Weekly Update: Photography

How did the week go?

John from Homestuck performing the Abjure Gesture

An example animation typical of a single panel of Homestuck. The style is simple and repetitive, and used to emphasize comic effect.

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?

I think so. Compared to some of my previous experiments,  this weekend’s Daily Shoot assignments were for the most part posted completely unedited aside from cropping. It was hard to resist, but there were only two exceptions were the universal theme and shadow photos. I managed to keep the editing light: the universal theme photo has a slight levels adjust on it to make the yellow parking stripes stand out better. I also horizontally mirrored the “something’s shadow”. I’m not sure if anyone has done research supporting this, but I have a hunch that the way photos are perceived by viewers is affected by the direction in which they read their native language. The photo looked wrong until I flipped it. After looking at it for a bit, I realized that the leading lines -such as the ramp and the sides of the archway- approximated the the f-shaped pattern that people follow when browsing web pages.

The blog posts for this week were late. I ended up side-tracked and researching history for my Diane Arbus response. But the important thing is that I have a workflow set up for the photos that simply works and gets content in on time. So far, I’m happy with this unit. It’s gotten me out and about in ways I haven’t been recently, and I’ve started to notice things in the environment in new ways. I might save up for a better camera.


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