Summary

The image I created reflects the article War Dance by Frances Morton. It discusses the dance production Rotunda and reasons for its creation. They talk about how it was drawing on New Zealander’s experiences of World War 1 and gives voice to the generation that bore the horror of the Great War. With this in mind I was then put to task to create a photo-real image which reflects this very article. My image is of a ballet dancer, dancing in a suburban studio. She is dancing to express the pain and suffering many went through during World War 1. To then express this in a photo-real way I decided to have the mirror reflection expressing her reason for dancing. This was visually represented by having images indented in the walls and floors boards that reflect the horrors of World War 1. I decided to have the dancer look slightly different and represented in all black and red to coincide with the War images.

To make the image more visually captivating I have attempted to play around with the lighting to result in the mirror reflection appearing a lot darker, as darkness immediately adds horror and drama to an image. This part became a lot harder than I expected because I had so many different layers of the picture cut around, that when I played around with the brightness and contrast tool various parts were affected. I struggled to effectively show this on the left side of the mirror unfortunately.

My intended communication objective was to show dance as an expression (literally). Her reasons for dancing are expressed through her reflection, which shows the horrors and reality of what people went through during World War 1. Just like the dance production Rotunda, this dancer is dancing to memorialize in a way that shows the horrors of war and you can see that through her reflection.

It was a very slow start for producing my communication objective, as my Photoshop skills aren’t quite up to scratch yet! However using what I have learnt in class I, along with a few online tutorials I attempted to create my photo-real image. The most important part of my image was making sure the war images were blended correctly into the walls and floorboards to make it look natural. This involved playing around with the different blending techniques which we were taught in class such as soft light, overlay and lighten. I found soft light to be the most effective in making the images look indented into the walls and floor boards. I then played around with various tools that I’ve become familiar with in order to blend the images into the wall in a way that made them appear less defined. I played around with the paint brush tool in an attempt to blend them together with the walls. I found this part to be reasonably difficult and didn’t turn out as well I would’ve liked it to! I also played around with different layer styles to have the images overlapped.

Was I found to be difficult was keeping my various layers tidy as I had so many of them! It was definitely a great learning experience; however I think I made the process a lot more difficult for myself than it could have been. I think if I was to re-create this image again I would have more emphasis on the dancer in the mirror. This could mean making her look slightly bruised and battered, to connect her more to the images on the wall. I would also like to have had the lighting on the left side darker. I also had a few issues on the last day especially where Photoshop would stop working and close down immediately, resulting in loss of some of my changes.  Overall I had lots of fun and look forward to the next assignment!

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