Photoshop Final Project

For my final Photoshop project I created a piece intended to represent the pursuit of knowledge.  The horizon is meant to represent the border between imagination and knowledge, and it is blocked by a colorless stretch. The colorless stretch represents the confusion and lack of direction when trying to understand new complex topics. The colored grass in the front is representative of one’s progress. The boardwalk remains colored in to represent the “path” to understanding. The boardwalk is a metaphor for for the work done by previous generations, it is human-constructed guide that leads to understanding. Issac newton said it best with “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” The sun is meant to be setting and it represents one person’s life, as they chase the horizon “comprehension”  as the sun sets. The picture as a whole is also supposed to be reminiscent of an eye the sun being the iris. I feel the eye is another representation of knowledge. I identified the main tropes to be representing learning through imagery such as books etc,

In order to make this I first used the magnetic Lasso tool on the original stock boardwalk image. I used this tool to select and delete the sky. I then placed my second stock image ,the setting sun, behind the board walk image and lined up the sun down the center.I then created a layer mask and turned down it’s saturation in order to create a grey scale effect. I used the paint tool to create a rough circle around the sun and then used a radial blur. The second layer mask I created was one of contrast. The goal of this was to brighten the boardwalk and sun to highlight them as features in the photo. The last layer was a color saturation layer this increased the vibrancy of the green in the grass and also created visual effects to the sun. I tried to make the sun and the sky look like an eyeball and also tried to give a sense of the sun falling behind the horizon. The latter done by the color saturation on the slightly left of center hill. The sunlight isn’t strong enough to peak out over the top of the hill.

I consciously used several principles of art and design when creating the picture. The most notable to me is balance. The majority of the picture relatively symmetrical, except for the road and the tracks. The road is counter balanced by the slightly left of center hill that I referred to at the end of the last paragraph. This asymmetrical balance I feel draws the viewer’s eye to the sun which makes it the focal point of the photo. I also formed shapes in the image with the layer masks. The form of the colorless area and the horizon formed a semicircle. The downward arc of the clouds and the upward arc of the browner grass creates an oval. The boardwalk creates a Clear sense of movement as well. Starting from the fore ground leading into the picture the viewers eye is drawn up the road and to the sun. This coincides with my use of color which goes to vibrant to colorless as the viewer looks towards the horizon. These both serve to create a sense of direction towards the horizon which is important for my desired interpretation.

Upon listening to critical reflection there are two things I would have liked to do. The first of which would be to remove the secondary trail using stamp methods. It really feels out of place in the image and it hurt the images unity. No one in the critical reflection mentioned the eye so my second change would be to use the saturated layer mask and attempt to make the eye more apparent. One person mentioned a more gradual color change and more brown grass represented. I tried to mess with visual blurs in the colorless zone but nothing fit well into the picture so I
removed it. Given more time I would implement those two changes while tweaking and experimenting with blurring. It also may have been interesting to match textures frequencies of a separate picture of an actual eye. Then line the eye up with the sun and mess with its transparency to make the allusion to an eye more apparent.


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