“Not As Easy Of A Choice As You’d Think…” Class Exercise 2

For our second class exercise, we were assigned to take or create two photographs with contrasting meanings and, through adjusting the transparency and layers of each photo, create/form one focus or message to the picture.

For my exercise assignment, I decided to play with the two contrasting images of fire and blue skies to represent hell vs. heaven (two of the biggest opposing images/beliefs in culture). By adding the text “Not As Easy Of A Choice As You’d Think…,” I wanted to highlight how defining a good act vs. a sin isn’t necessarily as easy to do. Today’s organized religion tends to over-preach between what is good and what is evil. Yet in reality, not everyone holds those beliefs to be true. Some say sex before marriage is an abomination, yet others do it freely. Who is to truly say who is wrong or right? Can one side truly define a sin?

However, to go even further, I also wanted to take a look at how some people take it upon themselves to do an act that they full heartedly know does harm to themselves and to their loved ones yet do it anyway. For example: drug use/addiction. Even though the drug use does considerable damage to themselves (both physically and mentally), addicts continue to use it. This is not to judge them for their use, but merely to understand their struggle. Despite knowing the harm it does to them and their loved ones, they continue to fight the temptation of fulfilling an inner urge. In the end, it’s not as much a battle between good or evil, but between Thinking of your consequences vs. Self Need. If you ask any junkie or addict, such a choice is not as easy to make.

To make this image, I took a picture of fire and layered it on top of the picture of the blue sky. I used the gradient tool to add flame edges to the top of the fire picture. Then I used the gradient tool above the sky to give it a little more whiteness. Once adding the text boxes (having each row conflict with the color), I added a little outer white shadow so that the text stood out more.

So as always, let me ask you this: what do you think? Does my picture express all that I explained above? Is it any good? Feel free to be brutally honest, and would love to hear your feedback.


2 Responses to ““Not As Easy Of A Choice As You’d Think…” Class Exercise 2”

  1. Zach,

    In answer to your questions, your image does begin to address your written explanation however it could go a lot further. For example, as a viewer I can feel the heat from the image representing hell but what I feel from the blue sky and clouds is almost nothing. The heaven side of your image needs to represent the idea of heaven as a visual icon as well as the hell side of your images does. Maybe some high contrasting sun rays beckoning the viewer up – something dramatic.

    The other area of the composition that is important is where heaven and hell meet. This line needs to make me feel like it is either one or the other, that there is no other choice. There needs to be visual tension which could be achieved through the use of contrast and color, and maybe texture, transparency, and/or overlay.

    Your decision to give the text an outer white shadow was good but overall the text needs to be designed more. Its placement in the composition is too expected. I also think the “o” in “of” needs to be lowercase given this particular typeface, as it draws attention to itself, unless that’s what you want. Finally, if you took the text, after it was treated as a typographic composition, and made a copy of it so that it reflected itself in both heaven and hell, the feel of both the difficulty of the decision and the duality of the situation would be conveyed a clearer.

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