Can You Picture It? Visual Rhetorics and Argument
Work to have achieved:
- A final-for-now version of your soundscape narratives
- Write and post reflection on same
- Download and install GIMP, the Gnu Image Manipulation Program
Plan for the day:
- Visual unit overview and assignment
- Introduction to GIMP
- Practice time
Visual unit overview and assignment
As I explained in the syllabus, your second project is to make a rhetorical claim through the juxtaposition of images and text. It’s kind of a collage, but a collage with an argument to make. In assigning this, I have two main goals for you:
- to learn how to capture images and arrange them using digital tools, and
- to explore the affordances of still images as a medium, and especially their ability to direct attention and help make ideas memorable.
Let’s read through this together.
I’ve started pinning some examples of the kinds of collages and collisions I have in mind, but don’t take this as expressing some absolute sense of range: https://www.pinterest.com/benmiller314/visual-argumentexplanation/
Our Tool of Choice: GIMP
(It stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program.)
I’ll demo, using Beverly & Pack. “Fly Me to the Moon, by Way of a Hot Air Balloon.”” 7 Sept. 2009. Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/walkadog/3897126692/.
Points to hit:
- Single window mode
- Lots of selection tools
- Quick Mask to help see what’s currently selected
- Pay attention to the tiny text at the bottom
- Layers! Of course layers
- Clone tool; tool settings window
- Scale effects. Rasters vs. vectors
Take the time now to practice adding and subtracting to a selection using the various tools, because that’s what you’ll need before you can use any of the other effects.
To fill with color, try the Bucket tool.
EXT: Google Image’s Advanced Search Tools
Not everything is just available for any use – even if you can find it on a public website. See my FAQ from last year at https://cdm2017.majoringinmeta.net/lesson-04/#key-questions-and-considerations-20-30-min.
Homework for next time:
- Read the following short lessons on graphic design, by independent designer Julie Thompson: positive and negative space; dominance and hierarchy; rhythm and movement.
- Find and photograph at least one example of a visual or graphic design out in “the wild” that makes some sort of claim, or argument.
- By “in the wild,” I mean that I expect you to come across some in the course of your daily routine. That said, if you need to search more actively, so be it.
- The claim or argument could be explicit or implicit.
- Write a short blog post, sharing your visual argument example. Examine it through the lenses of positive/negative, dominance/hierarchy, and rhythm/movement: what does that help you see? Would you say this is effectively designed for making its argument? (NB: If the argument is implicit, please try to articulate what you think it’s claiming.)
- Post this to the issue queue, under “Visual Arguments are Everywhere”.