image-a-nation

When I was looking up photoshop editorials, I stumbled upon some interesting multimedia pieces on photoshop and the distortion of image in society – something we can see on magazine shelves and billboards. All three of these pieces show the before and after effects of makeup and image enhancement but in completely different ways. Model Morphosis incorporates an image slider with the enhanced image on top of the “before” photo so viewers can literally drag a bar across and reveal the new/old face. I’ve never seen any interactive image like this and the effect was astounding.

The second multimedia piece I found is actually a Dove campaign ad, “Evolution of Beauty.” It uses the time lapse function in order to speed up the process and show the dramatic makeover changes done to the model within a seemingly long amount of time. This campaign was built to show how what we see in magazines and billboards is not real, and women should be confident in how they look instead of looking up to these false images of beauty. By using video and time lapse, the ad is much more effective and visually capturing.

The last video I found was a documentary from the producers of diet.com which interviews a professional photographer and retoucher and a clinical nutritionist. The documentary is a lot longer than the Dove campaign ad, but is filled with more content. Photos are taken of the reporter and her images go through professional photoshop hands to show how much is retouched. According to the photographer about 99.9 percent of images in magazines are retouched. Next, the diet.com interviewer talks to a nutritionist about the effects these unattainable images are having on women (such as eating disorders).

All three multimedia pieces have the same message and content, but present it in completely different fashions. Women should love their bodies for how they are and society should stop pressuring us to reach an unrealistic image of beauty. Confidence is more important than cover-up.

where the hell is matt?

In 2008, a video went viral on youtube called “Where The Hell Is Matt?” This video showed one man travel to 42 countries around the world and dancing. He dances in the rainy streets of Zanzibar, the shores of Christmas Island, Australia and in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. At first he is alone, and then suddenly a group of people join in his dance with him. The video was created in order to promote the message of dancing and laughing together, united.

However, at a convention in California, Matt jokingly told the audience that the whole video was a hoax. While, the presentation was obviously said with a humorous tone, many people took him seriously. They looked at the video and decided that the background was a green screen and Matt never even left the United States. He apparently never even left the studio.

I don’t believe this is true. The people were touching him and dancing with him in such realistic clarity. I know that cinemetography and graphics are incredibly lifelike these days but the video could not have been a fake. The people give it away. And so they did, when someone finally posted a behind the scenes video of Matt filming.

Still, this whole “controversy” made me wonder. How can we tell anymore what is real or fake without evidence? Videos can be completely animated but the animation looks as clear and crisp as real life. 3D movies have exploded, transforming our basic movie theaters into a world of action, sci-fi and imagination. Even commercials are affected – selling a product for “perfect skin” when in fact the actors are being photoshopped to have clearer skin, whiter teach and unachievable body proportions. When will society distinguish what is reality between what is fantasy? When will the two worlds collide?

the wonders of social media

Ok, so I’ll admit it. I’m a Facebook addict. I don’t love posting about my life every minute or stalking people I haven’t seen in years. I just love the photos. I think it is fun to scroll through the photos people have taken, see their perspectives and what’s going on in their life. I guess that’s the cool thing about photography, it captures a moment. A moment we might have missed otherwise. Then there’s social media to share these moments with people who weren’t blessed enough to be there themselves.

I can’t imagine a world without internet. Without Facebook. I grew up in this technology-obsessed generation and it would be a culture shock to live in anything but. The closest I came to such a lifestyle was when I was in junior high, stuck in an apartment with no internet and no cable, while our house was being built. I had to write letters and send them halfway across the United States in order to communicate with my friends. Why didn’t I just call them, you ask? No landline phone and no cellphone reception. It. Was. Hell.

Now, I have hundreds of people I can talk to at my fingertips. I can create groups for study sessions or plan an event and know who’s coming just through the click of a button. Connecting to friends, family and employers has never been easier. A teacher once said to me, “Facebook is the past, Twitter is the present and LinkedIn is the future.” I’ve never heard a more accurate statement. And, for all of you who still have trouble deciphering the different kinds of social media: here’s my favorite cheat sheet.

 

Blogging 101

I’m not going to lie. Blogging has confused me for a long time. Why are there so many blogs? We don’t need 300 different posts on how to lose weight, what crazy things happened over spring break or rants about every day life. I searched through tons of blogs and while a few were, as I suspected, utterly useless, some were actually really interesting and I found myself wanting to read more.

So, what makes a blog unique? What tools draw people in and make them want to follow more closely? Here are my 5 musts for blogging.

1. Keep the blog organized. If I can’t browse your page for whatever reason, it’s not worth my time and most likely not anyone else’s. Organization not only makes it easier but also shows you know how to use drop down menus and other more professional aspects. Do the “grandmother test.” If your grandmother can’t navigate your site, then you need to simplify. And fast.

2. Bump up the color and themes on your page. Nobody wants to see a blank white page. If you’re not a theme kind of person, at least put in photos or graphic design to keep it visually interesting. Why do you think food and dessert blogs are some of the most read? Nobody can turn down a picture of a delicious homemade brownie. Try it, I dare you.

3. Add some personality. Professional blogs can be fun too y’know! Resumes are bland and lifeless lists of facts. Blogs may have similar info as your resume but you can use voice and creativity to give people a sense of your character. If you’re interested in something, blog about it. Writing is always stronger when it is about something you’re passionate about. Who knows? Your stamp collection hobby might set you apart enough to land you that dream job. Stranger things have happened.

4. Keep the blog updated. Ok, I am guilty of not following this rule. It is hard┬áin a hectic life to remember to keep blogging. Sometimes we don’t have the time and sometimes we just don’t have anything to say. But, write as often as you can and on those days when you DO have a lot to say, write multiple blogs and publish them for future dates so you don’t have to worry about it later.

5. Lastly, have fun with it. It is obvious when you look at a blog which people actually have interest in blogging and which are doing it drudgingly. There are thousands of creative features to blogging – mess around and splash some color on your page. We won’t judge the secret computer-nerdiness in you.

Check out a great example blog here.