Week 13 Reflection – Project Implementation/Evaluation

Tuesday 13th

Today was my turn to ‘man’ the exhibition at the Corn Exchange in leeds from the Exhibition module. Each of us were required to sit in and do a four hour shift looking after the work and helping people who came to have a look round to find their person of interests work. The exhibition was particularly quiet today with people generally only coming downstairs to use the toilet, and Kerry and Jono, much like myself, had thought ahead and wanted to utilise this opportunity to crack on with a load of work.

As the deadline is only a couple of days off, I had to force myself to write my article for the Daily Mail whether it would be any good or not. This article was the biggest struggle for me with the whole module and caused me the greatest deal of stress with not being able to get ahold of anyone and when a chance opened up it never went through as I would have hoped. Then I couldn’t decide what to write for the article but now I had sort of got my shit together and planned what I was going to write so I just needed to get it all structured and written down.

I pasted all the articles I had already written into one document so I could use the word count tool to give me an idea of how much more writing I would need to do in order to fulfil the 5,000 word criteria of the format I had chosen. It came in at around 4000 words for the other 5 articles so I only would actually need 1,500 words from this single article, this would give me even more space on the page than I had worked out previously. Which would be good for showing off the images that I had taken for this.

I felt as though I had plenty to write about using the survey that I conducted amongst the Leeds Grammar School teachers as they had some decent quotes and some good talking points to use however the ones that left the good comments were generally the ones who wished to remain anonymous so I could not refer to their names. I managed to get my introduction written and a brief idea of where I would take the article sorted out during my time at the Corn Exchange as well as about 2,000 words worth of reflections, quite a successful day in my eyes. But after my Corn Exchange cameo I had to dash to work where I was to assist there for an hour and a half before leaving and going straight to cricket training, so that meant that work for the day was complete and I would have to go again tomorrow. Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock.

Wednesday 14th

After a successful session at the Corn Exchange yesterday, I thought I would return again today because the quiet atmosphere and lack of distractions really assisted my work ethic and as I have a hard enough time concentrating as it is, anything I could do to improve my productivity would be greatly welcomed.

When I got to the Corn Ex, Peter was there and he was taking down some of the A2 prints from the opening night and asked if I would be able to give him a hand. Obviously I had a tonne of work to do but as the only student there that could possibly have helped him, I couldn’t say no. This task ended up taking a little bit longer than I had hoped and took over half an hour but that cannot be helped. I still had plenty of time before my Dad would be arriving at half past 4 to collect me with my prints after I had taken them off the wall.

I sat and worked through the whole of Jonny and Jordan’s Corn Ex shift and after they left I stayed sat with Maddie, Samantha and Rachel. I was talking to Maddie about her work and she was asking about mine. Upon hearing my subject she mentioned about the fact she had been quite horridly cyber bullied when she was in secondary school and so I asked her if I could use the questions I had written for my online questionnaires and make some notes of the answers she gave. A bit of a last minute thing, I know, but better late than never!

Here is a shot of the questions I asked her, and the notes I made about the answers she gave:

Maddie Interview Q's

Maddie Interview Q’s

Maddie Interview A's

Maddie Interview A’s

I only had my photography release forms on me at the time so I asked Maddie to sign and date one of those on the understanding that I would pin it to a questionnaire form to show that it was supposed to be for that one.

As this interview occurred as more like a chat than an interview, the questions and answers don’t really match up here because were going back and forth between the subjects of the different questions so I ended up just taking what she said down in note form. Besides, this article was for the Daily Mail and they don’t tend to bother too much with exact quotes.

 

Thursday 15th

Today I had booked the day off work because it was so close to the hand in that I thought I would be requiring this day to make any final alterations. I in fact ended up using this day to do a little bit more than that with having to fully construct my InDesign layout for my Daily Mail article. This was left to the very last minute due to the fact that I only just got round to writing up the actual article and getting that finished after having lost total belief in this particular article and finding it considerably more difficult to write than all the others. Perhaps through fear that it didn’t quite fulfil the potential of writing that I felt myself to have, but I think this was down to not being able to properly organise someone to talk to me about cyber-bullying and instead ending up talking to a fellow student about her experiences.

I printed out all my work for my Dad to have a read through before sorting it out myself. I had spent so long in the past few days reading through what I had written that I really couldn’t face reading through it all to begin with, so I handed it to him to check the spelling and grammar before sitting down with it myself. He handed it back with a few red ink corrections on it but not too much damage, which I was glad to see. I then sat down to read through it myself an there were a couple of things that didn’t quite read right, and I moved them around and changed some wording to hopefully make the copy flow a bit better.

 

Friday 16th

As I seem to not be able to get myself out of the terrible habit (excluding a brief period in the second year of Uni) I have once again left something to the very last minute. My presentation, due today at 11 oclock, was not evene started at the time I woke up. A 6 o’clock rise and straight into Uni to give me a good few hours putting it together before I was due to enter the boardroom. Having a checklist was a bit of a help and also having heard from other people the sorts of things thye had put in their presentations was also useful.

Here is the slides I used in my presentation:

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I tried to go for quite a minimalistic approach with my slides just noting down key points that would jog my memory and remind me what I was supposed to be talking about as if I didn’t have much text on the pages then there would be no opportunity for me to just stand there and read straight off it.

To say I was still exporting my Presentation to a format accepted by Windows, when Alison came out to inform me that I was due in for my presentation, I think it could have gone a lot worse.

Final Presentation Reflection

I started off by exporting my presentation as a PDF as I thought “at least if anything fails, this is a format that will play on any machine” to avoid any problems with my slideshow not working. I then, without thinking saved the file normally to my memory stick but was then puzzled when I plugged my USB stick into a WINDOWS MACHINE and it didn’t recognise a KEYNOTE file. Duh. Good job I had the PDF (Y). Forward thinking paid off.

Other people had told me that during their presentations, the tutors were sat in different corners of the room to each other, which I was looking forward to as it would feel less like I was being ‘ganged up on’, not that this was the case but it is just how it feels. I was disappointed to walk in and find the tutors sat in a row about 5 yards in front of where I would be stood, I felt a bit endangered but knowing the tutors as I did I wasn’t scared or put off by this in anyway, just still nervous about the fact that I believed my work to be truly shit.

I felt nervous whilst talking through my presentation but that was mostly to do with me not believing in the work I had done and so I thought I would really struggle when asked questions about it. I feel as though this may made me rush through my slides a bit fast and try and talk too quickly but I am still unsure whether this was actually the case, but if it was it was because I just wanted to get it over with.

I then opened the floor to the tutors to ask me any questions that they may have about my project and the presentation that I had given:

Sarah asked me: if I had changed the size of the InDesign document to match that of the newspapers or whether I had just left it at the default A4. – I HAD in fact remembered to change the sizes of the documents and in order to find these out I had physically checked the sizes of the pages with a ruler as well as looking the sizing up online. The Daily Mail is a compact tabloid and so was slightly smaller than the Guardian which was a Berliner size and is slightly bigger. I had forgotten to mention about the fact that I had done this in my presentation, although when Sarah looks at my finished product she will be able to check the sizing herself to clarify that I had in fact set the correct sizing.

Chris asked me: how had I managed to make the article appeal to the 65+ section of the target audience of the Daily Mail. – I responded with what I had actually thought of at the time of writing. This was that a lot of over 65s will be getting to the stage where they have kids if not grand-kids, and so I tried to appeal to them by comparing cyber-bullies to rapists and paedophiles and stating that younger people are in danger to these types of people in the online world due to the trouble with anonymity. This would appeal to their grandfather/motherly nature and may help them educate their grand children about the dangers that are out there.

Honey asked me: …. nothing. :O

Alison asked me: why I hadn’t mentioned early on in my reflections about my disappointment with my own choice of subject – I explained that I hadn’t really talked about it much early on in my reflections because I didn’t think it would be that much of a problem and I would be able to overcome and so shouldn’t worry, but then I explained that I had some of my later posts saved as drafts as I had forgotten to publish them and so they would hopefully explain to her about my doubting myself and she would be able to read that and understand where I was coming from.

Presentation over… Beer.

Final Work

Daily Mail Article

Daily Mail Article

The Guardian Article

The Guardian Article

Module Evaluation

A lot of people complained about the work load that came with having to create the Gantt chart and they whined about having to constantly update it, but I thought it was a very effective piece of software for what it did and I picked up on the little tricks of using it quite well, if only I’d have picked a better subject to research and write about, I may have been slightly more inclined to actually sticking to the plan I had made on it. I felt a bit all over the shop and whilst still managing to perform the majority of tasks I had listed, I did often feel as though I didn’t really have a good sense of where I was at with my work without checking the percentage complete in the project information panel.

I would definitely not hesitate to use this software in the future, but I think it may be a bit easier to work in a new situation. This was because this time, we were having to learn this piece of software, and put together the project plan, but this was at the same time that we were actually creating the project. Which meant they overlapped and it became a bit confusing. In the future I would already know how to use the software and I would be able to create the plan before starting work on whatever the project was.

I feel as though the tutors, for this module, have offered a tremendous amount of support and opportunity for students to go and speak to them, with 75% of them offering good critical feedback. Unfortunately I didn’t utilise this often enough and should have approached them early on in the process with the fact I was unhappy about the subject I had chosen and tried to find a way to work around it.

Self Evaluation

I feel as though you can really tell the different in quality between my two different articles. The one for the Guardian looks a lot better quality and although the images are illustrations, it is easy to tell that a lot more time was spent putting that layout together than the one in the Daily Mail article. I have also just noticed that in the DM article there is an ‘orphan’ on the top line of the second column, which I didn’t even notice before and will probably bug me for eternity. I feel as though, if I had a clearer idea of what I wanted to write about from an earlier stage then I would have been much better off and could have got it all written up a lot earlier and cracked on with a suitable layout. Whereas it does in fact look rushed and of low quality and I’m very disappointed in myself but still feel relieved of the stress this module put on my mind whilst having to work over 20 hours a week out of University time, which is over 20 hours more than a lot of the students on the course.

Ironically I appear to have suffered in silence much like the cyber-bullying victims within my writing and I think this has crippled my ability to get a top grade. I was too proud to admit defeat to begin with and it ended up reaching a stage where I felt there was nothing I could and no going back.

If I were to start the whole PRP stage of the module again I would definitely go back and choose something I had a deep interest in, such as sport or video games and find something to write about one of those. There was a lot of research involved and a lot of time spent thinking about the topics and so picking something that wasn’t an honest favourite of mine was a bad choice and something I believe we were advised against to begin with, and now I can see why.

My ability to decide on what to do for my artefact was slightly hindered by a particular tutor contradicting their self and telling me to do one thing and when I tailored my idea to that, I was asked if I had considered doing the hybrid model, which was my idea that they had initially been approached with. Anyone would have thought no attention had been paid to what I had initially approached said member of staff with. Let’s be honest, third and final year at university isn’t particularly the best time for a tutor to be fobbing you off and getting you seriously f****** p***** off.

But it’s over and done with so there is nothing I can do to change that, other than thank god that I won’t have to let it bother me any more.

My work ethic hit a good spot in the second year of univeristy with the pressure of working in a group encouraging me to get my work in on time, but this year doing everything for myself I seemed to struggle a little bit more and I’m unsure as to whether this was solely affected by my disbelief in my work or whether there was something else affecting this.

I am really happy with the appearance of my Guardian pages, and I am really happy with the images I have shot for the Daily Mail article. I’m a bit ‘meh’ with the writing I have done and the layout (something I pride myself on being good at) for the Daily Mail article is shoddy and that is due to bad time management and leaving everything to the last minute.

Week 12 Reflection – Project Implementation/Evaluation

On Monday this week I was unable to get any work done because it was the May Day bank holiday which at my work is one of the busiest days of the year and so I was required to be there from 10 oclock in the morning until 10 oclock at night and when I got in I was not up to doing any work at all as I was absolutely exhausted so today was a write off.

Tuesday 6th May

Today I began writing up my article on Why David Cameron is the least popular politician. It took me about 3 hours to get the article written up and I found it quite an interesting topic to have read about seen as politics is involved in just about everything and everyone knows politicians are very unpopular and seeing just how much Twitter flak they receive was quite eye opening. I used all the notes I had written in my notebook based on the research found on the referenced links in my previous post. As I find it difficult to read through my own work, I don’t know why this happens, I always print off my work and get my dad to read through it just to check the English and grammar etc, however I will be waiting until I have completely finished my articles and then I can give them all to him to read through at the same time. It is getting close to the point of hand in now and so the stress is starting to build a little bit.

Because it didn’t take me too long to write the first article I thought I would start writing my second one today as well. I have left my self until quite near the end to start doing my work which will be about the most stressful part of the whole process but I feel this has greatly been down to me losing inspiration and belief in what I was writing. This was at about the time I realised I wasn’t going to get any responses to my online questions and surveys but has always slightly been lingering over me throughout this whole process as I feel I have picked a subject which is quite difficult and a touchy subject with some people and isn’t really well suited to how I like to write and what I like to write about.

The reason I ended up on cyber-bullying was that I had chosen a subject for the PRP that was quite journalistic, in celebrities and their use of Twitter, because I thought it needed to be something related to what we were studying. This was naive on my part because we could have done absolutely anything we wanted. Silly me, but now I have made the bed and will have to lie in it, so grafting it out is my only choice. I am going to have to put my all into writing about something that I feel I have been particularly struggling with.

I started writing up the article about privacy not being dead. This was taking inspiration from a previous bit I had done on online security for an essay in the second year. I thought it fit in quite nicely with the whole aspect of everything being technology related.

Wednesday 7th May

2,500 Words

2,500 Words

I thought about setting up my InDesign document for my Daily Mail article today. As shown above. I set the grid to 5×5 as judging on looking at the Daily Mail pages it would appear that this is a similar sized grid to what the used. I went to the Lorem Ipsum website because I wanted to see how much room the amount of text I would need to use to fill the space would take. And then how much room I would have left for images graphics etc. I went to the site and told it that I needed 2,500 words of Lorem Ipsum and it gave me them, so I filled the pages with 10 equal sized text boxes that followed on from each other so the text would flow through them. It ended up looking like it does above, which slightly worried me because I thought it didn’t look like I would have much room left for my images etc. Especially as I needed to fit three images on this double page spread.

I then realised that the font size was still set to 12 in these text boxes and that would be too big as in my other newspaper article the size was set to 11.

I made this change and it made quite a big difference to the amount of free space I had which was reassuring.

Font Size adjustment

Font Size adjustment

With this I felt I had much more scope with which I could add content to my pages and I would only need to re think anything about this once I had my full copy written up and seeing what the word count was like.

Friday 9th May

Today I started collecting information for my article for the Daily Mail. This, unlike the previous articles, is just to be one long one and so I will be able to fit a lot more detail and statistics etc into my writing, which will hopefully make for an interesting, thought provoking read.

I need to again bare in mind the readership of the Daily Mail. Their print format experiences a slightly different demographic to their online format and there is a large number of their print readers that are 65+. Because the Daily Mail is quite anti-social media I want to almost write the article like it is trying to provoke a feeling of fear into people reading it who use social media. Also with baring in mind for the 65+ readers I need to make them almost feel like it is not even safe for them to use social media platforms and can also assist with this by making out that young people are incredibly vulnerable online which might play on their feeling of duty in a grandparental role.

A thought I had for my introduction was to try and include an idea that cyber-bullies can be put into the same category as rapists and paedophiles. Although this is a long way from the truth, I feel that it may be a technique that the Daily Mail might use in order to get their point across, as we all know, they aren’t shy of exaggerating things.

I wanted to get some statistics on cyber-bullying to include in my introduction and I wanted a figure that gave an actual number of younger people affected rather than a percentage as the higher the number appears to be, the more impact it will have on the reader.

Cyberbullying Statistics: The Annual Cyberbullying Survey 2013 – Ditch the Label – Anti-Bullying Charity. 2014. Cyberbullying Statistics: The Annual Cyberbullying Survey 2013 – Ditch the Label – Anti-Bullying Charity. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ditchthelabel.org/cyberbullying-statistics/. [Accessed 15 April 2014].

Bullying | statistics | NSPCC . 2014. Bullying | statistics | NSPCC . [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/resourcesforprofessionals/bullying/bullying_statistics_wda85732.html. [Accessed 15 April 2014].

 

Friday 9th May

Looking back on my project I am completely astounded by how stupid I was from the very beginning of the Project Research and Planning module.

When we were first talked to about the project I mistakenly thought that our research would have to be on something Photo Journalism related as opposed to being about anything we wanted. As the project wore on I became more and more aware of work other people were doing within the group and felt I had made quite a difficult choice but was scared to change as I thought I was too far into the process to change my topic and so dug hard into the work I had chosen to complete.

Then at the beginning of May, my stupidity really hit. I walked into the living room at home and there lying on the coffee table was my step-dad’s monthly issue of The Cricketer magazine. Cricket. Something I know an awful lot about, thoroughly enjoy and could have had massive access to anything I needed in order to complete my subject, slipped completely under my radar as I decided that writing about celebrities on Twitter was a ‘good idea’. Unfortunately this mistake may have cost me a decent grade for my work but that is something I can’t afford to dwell on because there is no way I can do anything about it now.

I would have had the perfect publication to aim my article at and I would have been able to use my favourite type of photography that I like to shoot, sports. It would have also been a lot easier to get a variety of photos for and may have allowed me to create the ‘hybrid’ format of work which is what I initially wanted to do.

Bollocks.

Week 11 Reflection – Project Implementation/Evaluation

Monday 28th April

Today I wanted to get all the photos edited that I had so I began putting them all into Photoshop and sorting them out. I also wanted to start again with the previous image I had started to edit and wanted to start it from scratch so I deleted the .XMP file to remove all the data about the changes I had previously made.

Image 1:

I started with one of the images for my Daily Mail article: In my head I pictured the idea of a guy sat at a computer screen with an arm reaching out from the screen to grab him by throat. After a short bit of research I found that it was something that had already been done, but mostly in a bit of a joke fashion almost. 

Getting Strangled

Pablo Zabaleta having computer difficulties

I decided that I wanted to try create a more sinister version of the image which would require some work on the lighting, perhaps in the post processing stage. This is my only option now having obviously already taking the images.

Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 21.37.16

Transferring the Laptop

I initially took a picture of the laptop sat in the same position on the table as it would be in the other images, but this time the laptop was the only thing in the shot. So I used the quick select tool to make a selection of the laptop and then using ‘Refine Edges’ I made sure that I carefully selected enough of it to make it look professionally done when I transfer it to my other image, but little enough that it wouldn’t be transferring a good chunk of the table as well. 

Then I opened up the other image which had the laptop lid closed, with Jonny sat at the desk with Jordan crouching down grabbing him by the throat so that the arm would be roughly in the right position of the screen when it came to cutting it out. I then brought the image of the cutout laptop over to my new document, lining the laptop up with the reflection of the closed laptop in the current image for that extra consistency. 

Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 21.41.11

Laptop Cutout

Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 21.39.59

Shadow lining up

Then I had to cutout Jonny’s arm to make it come in to the foreground to cover the near side of the laptop, I did this using the exact same technique as to cut out the laptop including the refine edges mode. 

Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 21.39.01

Arm Cutout

It doesn’t matter so much to be neat on the bottom edge of the arm because that will be being lined up with the same part of the table and you won’t be able to tell so the important bit is to make sure the cuff and the hand are cut out well as they will be showing over the top of the laptop. 

I realised that the cutout of the laptop was a bit sharp and so it was noticeable that it had been placed into the image, so I used the Blur tool and set the setting to 50% so it wouldn’t quite be so powerful an effect and I could build it up until I got the desired effect. This also gave the impression that the blur effect wore off the deeper into the picture you got and therefore the laptop cutout became sharper close to the actual focal point of the full image. 

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 10.38.37

Sub-Finished Image

I am quite happy with the settings in this image except for two things. I think that the look on his face is a bit happy and needs to show a bit more stress to say that he is being strangled by the hand coming from the laptop. I also think the whole lighting in the image needs to change a bit as it is perhaps a little bit bright for the mood of the photo. I may even adjust the clarity to make it look a bit more rugged and see if that helps at all.

I showed this image to Kerry and she said she didn’t even realise that it was an arm coming out of the screen at first so another alteration I may make is to change the Hue of the sleeve to make it stand out a bit more and to tone down the exposure of the hand so there is a noticeable difference in colour between the hand and the neck that it is holding onto. 

I have now added some sharpening to the original image to bring out a little bit more detail so it looks a bit clearer. I then used a hue/saturation adjustment layer and layer masked it so that it would only affect the area where the arm is. I changed it to red to show connotations of bad and evil as it is supposed to represent the cyber bully. I then applied a photo filter adjustment layer over the whole image and selected the colour as black with quite a low opacity so that it would make the image less saturated and almost look a bit more gritty and grainy. 

Layers

Layers

I then used the liquify filter tool to drag Jonny’s mouth down slightly to make him look more uncomfortable as before it was almost like he was smiling slightly. I then pulled the brow down a bit so that it matched the nature of his facial expression in his mouth.

Finished Image

Finished Image

Image 2:

This was the image I previously edited but I have started again. I wanted a split line running down the centre of the face to give the appearance of the well known effect of having a split personality. This is to show the idea that someone who is being bullied could also be the bully. This illustrates one of the key quotes I will be using in this piece of writing and was supplied by a teacher who stated that anyone can be a bully or be bullied, it just takes certain circumstances.

Highlighting The Face

Highlighting The Face

Firstly in Adobe Camera RAW I highlighted the left side of the face in one mask and the right side in another, this was so that when I changed the settings, it would only affect the relevant part of the face. The left side of the face was the dark side and the right side was the light side and above you can see the selection of the left hand side. I then adjusted the clarity and sharpness of the left side to be really quite gritty and it makes it look quite rough which suits the appearance of a bully. I also toned down the exposure so there was a noticeable split in skin colour showing the difference.

Highlighting the Eye

Highlighting the Eye

After that I wanted to change the colour of the eye on the dark side to red to show connotations of the evil involved and did so by simply changing the colour slider to show a lot of red, I then sharpened the eye to keep it sharp and stand out. I didn’t realise when I was thinking about what I would produce, but I think it works quite well that the same model in the photo of the computer with the arm coming out is the same person that is in this photo which lends itself to showing the idea that the bullying victim can too be the bully. I didn’t plan for this to happen as I wanted the two images and planned to use the models I could get hold of, so I think it has worked quite well. The right side of the face I then increased the exposure of to slightly hide the skin imperfections and also give it that ‘angelic feel.

Face Split

Face Split

I feel that the effect is working quite well, however simply by lightening up the right hand side of the face isn’t enough to give it the implication that it is the bullying victim. It simply looks like a normal face so it would be more to say that everyone has a dark side, whereas I want to balance that up with the effects of being bullied. The easiest way to show this would be to use damage from physical bullying even though it is cyber-bullying that I am focusing on. From past experience I knew that it would be possible to create a slight bruising effect by simply using the burn tool and figured this would be the best way to achieve it. So I set the brush impact to 30% so I could keep building the effect up by layering it on until I got it to look how I wanted. I applied this effect to the eye to make it look like the model had a black eye and to the corner of the mouth to make it look that had also suffered some form of beating: Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 11.44.08 I also wanted to apply some sort of cut effect to the image to show like he had been shoved to the ground and hit his head. Obviously all this is working as a metaphor for the emotional damage as opposed to physical. I had a look at some tutorials online to see if there was a good way to replicate a cut using Photoshop, but some of the YouTube tutorials I looked through got bad comments saying that they weren’t very good and looked bad, which after watching a couple of videos I realised these were correct. A while ago I downloaded some brush presets for Photoshop of a smoke effect that you then simply use the paint tool and paint the effect on. I decided I would give these a try as there were some various different angled lines in them.

Brush Tools

Brush Tools

I set the colour to red and applied a single click stroke of a couple of different types of brushes. Then I used the eraser tool and rubbed bits out so that it wasn’t obviously just a smoke pattern in red. I then turned down the opacity so that it didn’t stand out too much and looked more like part of the facial damage and here is my result:

Facial Damage

Facial Damage

This left my final model face looking like below:

Final

Final

I am happy with the effect that I have managed to achieve with this image as I feel it accurately portrays the meaning I wanted it to, and plus once it is anchored with the quote that it will be illustrating it will make a lot more sense to someone looking at the image within its context.

Tuesday 29th April

Today I shot the fourth  and fifth photos for my articles, the first one of the keyboard displaying specific letters and the second one which I will be turning into a graphic fit for purpose of the small person looking up at the large computer.

I have also edited the image I shot of the ‘computer troll’.

The first one I have edited is the one of the keyboard.

Image 3:

Anonymous Keyboard

Anonymous Keyboard

This was my initial image and similar to how I planned it, however I feel that it was too similar to the work Jordan was working on. I had planned to do an image like this with the keyboard and writing from quite a while ago, but I think through a combination of talking to him and writing about anonymity in my work and for my essay module I have slightly borrowed the idea from what he was using.

To avoid any complications through issues of plagiarism and whatnot I want to change this. I also don’t like how I had to separate the word across three lines in order to get it to fit and would much prefer if I had a word that spanned just a single line. The trouble with this is that there is only a certain area of the image that is in focus so the word would need to be quite short. I eventually came to the conclusion that ‘Fear’ would be a good word to use as it is relevant to what I am writing about and also fulfils the criteria of being short.

I had actually taken three of a very similar image just at varying depths of the keyboard so that different areas would be in focus and I could just cut out the letters form the other image files and drop them into the one I was using. So I did this and after dragging them in lined them up with the letters on the current keyboard.

Letters Cut In

Letters Cut In

A problem I noticed here was that originally the ‘A’ was quite a bit darker than the other letters and looked noticeably darker, so I adjusted the exposure of the layer just containing that letter to +1 to make it match up with the current document.

I then proceeded to use the ‘patch’ tool to remove the letters. This was a simple case of circling an area around the letter on the key and then dragging it to another part of the key for it to sample and use that to fill the area I had selected. Leaving with something looking a little bit like this:

Removed letters

Removed letters

Then when I had the gaps all I had to do was fill the letters in and revealing the layers as I had only hidden them so I could see where I was working, this left me with how it looked below:

Original Letters Removed

Original Letters Removed

I think the letters are clear and they work well here, however you can only really tell that the letters have been changed round if you know that you are looking for it, as I found out by showing the image to my girlfriend. I wanted to adjust this so to emphasise the letters I merged all their individual layers together and then added a layer style with a red outer glow to put the stress on these letters. This left the image looking like this:

Highlight Red

Highlight Red

After this I remembered the fact that there are a couple of company logos in this image including the Lenovo badge and the Windows icon, obviously I haven’t had permission from these companies to take these images so I thought it best to hide them.

Mosaic Effect

Mosaic Effect

Initially I tried this mosaic effect and I thought it worked quite well, however it also looks a bit unprofessional to have the blurred pixels in there and I thought that in the real world they would just remove the logos completely. So again using the patch tool as I did before I did this to create the same image but just with blank spaces where these logos are:

Removed Logos

Removed Logos

I am happy with this result and think it looks a lot more professional than the pixelated images so I will keep it this way.

I felt that the image around the outside was a bit too well exposed, not that this is a bad thing but I feel that it draws away from the emphasis I have tried to place on the lettering I have used. In order to help with this I used a black > transparent gradient in the gradient tool with the radial effect so that the outside would be solid colour and it would fade as it got towards the middle. Basically I have created an artificial vignetting effect on my image, but I think it works well with what I want to achieve and I am happy with the final product:

Final

Final

The next image I worked on was the one to create the appearance of a troll. I want to go for a generic troll appearance if possible so I want to make the skin appear to be green.

I managed to do this in Adobe Camera RAW by creating a mask of the face so that when I applied the effects it would only change the settings in the area covered by the face. I chose a dark shade of green and set the saturation up a bit which made the image look like this:

Green

Green

Now I needed to turn this image into an illustration so I used the technique incorporating the pen tool to create  a drawn path. Then with the path selected I went into the path pallet and chose a brush with a 45 degree angle to it and then right clicked the path and selected ‘stroke path’. This basically applied the paint brush tool to all the area I had drawn lines on with the pen tool and then if I hide the background layer you can get a good view of how this appears:

Outline

Outline

Coloured In

Coloured In

I then created a duplicate of the background layer and set it’s blend mode to ‘colour’. Then I chose the black paintbrush and on a new layer and painted the colour over the image. This created some colour over outlines that I had already got but it didn’t produce enough colour, however this was the method stated by the tutorial that I was following. In order to correct this I just applied a normal paint brush layer and built the effect up by using a lower opacity which gave me the image looking as it does above.

I then thought that the white background looked a bit plain, as all the illustrations in the Guardian articles all had full colour and none were really left plain.

So I selected the area around the outside of the sketch using the quickselect tool. Keeping the area selected I used various shades of red to create an almost pattern like effect just to make it look a bit artistic but keeping the area selected meant that I wouldn’t accidentally get any of the pain over the image I had created.

Here is the final image:

Finished Image

Finished Image

I am happy with this image on the whole and think that it works quite well in terms of the illustration. Although I am not fully satisfied with the colour that I have used and feel this may be down to the method used by the tutorial. For my other illustration drawing I am thinking that I will start off the same way creating the path and highlighting it with the pen tool but then for the colour I think I will do it my own way. I will just used a standard paint tool and layer the colour up to create the effect I want as opposed to using the duplicate colour blend layer.

Wednesday 30th April

Now I had four of my images it was just time to Photoshop my final one and bring it all together and make it fit for  the purpose of the guardian article.

I had taken some pictures of the Jordan previously in the studio, stood facing the white backdrop with the light bouncing off the backdrop and towards his face. This would give the impression that he would be facing light which would work well as the light coming from the computer screen. At the time I shot it I was thinking in terms of it looking correct and to try make the image look as real as possible, of course forgetting that I would be turning the image into an illustration so the effect of the light would almost become redundant.

To begin with I had the shot of Jordan from the back, and I took a picture from a low angle looking up at a computer screen at home, I then screen shotted my Facebook homepage as I wanted to use that for the screen but in the illustration I planned for it to be noticeable as Facebook but without stating that it actually was. This would be done through the use of blue and white colours and the layout of the page.

I used the quick select tool to select all of Jordan’s body, which as it was shot against a white background was a very easy task. I then transferred the image across onto the picture of my computer screen which I had removed the background from by simply selecting it and deleting it.

Then I imported the screen shot of Facebook and using the warp transform tool just dragged the corners of the screenshot to meet up with the inside corners of the monitor to give the impression that the Facebook page was ‘live’ on the screen. This gave me the following image:

Jordan Computer Screenshot

Jordan Computer Screenshot

Then using the same process as for my previous illustration I drew round the image with the pen tool and used the stroke path effect to make Photoshop draw over the lines I had created using the paint brush:

Outlines

Outlines

Then learning from my mistakes of last time, I decided I would create my colouring in layer beneath the outline layer so that the colour wouldn’t spill over the lines and they would remain prominent and visible.

I also didn’t use the colour mode layer and so my colours look a lot more vivid and fuller, and much more like the actual illustrations they use. I firstly coloured in the screen and monitor border and then Jordan’s body leaving the outsides of the image still white. I selected the white areas and used various shades of orange on top of each other to create the same effect from the previous illustration but having only selected that area meant that I didn’t overlap the image where I had already coloured in.

Here is my final image:

Finished

Finished

I am much happier with this illustration that the previous one. The colours look much better and not as faint as they did in the other one. The layout on the screen is also very distinguishable as Facebook and I have not used any text to signifiy that that is what it is so I think this works exactly as I hoped that it would.

All my images have come out very well and some, especially the one of the arm reaching out from the computer and the split face personality ones, have come out even better than I expected and I am very happy with what I have produced.

They were also the ideas I thought most about and wanted to execute the best and they were also the more physical taxing ones.

This has caused a little bit of concern with me for my final project as I initially set out thinking that my writing was better than my photo work however due to the hiccups I have experieced with being able to get people to talk to me on the writing side I feel that in the end product my photography work may come out better than the writing. This will be a little disappointing to say that I will be writing 5,000 words and accompanying it with only 5 images. I do still believe that I wouldn’t have been able to surpass 10 images on this subject however and I would have required at least 15 if I had chosen to produce the hyrbid format for my artefact.

Friday 2nd May

Today I found a great thing that I wanted to add to my article. David Cameron posted a positive tweet, about a positive issue / story and still received a torrent of abuse in response.

Twitter / David_Cameron: An honour to meet @_StephensStory …. 2014.Twitter / David_Cameron: An honour to meet @_StephensStory …. [ONLINE] Available at:https://twitter.com/David_Cameron/status/462265068361895936. [Accessed 02 May 2014].

I thought it would be good to post a link to the donation page at the end of the article:

Stephen Sutton is fundraising for Teenage Cancer Trust . 2014. Stephen Sutton is fundraising for Teenage Cancer Trust . [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.justgiving.com/stephen-sutton-TCT. [Accessed 06 May 2014]

 

Week 10 Reflection – Project Implementation/Evaluation

Tuesday 8th April

Today I began work for my article on why David Cameron is the least popular politician and I wanted to have a look at a couple of sources as to why he may be particularly unpopular with some people. This article by the telegraph was a great starting point listing the ‘top ten mistakes’ that Cameron has made in his tenure.

Top 10 mistakes of David Cameron – Telegraph. 2014. Top 10 mistakes of David Cameron – Telegraph. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/8642577/Top-10-mistakes-of-David-Cameron.html. [Accessed 08 April 2014].

 

I remembered about the campaign posters that David Cameron used where his face appeared to be airbrushed that sparked a massive backlash by people creating parody posters and sharing them online altering the wording but using the same photo to be derogatory towards Cameron and / or decisions he had made. I wanted to know when it was that this had occurred so I looked up some articles about the story which dated back to January 2010.

David Cameron’s airbrushed poster campaign sets off internet spoof craze – Mirror Online. 2014. David Cameron’s airbrushed poster campaign sets off internet spoof craze – Mirror Online. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/david-camerons-airbrushed-poster-campaign-195153. [Accessed 08 April 2014].

Website pokes fun at David Cameron’s ‘airbrushed’ poster | Paul Owen | Politics | theguardian.com . 2014. Website pokes fun at David Cameron’s ‘airbrushed’ poster | Paul Owen | Politics | theguardian.com . [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/2010/jan/14/website-pokes-fun-cameron-airbrushed-poster. [Accessed 08 April 2014].

I wanted to look at the figures of social class just so I had a bit of an understanding of how much of the country was lower-middle class to working class and how much was upper-middle class and up.

A little graphic document I found had a statistic showing the depreciation of percentage of the lower classes that was all I needed to know for what I wanted to use!

IpsosMedia. 2009. Social Grade – A Classification Tool. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ipsos-mori.com/DownloadPublication/1285_MediaCT_thoughtpiece_Social_Grade_July09_V3_WEB.pdf. [Accessed 08 April 2014].

I wanted to check on how the Guardian would write when linking Cameron to Thatcher and by simply typing those two names into the same search box on the Guardian website I was presented with the article below which assisted in my knowledge of this. I found it useful to know that they weren’t very touchy on addressing the subject of Thatcher within their writing of politics.

Freedland, J. This lovefest for Margaret Thatcher spells trouble for David Cameron |  | Comment is free | The Guardian . 2014. This lovefest for Margaret Thatcher spells trouble for David Cameron | Jonathan Freedland | Comment is free | The Guardian . [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/apr/12/lovefest-margaret-thatcher-trouble-david-cameron. [Accessed 08 April 2014].

Now I have gathered all the information that I need to put in the document, so now there is just a case of writing it all together and sewing it up to make a nice aticle.

 

Wednesday 9th April

Started work on my article about opening your network and writing about how times have changed significantly and how you could almost split the world in half into people who have embraced technology and those who disregard it. Obviously this would be factoring out those parts of the world where technology is not available and cannot be accessed. This could potentially be seen as ignorant however it does not apply to them so it is fair enough to exclude those countries.

I wanted to have a look at some statistics for my article on opening up your social network to get some idea of the amount of people using social networking applications on their phones.

Mobi Thinking. Global mobile statistics 2013 Section E: Mobile apps, app stores, pricing and failure rates | mobiThinking. 2014. Global mobile statistics 2013 Section E: Mobile apps, app stores, pricing and failure rates | mobiThinking. [ONLINE] Available at: http://mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/latest-mobile-stats/e. [Accessed 12 April 2014].

I was also curious to see if my anticpiation that University application figures were higher now than they have been and this was confirmed by checking the analytics section of the UCAS website.

UCAS, 2014. UK application rates by country, region, sex, age and background (2014 cycle, January deadline) | UCAS. 2014. UK application rates by country, region, sex, age and background (2014 cycle, January deadline) | UCAS. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ucas.com/news-events/news/2014/uk-application-rates-country-region-sex-age-and-background-2014-cycle-january. [Accessed 12 April 2014].

Application rates for 18 year olds in England, Wales and Scotland increase to new highs

  • Application rates for 18 year olds for each UK country are at, or very near, the highest levels recorded.
  • Application rates for English 18 year olds have increased by 1.4 percentage points to 35 per cent in 2014 making English 18 year olds 4 per cent more likely to apply to higher education than last year and more likely than in any previous cycle.”

Facebook friends statistic:

Smith, C. 2014, By the Numbers: 105 Amazing Facebook Statistics (Updated April 2014). 2014. By the Numbers: 105 Amazing Facebook Statistics (Updated April 2014). [ONLINE] Available at: http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-17-amazing-facebook-stats/#.U3CTrK1dXZU. [Accessed 12 April 2014].

 

I went back to add a little bit to my article on Opening up you social network about YouTube sensation ‘PewDiePie’ who has oiver 26 million viewers. Quite the audience.

Top YouTube Channels | Most Subscribed YouTube Channels – StatSheep. 2014. Top YouTube Channels | Most Subscribed YouTube Channels – StatSheep. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.statsheep.com/p/Top-Subscribers. [Accessed 12 May 2014].

I wanted to reference the overnight sensationalism of the Arctic Monkeys into the way Stephens story took off and showing the positive light of social media.

Park, D. Prefix. (2005) Aren’t fooling around [Online] Prefix. Available from: <http://www.prefixmag.com/features/arctic-monkeys/arent-fooling-around-part-1-of-2/12565/&gt; [Accessed 15th April 2014].

I wanted to find out the number of tweets that get posted every day to show the opportunity that trolls have for being able to operate how they do. The reference below supplies a link that took me to the site which stated that there are over 58 million tweets posted every day!

 Twitter Statistics | Statistic Brain. 2014. Twitter Statistics | Statistic Brain. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.statisticbrain.com/twitter-statistics/. [Accessed 24th April 2014].

Having worked this way for the first article, I thought that I would continue to just gather all the information I was looking to write and have all the information stored so that then I could just sit and write all the articles using the information I had gathered as opposed to working through a straight process through one and then through the next. I feel this will work better because then I can sit down and write in a continuous flow rather than having to keep stop starting all the time.

Week 9 Reflection – Project Implementation/Evaluation

Monday 31st March

Today I began the process of getting my questionnaires onto the online forums.

In the email I got from Psych Forums it suggested that I might want to post a link to the survey. I had initially just planned to pop the survey in the forum and get peoples answers in the comments on the thread but then I thought that if some people are a bit more reserved about what they write then they might be willing to give a bit more detail if what they were writing weren’t displayed publicly so I decided to add the questionnaire to the website SurveyMonkey so that I could provide a link for them to follow to answer the questionnaire.

I had to re-word my questions so that they were more suited to being on a survey form. The gist of everything I am asking is the same as it was listed on my ethics form so there will be no problem there, I have just altered the way it is worded and here is a screen shot of the finished survey when I have added it to SurveyMonkey:

Survey Monkey Questionnaire

Survey Monkey Questionnaire

I then wanted to post the survey on Psych forum in particular as that is the forum I am most confident of getting a response from. I was having a look at some of the other surveys people had posted on there to see how many views they were getting, with some quite promising results:

Psych Forums Survey List

Psych Forums Survey List

This was quite promising for my project as the one that stands out for me is about 2/3 of the way down the page is a Bullying survey which has had over 4,000 views. If I could get a fraction of those views on my survey then I think it would be a success!

I typed up my survey into text as well so that if people preferred to just answer the questions within the thread, then there is that opportunity to do so as well. I thought this might encourage more people to participate as some people often see the external link and don’t bother to follow it, and by adding the questions to the posts they might be more inclined to answer if they can do so on the page they are at.

I added some friendly text along with it, rewording what I had previously stated I would stay as I thought it seemed a bit demanding and I wanted it to seem more friendly and approachable and more like a request.

A problem I then encountered was that I clicked the preview button and made sure all the relevant parts were formatted correctly with my disclaimer in bright red to make it stand out so they were aware that by answering the survey it was granting me permission to use their responses in my work. I then clicked the submit button and it took me page where it neither confirmed or denied that the post had been published. I then went to my profile on the site where it said that I had 0 posts. Which posed a bit of a concern after I had spent the time typing it up and stupidly had forgotten to copy and paste it all into a document so that I had my own copy.

I sent a contact ticket to the site moderators to check whether the post had been sent for moderation before it would be published or whether I would be required to type it all up again.

I went to have a look on some of the other posts within the survey section of the site and each one had the name of the poster, as well as the name of a moderator, which makes me think that perhaps it will have to be checked before being published as there is the potential that otherwise some seriously dodgy things could be posted on their site after, like me, someone has been granted permission to post in the survey section. I will wait until tomorrow evening at the latest to hear from them and if I don’t hear anything I will attempt to repost the survey again.

Tuesday 1st April

Me and Jordan had booked out a joint session in the blue screen photography studio today to complete our respective photo shoots so we arrived at 9 AM to complete the planned shoot.

We went and got the tech to unlock the storage room for us so we could get the equipment out and from last semester it appeared that the whole room had been reorganised, which confused us to begin with as we spent a while looking for the large lighting cases that we were familiar with only to realise that they had been done away with and the lights were now stored freely on the shelves along with all the wires needed.

Unfortunately there was no lighting meter, at least not that we could see, and so we would have to set the lights up by trial and error, which although isn’t a particularly difficult feat it would take longer than being told the correct settings to use by the meter.

Jordan was going to partially model for me as well as the use of my arranged model, Johnny Dickin.

Johnny Modelling

Johnny Modelling

There were a few of my images that I wanted to get in the studio today and they were as follows:

  • Sinister looking face lit purely by the light of a laptop – I then plan to use photoshop to transform his face to look like a troll (if possible)
  • A split face portrait shot with one side of the face looking a bit smirky and the other looking sad and beaten (using photoshop)
  • The forearm reaching out from the computer screen to grab the throat of the person on the computer.
  • The behind shot of the small character looking up at the big computer screen. The screen can be photoshopped in afterwards.
    • For this one I changed the flash light to reflect off the backdrop into the face of the character as the photograph was being taken from behind and the flash coming from the front would act as the reflection from the computer screen to try keep the lighting looking natural.

I was happy with the images I shot during this session – particularly the one that I am shooting in the image above as I think that works really well for the effect I will be trying to create during the edit of it.

My other images will not need to be shot in the studio so I will only need to return to the studio if my images turn out to be unusable or anything like that. I will also be making numerous backups of all my images just in case anything happens to avoid any common issues like corrupt files or losing storage devices!

UPDATE:

I have just checked back on my post on PsychForums and my post has gone live which suggests it was just waiting to be moderated like I mentioned before! Now just to wait and see if it gets any responses!

My Post!

My Post!

Saturday 4th April

Today I began looking at editing my photos from the studio shoot as there is quite a lot of playing around with them that I want to do. One of my ideas was to have a portrait shot of someone split down the middle and using lighting would make one side appear to be the good side and the opposite side as the ‘dark’ side. This would connote one side being the bully and one side being the victim of the bullying. Or this picture could also be changed to show one side of the human as normal and one side being the ‘dark passenger’ and that being the fact they either get bullied or that they are the bully.

I was looking at a couple of different ways of doing this. One of them being to have two images lit differently and then using a layer mask I would bring the other image in to give the impression of it being split down the middle like so:

Layer Mask

Layer Mask

My alternative option was to just use the light all in one image to create one side of the face looking darker than the other like so:

Lighting Change

Lighting Change

Out of the two examples shown above I am a much bigger fan of the latter. Not least because the sharpening is consistent as it is the same image that I’m using but I also think that the top image looks a bit too much different. This was only a very basic application of lighting effects to give the impressions on the face so I am now going to further edit the image to try and create the desired effect that I would like – results to follow!

The plus side for me using Adobe Camera Raw to do a big chunk of the editing of my photos is that it can save an area selection as a mask so you can just work on that bit and then adjust the sliders and it will only change the changes of the section you have selected.

For example here I need to edit one half of the face into one style and the other into another whilst keeping the eye on the darker side still focused, sharp and clear. So I have created an easy mask that will help me:

Camera Raw Mask

Camera Raw Mask

Because of the way Camera Raw works, whenever I now open the Raw image file, it will have this mask still available for me to choose and edit, so I could open the image, set all the adjustment sliders back to ‘0’ and then I would be back where I started having made no changes to the image itself! A fantastic thing that will help me as I try and get my image looking as good as possible without having to constantly undo, and redo my actions and also without causing changes to the image.

Article Troubles.

I am having a bit of difficulty with the article I am planning to create in the style of the Daily Mail article. I am struggling to get ahold of people who would be willing to talk about the nature of the issue as well as not having an ability to tell whether someone is a victim of bullying straight off the bat. As opposed to, for example, if I was looking to interview a footballer about the sport then it would be a lot easier to be able to tell people who play it and have an interest and it would also probably be a lot easier to get them to talk.

Obviously I don’t want to stray away from the nature of the Daily Mail, which tends to lay a bit of a blame game on social media when it comes to big issues so as opposed to trying to create a subjective ‘sob story’ type piece I am going to try approach it as tackling the issue on the whole. I’ve been having a think and I thought that a good way to approach it would be to show how the idea of ‘micro-celebrity’ and fast-tracks to fame have create an increased jealousy of fame with an easy outlet to express this, which in itself is a form of cyber bullying. This could look at the rise of scripted reality TV shows such as The Only Way is Essex, Made In Chelsea and Geordie Shore and look at how this new phenomenon is effectively making people with no real talent, and not a lot of intelligence, highly sort after public figures.

“It shows real people in modified situations, saying unscripted lines but in a structured way.” – Wikipedia

Anon, 2014. The Only Way Is EssexWikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Only_Way_Is_Essex&oldid=602738068 [Accessed April 15, 2014]. 

I could write about how there is a new low fame level aspiration to become a micro-celebrity and people are so jealous of others whom have achieved this status that they become frustrated that they themselves cannot achieve a similar level of popularity.

Week 8 Reflection – Project Implementation/Evaluation

Monday 24th March

Today felt like the day the starting gates finally opened. First thing I received an email back from Alison regarding the situation I emailed her with on Saturday and she said that she had reminded Mark about my forms. An hour or so later I received a confirmation email on my University email address stating that my forms had been confirmed and that I now had been given the go-ahead to crack on with my work.

This made me feel so relieved because due to it taking longer for the forms to be passed I presumed that there may have been an issue with them, although I was unsure as to why there would have been as they weren’t asking for any private information or incriminating data.

Unfortunately I have to work today which means that I will not have any time to see about continuing just quite yet, however I will have about 6 hours tomorrow where I will be in university with no classes and plenty of concentration and willpower to crack on with my work so I will proceed with giving the staff questionnaires to my Dad to hand out around his school and to begin posting my online questions onto various forums. I am also hoping that today I may hear back from the ladies at BeatBullying.org RE the question I emailed to them, however I am not entirely confident with it and may have to slightly alter the basis of my article away from having a very subjective piece, although that means it will not be quite as fit for purpose as I wanted, but if I can’t get anyone to talk to me then there isn’t a lot I can do about that. However there are plenty of other websites and people to ask so I will most definitely not be stopping trying yet.

If I can get people to answer my questions on forums then I may be able to pursue basing it on a collective of people who are bullied as opposed to one individual person!

 

Tuesday 25th March

First thing this morning I got my dad to collect the teacher/staff questionnaires on his way to school so that he can get them handed out and I can get them back as soon as possible. I assured him that as long as I had them back within the next week it would be fine but he said that he would stay with the teachers whilst they filled them out because otherwise “it would go to the bottom of a list of things to do and then get forgotten about, and then they get annoyed with me pestering them for it at a later date.” So I’ve got him to thank for that

Today I have started looking properly at forums to post my questions to now that I have been given the go ahead. I don’t want to go onto these sites and just post my list of questions and risk getting banned if they have rules against that sort of thing. So each time I go to a site I am emailing the moderators/administrators/etc to check if it is okay for me to post the questions which I have.

I started by going to Reddit as I know the community on there is huge and you often get a lot of responses on posts and if someone thinks it is a good post it gets voted ‘up’ meaning it gets better exposure and more people are likely to see it and get involved. I planned to post it to the category titled ‘AskReddit’ as that is where people ask questions to spark discussion and upon getting there I noticed a list of rules:

Rules of AskReddit

Rules of AskReddit

Because I noticed this, I wanted to check with an authority on there to see whether it was acceptable to post my questions and so I emailed the press section as it was the only one I could find a relevant email address for with what I posted below:

Reddit Press Email

Reddit Press Email

I thought it would make sense to keep it quite short as they probable get a lot of emails and if it was a long tedious one they may not even really bother looking over it.

I also contacted the people at Recover Your Life. This is a forum specifically about self harm however they also have different sections where people can talk about their experiences of things and whilst I’m not specifically looking for self harm information, this might be a good avenue to look at because bullying can sometimes lead to self harm and if I can get to speak to someone who has been bullied to the extent of self harming and they are willing to share their story with me then that potentially has a great story in itself.

I have just now looked at Psychforums.com and gone to the contact section to ask about possibly posting on their website. The contact section had a link specifically for people looking to post surveys or get participation from the members of the forums:

Survey Details on PhschForums

Survey Details on PhschForums

Now they are requesting that people make a donation to the running costs of the site if they are to post surveys and this is definitely something I am going to consider, however I don’t want to make a decent sized donation if my survey then ends up getting no views or something like that. So my plan is to use this contact form to make a donation of £5 using PayPal so that I can reference the transaction as stated in the image above but then also state that I will make a significantly bigger donation upon the results of my questionnaire!

The person who posted the information that I have shown above also had the top post on the homepage of the forum with over 5000 views, so if they are able to post my questionnaire then that sounds like it might get some quite good exposure. I have donated $8.25, which is the equivalent of £5 to the website stating that if the survey is successful then I will make a significantly bigger donation as well! So I will have to wait to hear back from them! *Fingers crossed* This donation will need to be added to my Gantt chart as an individual cost and then if I add another donation I will need to create another cost for that one as well! I will do this when I access my Gantt chart this afternoon in Alison’s class!

Social Phobia World is the next website whose forum I signed up to to post my questionnaire. From the rules that I read they had no opposition to people posting asking questions and information so I have registered an account to their site. The account is pending moderation as it needs to be accepted before I can post anything so once this is completed I will be able to continue.

Turning an image to an illustration

Now because of the format of the Guardian pages that I am going to be creating I need to make sure my images will be fit for purpose. They seem to always use illustrations on the pages I am recreating and so I want to keep to the similar style. However due to the nature of the brief I need to have my 5 photographs. Therefore my plan is to take the photographs I will need  and take two of them and using photoshop recreate my own images to create the appearance of them being hand drawn and/or painted.

Today I’ve been having a look at a tutorials that show a way to create the effect I would be looking for.

A problem with them is that they don’t seem to create the apparent style that I am looking for. For example this one of the bird makes it look like it has been coloured in with colouring pencils, but I want an almost more watercoloured image:

And on the other hand some of them looked a bit too watercoloured:

Then I stumbled across a fantastic little tutorial. On design.tutsplus.com I found one that allowed you to use the pen tool to roughly draw around your image and then paint back in the watercoloured effect as you like. Giving you something that looks like this:

The guy doing the tutorial was using a Wacom tablet and so had great control over everything he was doing but he states that there is no disadvantage to completing this with a mouse it just might take a bit longer. Besides you can always erase any mistakes a lot easier on computer than a real drawing!

I had a go at following this tutorial using one of my old portrait images, however I was using the trackpad on my laptop in order to complete it which I found a little difficult. When I complete my actual one I will obviously be using a mouse to make sure it is the highest possible standard and so the next time I have a practice run at doing one of these I will make sure I am able to use a mouse to make my ability better.

Here is the one I created with a comparison to the starting image. I didn’t bother with doing the background on this one but I may need one in my finals work so I will need to work on being able to do those as well:

My turn!

My turn!

I’m really glad I have found this tutorial and I’m really happy with the results that it has provided me, I think it is going to be an excellent resource in helping me achieve the desired appearance of my images when it comes to editing them.

I quite like the way that the paint sometimes spills over the edge, makes it look ‘not quite perfect’ which I think adds to the impression that it has been done by hand!

LINK TO THE TUTORIAL

Late on Tuesday evening I received an email from SocialPhobiaWorld.com confirming that my account had now been validated allowing me to post on their forums so I will get my online questionnaire posted onto their forums when I get chance.

SocialPhobiaWorld Confirmation

SocialPhobiaWorld Confirmation

Wednesday 26th March

Today I’ve got my Work in Progress presentation with Chris and Alison at 11am in Caedmon 113 followed by a immediate travel to Leeds where I will be spending the afternoon painting the room for the exhibition with Jonny and Jordan so unfortunately won’t have any time to do any work on my project today or tomorrow as I work Thursdays.

I have just received an email from PsychForums (the website to which I made a donation) saying thank you for my donation and they sent me a follow up email asking me to send them my username so they could clear me to post in the survey forum of their website. This is a good thing because it was the one I was most hopeful of hearing back from but at the same time was a bit worried that I would have made the donation to be let down by no response. This was through no fault of the website, it’s just that the opportunity seemed a bit good to be that straight forward.

I felt my presentation went okay today. Aside from the calamity that was trying to figure out how to use Alisons mouse and keyboard! One of the key points that stands out in my mind that Chris said was that for my article about the ‘least popular politician’ would be a better idea to approach from the stance of ‘why they are least popular’ not just who is least popular. You want it to be funny but also intriguing and people will want to read to find out why. Another point Chris raised was ‘was there an ethical issue in me using a monetary incentive to get that survey seen on the forum’ and I explained that I felt there wasn’t because it wasn’t a case of me stating that I would pay them to do it, but that they asked in advance for people to make a donation if they wished to use the forum for that purpose and it was the way they worked, as opposed to the way that I did.

After today’s painting session at the Corn Exchange we agreed that we would need to come back on Friday so that meant that Friday would be another day where I would probably be unlikely to get any work done. Although I do not have Saturday listed as a working day on my Gantt chart, I am still free on Saturdays until the cricket season begins on Saturday 19th April.

Week 7 Reflection – Project Implementation/Evaluation

Monday 17th March

I learnt something new with regards to InDesign settings today and it is something that I will find very useful for the rest of the time I spend using the software.

I have had this issue before but I have only just today thought to see if there is a way to change it to make it easier on myself.

When you have the file open that you are working on, if you zoom out, the software applies what is called ‘Greek’ to the text in the document. This means that when you zoom out it changes the text from being visible as text and instead appears to be grey bars. I find that this makes it difficult to get a proper view of how your document looks as you are not seeing it as it would actually appear.

On previous documents I had worked on they had been A3 size and I had always been able to view the document full screen with no problems, however the document I am working on for the Guardian article is the size of the Berliner newspapers format which is bigger than A3 so I was being faced with these grey bars when trying to view the document in full screen.

I googled what this was called and one of the questions posted on Yahoo asked how to turn it off so I looked at this. I had to go into Preferences > Display Performance and saw that the Greek text was set to appear at anything appearing smaller than 7pt font. I turned this all the way down to 1pt so that it would only appear if I zoomed quite far out on the document.

Here is a screenshot of a comparison between looking at the document with and without the grey bars:

Greek Text Comparison

Greek Text Comparison

This is very useful as I can now see the text clearly whilst making alterations to the document layout and it is something that will benefit me as long as I am using InDesign. My only regret is not finding out how to do this sooner!

REFERENCE:

Today I was having a look at the library online for academic journals that might have some useful statistics about Cyber bullying

Bonanno, R, & Hymel, S n.d., ‘Cyber Bullying and Internalizing Difficulties: Above and Beyond the Impact of Traditional Forms of Bullying’, Journal Of Youth And Adolescence, 42, 5, pp. 685-697, Social Sciences Citation Index, EBSCOhost, viewed 17 March 2014.

“Most notably, perpetrators of cyber bullying enjoy a degree of anonymity and invisibility that is not always possible with more traditional or face-to-face forms of bullying, and which also can make them less aware of the impact of their behavior on victims”.

Margaret Anne, C n.d., ‘Protecting Oneself from Cyber Bullying on Social Media Sites – a Study of Undergraduate Students’, Procedia – Social And Behavioral Sciences, 93, 3rd World Conference on Learning,Teaching and Educational Leadership, pp. 1229-1235, ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost, viewed 17 March 2014. ( http://ac.els-cdn.com/S1877042813034654/1-s2.0-S1877042813034654-main.pdf?_tid=b7a6185c-adbd-11e3-ae62-00000aab0f27&acdnat=1395051789_82ce20b867eb09fbb97882508d15d02c)

Tuesday 18th March

I took a bit of a risk today and printed off the questionnaires that I plan to hand out to the teaching staff on the assumption that everything would be fine with my Ethics forms and they would be passed soon. This was just so that I would already have the documents printed and could get them sent out as soon as posssible. Each questionnaire is three pages long and I am planning to send out 10 and given that I don’t have the fastest printer in the world, 30 pages could take quite a bit of time to print out.

As it turns out it only took around 15 minutes to print out all the questionnaires however, if I receive the email in the morning telling me my forms have been cleared to go ahead with and I then needed to spend a further 15 minutes printing them out, then that could be the difference between being able to give them to my dad to hand out around his school on the day or missing him and having to wait yet another day before handing them out.

I am expecting that my ethics forms will be cleared by tomorrow morning if there is no problems with them as it will have been a week since I submitted them and that was how long it took to clear them the first time round.

Saturday 22nd March

I am now still waiting for my Ethics forms and Questionnaires etc to be passed by Mark Dixon at the University. I am unaware of the circumstances as to why it is taking longer than the previous one did so I have decided to email Alison today but the chances are that she won’t get the email until first thing on Monday morning. This isn’t so much a problem but I really hope that she sees it early so that the problem can be resolved ASAP.

EDIT: I have sent Alison an email just asking if she knows anything about the situation and if not would it be possible for her to email Mark to check on the situation.

I have also emailed ahead to the people over at BeatBullying.org to see if there would be a chance of talking to any victims of bullying through their site, which is set up for people who are victims of bullying to talk to each other so I wondered if it would be possible for me to speak to any of them. Obviously I don’t want to go storming into a site and just start questioning people and risk getting banned or a bad reputation with those people so I am making sure to ask the relevant authorities in advance!