My song chosen from the list was David Bowie’s ‘changes’. The song appears to me to be about the inevitability of the changes that a person encounters through their lives. Some changes are welcome but most are forced upon us and we have little choice but to accept them. This song resonated with me as 2013 has been a monumental year of change for me. Some of these changes have been radical in that much of my daily routine and life that had stayed at a constant for many years has now been completely turned on its head.
I wanted my poster to reflect all these major changes in my life so started this assignment with the idea of the passage of time being represented in some way. Googling the word ‘changes’ in a simple search produced a number of posters that attempted to demonstrate this concept. The most attractive of these were the ones that showed the seasons.
For my photogram I had been forced to make a rapid choice of objects, (see photogram article) but the natural objects I had chosen also carried the theme of seasons.
Using the photogram as a starting point I scanned and uploaded it into Photoshop. I removed the black background using the magic wand and eraser tools. For the ‘spring’ effect the added background was to be a clear blue sky. Using the gradient tool and the colours of light blue (Red 189, Green 242, Blue 248) and deep blue (Red 31, Green 123, Blue 234) mimicking the kind of sky colours you would see on a sunny day. Using the paintbrush tool on a new layer I created a tree ‘behind’ the photogram objects but in front of the ‘sky’.
I next added a cherry blossom effect scanning and selecting a blossom photo I had taken earlier this year and then manipulated it using the cutout filter in Photoshop. My first attempt dominated the image so I trimmed it back using the erase tool, thus exposing more of the ‘sky’.
I repeated the same basic process for the summer picture but on this one I kept all the image to represent the full canopy given by trees in the height of summer. With the trees being a little sparse this time of year, especially if taken close the base of the tree, I used the clone tool to fill in the gaps in the leaf cover. Blurring the image using the Gausian blur tool helped to separate the photogram objects from the canopy adding an element of perspective.
For the Autumn image I used a still I had taken from below the tree canopy. I cropped it to show just a few leaves, and then using the hue and saturation tool changed the colour from brown / green to true autumn brown. I then used the blur motion tool to try and give the impression of wind blown leaves. This background image was not put through the cutout filter as it would lose its motion effect.
For the last scene, Winter, I added my blue ‘sky’ background created for the spring image. I wanted to make this look more cold so I used the hue and saturation tool to ‘cool’ the vibrancy and make the sky appear paler. I wanted to add ‘frost’ to my photogram images so clicking on this layer I added the outer glow effect. This turned out to be a happy chance in that the effect was exactly right on the first go! I originally intended to leave the sky empty to represent the bleakness of winter, but I concluded I needed an anchor object to balance the image. Something other than the photogram objects. I initially had tried to include clouds in my photogram using tissue paper but was not happy with the result and deleted them on subsequent efforts. In seeing the winter image I also concluded that clouds were not the way forward. The inspiration I came from a bird in flight. The red kite was taken near to my home. Using the magic wand and cutout tools I placed this bird in the top right corner of the scene. I feel it has the desired effect.
With my four season images now created I turned my attention to how they were going to be displayed in one poster.
Using the elliptical marquee and stroke tools on a new blank page I created a blue thin circle. I then manipulated this by using the bevel tool to create a frame for my ‘clock face’ upon which all the season images would be placed. To try and add a 3D effect I tilted the circular frame using the distort tool, adjusting the perspective so it appeared at an angle to the viewer. I changed the size of the seasonal pictures to match this distortion, I put Spring far away (12 o’clock on the clock face) Autumn nearest (6 o’clock) and winter and summer the same size at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock respectively. I put each seasonal image on its own layer so that I could insert ‘life change’ images between them, my original idea for the layout.
With restricting myself to just images I could take now and not using any taken previously I was struggling to create enough image ideas to fill in all the gaps. Photographing all these ideas was going to be time consuming too, time I didn’t have. Modifying my idea I decided that most changes are unknown so therefore the future could be represented by images containing a question mark, i.e. the future is unknown.
I still wanted to make reference to problems people face so my solution was to add the words as text representing these life changing experiences, but choosing fonts which best represented the emotion. For example the word retirement was written in a font that is used on many happy retirement greeting cards, divorce in the font Stencil, signifying the ‘rubber stamp’ that seals the end of a marriage.
I was not happy with the final draft poster. It looked a bit amateur and while it demonstrated ‘changes’ it ‘said’ very little.
I decided to rearrange the design and add in an urban landscape. This concept was to show the bright airy countryside scenes opposite a sky line looking dark and dreary and the reality for many people in the world.
This whole concept poster assignment has been difficult mainly because of the switch in courses and the loss of 4 weeks, and because of this the photogram session was ill prepared. If I was to tackle this assignment again with the right amount of time I have no doubt I would have arrived at a very different result. Using what I had created in the photogram session as per the brief, I had two choices, continue to use the nature theme or re do the whole session. Time pressures for the submission deadline meant once I had started down this road, turning back and starting again just wasn’t an option.
I am happy with the final design and adding the word changes in a strong bold font enforces for me the reality that we are all subject to change, there is no escaping it!