I downloaded a Photoshop trial and started playing around with my assets yesterday to see what I can do with them.

Destructive Photoshop WIP photo

This obviously isn’t the best I’m capable of (well I hope it’s not), but it is a good mock up of how I want my assets to be placed.

I need to do a recap on non-destructive photoshop techniques and also on adjusting colour with layer masks.

I’m going to change the photo I used for my model as I think it will be better to have him holding the syringe rather than sitting it on top of his hands, because that looks funny.

I think that I’ll also add in a few more donuts down at the bottom and a few more candy skulls to really saturate the image with sweetness.

I’d also like to add some bruising to the forearm of the model to reiterate the fact that he is injecting himself with the sugar like a drug


Source Photos

Despite the fact that all of my photos could have been taken on the same day, I was magically able to spread the task out over the period of a week (what an achievement).

While working my idea through with my tutor, I have managed to incorporate a lot of the assets that I proposed with my thumbnails, which I hope will convey my message strongly.

It took a lot of effort to find somewhere that sold a syringe (no one does, surprisingly), but turns out that one of my grandparents did – they always save the day. I then also took a photo of a sewing needle so I can easily just fit it onto the end of the syringe to give it a realistic effect.


Even though my background is super bright, I’m hoping to blur it and darken the colours so you cannot really make out what it is, just that it is a part of a home – however, not a particularly nice home, one that is rundown and neglected.

IMG_5277 IMG_5267 IMG_5220

I took photos of my model both with and without the syringe in his hands, and when I start to make my final image I’ll decide which one I decide to work with. At the moment I’m unsure whether the model photos will work at all, but I can’t know until I start producing my final image.

The sweets were fun to shoot with. Not only did I take photos of the candy all set up like in the above photo, but I also broke it down into single elements so I can build upon the original to create something more extravagant if I need.

Now I must start creating a mock up of what I wish to complete, I can never start creating blindly without a plan. Hopefully it’s something that I can work with.

Concept Thumbnails

I very much enjoyed colouring in these thumbnails, I cannot remember the last time I coloured something in!

Following are my conceptual thumbnails, some with components that I hope to incorporate into my final image and others that have more developed ideas.20150327_143158-1


  1. This was my first idea that inspired me to choose this article initially. I love the idea of having a brain in my image but since the brief requires a photoreal image to be submitted, I’m starting to think that this idea won’t end up working out.
  2. The second idea that I have is to incorporate a brain with 20150327_143232-1sugar. My thumbnail shows sugar filling up the brain by falling of a spoon, kind of like a waterfall. With this concept I would be hoping to convey the concept of time a well, running out of time specifically. The way the sugar is falling into the brain looks like a sandtimer which is how I would show that aspect.
  3. Obviously with an article about sugar there has to be the sugary food component! I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to incorporate it as of yet since I have quite a few ideas in my head, 20150327_143301-1but the predominant concept is to have it in the shape of a brain of inside the shape of a brain, but with the photoreal requirement really starting to dictate my work I believe I’ll have to rethink this idea.

  4. My chosen article discusses sugar’s effects on the brain being similar to that of drugs, so I had the idea of using a 20150327_143219-1syringe to convey that. The idea of injecting oneself with sugar, which we do in a way when we crave sweet things, I think is a powerful message and the use of a syringe and sugar would help to convey this. There is sugar in the syringe and coming out of the syringe, and I’ve also put a few symbols of death and of first aid in the tube.
  5. My final thumbnail is one that I have thought of most recently, and is an image of a bloodshot eye with bags underneath and20150327_143252-1 a dilated pupil. The pupil is reflecting a spoon with sugar pouring off it and making a huge mound of it on the ground. In terms of making a photoreal composition, I feel that this one will be the most achievable and compliant to the brief, but I’m not going to make any final decisions yet.

Communication Objectives

Just as a recap, my article is called Here’s What Happens To Your Brain When You Give Up Sugar.

The main, and clearly obvious, notion this article conveys is the effect that sugar has on our brains. With popular culture being infatuated with organic foods and eating clean and healthy, there’s no surprise to see an abundance of articles detailing sugar’s effects on the internet. The reason why I like this article so much is because it comes from a reputable website that I enjoy reading in my spare time. Not only that, but this article specifically details what it’s like to ‘quit’ sugar, not just that it is bad for you.

The main point that I hope to convey through my photoreal image is an idea that is reiterated throughout this article:

Trying to quit sugar is almost equivalent to “detoxing from drugs [of abuse].”

This article explains how sugar activates the pleasure receptors in our brain and therefore makes us want to continue eating.

These were the notions that I found most interesting and I’ve decided that’s what I want to show the most – the comparison between drugs and sugar and how we just can’t get enough.

I’ve had a few ideas bouncing around my head in regards to assets and composition that I will share with you all!

  • I definitely want to have a brain in there somewhere (or a brain shaped outline). I’m unsure yet as to how I will achieve this since we have to photograph our own assets, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out.
  • Bright, sweet foods. I want my image to have an overload of sugary foods. The use of colour will be vital in my image as I will try to have foods popping out of the image, making is difficult to focus on one item.
  • I also have just decided that I want a black background to represent the seriousness of sugar addiction and really make the brightness of the sugary foods pop.
  • Sugar, of course. Whether falling like water or sitting on a spoon or filling up a brain. Something along those lines.
  • A syringe to convey the idea of drugs and using sugar as a means of injecting oneself with a ‘sugar hit’ (like drinking an energy drink).

I’m trying not to narrow down my ideas at this stage as I don’t want to commit to a single idea just yet, in case things don’t work out exactly as I envisage.

Article 2.0

I have finally decided on my article, and after all that deliberation outlined in my previous post I have picked one that is totally different to all my other ideas.

My article is from and can be found here. The article discusses sugar’s adverse affect on the brain and how the unknown addiction that the majority of the Western world has to sugar, has many similarities with being addicted to drugs like cocaine.

Source/ iflscience article and Shutterstock

The concept of sugar’s addictive nature and that it is highly abundant in most of our foods (you’d be surprised as to which foods don’t contain sugar these days), I feel there is a strong connection between myself and this article. I already have small ideas and images popping into my head as I read the article but am going to begin by doing further research into icons and composition so I can apply them to my assignment.


The good part about second year at university is that suddenly a lot more opportunities open up for student to be able to present their own ideas and interests when it comes to assignments. For out first visual communication brief we have to create a visual representation for an article of our choice.

I do a lot of reading online (although now a lot less time for it with uni taking up all my free thinking space) and have a few niches that I like to comfortably slip myself into and becoming lost. I am a feminist and therefore also enjoy reading feminist/equalist articles. I feel that an image represent these notions could be powerful. While browsing the internet I stumbled across articles like this and this, which I believe would be challenging for someone like me with little photoshop experience but rewarding if done right.

Secondly, I’m also super interested in religion despite not being religious myself. The notion that one must conform to the made up rules of a particular deity’s scripture is something I find astounding and might be really fun to play with. I’ve previously read these two articles (one and two) and have though of them both in relation to this assignment.

I still have so many ideas slowly marauding my mind, weaving between all the tasks to do with other assignments, but I’m sure something soon will come to me so I can finalise this first step!