Archive for the ‘design’ Category

Halloween wasn’t a very spook-tacular holiday around my house growing up, so I don’t really have a very memorable lighting moment that sticks out to me. However, drawing form another example, I will analyze Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” which was my favorite Halloween music video (slash all-time favorite video!!).

If I said I wasn’t scared the first time I watched “Thriller,” I’d be lying. Rumor has it that the first time my older sister saw it on MTV (circa the 80’s), it sent her running scared from the living room. From the special effects, to the costumes, to the lights…It was a scary thing to watch. At the same time, though, it was magical.

I’m sure the technical aspects, especially the lighting, for the music video is very different than it is for a stage production. However, I’m sure the same principles still apply.

If I were to try to reproduce the lighting from “Thriller” for the stage, I would try to replicate the long shadows and spooky lighting by using several Fresnel lights at long angles in ambers, reds, purples, and deep blues to give the stage an eerie look. Footlights would also add an extra “creep” factor. These used to be the main lights used in the early days of theatre and the light from the bottom would cast weird shadows. Throwing in a fog machine and a scrim (which would create a dimming effect across the whole stage) wouldn’t hurt either.

If all these things were in place, it would make for one spooky show…


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For our latest project in Digital Media Convergence (DMC), we had to take pictures with a theme.

After waffling around themes from ranging from color to lines to things blowing in the wind, I finally settled on the color red (which was actually my original idea, but I thought it was no good).

So I took the pics, loaded ’em on the computer, and proceeded to Photoshop them, just to make the red pop a little more.

Now, you already know how I feel about Photoshop (if you don’t, refer to the previous post). But because I had only had to focus on bringing out the color red, and I got a lot of practice with just that one skill in class, I was pretty adept. I think I managed to do a decent job?

What do you think?

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Ok, so here’s the deal: I am a communications student, right? Therefore, I should be good at Photoshop, right?


Turns out, I have no CLUE as to how to work this program. The only thing I feel after working in Photoshop CS5 is frustration and a strong desire to hurl the computer screen across the room.

But that wouldn’t get me anywhere, now would it?

Nope. Not at all.

Anyway, our assignment for this week was to watch a few tutorials on Lynda.com (a VERY handy site for learning all kinds of computer software) and apply lessons learned to a photo that we took.

Easier said than done.

I went online to Lynda, watched 5 tutorials of one of the creators of Photoshop magically create a masterpiece out of an ordinary image, and then proceeded to attempt to duplicate the success on my own (all while The Lord of the Rings blasted annoyingly through the wall from next door, I might add). But for whatever reason, I didn’t have much luck.

I followed step-by-step the notes I had written down from the videos, but I still had no success! I guess it’s one thing to have to edit a single aspect of a photo – adding eye lights to the subject or just boosting the makeup – and another to try to do that along with adjusting the contrast, saturation, and hue of the photo (If you didn’t know, Photoshop is very picky about how your layers are organized when applying new filters and such).

After tedious editing and swearing, I managed to take this image of my friend Nicole

Beginning Image

and turn it into this…

Final Image

It’s definitely an improvement, don’t get me wrong. You can see her more clearly because I lightened up the overall picture and added some color to her lips, but it came about more from accidental discovery than really understanding what exactly I did. My next step, if I were more proficient, would have been to lighten the eyes and take down the shadows in her face, but after trying to follow the tutorial’s directions (and failing), I decided it would be best to take a break from photo editing.

Maybe after a few more Lynda tutorials and practice, I’ll take another stab at it…hopefully without the LOTR’s epic soundtrack distracting me in the background.

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While browsing through issuu.com, looking for design inspiration for this blog, I found this magazine, called Ivy & Piper: Fashion for the home. Below is a picture of the cover.

There are a few things about the format of the magazine that I think work well and parts of it that I don’t like. To start, I really like the fact that the focus of this magazine is on the pictures. Because of this, there is very little text and it acts as a compliment to the pictures. On most of the spreads inside, there are plenty of visuals, i.e. full page photos and bold, colorful headlining text – that attracts the reader’s eye. The magazine’s plain white background also gives the pages a very “open” feel – it seems to be less cluttered and is pleasing to the eye.. Also, the magazine features cut-outs of furniture and accessories, which has always been a favorite aspect of mine. My one criticism, though, is that the colors of the layout can be too extreme for my taste, giving the magazine a “thirteen-year-old-girl” or a “sorority sister” feel. But overall, I like the feel and design of the magazine.

To look at the entire magazine follow this link: http://www.issuu.com/ivyandpiper/docs/ivp_magazine_love_2011

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