Photo Manipulation Techniques

1. Shadows

Shadow will make your image looks more realistic because every item or every person in real life have shadows. There are different ways to make shadow. One of them is to duplicate the image you want to add the shadow for and then put the Gaussian Blur filter on it. Tweak the opacity and the layer style, then put it on a place that suits your image. I’ve found a good tutorial in “How to make shadow”.


2. Proportion

How proportionate you place the object in your image will make a difference in how realistic your image will look like. Perspective is also important. A good image must have a balance volume, space, depth, and distance.

3. Texture

An image without texture can make it looks flat. Texture can add depth to the image when blend correctly. Picking the right texture to use is also important to create the impression that you want. For example, using dark brick texture for grungy effect, etc.


Inspiration – Poverty

I search everywhere for inspiration, from the people close to me or on the web. The images below are what I think the effective images that can express the poverty.They are all strong images and beautifully captured even though there is no good things about poverty itself. But the images can drawn people to stay and look carefully at every details of each image. It is effective visual communication because it can play with people’s feelings. For example, by showing the living condition of the poor and even in that harsh condition, some people can still smile.

They are good examples to raise awareness about poverty.


Indonesian poverty

Principles of Visual Communication

We want our image to be understand by the viewers. These are the principles to make the image effective:

1. Identify the design principles

design principles: unity/harmony, balance, hierarchy, scale/proportion, dominance/emphasis, similarity and contrast.

art  elements: colour, shape, texture, space, form

→ how it can affect the viewers’ perception and information displayed. For example, cropping the image on different place can convey different meaning to the viewers.

→ use hand-drawn to do the concept thumbnail (some people might prefer to show the visualisation through hand-drawn skteches rather than describing the design principles)

2. Instantiate design principles

→ understand the information behind the visualisation

→ gathering all the information (other than the information about the design principles) that can be used

→ make the best use of the available design space

3. Evaluate design principles

→ we need to measure the usefulness of the visualisation

→ checking how the visualisation improve information processing, communication, and decision making.


Principles of Visual Communication


Colour is an important aspect in visual communication. I think it is the first think that people notice when they are looking at a picture (at least for me, when I scroll through a bunch of pictures on the internet, I most likely will click on the ones with the colour scheme that I like).

Basic element of colour

Hue → ex: red, blue, yellow

Brightness → how light or dark

Saturation → intense or dull

Communicate with colour and colour mood

We can colour to communicate our intention. If we want people to feel relaxed we use soft colour like blue or green, if we want to be aggressive we can use red and so on.

For my project I will use earth tone as my main colour because I think it looks similar to the colour schemes of living condition of my subject.


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What You Need to Know about Color: The 10 Commandments of Color Theory

Juxtaposition – The guilt trip

 “I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website —but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens.” -Banksy

And look at a picture of a kitten we do.

Banksy’s interesting juxtaposition of the destruction in Gaza and the playful kitten mural convinced me that art can be a way to raise global issue awareness. Something that I also want to do in this assignment, raising awareness through art.

Juxtaposition is where two things is placed together with contrasting effects. The giant kitten is placed in front of the ruined buildings of Gaza, jabbing at people’s internet behaviour of looking at pictures of kitten by saying this is the kitten that you want, now you can look at the destruction behind it. The importance of composition is also showed by the way the kitten looks like it is playing with a ball of rusty wires that is part of the ruined building. It delivers a strong message about what happened in Gaza.