Assignments

Assignment three: About Face:

Image

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“What counts as human in this post human world? How do we rethink the unity of the human subject, without reference to humanistic beliefs, without dualistic oppositions, linking instead body and mind in a new flux of self? What is the view of the self that is operational in the world of the “informatics of domination”? 

What if we could choose what we looked like? Is this what living in a post human world would be like? What if changing our appearance was as simple as creating an avatar or a character for an online game? With the current use of photo shop to edit images of people, it is that simple. We can change the whole appearance of someone to create something completely unrealistic and are exposed to hundreds of these images on a daily basis.

Magazines, catalogues and advertisements are all forms of media in which photo shopped images of men and women with flawless skin, slim bodies with no imperfections and glossy, perfectly styled hair are continuously used, in order to sell products and convince us as a mass audience that what we are viewing is real. However these images are not real, we know they’re not real, but the continuous exposure to the images alters our sense of beauty and the ideals of perfection,

Retouching is becoming more extreme. They are no longer making perfect skin; they are making impossible human beings. They are moving us, slowly and surely, in the direction of an over-idealised notion of beauty. If you are exposed to these images all the time your notion of a baseline is gone. They move the line of reality. What is real becomes the published reality. (Farid 2011)

We are constantly drilled with what is “right” and what is “wrong” when it comes to our own appearances and sold the idea we can change our flaws using products and surgery, but what if we were able to completely choose how we looked? With avatars and online gaming this is a virtual reality and it is why I have chosen to photo shop the image of myself the way I have. Although it doesn’t fit with the “ideal” of what a “perfect” woman would look like in a magazine or advertisement, it demonstrates the creativity and freedom we can use to represent ourselves in a virtual world and use technology to alter our appearances to something completely unrealistic and to the extreme.

People viewing the photo shopped image of myself would instantly recognize it is not real, and that is my ultimate intention, to make evident how a photo shopped image of one’s self does not just merely have to be about removing unwanted blemishes and imperfections and creating a flawless “ideal of beauty”. Like creating an avatar, I have chosen my skin, eye, hair and lip colour and used technology as an escape of reality to my actual appearance. I believe it is only a matter of time until this is actually possible, “Living in a post human world is not going to be that much different than living in the human world except we’ll have perfect bodies, except we’ll be ageless. We will become the gods that we once feared” (Kaku 2011)

Farid H 2011, “Exposed: Software reveals how much photos have been retouched”, The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2011/nov/29/exposed-software-reveals-photos-retouched

Kaku M,2011, “Living in a Post Human World”, Big Think  http://bigthink.com/ideas/38580

Toffoletti, K 2007, “Cyborgs and Barbie dolls: feminism, popular culture and the posthuman body”

Assignment two; Inside out:

Dr Charles Rice can be quoted as saying that “one of the interesting things about interiors is that they are changeable and adaptable” (Rice By Design 2006), and this is exactly what my mother would want you to remember, as you view my image of my interior space. Although the interior could easily be changed with fresh new carpet, a few coats of paint and finished with matching décor and furniture, it simply hasn’t over the past two years, due to the current occupancy of a male. This image indicates the inhabitancy of the space, by a teenage boy, through the apparent essential technological and comfort requirements of an interior living space, and coincidentally reiterates the idea that “television has taken such a central role in domestic life” (Rice By Design 2006).  Although it has now transitioned into a male dominated private space, the interiors also demonstrate a history; the existence of occupancy before this.

The fake tanned and make up stained carpet, and paint scratched walls, are the remnants of my prior ownership to this interior space, but my brother has no concerns of these being present. As long as he has the functionality of space to play video games, and a place to “get away” with friends or alone, the interior serves its purpose. This male dominated room has the ability to become a private space in the house; it is generally closed off and hidden from guests, and windows drawn from the view of the neighbours.

When I lived in this interior space, my furniture, furnishings and personal belongings made it my ideal bedroom space due to personal preferences and ideals of what I find aesthetically pleasing, “the collector proves to be the true resident of the interior” (Rice 2004). However without these objects and décor, although a functional and comfortable space to someone else, to me, it has become a visually unappealing, bleak and empty, interior space, reiterating Rice’s point that an interior “is also not simply spatial, but is equally an image-based phenomenon” (Rice 2004).

By Design, radio program, ABC Radio National, 2006

Rice, C. 2004, ‘Rethinking histories of the interior’, The Journal of Architecture, Vol.9, No.3, pp.275-278

Assignment One; Not All the Same.

Camera Raw, Lightroom and Capture One: RAW file comparison.

I used the three programs; Camera Raw, Lightroom and Capture One, to contrast and compare the results and experiences of using three different RAW file processing programs. Using two different RAW file images, the three programs were used to change the white balance, highlights, shadows, mid-tones and capture sharpening of both images.

Camera Raw:

Using this program in class provided the essential base line program to process RAW files. It was simple to import them, as they generally automatically open within Camera Raw and the tools were easy to navigate. I prefer the histogram in Camera Raw in comparison to Capture One’s histogram – as it shows the RGB levels in a much clearer way, and it is easier to track changes made within the image.

Capture One:

I found correcting the white balance and locating and importing images from the desktop, the easiest with Capture One, however, overall found it the most difficult program to use. Opening the image full screen was the first issue I had (I am blonde), and therefore worked on a much smaller scale. I preferred the darker background to Camera Raw, as it showed the white levels of the image much more clearly, and the highlighted tools were easy to locate. I did not like the curve adjustment tool on Capture One and also found that saving/exporting the image was not as simple as Lightroom.

Lightroom:

I found this program to be best suited to processing RAW images in the future. Importing multiple images from various locations was simple and I liked how they were automatically saved to the library. The histogram was larger and longer than the one on Camera Raw and also showed in detail the various colours within the image, which I liked. The best feature, in comparison to the other two programs, was the curves adjustment. It showed which area of the image would be changed (shadows, darks and light) from the adjustments made and the images seemed to be much clearer and sharper than in the other programs.

Camera Raw:

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Capture One:

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Lightroom:

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