And Then There Were Two

For my latest assignment, I had to reconstruct an image of a billboard by photo editing the imageI decided to give my billboard a zombie apocalypse feel.

Below is my finished masterpiece (P.S. for some reason the quality of it is getting *butchered* on my front end. So click on the image to see the higher quality version on Flickr.) 



Behind the Process

I began this assignment by looking at abandoned billboards. By doing this, I did not have to work too hard to get the aesthetic I wanted. I found this amazing billboard and absolutely loved its texture and the surrounding electrical wires.

After I found my perfect billboard, I had to decide what text to put onto it. I was inspired by the city limit and population signs in my hometown.

Furthermore, I needed a fake town name to put on my billboard. I went to this city name generator and got the town name of Berkton. I then decided I wanted a graffiti font. After searching around for a while, I found one and downloaded it. Having my photo and font, I then went into Photoshop. I started by adjusting the curves to make it a little darker than the original. I then inserted my “Berkton City Limits. Population. Humans: 2. Zombies: 156” text. I had to skew the text a little as it was not on the right plane. I had to also add a drop shadow to make the red more visible. Moreover, I had to adjust the kerning between some of the letters as some letters were illegible. Lastly, I edited the nearby train stop sign to say Berkton.  

Something I learned from this assignment is how to change the kerning between letters. The last few years I have absolutely hated Photoshop because it is almost impossible to find anything in there unless you know exactly where to look. So when I wanted to change the letter spacing in my image, I was completely lost. After a bit of googling, I found out what kerning is and how to change it. Needless to say, Google is my best friend whenever I use Photoshop.

In this assignment, I found it easy to insert almost a narrative into the photo. I attempted to do this through the “Humans: 2” part of my billboard. Having two humans left in a town evokes almost an Adam and Eve scenario. It lends to the story of two people left against an ever growing zombie population. I think that the viewer can’t help but to think of the lives of the survivors and how they navigate a world dominated by zombies.

Something I feel I did well was paying attention to the little details. In order to make my photo complete, I decided to change the train stop sign to say “Berkton” as well. Doing this almost makes the town feel real. It turns a zombie apocalyptic town from a distant thought or a dream into reality. Through this attention to detail, the viewer can feel immersed in the environment.

Furthermore, something I want to improve is my creativity. I feel I could have done more with this assignment maybe add some dark clouds or a zombie. However, I also am conflicted with my desire for simplicity. I feel that if I keep the message simple, it will be easier for my viewer to understand it. Thus, I want to improve finding the balance between simplicity and complexity in my photos. 

I liked the openness of this assignment. The prompt simply says “Reconstruct an image of a billboard by photo editing the image. Replace the heads of people or objects with photos of your friends and family.” Because I am always looking for loopholes, I am assuming that my family and friends are dead because of the zombie apocalypse. Also, the family friendly part? Well, I think that any surviving families that wonder near this town would *love* to know that there are 156 zombies and approximately 2 humans. Because this prompt is so open ended, I feel it was easy to insert my narrative and creativity into the assignment.

Overall, I chose this assignment because it allowed me to insert my ideas and stories into an everyday object, the billboard. Hopefully you enjoyed my billboard and my silly behind the process.

That’s it for now (not really I’m writing all my posts today). I’ll catch you on the flipside (again, in like two hours tops I’ll have another post up).

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