Week 4: WYSIWYG

Most classes with the number of assignments that this one has are, to be blunt, overly repetitious. That the focus of the class is shifting from one media type to another each week, and that there is some amount of freedom in choosing which assignments I do is somewhat refreshing.
So, this week, the focus was on visual media forms.
The assignments all made me thing about different aspects of both the power of images and their ability to tell stories of their own. They also made my give more thought to what constitutes a photo and perhaps for a short while at least, they will inspire me to focus on taking better photos. Maybe I ought to practice more on taking them where the subject and my own informed context do not define the image, i.e. photos that are good for their own sake. When completing the Brady Bunch family photo assignment, which I think tells at least some version of my family story without the background provided in that post, I considered how static elements and cultural icons, especially when attached to new media, have a profound impact on the potential message of the photo. Another aspect of that assignment was that it reminded me of the power of the correct fonts. For that one and for the Oregon Trail daily create, I downloaded custom fonts for each.

The saddle bag assignment was another example of how images can convey elements of a story. It does not require events or any internal dialogue to reveal more about characters in the story. Their visual appearance reveals some important aspects of their character as well. This is something that occurred to me in some form when I created my character, as I included the deliberate idea that he does not dress the part and that his appearance is willfully deceiving.

The love at first sight assignment revealed that the stories that someone might be told from a photo is not necessarily the one intended by the photograph. Meaning, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder and perceptions may well cause two people to decode visual information quite differently.

The next assignment I completed for 2 stars was to turn an image into a drawing. Photo manipulations depends heavily on the photos themselves, so it would be worth while to have a better understanding of what each tool and option in Gimp actually does so I can gain more control over my edits. The other lesson is that placing photos in blog posts is a fickle business, and it might be worth looking into some css code to more effectively text wrap the images.

For my final 4 star assignment, I decided to break out my brady font again and combine it with a Subway logo. The results were not as interesting as I had hoped.

Of the daily creates I did for the week, the Oregon trail ds106 combination was the most fun. I never need an excuse to go play and let a family member or two die from cholera. The versions I found online too play were all the newer, updated sort, so it wasn’t quite a recreation of the green and black screens of my youth, but close enough.

One last thing I did, in the interest of continuing to improve my website itself is to change the menu and headers on the main page to more accurately reflect the reorganization and category structure that I created as a part of last weeks assignment.

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