Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Photoshop Image Adjustments


This is an old family photo showing me (in the pink!), my older sister, and three of my younger cousins. The water and the bright sun added tons of overexposure and hid some details, so I adjusted these using levels and the shadows/highlights window. I also brightened the photo up and used the Replace Color tool on some of the water to get a cool blue effect behind the focus.

This is another, older photo of my sister and cousin. I altered the levels a bit to remove the strong green effect over the photo. I also adjusted some shadows in the shadows/highlights window, so more details would show through. It's remarkable how much hidden information a photo carries in the shadows, especially in older photos such as these. I also had a little fun by intensifying the red hues on Mr. Magneto's helmet and Miss Viking's sweet wheels.

Technology Log (Attempt At Avoiding Technology)

Saturday, January 26th 2013

10:15 - Received a call
10:20 - Checked Blackboard on laptop
10:30 - Checked e-mail 
11:30 - Went to brunch and swiped OneCard
12:15 - Went to Daily Grind with friends, purchased food with OneCard
12:20 to 12:30 - Texted on phone
12:20 - Went to Library, used computer to check e-mail and submit my radio show time schedule
12:45 - Opened QA door with OneCard, put food in refrigerator
12:50 - Went upstairs to friend's room and watched a movie on her laptop
2:40 - Used OneCard to enter Monty's Mac Lab
2:40 - Used iMac to work on collage
3:30 to 3:45 - Texted on phone
3:45 - Left Monty, used OneCard to Enter QA
3:50 to 4:35 - Made a call and checked Facebook simultaneously
5:00 - Went to dinner, swiped OneCard
6:00 - Went back to QA, used OneCard
6:15 - Used my phone to look at music chords to play my instrument
7:00 - Went upstairs to friends' room, played videogames
8:00 to 9:30 - Did some homework using an e-book on my laptop
9:30 to 10:30 - Watched a few episodes of my favorite show on my laptop
10:30 to 11:00 - Checked Facebook
11:00 - Set alarm for tomorrow
11:00 to 11:45 - Received a call

As you can see, technology is unavoidable, especially on a campus where having a OneCard is a necessity, and when all of your classes require for you to use a computer. To avoid checking my phone constantly, I put a piece of tape over the front and wrote "don't check!". Without that reminder, I probably would have checked it dozens of times. However, I did not go so far as to ignore my friends when they reached out to me by text or by calling me. I also caved into Facebook twice that day as well.

Kazuki Takamatsu

"Alone" by Kazuki Takamatsu, 2010

Contemporary artist Kazuki Takamatsu creates breathtaking forms by employing both modern graphic design and traditional painting. Glowing in a pitch-black abyss, Takamatsu's figures are mysterious and ethereal as they interact with the environment, other people, and objects around them. They are almost always surrounded by a hazy fog, however, they are not still. They are arranged in dynamic poses which seem like a freeze-framed moment in time. The process behind each piece is arduous, to say in the slightest. Takamatsu uses Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) to create and arrange his figures on a plane, then carefully hand paints the work using gouache (watercolors and white opaque pigments) and acrylic.

"Defense Instinct" by Kazuki Takamatsu, 2009

In an interview with Hi-Fructose Magazine, Takamatsu says that he attempts to "describe each character as well-known and average". However, I feel that his characters go beyond humdrum and can be largely symbolic. Despite lacking facial features (some are even veiled or wear masks), the figures convey emotion through the way they interact and are posed. For example, the maternal figure in "Defense Instinct" has a gas-mask on, which hides her facial expression, yet she looks down upon the child and grips him tightly to her chest, which conveys a feeling of intimacy and protective steadfastness.

"Exploitation" by Kazuki Takamatsu, 2011 

The combination of CGI and painting should not be seen as 'cheating', as the compositions and placing of each detail is all Takamatsu's. However, when browsing through Takamatsu's work, the most pivotal question I kept asking myself was 'Why?' Why does Takamatsu take the time to paint each of the figures when he could print out his CGI work? Perhaps he finds significance in paint medium, or simply chooses to demonstrate his skill in tricking the eye. Overall, I find Takamatsu's work to be quite innovative and impressive. He addresses raw human emotion and feeling through his cutting-edge technique.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Scanner Art and Composition



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew

"What Will People Think?", Annu Palakunnathu Matthew 1999

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew's photography-based art focuses on race and gender relations and is largely influenced by her own personal background. She was born in Britain and lives in the United States. Her Indian background has influenced much of her work, as shown in her Bollywood satire posters which depict dramatic scenes of star-crossed lovers and imminent nuclear doom:

"Bomb", Annu Palakunnathu Matthew 1999

These works are a type of "critical commentary on the societal expectations" (source) that Matthew faced as an Indian woman. Bollywood, which is known for its blatant depictions of sexism and classicism, is stripped down to its raw core, as seen in "What Will People Think?" and "Bomb". I feel that it is highly successful because it draws attention to the main problems that Matthew feels are at hand with the Bollywood movie industry.

In other works, Matthew attempts to go back to her time growing up in India and depict how it has changed since then. Her series, "Memories of India" are a series of photos taken from Matthew's own family and friends, and shows small but memorable scenes:

"Tree" Annu Palakunnathu Matthew

"Rickshaw" Annu Palakunnathu Matthew

Overall, I feel that the use of black and white adds a sense of nostalgia to these scenes. Her work gives a valuable personal insight to her time in India, and the way that many of these photos are taken gives an intimate, individual point of view.