Category: Uncategorized

The Works

I have now added two new pages to this blog, titled: ‘Archive’ and ‘Portfolio’. I decided to create these pages to both display and substantiate my skills as a photographer. They are also outlets by which potential employers can observe what I have worked on in the past, and compare it to what they may wish me to do in the future.

‘Archive’ displays an array of photographic images I have taken and/or created for assessment while at the Southbank Institution of Technology.

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Water and Blood – By Chloe Ranford

‘Portfolio’ displays my collection of fashion photography that was highlighted in the June 2014 edition of Girlfriend Magazine.

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Image #3 – By Chloe Ranford

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Banner

The banner I decided to create is that of a silhouetted image of a female’s head incorporated with a personal image taken of nature.

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The silhouette of the woman is a metaphorical representation of me. As an online blogger, I am not a “definitive” person to the viewers (as my whereabouts, motives and features are unknown). However, the use of a silhouette subliminally reminds viewers that the author of this blog is a “real” in a physical and psychological sense. It also adds a regal element to the banner, such that the banner emits a manner of sophistication and professionalism.

The female silhouette was incorporated into a photograph of sunlight streaming through several tree branches. Not only does this integration support my integrity as a person proficient in Photoshop, but it also adds a personal touch. Photographers generally focus on the complexities of daily life and, at times, can miss the simple details. Often, simplicity produces memorability – an aspect I took into consideration when selecting the sunlight.

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Sunlight streams through the branches of trees – By Chloe Ranford

Thematically, the editing of the photograph to a standard (yet contrasting) black and white ties into the motif of the blogs black, white and grey colour scheme. As there are no loud colours featured in the banner, viewers are able to read posts or page content without being unnecessarily distracted. The use of black and white also allows viewers to focus on the content of the banner rather than the colours; an attribute that is statistically shown to increases readability, empathy and engagement.

In correlation, these images create an icon that is both dynamic and simplistic.

These themes are supported through the use of the Droid Serif font on ‘Chloe Marie’, which creates a tone of formality and simplicity. It also ties into other creative design elements of the blog, as Droid Serif was the font format utilised in my posts.

I decided to use my middle name (Marie) in favour of my surname (Ranford) for usage in the banner. This was an aesthetic rather than intellectual reason; both the names Chloe and Marie have five letters, which made for a more balanced banner than the alternative.

I decided to position ‘Chloe Marie’ on the left-hand side of the banner due to the English language being read from left to right. This means a viewers eye will be draw to the lettering on the left (i.e. ‘Chloe Marie’) and then to the adjacent image (i.e. silhouette/nature), forcing them to view all the content on the banner.

 

Colours

I have chosen a primarily black, grey and white colour scheme for this blog. This is due to the colours creating easily viewable text, aesthetic balance and visual appeal. Black on white, due to its journalistic history in print, also generates simplicity, professionalism and interest.

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Individually, both the colours black and white stimulate different physiological responses in individuals, in accordance to their cultural, social and past experiences. White is considered to inspire a sense of cleanliness, due to its association with the coolness and cleanliness of snow.

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In the Western world it is also used to suggest simplicity, impartiality and equality. Black, in contrast, denotes strength and authority. It is considered to be a very formal, elegant and prestigious colour, especially when by itself.

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Typography

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The restrictions of the ‘Manifest’ design theme do not allow for the changing of fonts due to the creator publishing the theme before the release of the 3.1 update.

In spite of this, I deem the existing font Droid Serif to be the most suitable for this blog. As a branch of Serif font, Droid Serif has a basic form of decorative flourishes included in its design concept. This makes individual letters easier for viewers to read as their shapes are seen to be more pronounced. Droid Serif therefore creates: readability; engagement; and visual appeal across multiple platforms.

sa-720x300Droid Serif font example – Sourced from Font Squirrel

The Droid Serif font is also seen to effortlessly match the style and aesthetics of the design components featured in my blog. Its simple and sophisticated formatting creates a formal tone for additional media elements, in order to guarantee the contents of this blog are professional in manner and quality.

The Manifest Themes

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The Manifest Theme Demo – Jim Barraud

The theme that I have chosen for this blog is titled ‘Manifest’. It is minimal and charming in its design approach, while incorporating many design aesthetics in order to maximise viewer potential.

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Any writing published on the blog is featured in a single column structure. This captures the reader’s eye, prevents subliminal distractions and suggests contextual reading behind the words. In addition, the single column structure is strategically positioned in the centre of the page. This creates a large formatting of white space on either side of the column, which inadvertently makes the column (and, by extension, its words) stand out.

Lines (in correlation with the publishing date) are used simplistically in order to divide the individual posts. This creates an artificial aspect of space and cleanliness within the blog, while also providing readers with valuable information.

The words ‘Leave a comment’ are present at the end of every post. These are distanced from the writings of the post and are coloured in a faded grey, in order to draw the reader’s eye towards it upon completion of the article, but not detract from the given post. Upon selection, this element was taken into consideration, as it stimulates a higher creator-viewer feedback.

The ‘Manifest’ theme allows for the title/header to be featured in the upper-centre of the home page, making it the first thing a reader’s eye is draw to. Posts are immediately featured underneath the said title/header in order to stimulate the transferral of interest from the title/header to the given posts. This both engages the audience and creates a form of focused viewing behaviour.

The overall aesthetics of the theme suit my given style, as I enjoy minimalist blogs that do neither to distract nor detract from the featured content.

About Me

I decided to write my ‘About Me’ section through the use of a (fictional) psychiatric analysis.

The primary reason for this was humour. Scientists have found that after a humorous pun is experienced (whether orally or verbally), both recall and recognition memory are seen to improve. Therefore, after a potential viewer and/or employer reads my ‘About Me’ section, they will be more likely to remember it (and its given contents) over that of my potential career contenders.

In addition, the third person perspective creates the idea of trust (i.e. that I am not simply boasting my achievements). The use of third person narration also causes an emotional separation, allowing the audience to read the situation from all sides without an unbiased opinion. This allows employers to make an individual assessment of me without feeling they are being emotionally bias.

Finally, this method was used in order to talk about – surprise, surprise – me. I based the content on information relevant and helpful to my journalistic studies, while also including information that could potentially differentiate me from other prospective employees. It is important for this material to be present in the ‘About Me’ page, as employers can then find all information of importance in one location, rather than having to tediously search a person’s blog.

In addition to the (fictional) psychiatric analysis, I included the following photograph of myself.

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This photograph was used for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the photograph is in colour. The design aesthetics of this blog centre on the colours of black, white and grey. A colour photograph therefore draws the viewer’s attention as it is a visual oddity, making it both striking and memorable. Psychologists have also found that people are significantly better at recalling scenes, pictures and images if they are in colour, due to prompting of better brain stimulation. If a majority of my blog images are in black and white, while my self-photograph is in colour, then viewers will be more likely to remember my profile and – by extension – me. This is beneficial as future employers may therefore be more likely to recall my blog over the blogs of potential contenders.

(A filter was applied to the photo to reduce the severity of the colours, so that the photograph still seemed ‘in theme’ with the creative aspects of the blog).

Secondly, the photograph displays a physical representation of my creativeness. This is shown via the use of blue paint on my skin, which symbolizes both my love of painting and that, beneath everything (including clothes, it would seem), I am an artistic person. The use of blue paint on all but my face was intended to make my face stand out, and the blue eye shadow was utilized in order to draw the reader’s attention from my body to my face. This also creates a form of memorability, as few others would have such a unique picture to accompany an ‘About Me’ section.

 

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

My strengths include a strong understanding of Adobe Photoshop, Premiere and photographic imagery. I have a strong aesthetic appreciation for all manners of art and am gifted at creating and composing things which will strongly affect the senses. I generally understand things quickly and with great depth, and enjoy sharing this knowledge to the benefit of others.

Weaknesses

I can be overly detail oriented in regards to both artistic and written mediums. I know the gathering specific information is important in the search for clarification and underlying meaning, but I need to endeavour towards a more simplistic approach to my methods.

Opportunities

Work experience is crucial in today’s journalistic society in order to gain both experience and an understanding of what career I wish to pursue. Attending extracurricular educational classes will also allow for the opportunity for me to meet and learn from industry professionals, while also providing a start to a network of strategic contacts.

Threats

I have a lack of real work experience in regard to the journalistic field and this is important for the distinguishing of myself from future career contenders. The apparent convergence from print to online mediums may also present a further threat in the future, as when entering the industry I may need to compete with both fellow graduates and seasoned professionals for potential jobs.

Pitching for Photojournliasm

What is my ideal dream job/career?

At the moment I am unsure of what my ideal “dream job” is.

Despite this, I have decided to design my blog towards the field of photojournalism as I find the ability to convey a news story through the use of an image to be emotionally inspiring.

Why do I find photojournalism inspiring?

Photojournalism is a sub discipline of photography which involves the capturing of images to help tell a story, or to present a story in their own right. They are their own medium of information and often stimulate emotional and psychological responses in an audience, due to humans having a better response to visual rather than written stimulus.

As a result, photojournalism can have a vast impact on societies. Photographs (especially those taken of natural/manmade disasters) can motivate: financial, cultural or physical aid; societal change; and emotional protest. Years after an event is over, such photographs will always be remembered by a mass audience due to the emotional responses it stirred in both individuals and the general public.

I find this inspiring, as I wish to also instigate this aspect of change in both my own and international societies. I want to make a positive impact in the world and photojournalism is one medium by which I can achieve this.

In addition, photojournalism complies with a ridged ethical framework that demands that the stories conveyed in the photograph/s are both honest and impartial, while also contributing to news media.

I find this inspiring in the sense that a photograph will (or at least should) always present the nonbiased truth. Photojournalistic stories cannot be shaped or moulded to suit the author’s intent and cannot disregard important pieces.

Who is my chosen employer?

I have not chosen an employer to whom I wish to pitch this blog.

This is largely due to the fact that an employer is not entirely necessary for a photojournalist. They primarily work as freelancers or via contract, and often supply to a range of publications.

It is also due to my own indecision as to which media platform I wish to purse (i.e. online, newspapers, magazines, television etc). Above all, I hope to work in an engaging environment that can be transferable within the global market, so that I can serve not only Australian but international brands.

How will I pitch my blog towards photojournalism?

In order to pitch towards potential photojournalist employers, I aim to incorporate a range of design aesthetics.

Firstly, I will ensure my blog features a sample of my photographic works. This is so that employers can observe what I have worked on in the past and assess whether my style and/or skill suit their photographic needs.

Secondly, I will create a blog that inspires a feeling of professionalism and simplicity. Clutter and colours can detract from the photographs presented on my blog, so I will aim to minimize these aspects wherever possible.

And lastly, I will create a memorable ‘About Me’, so that when a potential viewer and/or employer reads my ‘About Me’ section, they will be more likely to remember it (and its given contents) over that of my potential career contenders.