Reflections of my work
Week 30 & 31 – L.T 1.1 & 2.1
This week is about photo, and as part of the L.T I’ll go through the steps to plan a photoshoot for a specific fashion photography session, which is an “Alice in Wonderland” inspired theme by Nooi.
A good place to start is to come up with a concept. For this shoot, the concept has been pre-written:
Nooi fashion shoot:
Q: Who is the client?
A: Nooi (a vintage fashion label for women)
Q: Why do they need a shoot?
A: They need to promote their first line of streetwear.
Q: Do they have any special requirements?
A: They would like a vintage-inspired shoot.
Q: Is there a concept?
A: Alice in Wonderland
After this, we come up with the moodboard, which collects images that sets the stage for what kind of theme “Alice in Wonderland” is.
We then draw a storyboard to be shared with the team. This storyboard consists of rough sketches showing the model posed in various ways, and in various places.
The storyboard may highlight how many angles we need of the shoes, the dress, some jewellery, etc.
This helps the photographer with knowing what exact shots they need to take, and it tells the stylist where the focus will be, so they can get these details ready for close-up.
When we have a rough idea of what shots we want, we can look for a fitting location. If it is in public spaces or in buildings, we need to check for the right permissions to perform the shoot.
It’s a good idea to look for textures and details at the location, that can compliment the shot. Maybe useful as background.
Then we make a “shot list” which lists all personnel and their responsibilites. It can also work as a checklist for equipment, and to make sure we get all the right shots.
Fashion shoot for Nooi/Alice in Wonderland
Location: Frogner Manor House, Oslo
Makeup Artist: Maria Jacobsen
Stylist: Katrina Josefsen
Art Director: Espen Haug
Photographer: Tom Iversen
Assistant: Nina Jensen
Model: Lisa Long
Wide angle, macro and 50 mm lenses
Outfit 1: Hedge and clock
Outift 2: Model by tree
Outfit 3: Model in greenhouse
Outfit 4: Close-up portrait
When we’ve got this planned down, we can look for a model. If we hire a model through an agency, we’ll recieve Z-cards that we look through to determine if the model has the physical features we envision for the shoot.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Stylist is responsible for costuming and props; they are part of envisioning the entire concept, and plans out which elements need to be present in the scene. They’re in charge of the model’s look as a whole, and makes sure that the entire look fits together with make-up and hair, and that the model fits into the scene, and that the scene fits into the concept. The stylist also works closely with the client, and makes sure that the right equipment (like clothing, accessories, etc) is used and arrives from the client.
They’ll make sure the right items are used at the right shots.
The Photographer is in charge of composing the images. They give directions on set, and work with the stylist to showcase the model and the client’s items in the best way. The photographer is also in charge of the technical equipment, and must have great knowledge of how to use light and props, as well as post-processing the images after the shoot. The photographer’s vision is the one that will be portrayed in the final product, and therefore their directions matters a lot.
If I am working photo on this shoot, this is the equipment I’d bring:
- Vintage lenses
Since this shoot is “Alice in Wonderland”-inspired, and we’re looking for a retro feel, I’d bring my vintage lenses such as my Helios lens and Takumar lens.
- Outdoor shooting equipment
Since it’s an outdoor shot, I wouldn’t wanna bring artificial light sources. Planning the shoot on a day with the correct light is important, and to best make use of the natural light I’d bring both matte and metallic reflectors, as well as a light diffuser.
I’d always bring a tripod, even if I prefer handheld, it’s good to always have one available.
To all my modelling shoots, I always bring music. In order to capture the best expressions in photo, it’s important to invoke the correct feeling. By playing music that fits with the theme, the model will have an easier time “acting” the role, and get immersed in the concept.
This is especially important in shoots where the model might feel a bit “dressed up”. For example in horror shoots, where extreme emotion is required, it’s much easier to achieve and much more relaxed if the model has something to act into.
Shooting without music is like dancing in a silent club. Just the awkward sounds of shoes clacking on the floor and clothes shifting around. No one wants that.
“Snow White” themed fashion shoot
Moodboard for a “Snow White” theme – dark hair with red ribbon, dramatic vintage make-up, and dark clothes with calm snowy background.
Storyboard for “Snow White” themed fashion shoot. The apple plays a vital role, to remind people of the theme. Close-up of the face and feet shows hair accessories, jewellery, details and texture of the clothes, and shoes.
Full-body shots shows the full outfit together, and when placed in a fitting location, gives the right connotations.
Create a shot list
Create a timeline for the shoot day
Draw a diagram of your preferred workflow and explain why you take certain steps
Create a checklist for your workflow
Take a screenshot of your folder structure
Explain why creating backups are so important
Week 25 – LT 1.1 & 2.1
For the LT in Week 24 we are tasked with creating a new title sequence for a movie we like.
I decided on reworking the title sequence for the original “A Nightmare on Elm Street”.
In the beginning of the original video, there’s a process shown where Freddy puts on the iconic glove. Shortly after there’s a long chasing sequence with Tina running around in his Nightmare world.
I wanted to expand on the process of “becoming Freddy” and include more shots of the details that reminds people of Freddy; the glove, the striped shirt, the hat, the basement, fire and children.
This storyboard shows a floating camera walking up the walkway to the burnt house’s door, opening the door where “New Line Cinema presents” is shown, walking in and down the corridor where the director’s name “Wes Craven is shown”.
Then walking into the basement under the stairs, walking down stairs, showing the basement with the fireplace and Freddy’s silhouet, getting close to Freddy, then cut to the hand pulling on the glove, the gloved hand making a fist and opening the palm again, while the movie’s title is shown.
Cut to a doll on the table with an insect crawling over its face, then knifed hand comes in, grabs doll and pulls it out of frame with another actor name.
Rests on the empty table for a sec, then shows the furnace, walks closer to the fire, then the knifed hand is shown with the doll and another actor name.
The knifed hand throws the doll into the fire, cut to the doll resting in the fire, closer to the face, the doll is melting and melting. Another actor’s name.
Cut to the knifed hand carries the hat, places on his head, then cut to hip-and-up shot of Freddy’s silhouette in front of the furnace while camera pans out, knifed hand shown on left, text says “and Robert Englund as Fred Krueger”.
This title sequence plays more on the “becoming Freddy” showcase, and makes Freddy out to be as creepy and disturbing as possible. The names and titles are shown in creative places, the key scenes that carries the most impact.
And the text is shaped along the scenes’ furnitures and other angles.
Week 19 – LT 2.2 – 2.3 but actually LT 2.1
The LT was changed later, so this first part is what I did for the original LT:
Inspired by the Bauhaus movement I created a music festival poster for Roskilde Festival.
I chose this festival because its a festival with a creative brand, and it isn’t far off that the festival would have a poster in this style.
The poster is largely inspired by Kasmir Malevitj and Aleksandr Rodchenko, from the Suprematism and Constructivism era.
And here’s the actual one:
Printmaking terms defined:
Wood engraving. The artist carves the imagery out of wood, and then paints the protruding parts with ink, which they then press onto a canvas.
Linocut. Same method as above, but the artist uses soft linoleum.
Drypoint. The artists scratches a soft metal plate, then applies ink to the protruding areas and prints it off on a press.
Etching. The artists uses wax onto a stiff meal plate, and then scratches into the wax to create imagery. The plate is then soaked in an acid baths that burns all the visible metal, and then the artist applies ink into the grooves and prints it on a press.
Engraving. The artist cuts lines into a metal plate, inks the plate, and presses it.
Lithography. This is done using stone tablets in wax. Since the ink cannot stay on wax, it creates a negative drawing then a drum rolls across the tablet and transfers the ink to paper.
Screen-printing. Masks are applied that prevents the ink from reaching paper, and then coloured ink is applies through a fine silk screen with a rubber squeegee, which goes beneath the mask and on paper.
Monoprinting. The artist draws with ink onto glass or similar material.
Digital printing. The artist uses digital methods for printing.
I don’t even know why I’m writing this or what this assignment is for. Maybe I misunderstood it. Anyway here it is.
Examples of the above, in order:
Here I’ve drawn spheres using different sketching techniques with graphite:
Week 18 – LT 1.2
This week is about research and idea development.
I was tasked to create two postcards with some advice for a first-year design student.
I knew which two advice I wanted to write, and developed the design using objects that signify these advice.
This was the quick sketch. I wanted to try the wineglass both cut in half, and centered. I liked the cut in half most, and it also differentiated from the other design as the marionette control plate was centered.
These are the final result. I used a thin line because I wanted the design to look sketched and handdrawn a bit. I used a Wacom drawing tablet in Adobe Illustrator to create them.
Week 12 – LT 2.1 – 2.3
This week is all about low-light photography. As preparation for taking photos in low light, I have aqcuired a medium-lenght tripod that I want to set up outside after sunset, and mount my camera onto.
With this tripod, I can make sure that the static objects in the photo remain static through long exposure time, and that I get the proper amount of light onto the sensor.
When I select a long enough shutter speed, it will become impossible to hold the camera completely steady for long enough to let the light in and create a sharp image, and therefore mounting it to a tripod is a great idea for low-light photography.
If I wanted to take photos in low light without a tripod, I would have to up the ISO into the thousands, with the widest aperture, and still require a long enough shutter speed that is just fast enough that I can somewhat hold the camera steady for the duration.
From my work with concert photography, which is almost exclusively low light, I know that 1/160s is a comfortable spot where I can still get sharp shots during movement, 1/125s can work if I keep the camera still and pray to the RNG focal point gods, and finally 1/100s is an option if I’m desparate, take a deep breath, and shoot 10 slides a sec while the objects (or in this case, the band) are fairly static. No headbanging allowed past 1/100s.
These shutter speeds also require a high ISO of anywhere between 1600 up into the 4000’s, which is why I’ve acquired a camera that works great in low light conditions: the Nikon Z50 (and before that, the Nikon D5200)
The photos don’t get as grainy as you’d think. You can see the result on all other pages of this website.
But for the shots I’m gonna take for this lesson task, I will try to use a low ISO as I can, and rather rely on the shutter speed to let in enough light. I will also use a 50mm prime lens, as prime lenses naturally work better in low light conditions.
I’m gonna shoot all images in RAW, so I don’t have to worry too much if the whitebalance is off, or if the photo is slightly too over- or underexposed. These mistakes can be edited in the post-processing tool Adobe Lightroom. Thanks, computer.
Week 11 – LT 1.1 and 1.2
The most important things of product photography
In product photography, there’s a list of things that are important to remember when setting up for the shoot:
- Find a white, even background
– It’s important that the product is backed by a pure white background, as this showcases the product in the most sterile environment, and allows for easier post processing when making posters and other promo material.
A white background makes sure that nothing distracts away from the product.
- Correct light setup
– The three-way setup of frontlight, keylight and rimlight is standard procedure, but can be expanded upon and altered depending on product. Rimlight might not be ideal for products, as it casts a harsh highlight. Creative lighting, such as bottom lighting for bottles of drinks, or correct use of backlight to create patterns with the foreground, can be clever.
- Make sure there’s no harsh shadows
– This goes hand-in-hand with the beforementioned points. Harsh shadows are not attractive for products, and therefore the lighting has to be set in a way so the product is fully lit in a soft light.
- Photo quality
– For post-processing purposes it’s a good idea to shoot in RAW format, as this allows the photographer to edit their photo without a loss in quality. Taking photos in the best light allows for lowest ISO, and this creates the smoothest and sharpest photos.
It’s also good practice to mount the camera on a tripod so there will be no unexpected movement, and you can choose a reliable focus point throughout the whole shoot.
Product photography and light setup
While working on my assignment I took some photos of other various products with different light setups.
I used an object with liquid inside, a soft object, a hard object and a shiny object as model products.
I do not own photography lights, so I used a matted spot lamp, a daylight-simulation lamp and my phone’s flash.
The spot lamp gives a softbox-style light, very mellow and relaxed, with a slight yellow tint.
The daylight lamp is bright white, very strong for the eyes, maybe slightly blue tint.
The flash is pure white, painful for the eyes, but doesn’t illuminate a very big area.
All photos are unedited, with exception for setting proper whitebalance.
Object with liquid
For this setup I put the daylight lamp in the back, so I could get proper outlining on the transparent glass.
I used the spotlight from the front-left side, and I put my phone underneath the glass, underneath the softbox, so the flash shone through the glass from the bottom.
This was the result. With this setup, you also see the engravings on the other side of the glass, that has gotten distorted because you’re seeing it through the water.
I liked the result.
For this one, I placed the spot lamp in the back, and the daylight lamp in the front shining directly at the bunny.
I was hoping the daylight lamp would be so strong that it would create lots of shadow in the bunny’s fur.
I think it did that.
The mellow spotlight in the back just made sure that the shadows didn’t become too harsh at the edges.
I had the phone’s flash shining from the right side, although I don’t think it did much because the daylight lamp is so strong.
I used a Bluetooth speaker for this shot. I see now that it’s completely covered in cat hair.
The silicone surface sucks cat hairs really well, it seems…
For this shot I had the spot lamp in the back, and the daylight lamp shining from the far left, through the softbox.
This made the product a bit dark, and it didn’t really look great once I got it exported in.
Even if I removed the background, it would still look very dark and unappealing, so this setup is not recommended.
I have the daylight lamp in the back, since it’s so illuminating. I didn’t wanna get the powerful, blinding light caught in the shiny object.
The spot light is directly in the front, you can actually spot it on the lower part of the moka pot, in the yellow glow.
I used my phone’s flash to shine directly at the object.
I wanted to first take a photo where I wouldn’t cover up any problem parts in the reflection. So in the first photo you see me, the flash, part of the softbox, and the spot lamp.
Here in the second photo, I’ve used a book just as a quick way to show how I would have covered the reflections.
In this photo I am still shining the flash into the object, but from an angle where it isn’t reflected into the camera.
I’m covering a large area with a book that I’m holding above the camera. Had I had a larger, white surface I think I could have covered the whole reflection.
All in all these exercises were great for experimenting with lighting, and made it easier for me to get started with my product photos for the assignment.
Week 8 – LT 1.1 to 1.2
Graphic Design history
LT 1.1: Suprematism, Constructivism and Swiss Design
This week I’m looking into the suprematism, constructivism and swiss design movements. I wanna compare their similarities and how they inspired each other, as well as look at what sets them apart.
Kasmir Malevitsj – “Supremus no. 56” | Liubov Popova – “Painterly Architectonic”
The Suprematism movement started around the 1920’s, fronted by Kasmir Malevich in Russia.
The important elements are squares and circles, and geometry is important to the artstyle.
This usage of geometric shapes became a headstone for the Constructivism movement and for Swiss design.
It was also important to the teaching of Bauhaus, as all of these design styles and movements share a common visual identifier in asymmetrical geometry.
Aleksandr Rodchenko – “Books” | El Lissitzky – “Hit the Whites with the Red Wedge”
The Constructivism movement came as a branch off Suprematism around the start of the 1920’s, and shares the same use of geometric shapes and 90 degree angles, but is more symmetric, and the focus is shifted.
Where Suprematism design is about being pleasurable for the eye, the Constructivism philosophy states that art is a practice for social purposes.
The movement sprung from post-war conditions in Russia, and is therefore an artstyle meant to motivate and rebuild what was lost and damaged during the first world-war.
While the art elements are similar to the Suprematism design style, they are used differently; as a call-to-arms.
Armin Hoffman – “Stadttheater Basel poster” | Josef Müller-Brockmann – “Beethoven poster”
The Swiss design movement started in the 1950’s, and is also connected with International Typographic Style,
as this design style fronted sans-serif typefaces that are widely popular today for their all-round design usage, such as Univers and Helvetica.
The style uses photography instead of illustrations, a limited color theme, sans-serif typefaces and grid layouts.
They value legibility and simplicity, which differs the movement from Constructivism and Suprematism, where expression is more important.
But when it comes to what can be boiled down to “block shapes”, they share a common visual identifier with the other styles.
In contemporary art
The “Hope” poster by Shepard Fairey is a controversial piece because of its origins and copyright claims, but is visually one of the most recognized posters of today.
The poster has an iconic status and does its title justice. It inspired hope and a brighter future for a large amount of people living in the USA.
This piece is a modern take on constructivistic art, and fits into the idea that the art has to serve a social purpose, which it definitely did.
But the soft angles and flat use of color gives it a modern twist, and puts it as an evolution to the century old genre.
The “Helvetica” font, which came out of the Swiss design efforts, is widely used today for many various designs.
Because of its many different weights and styles, brands can keep using this appeasing font without being direct copies of each other.
Many will argue that this font is overused – because it is. Today many artists swear to never use the font, and the reign of Helvetica might be closing in soon.
LT 1.2: Bauhaus-style Timeline over important graphic design milestones in the 20th century.
Week 5 – LT 1.1 and 1.2
First point this week is to come up with five names for an icecream brand, whose product is “the coldest ice cream in existence”.
The names are to be inspired by:
These are the five names I chose and styled with fitting typography in Adobe Illustrator:
This is the result of the two lating words “mons” (mountain) and “gelu” (frost). The font I chose is “Prata”.
Inspired by colors. Visualizes the feeling of a brain freeze.
This name was inspired by the metaphor “chilled to the bone”. When the freeze is so intense there’s no heat left in your body.
This is inspired by “dry ice”, an ice type that is more cold than ice from water. Made from carbon dioxide.
The mythological creature “Jötunn”, a frost giant from norse mythology. I also thought of “Jötunn Lolipops” for the stark contrast, but for a single-typeface logo, this name fit better.
Week 4 – LT 4.1 to 4.4
Task 4.1 – Review & Revamp
This week I’m comparing three e-commerce websites, and rating them based on five different categories; first impression, trust/credibility established, loading time, professionalism and creativity.
The difficulty of this task lies in the fact that there’s a divide between what I know is objectively “good design”, and what I think is “good design”.
For this reason I chose 3 sites that sell gothic clothing, and have very different design from very different ages of the web.
All three websites are newly updated and relevant.
Im gonna rate each category with Blue Star for “objective opinion” and Yellow Star for my opinion.
Five is the max.
Screenshot taken 13-09-2021
The public would probably give one star, but I give four. Vintage store, let’s roll.
I do have an inner, hidden voice that’s saying “lol, old design”, which is why I give it four; I cannot ignore that I’m enjoying this design for nostalgic reasons, and trust credibility, and not for aesthetic reasons.
I guess the public wouldn’t get it. But this to me is e-commerce done right. Products should be the focus. It’s a store. Don’t try to sell some “brand” trash. Just sell products. Clean. No bullshit.
Five across the board. Every page loads instantly. This is the beauty of making a website for 2003’s 200kbt download internet connection.
I love the design, personally. Buuut professional it is not.
I don’t care. It’s beautiful. Preserve the old net.
Screenshot taken 13-09-2021
The fact that someone tried to make a “in-style” website, but didn’t quite get there, is worse to me than not trying at all.
But the public would prob like it.
It’s a halfer. The website doesn’t know what it wants. It wants to be a relic of the old net, while mimicking a modern design.
About 0.6 second load time, I guesstimate. Not bad. Not instant. Not a problem that needs fixing though.
It’s better to have not tried at all, than tried and failed. Or something. At least I’m not enjoying this “worst of both worlds” approach.
Screenshot taken 13-09-2021
It’s a website. It’s good. It has it all. It’s modern. Easy navigation.
Public loves it. I prefer the relic-vintage look. I described this before, but to recap; modern design: scammy, grabbing money, tricks, dishonest. Old design: trustworthy, DIY feel, passionate, doesn’t try to trick you.
Takes over a second. People probably wouldn’t be too annoyed by this, but I am. With this modern design, I expect better. Can’t do better than a website from 1964?
I’ve described it a couple times now. But no, not for me. Two stars instead of one, because I recognize that the website is in a template of the modern world.
Won’t repeat myself a 6th time. You get the idea.
These are listen from what’s objectively “worst to best”. Darklands has a very outdated design, long sidemenu, not developed for mobile, lots of text and various imagery.
This used to be the standard template for website designs back in the start of the 2000’s.
Blackno1 has had an update in recent times, and is an inbetween before the old Darklands design, and the modern design of Attitudeclothing. But it still looks kinda unfinished because of the small images, white background on an off-white background, and other mismatches.
Attitudeclothing has the standard template of today’s websites, responsive design, easy navigationable menu, and big header image.
With that said…
Modern design feels cold and fabricated to me. The nostalgia and retro feel of the old website designs makes me more enticed to check through the whole store. It feels more homey, less pricey, and feels like I could find something unconventional – like looking through a vintage store in real life.
Modern designs are the same cookie cutter plastic copy paste. It actually repels me, because it makes me think that this is a well-polished shit. A scam. Money grabber. Something negative.
Someone with an old, outdated design seems more trustworthy to me, because they aren’t trying to lure me in with checkmarks, badges, lock-stickers, and other meaningless trash that people fill their homepages with.
Week 3 – LT 3.1 to 3.4
Screen Based Design 2
Lesson Tasks Week 2
Compare good and poor typography on two different websites
For this task I chose to compare two websites I have been using as inspiration for my “Seamurai” website that focuses on plastic pollution salvation:
TheOceanCleanup and UNep’s #BeatPlasticPollution infographic
From UNep’s site
Looking at these two, I find it slightly more straining to read the text of UNep’s blue header. The Ocean Cleanup went with a font hue that has a slight green tint, which combines fine with the white background.
From UNep’s site
UNep’s site’s text has random formatting by making some sentences bold, and the line distance is small enough to make the text blend into each other and look messy.
The lines also break at awkward places. It’s also black on white, which makes the contrast staingingly harsh.
The text from TheOceanCleanup is in a navy hue, which makes for easier reading. Better spacing, better linebreaks, and formatting that doesn’t stray too far from the original text.
I also didn’t enjoy this text highlighter from UNep’s site. Even though UNep’s infographic is great, this highlighter with overlapping highlighting, making harsh lines inbetween, looks cheap. Just make a proper container.