Studio 2 -Photography 1

Graphic Design, Photography, Studio


It’s really (really, really) late but in the first week we learnt about photography, specifically, how to use a the manual functions of a DSLR camera. We learnt about shutter speed, aperture and ISO.

  • Shutter speed: the length of time a camera shutter is open to expose light into the camera sensor. Responsible for creating dramatic effects by either freezing action or blurring motion (Mansurov, 2009).
    • lower = more light, higher = less light
    • lower = blurred movement, higher = freezes movement better
  • Aperture: a hole within a lens, through which light travels into the camera body (Mansurov, 2009).
    • lower = more light, higher = less light
    • lower = object in focus while background is blurred, higher = everything in focus
    • depth of field – when aperture is higher, the depth of field range is larger
  • ISO: the level of sensitivity of your camera to available light (Mansurov, 2009).
    • lower = less sensitive to the light, higher = increased sensitivity of your camera

Here’s some of the photos I took:

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I didn’t really remember a lot of the settings in this first session so I just kept changing the shutter speed and aperture. I need to spend a fair bit of time just playing around with the settings to see what works and what doesn’t. And also do some more reading about each setting so that I understand more about what each one is specifically. Especially any photography blogs where they give tips for specific settings because if I have a basis for where to start and then make small changes from there. Also, I didn’t really know what to take photos of so I didn’t really take too many – I should have just taken more photos.


Understanding ISO – A Beginner’s Guide. Retrieved from

Powerpoint slide from class


Studio 2 – Photoshop Compositing

Graphic Design, Photography, Studio

With Paul. What did you learn? Were there any new techniques you might use? What else might you need to work on to improve your compositing techniques in future?

In this workshop I learnt how to take one image and put it into another image and make it so it looks like it actually belongs – to make it look like it was one photo that was taken (and not two photos taken in completely different locations. It’s a bit of a process to use this technique but if you do it well the outcome is really good. And you have to use your imagination!!

These were the notes I was taking during the workshop and I’ll try to make them understandable. We’ll see though:

The first step is selecting your 2 images – 1 of a person and the other a landscape background. These are the 2 we used in class:

  • On the first image select the (white) background
    • make sure hair is all selected (using Quick Selection Tool)
    • use quick mask (Q) to refine selection
      • select inverse (Shift + Cmd + I) so the person is selected
      • create a layer mask
      • select mask on layer panel
      • go to select -> refine mask
        • view mode (on layers)
        • edge detection (smart radius – max)
        • output (check decontaminate colours, max)
        • output to (new layer with layer mask)
          Refine edges – create 1 mask for hair and 1 mask for clothes (smooth edges of clothes)
  • Next step is merging the 2 layer masks
    • Cmd + Click the mask for the hair layer and then Shift + Cmd click the clothes mask and then create new mask on original image by clicking the layer mask button at the bottom of the layer panel.
    • Delete old layers
    • The refine edge tool can be used on the new layer mask
    • On a new layer – create a clipping mask, paint edges to reduce the halo effect of the hair
  • Now looking at the background image
  • Duplicate -> filter -> blur -> average
    • Move up to clipping mask of subject and change to overlay or soft light – reduce opacity. This will make the person look like they belong in the background image because it now has an overlay of the average colours found in the background.

It’s a little confusing and I think I’ve missed a few steps so I’ll go back and look at them and edit this again soon.

But here’s the final result….

HJ Composited

I think the key to this technique will be practice, practice, practice!

– Kim


Studio 2 – Collage

Design, Graphic Design, Studio

I started another style over the weekend – collage.

As defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

collage – noun col·lage \kə-ˈläzh, kȯ-, kō-\

  • 1a:  an artistic composition made of various materials (as paper, cloth, or wood) glued on a surface

  • 1b:  a creative work that resembles such a composition in incorporating various materials or elements <the album is a collage of several musical styles>

  • 2:  the art of making collages

  • 3:hodgepodge<a collage of ideas>

  • 4:  a work (as a film) having disparate scenes in rapid succession without transitions

Step by step instructions for you all found here (I’ve found the good links for you all) :

With this one, I was looking at the newsboy hats from the late 19th and early 20th centuries and then from there (a logical conclusion I thought) was to use newspapers as my material/medium. I also thought it would be cool to tell a story, just a little insight into the newsies and how they lived.

Some history about the newsboys, if you’re interested:

There’s a lot more but this is just some general stuff. Pretty interesting when you think about it. Little kids working selling newspaper for a profit of 35c that they then have to live on. 35c! Pretty crazy.

My idea was to find an image and then recreate it by making a collage. Some of my possible images:

The one on the bottom left won, the boy holding the paper in the air.


So I found some short paragraphs and the search began (it was a silly idea, so time consuming, and really, who can find words like rascals, creatures, Atlas, rend and lobbies. Really?). It was a looooong process.


So I’m still working on it at the moment, but here’s what I have so far:


My hat Pinterest board again


Thoughts are welcome 🙂

– Kim


Images found on Pinterest, some from a search on Google.

Cover image:


Studio 2 – Digital Portrait: Low Poly Portrait

Design, Graphic Design, Studio

This week I’ve started one of my digital images for my art styles project. I decided to do a Low Poly portrait. So you might be wondering what Low Poly Art is (or you may not) but I’m going to explain it here anyway. Low Poly is a technique that was originally used for making 3D models and scenes for videogames, due to its render speed, which was achieved thanks to low polygonal resolution. The term poly comes from ‘polygon’ which is a 2D shape made from straight lines and angles. So basically, it’s an image that is made up of hundreds of tiny geometric shapes which combine to form an abstract image. It is no longer just used for video games and animations but for illustrations and portraits and much more. I’ve seen a few different techniques with this style. Some people use only triangles throughout the image, while others just use straight edged shapes and not limited to just three sided ones. I ended up doing the second option, just because I found it easier to pick out the different shades of colours throughout my chosen image.

Some examples of low poly portraits (all found on Pinterest):

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Some of the tutorials I watched:

This site has step by step instructions and a video too:

And finally this site too (this is the tutorial I followed):

If you’re interested in some other ways to do it this website has links to a number of Low Poly Art tutorials, some in different styles too:

Learn How to Create Amazing Low Poly Art in Photoshop & Illustrator (12 Tuts)

After watching some of these it was time to begin my own one. As I was doing it I recorded the whole thing so you guys could all see it (it’s ok, I sped it up a little bit). I think over all it took me

So here is my original image:


The final image:

Low Poly Snapback - 260216

And here, for your viewing, is the creation of my low poly portrait. Enjoy!


Hope you like it. Feel free to let me know what you think.

– Kim



How To Create Geometric Low Poly Art The Easy Way

What’s the Deal with Low Poly Art?





Studio 2 – Pen

Drawing, Graphic Design, Studio

My next analogue style is pen drawing. You know the ones, they look amazing and it’s all done using by pen.

Like any of these

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Or the ballpoint pen drawings

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Note: these were all found on Pinterest. I find a lot of things on Pinterest.

Yeah, I thought I’d attempt one of them. Brilliant plan. Well I’ll let you know that I wasn’t as bad at it as I thought I was going to be. It was just very time consuming.

The techniques used in pen drawing are similar to those used with pencil, especially hatching, cross hatching and stippling. So I watched some tutorials and practiced some of the techniques

These are some of the tutorials I watched:

Pen and Ink Drawing Tutorials by Alphonso Dunn

Pen and Ink Drawing Techniques by The Virtual Instructor

How to Draw in Ballpoint Pen by Gareth Edwards (I didn’t end up using ballpoint pen though but still thought it was an ok video)

So that’s a few of the videos I watched. I watched some that were just timelapse videos that were pretty cool too. Anyway, moving on to my next steps. I did attempted some of the shading techniques that I saw.

Next I found an image (can you guess where?), drew it in pencil, outlined it in pen (using a Staedtler pigment liner 0.2) and then started shading it. I used hatching and cross hatching depending on how dark I needed it to be. This was just a practice one and it was very time consuming. Think this one took me somewhere around 4hrs.

And then I got to do it all over again for my final drawing. I really wish I’d set up a time-lapse video for it, maybe next time.

Let me know what you think of it.




Studio 2 – Pencil Drawing

Drawing, Graphic Design, Studio

So the first analogue style I tried out was just a sketch using pencil. Now I’ve never thought I was much of a drawer so fingers crossed these turn out ok. I wanted to pick a relatively easy style to start off with just to get into the project. To start with, research and experimentation. I started looking at sketches other people have done, looked at how they shaded their drawings and then looked up some of the different kinds of techniques you can do. We did this a little bit in a drawing class but that was over a year ago and I wanted to refresh my memory a bit.

(If you want to know more about what I’m doing read this blog first:

So here is a handy pin about some of the types of shading to use (I think I might leave the dot (a.k.a. stippling) one for another day):


Next step was starting to do some drawing myself. I found a few photos I wanted to have a go at drawing and just started small. Here are my reference photos (found on Pinterest):

My sketches:

They were just some rough sketches to start with and then the next one I did I did a bit more shading, trying out shading techniques on the hat:

The more I looked at this one, I didn’t like it that much. I didn’t really draw her shoulder right so it looks a bit funny.

I then went on to do another drawing – which will be my final one  that I submit into my digital portfolio. I went looking for another image to use as a reference for my drawing (again found on Pinterest). I also made sure this image was a landscape image because of the specifications for our final digital portfolio (1920px wide x 1080px high).

girl w hat

And here is the sketch so far


Also, I’m just putting my Pinterest board here again because I just keep adding more ideas to it as I go along. Some are specifically different types of images of hats, while others are just ideas I’m thinking about trying and incorporating hats into it.

Let me know what you think.




Studio 2 – Time Management

Graphic Design, Studio

This tri we are focusing a lot on our time management and scheduling. For the first project we have to come up with a 5 week schedule that allocates time for each of the tasks and use a timesheet to keep track of how much time actually spent on the project. I’ve been working on that and I have a lot of spare time where I can be working on this project. I just have to make sure I do that otherwise I will waste a lot of time and be rushed to get it finished at the end. Fingers crossed that won’t happen. I just need to get myself out of holiday mode and back into uni mode.

At the moment I’ve tried to block in when I will work on each task for both research, experimentation and the final piece. This is bound to change (probably due to procrastinating) but I will try and stick to my schedule. This is theoretically what my weekly schedule will look like. I think my time estimations will most likely be wrong but I can adjust these a little bit as I go. I might try and look at the schedule at the end of each week and see if I should cut back any of my allocated ‘sessions’ or if I need to add some more.

Chances are that during the week things will come up and I won’t be able to do any work when I’ve allocated it to be a Studio 2 project session. At this stage I’ve left Sunday free to allow for the possibility of having to do some extra sessions.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 11.15.38 AM

This is the time sheet I’ve set up to keep track of how much work I do and what I’ve worked on.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 11.11.33 AM



Studio 2

Adobe, Graphic Design, Studio

Time to adjust to uni life again. A new trimester has begun. Now I’m in Studio 2 and the aim this tri is to find my style, find out what type of graphic designer I want to be. Another big goal is to work on time management and scheduling.

So our first project is demonstrating a range of different art styles and techniques including analogue, photography and digital. The object I got was hats. So I have to create a digital portfolio of 15 images of hats. Should be fun, and a bit of a challenge! At the end there should be 5 analogue images (painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, etc.), 5 photographic/photo manipulation images (composition/framing, lighting styles, objects, lightroom, photoshop, etc.) and 5 digital images (illustration, digital collage, scanning, repeatable patterns, etc.).

I think it will be pretty challenging for me because I’m not much of a drawer (or any of the analogue styles, really) but I’m keen to try some new styles and I have a few ideas for what I want to do. These are some of my ideas and the styles I want to have a go at (which will probably change along the way):


  1. Sketch – Pencil
  2. Pen drawing
  3. Collage
  4. Watercolour
  5. Painting


  1. Portrait
  2. Object
  3. Photoshop editing
  4. Different lighting styles
  5. Still thinking of another one


  1. Digital Portrait – Low Poly Portrait
  2. Digital Portrait
  3. Digital Collage
  4. Illustration
  5. Repeatable Pattern
  6. Maybe some type of typographical poster about hats

I’m thinking about using 5 different types of hats and for each hat there will be 1 analogue image, 1 photographic image and 1 digital image. The hats I’m looking at are

  1. Snapback
  2. Beanie
  3. Round felt hat
  4. Top Hat
  5. Newspaper Boy Hat

I’ve started a pinterest board with some of my research so far and I’ll continue to use it throughout the project. Have a look here if you want: