I am exploring the feeling of adoration through the experience of swimming.
The purpose of our Conceptual Project was to create a metaphor through different medias using the same concept statement. My concept statement was “I am exploring the feeling of adoration through the experience of swimming.” In my three classes, English, Design, and Digital Media, we each did different projects. In English, we wrote poetry in different styles, and created a metaphorical photo to go along with one of them. Building off of our poems, Digital Media’s assignment was to create videos to accompany our poem. We recorded ourselves presenting our poem and then used Premiere Pro to create the video. In design, we created a different metaphorical photo using objects and principles of design and art to convey our message.
In the future, I will be adding my own experimental music piece to the website as well as my conceptual photo for design, and many more projects to come.
This quarter we learned that art is open to interpretation and there are many metaphors for the same idea. In Design, Freestyle students all learned the basics of photography, including principles of design and art, which can be summarized in the acronym (C.R.A.P). In Digital Media, we learned how to use Pro Tools 12, Premiere Pro, and Dreamweaver. We used Pro Tools 12 to cover music as well as record audio, Premiere Pro for videos, and Dreamweaver to create this website. This unit, I enjoyed learning how to take visually pleasing photographs, adding visuals and animations to audio, and value learning how to create meaningful, deeper metaphors.
Following the Haiku project, we wrote 3 more poems. We wrote an Ekphrastic, a free-verse poem, and a spoken-word poem. The word “Ekphrastic” means a verbal description of an art piece. An Ekphrastic poem is a poem about a reaction to a piece of art. We wrote ours after the SFMoma field trip. The goal of the Free-Verse poem was to make a free-verse on our concept statement. This poem could be made in any style. For the Spoken-Word, we could write about anything with a source of conflict or emotion to it, using things like tone, pacing,aliterations, and more. I enjoyed the poem productions because it really pushed me to think metaphorically and in different ways about the same concept or thing.
Short Intro to Ekphrastic Poem
I looked towards a moody slump
Glancing upon, I already had seen character.
Which makes me wonder-Martin Puryear-
You didn’t name,
For the grey sculpture, In my mind,
I see myself-
an ordinary person,
and the human race,
through the holes,
of mesh and tar.
You’ve made a skeleton, a shell,
of all of us.
And broke the structure down.
We enhanced our Free Verse poem by recording a voice over using Pro Tools 12 and then making a video in Premiere Pro. We gathered images that represented our poem and/or its message, and then added effects onto it to make it more interesting.
The next video is my Spoken Word Poem. For this poem, we used Premiere Pro to add words as visuals to accompany our poem. They were animated in a way as to represent the meaning in the poem,emphasizing important words and phrases in different ways.
Our first English assignment was to write a haiku based on a randomly chosen concept statement. The requirements included having a cutting word, known as a kireji, a seasonal word, known as kigo, as well as having a two-part structure where our haiku has a shift or change in tone. We also had to accompany our haiku with a metaphorical photo regarding our concept statements. My concept statement is: I am exploring the feeling of Adoration through the experience of swimming.
We enhanced our haiku project in Digital Media by recording our poems and creating a video in Premiere Pro to go along with it. First we had to use Pro Tools to record ourselves reciting our poem. We also had to make background music for an intro and outro to the poem. We did this in Pro Tools as well, taking clips of music and stringing them together to make a cohesive sound. Then we took our recording, the music, and the original photo to Premiere Pro and added text and effects. I enjoyed learning how to animate text and keep a photo interesting by adding effects to it.
This is a screenshot of Premiere Pro which I used to produce the haiku video.
For the Conceptual Unit in Design, we were given two assignments. Our first assignment was to take a picture of a non-motorized vehicle that transports either people or things. This assigment helped us learn how to compose interesting photos as well as apply our newly learned Photoshop skills. Our second assignment was to take a metaphorical picture of our concept statement from English. We had to come up with objects that represented our statement, while keeping in mind compositional aspects of a photo such as background, color, contrast, and principles of C.R.A.P. These projects were a valuable lesson in learning and applying Photoshop skills as well as giving us our first taste of coming up with metaphors in art.
For the Transport Project assignment, students were asked to take pictures of wheels on non-motorized objects that transport people or things. Our task was to take a minimum of 100 photos from interesting angles and composition. We then were asked to edit our final photo in Adobe Photoshop. My photo is a close up of an eighteen year old, dark blue stroller. I chose to photograph this object because of its age and story. While the stroller itself reminds one of youth and childhood, the scratches, cobwebs, and darkness tell a story of growing up, and that youth being left behind. I placed the stroller in front of a light brown wall, under the edge of a roof. This casted a shadow on half of the stroller, illuminating the foreground and darkening the background, creating an almost ombre effect with light. While the stroller actually contains 3 seats, I chose to zoom up on the last seat right above the wheel. I chose this angle because I liked the way the wheel and scratches on the seat are emphasized by the light.
My Photoshop process began with adding brightness to the previously underexposed photo. To do this, I lightened the blacks, whites, and highlights in the photo. I did not adjust the Shadow layer bar because I wanted to keep the previously mentioned effect between the shadow and light. From there, I increased contrast to further emphasize the light-shadow duo, and I added a yellow tint to make the photo look older. I applied a Content-Aware Fill to get rid of a tag in the top left corner of the photo. Additionally, I used the Dodge Tool to add emphasis on the white highlights on the blue metal bars and screws, and to further brighten the illuminated part of the seat. I used the Sponge Tool to desaturate yellow markings on the seat and wheel to dull the color, making it less distracting. Finally, I brightened the wheel in the foreground, again using the Dodge Tool, to emphasize it as well as fix patches of black and grey that were not visually pleasing.
I am exploring the feeling of adoration through the experience of swimming.
The main objects in my photograph are candles, rocks, and a stream. Using leading lines, I placed the candles in a way so that the viewer's eye moves down the picture, similarly to how someone would swim down a stream. I took the picture from ground level, at an angle to capture the reflection of the fire on the stream, and to place the middle candle on one of the “rule of thirds” lines. The light used in this picture is natural lighting excluding the light that the candle gave off. I did not add any artificial light to give the picture a more natural aesthetic.
When I first got my concept statement, I could not directly relate a feeling of love or adoration towards swimming. So instead, I considered it from a swimmer’s point of view. The water and the rocks represent swimming. The rocks are meant to depict the physical challenge that swimmers, who adore the activity, have to overcome. The ripples in the water are an aspect of swimming as movement. I chose candles to symbolize the idea of adoration because of the feeling of warmth connected to both adoration and candles. The reflection of the light on the water is representative of the two ideas, adoration and swimming, overlapping one another. More specifically, the way the light reflects in distorted lines (due to the ripples in water), further brings the two ideas together.
For my Photoshop editing process, I started by brightening the picture because it was underexposed. I then added a blue tint using the temperature bar, to refer to colors that imply swimming, and to contrast against the warm colors emitted from the candles. From there, I used the Burn Tool and Sharpen Tool to help darken and sharpen some of the edges of the candles and their flames,since the flames were hard to capture completely still. I also used the Dodge tool to help illuminate the flame on the candle and its reflection in the water.
This is a screenshot of my Photoshop process.
For our first project in Digital Media, we wrote a parody to a song of choice. My inspiration was food, but more specifically, my favorite Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream flavor. The song I chose was Right Hand by Drake. To make a “karaoke” version of our song, we first had to import our music into Pro Tools. Next we had to duplicate the original (stereo) track and then freeze and mute the original track. With the duplicated track, we split the stereo track into two mono tracks, one for sound left and the other for sound right. We reversed the polarity of the right mono track, and then panned the sound of both tracks to be centered (at 0). We then added a low-pass filter over the track to remove all high frequencies. After this, we increased the volume of the duplicate track to add more bass, and put the recording of our own lyrics into the track as a mono track. To help our vocal track mix in, we added reverb, which makes our voice sound like it is in a larger or smaller room (kind of like the clarity or echo of the sound).
After listening and watching some inspiring music and dance videos, Mr.Flo put Digital Media students to the task of creating our own experimental music. My inspiration was the feeling, or idea of living through sadness. I created this with a grooving beat and sad undertones with the organ. Eventually, the organ part fades out and we’re left just with the beat. This is where the music switches up to represent getting over the said sadness. We used Pro Tools 12 and created many Instrument Tracks to create the sound. For all of them, we used a keyboard and/or the MIDI-editor to create the music. First we started with the Boom insert to create a sound from a Drum Kit, changing the presets to create different sounds. Next, we added the Mini-Grand insert, followed by the Organ. Lastly, we added the inserts, also called patches, Vacuum and Structure Free. The last two basically could add extra instrument bits, beats, or sound effects. For both the Vacuum and Structure Free inserts, we had to re-route each of the extra tracks under each of these to it’s specific sound, whether that be a single instrument or a loop.
At first, starting to come up with a piece was hard. Starting with an emotion or feeling helped get a piece going and stay “grounded” or fluent. But, overall, creating music was an enjoyable experience.
This is a screenshot of Premiere Pro which I used to produce my experimental music.