique utilization of the principles and elements of design are a reflection of their social and religious values, as well as their visual surroundings.  Japanese art has many influences, all of which are displayed in their art.

The Japanese were isolated from the Western world between the 17th and 19th centuries due to the fact that it was an island impossible to reach by way of land and difficult by way of water, and it is evident in their qualities of design.   The Japanese were not exposed to the modern developments of the Western world, and therefore their art reflects a certain simplicity and tranquility not displayed in other pieces during this period.  They were an isolated people, and were not dependent on Western developments.  Japanese art is an illustration of their physical and social isolation from the Western world.  Japanese art does have certain Chinese influences, because China is Japan’s neighbor, but they have taken those influences and used them to develop their own style.  Also, Japanese art is a reflection of their religious values, for the Japanese used to practice either Shintoism or Zen Buddhism both of which emphasize peace and unity with nature.  Therefore, Japanese artists’ expressions of the elements and principle of designs are extremely unique.

The social, religious, and visual influences of Japan have a great effect on their art forms.  Japanese art often displays earthy, cool colors so as to emphasize nature in relation to peace and tranquility.  The texture of the art is not smooth and cold, like that of much modern art, but rather demonstrates a warm, hardy, rough exterior that is normally prevalent in natural settings, such as the edge of branches or leaves, or the rough waves of the ocean.

Ocean painting

The Japanese use long lines.  In their architecture, the long horizontal lines are used to emphasize stability and peace within the home.  However, in their paintings, the long vertical lines are used to represent the extravagance and grandeur of nature.

Use of lines and color in art

These long lines are also displayed in Japanese clothing styles, such as kimonos. (The use of long lines in clothing still exists today.)

Kimono clothing style

Furthermore, these long lines often display a rectilinear proportions, shapes, and form are very specific to Japanese art and canvases, that exaggerate an image to seem longer or wider than it appears to express overwhelming size, as opposed to Western designs which often used square proportions.  These forms and proportions are especially displayed in the pictographic characters that illustrate their alphabet, which has heavy Chinese influence.

Japanese Pictograph

A lot of Japanese art is asymmetric, with focus on a certain point.  In the following example, the dragon has a balance that is not focused so much on its symmetry, but more so around the dragon’s head as the fulcrum point.  One side of painting is the dragon’s body leading up to its head, a certain climb to the climax of the painting.  As soon as the head is reached, the climax is hit, and the dragon’s expression of rage is shown in his eyes and facial expressions, as well as his hands.

Asymmetric Dragon

Japanese art is clearly a reflection of the Japanese values of love of nature.  The use of the elements and principle of design is a clear demonstration of this value.


Posted by: photochika42 | September 11, 2010

Modern Art – Hirshhorn Museum

Critique of “Still Life: King of Diamonds”

This piece of art is by Fernard Léger. The artwork is oil paint on canvas. It is titled “Still Life: King of Diamonds” and was completed in 1927. In 1927, carving began on Mount Rushmore; the New York Yankees won the World Series against the Pittsburgh pirates, and Ford unveiled a new car called the Ford Model-A.

The shapes that I see in this painting are a diamond, a square, part of a light bulb (a half circle with a rectangle attached); a variety of shapes, and some dots. A few things that are easily seen at first glance are parts of a king’s face, and the yellow in the middle grabs the viewer’s attention. The middle section is busier in comparison to the rest of the painting because there are more colors, which attract the eye’s attention. The majority of this painting has some dull colors compared to some more vivid, bright, eye-catching colors.

There are lots of different organic shapes in this painting. There are plenty of sharp edges attached to some of the shapes. Some of the edges are wavy and softer instead of a harsh, jagged edge or a straight edge. There are some straight lines in this painting. There are a few vertical and horizontal lines in this painting, and three of them are attached to each other to make the outline of a playing card. There is a diagonal line in the upper right hand corner, which demonstrates movement of the playing card, or some sort of direction.

The textures that are seen in this still life can be classified as smooth textures, and some of the textures are cold, while others are warm. The outer parts of this painting have the appearance of nighttime because of the lack of colors, while the middle portion appears as daytime with more colors. More solid portions of black, white, and grey are seen on the outsides than the middle – which are associated more with nighttime. The overall effect of this painting is busy, but organized. The outer parts of this painting are calmer than the middle – which shows the busy organized portion of this painting.

The colors that are used in this painting are used to portray different parts of the king of diamond’s life; Léger used color to show the difference between the playing card and the activity involved by the playing card. The colors make this piece seem polished but not very exciting. The artist used shapes to help break up the different portions of the painting. Some of the shapes in the middle are more exciting than the outsides. The lines are used to define the card that the king of diamonds is on; lines are also used to break up the portions of the still life. The lines are a subtle defining part of the work.

Léger was trying to convey that there is more than meets the eye, or that you should not judge a book by its cover. I think it means that a king has more to worry about than playing cards. I feel that Léger was trying to show that there are times in life when a person can be overwhelmed, yet keep his or her composure in front of others. To me, this meaning of showing one emotion while feeling another is confusing. I found this painting stuck out compared to some of the other pieces in the museum.

This work has intrinsic value because it is a different type of still life than the norm. This artwork is beautiful, and has a different view of a playing card. I think that this work can benefit others who appreciate art. This piece is modern, which many people are not used to seeing. This art may have a curious effect on people, because this piece incorporates solid colors with curves, lines, and does not explain itself. I feel that the work is just okay. I feel like it includes some of the basic principles of design, but this piece could use more pizzazz and show more meaning.

Posted by: photochika42 | August 27, 2010

Hello world!

This is my first post… Woohoo! 🙂 I’ll be using this for a class, so keep looking for projects that will be posted.

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