Image Analysis

In the foreground of my image there is a large pile of sweet, bright, sugary foods that are generically known as unhealthy and full of sugar. Moving further into the background there is a guy holding a syringe with a needle which is nearing the pile of sugary foods. His forearm is bruised, indicating a connection between the needle he is holding and the injection point at his forearm. The background is a blurred image of an old room in a house, an area that hasn’t been taken care of very well.

Intended Communication Objective

The article I chose to base this image off is about what happens to your brain when you stop eating sugar. It compares quitting sugar to detoxing from a class A drug due to the way both types of substances similarly alter the brain’s pleasure receptors.

The idea of sugar being compared to dangerous drugs is the message I wanted to convey with my image. I wanted the sugary sweets to be the focus of the image, which is why I put them in the foreground. They are extremely bright and there is a lot of them, further signifying that importance. Incorporating the candy skulls was an added bonus but one I think really conveys the notion of the image: sugar is dangerous.

The person in the image is using a syringe to extract the sugar from the food so that he can inject it into himself, signifying the ‘sugar hit’ one gets from eating sugar and the relevance to drugs. To cement this concept further, I created bruising on his forearm, an area that is commonly associated with needles. This is to tie the sugar being extracted from the food and the idea that he will use that needle to inject it into himself; the bruising demonstrating that he has been doing it for a long time.

I wanted to pick a background that would not draw too much attention to the viewer’s eye, but be something that showed the main priority for the person in the image is that of the sugary food in front of him, not taking care of his surroundings.

Techniques Used

Most of the techniques that we have learned in class have been used to create this image.

All of my assets were smart objects, so that I could continuously play with their size until I was happy, without worrying about the consequences of losing pixels and ending up with warped images.

I used smart filters to change how my image looks. Using gaussian blur on the background image and also when creating the bruising on the model’s forearm. Vibrance was used to make the food stand out from the other components, which had their brightness and saturation brought down to really create a dynamic difference between the foreground and background.

Layer masks were used to remove assets from their background, along with the paintbrush tool used to create the bruising and to erase different parts of the assets to ensure that they look as realistic as possible – an example of this is getting rid of any harsh crop lines created by the quick selection tool.

I also used an additional layer to non-destructively create bruising on the forearm.

I feel like the components in my image work cohesively to convey the overall message.


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