This is a further experiment on the Ugly to Beautiful theme. This is my favorite topic. Doesn’t tell as much of a story as the previous one, but I like it better. Again, there is no editing on these photos. They’re exactly as they are from the camera, except I haven’t cropped any this time at all.
I decided that I wanted to take the photo topic and do something without any people. Part of this is it’s hard to coordinate with people, and part of is that I wanted a challenge. I wanted to actually make something that held up to the idea of the class as “storytelling.” The last rule I made for myself is no editing at all. I managed to follow this. It was hard, and I couldn’t really get a shot with decent white balance of the computer screen in the time I had, but I made do.
I’m trying to go an unconventional route for my photo essay. It’ll still fit the theme of “my people”, but i don’t want to spoil what I’m doing quite yet. The calculator will be important.
Our assignment was to portray the same conflict in three totally different ways. I’m mostly keeping to my goal of not manipulating images aside from resize. The only non-resize manipulation on this set was perking up the color on the yellow image.
How did the week go?
Pretty well. Despite some technical issues, I tried some news things and cranked out some content. But first, the bad part. I had a trial of Flash CS6 installed on my computer. I was pumped up and ready to animate. After trying to plan out animation sync for a comic with multiple animated panels in one image, I decided that that approach was way too complicated. Instead, I decided to follow in the footsteps of Andrew Hussie’s Homestuck, a mix of webcomic and flash animation extravaganza. It tells the story of a group of friends that cause the apocalypse by attempting to play a video game, and instead end up on a quest to save the multiverse. The comic is humorous and has a trademark style of animated gif panels that are used to exaggerate a comic situation (see right). If I follow this technique and decouple individual animated panels, It’ll be much easier to animate the comic. In short: The bad news is that my trial expired and I’m behind where I’d like to be. The good news is I know how to make the animation process much simpler than I initially envisioned.
Now Back to Photography
After watching the Diane Arbus documentary, I decided to try take photos with the assumption that I wouldn’t get to edit them beyond cropping them down, and that I wouldn’t have a computer with me to examine the photos on. This is partly out of admiration for what people could do without photoshop and before cameras with LCD screens. However, it is mostly due to realizing that photoshop is an open door for perfectionism to creep in and take a sledge hammer to my schedule. I compensated by taking more photos of the same object. Did my attempts to improve my work process result in increased productivity and better quality?
Like Diane Arbus‘ work, many memes rely on odd-looking individuals to create attention-grabbing content. After watching a documentary about her, I think she had a better understanding of what she was doing and how it worked than many internet users do of the memes they make.
Meme All The Different Looking People!
Visually outstanding individuals are often the basis of memes, attractive or otherwise. As mentioned in a previous blog post, ease of sharing and whether it provides a novel spectacle determine whether something becomes a meme. Like the sideshows of the 20th century, people with unusual appearances can fit these criteria and become a public spectacle akin to the sideshow performers of the 20th century. Sometimes it’s almost identical, such as when videos of babies with birth defects are posted with titles and descriptions such as “alien baby” or “demon baby”.
At other times, a particularly unusual looking individual will become the basis of a meme. One example is Adalia Rose. Videos of her and her mother became popular on YouTube. As her fame grew, users of various image sharing sites took notice, and images of her became the basis of a number of photoshoppings.
How is Diane Arbus Different?
Her explanation of how a “specific” image is more generally appealing is an accurate if vaguely phrased expression of one of the rules governing memetic selection in image macros: the images and videos that become the most popular adress a specific issue (such as Scumbag Steves), are bizarre and unusual (such as Numa Numa), or manage to do both.
Taken grudgingly for a digital storytelling class at the university of michigan