Visual Literacy and Photoshop


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Nikki A. Stewart, [email protected], Department of Women’s Studies Visual Literacy and Photoshop The following is a quiz and related assignment that I used this semester in WMST 265: Constructions of Manhood and Womanhood in the Black Community. The first was a take-home quiz based on two image files (attached) and The Online Visual Literacy Project website. After students completed that quiz, we spent two days in a teaching theater learning the basics of Adobe Photoshop (in my Photoshop tutorial, students manipulated the same images they had already analyzed in the quiz). Students then completed an assignment in Photoshop. I also held office hours in the WAM lab to assist students in Photoshop. Link to The Online Visual Literacy Project: http://www.pomona.edu/Academics/courserelated/classprojects/Visual-lit/intro/intro.html VISUAL LANGUAGE QUIZ INSTRUCTIONS: For this quiz, you are to evaluate two images in relation to key concepts in visual literacy. All images are compositions. When you compose an essay (or a poem, song lyrics, etc.) you use the alphabet to form words, words to form phrases, phrases to form sentences, and so on. Similarly, when you compose an image (a painting, drawing, photograph, or moving images like film and video) that image is constructed through visual language. For this quiz, you are to evaluate the two images attached to this message in relation to concepts discussed in The Online Visual Literacy Project website (link available in the Course Materials section of WebCT). Completing this quiz involves three steps: 1) Select three of the “Basic Visual Elements” discussed in The Online Visual Literacy Project (e.g., line, shape, value, hue, saturation, etc.). 2) Analyze how those three elements are used in each of the two visual compositions attached to this message. Be specific. 3) Using your analysis above, compare and contrast the two images and discuss how you see black manhood being constructed in each. Do the two images convey similar messages about black manhood? Or do they convey dramatically different messages about black manhood? And how is visual language (i.e., the visual elements you identified above) used to accomplish these similar and/or different constructions? Your answer should be posted in the Discussions section of WebCT by 12:00 pm on Tuesday, March 1, 2005. Like all assignments, please compose your posting in a word processing program before pasting into WebCT. You are also welcome to reply to one another’s postings and generate discussions on this topic. This quiz is worth one (1) point toward your final grade. PHOTOSHOP ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS: In this assignment, you will be using visual language and Adobe Photoshop to deconstruct one visual representation of black manhood or womanhood. You will also use writing to further explain the arguments you will be making visually. This assignment is comprised of several steps: 1) Select an image of black manhood or womanhood and describe, in writing, what you feel the image is conveying about black manhood/womanhood. What are the characteristics and qualities of manhood/womanhood according to your image? Is there a name circulating in popular culture that connects to this ...

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