This collage is my first work created in Adobe Photoshop. Though challenging at times, it was certainly a relief when it finally came together. I titled my collage “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Followers”, a parody of the United State’s Declaration of Independence’s line, as an expression of my experiences within Washington State’s college culture. Since I transfered to WSU last fall, I’ve been continually disgusted by the careless, haphazard lifestyle of my peers and of the university administration that feeds into these misaligned ideals for profit. Every day I’m surrounded by students that place greater importance on social trends than their own education, concerned with their popularity on social media and ability binge drink at parties. Having been down that road myself, so concerned with my social image, I used to get blackout drunk until my experiences with alcohol poisoning and sexual assault became my wake-up call. Seeing students each day fall into these same patterns disheartens me, and knowing that the university benefits from these cultural trends financially, makes me absolutely sick. I created this collage to express my frustration with this blind-following of popular trends. All the images I used came from internet searches for images allowing all creative commons and in the public domain. In terms of design conventions, my project uses dominance, given to the vintage woman in the foreground. Harmony is created with the red in the stadium frame, the red within the stars, and the red in the coke advertisement, and the red in the cans/cups. Repetition is seen with the men (cans and cups) carrying the C-O-U-G-S flags as the elements are different, but similar in style. In Photoshop itself, I relied heavily on the selection tool to paste elements of photos in as layers. I also used the eraser tool to refine the edges on many layers. The transformation tool was essential to help me rotate and distort my selections. I struggled with using layer masks, and used a hue/saturation adjustment instead to create the effect I desired. Though I had a lot of initial trouble with functions in Photoshop, I was able to figure out some uniquely digital effects that helped me construct a collage that could not be replicated in print.
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