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Sign Language / Abstraction

For my fourth mobile device project, I chose the theme of Sign Language and Abstraction. For Sign Language you should go around your local areas such as your house, complex, streets, neighborhoods and take pictures of literal signs or any picture that is explaining something. For Abstraction, they should showcase something but twist it a little bit to make the readers think more. This can be achieved by changing the angles of the photos, playing with color, and playing with shadows and light. Anything can be abstract. 


The first photo is a pretty straight forward Sign Language photo with the trash cans all lined up with printed signs on them telling people what to do to save the environment. However, this photo can be seen as abstract because of the unusual color and perfect line-up of the trash cans. The symmetry and the way the signs aren't too prominent yet valid, make the photo Sign Language with a bit of Abstraction.

The second photo also has a mixture between Sign Language and Abstraction. It is Sign Language because of the literal exit sign and the way that it is telling someone where to go. I wanted to keep this Sign Language in the editing by lighting only the sign. It is Abstraction with the angle of the photograph and the unusual creeping shadows on the side of the sign that makes the viewer see it more. This is why I added a lot of contrast to the photo and desaturated it. 

The third photo furthermore follows a mixture between between Sign Language and Abstraction. It is Sign Language because of the little sign at the top of the fire hydrant that I tried to highlight in post with cropping and highlights. It's Abstraction because of the angle of the photograph being on level with the fire hydrant which isn't usual. I know it's not a lot of abstraction but it still makes the viewer look more. For editing, I made the photo less saturated and increased the shadows and black point.

The fourth photo again has a mixture between Sign Language and Abstraction. It has Sign Language because of the literal handicapped sign that is telling someone where to park. However it is Abstraction because of the perfect lighting from the ceiling lights covering the sign perfectly. In order for me to get this perfect light I needed to angle my phone downwards and focus on juxtaposing the light on the sign. For this photo, I made it black and white and increased the shadows and black point in order to make the highlights pop and the photo more dramatic overall..

The final photo is mostly Sign Language with the sign telling people where not to go and where not to stand. I wanted to really show the seriousness of the sign by adding a lot more contrast and giving it a lower angle to give it more power. In editing I gave the photo less color and made sure that everything was sharpe in order to explain and show how important signs are to our daily lives.

This photo walk was successful because of my ability to look past the norm and be able to make abstraction out of ordinary signs and objects. I was able to walk around my neighborhood by myself with my phone for around an hour and take a lot of photos that were of signs, weird abstractions and other thing I never would have thought of taking. One thing I was challenged with was trying to make signs look interesting and just as important to the viewer as they are to everyone in reality. Even Though it was hard, I needed to understand that anything can be a photo no matter what it is.


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