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.


These are my five best comments over the course of this assignment. They outline positive points for the person’s concept, but also what I think they could improve on, whether it be something technical or something relating more to the actual ideas.

Despite this image not being complete yet it is still really grossing me out. I feel like that means it’s effective! The only thing that I think I can critique at the moment would be the lines around his chest, I’m not quite sure why they are there but then again, I’ve never looked at an autopsy before. The free transformation should be able to help with making the skin folds work more with the body, and that should really sharpen up the image. Excellent progress above all.

I know that you have been struggling to incorporate all your ideas while still keeping within the brief requirements, and I think what you’re building here is going to turn out really good! The tree coming from the book illustrates the notion you want to convey. Something I think would make it better however, would be enlarging the book and putting it at the bottom of the frame so that it fills all of the foreground to really make it stand out and push your idea even further. Great work!

I think that no matter what your final image is going to be it’s going to portray your notion extremely well. I know that you had doubts about your concept being too cryptic, and the only thing that I could say that might make it easier for the viewer to conceptualise, is having the other faces stand out a bit more (despite you saying you want them to be weak). My reason for saying that is because I really had to look closely at the two figures on the left before I could distinguish them as faces and not whisps of smoke! Love your concept and looking forward to seeing it finished.

I really like the idea of the fourth concept, as I think it could be super effective and thought provoking for the viewer, however I think that the full concept of your article (the drink driving part) may get a little lost. The idea of gambling with life and drinking alcohol can be broad as we see it quite a lot. I love the idea of the roulette board and hope it can all be incorporated!

When I first read that you were doing this article I was unsure which aspects from it you were going to portray, but what you have outlined so far sounds like it will be super effective. Just make sure you don’t get too committed to the idea incase some elements need to be changed later on!