Feds Spotlight on… Me!

Joanne Lau

Every week, the Federation of Students (Feds) will profile an outstanding club, volunteer, or part-time staff member in the Spotlight series.

I was featured in a Feds Spotlight a while back and it made me think of how being a Graphic Designer at Feds has influenced me.

I have worked for the Feds Marketing Department for almost two years now. I’ve work part-time during my academic terms and it really boosts my happiness level during school. It’s a great work environment and the people who I work with are extremely awesome. I actually look forward to working there and I can’t wait to go back.

The job has given me many opportunities that I would not have been able to find elsewhere. Most of my Design Portfolio is from my work at Feds. One of my favourite projects was designing the menu for the Bombshelter Pub. I’m also able to incorporate photography into the job every once in a while too. I had so much fun covering the concert with Faber Drive during Feds Welcome Week.

Working as a Graphic Designer for Feds has really increased my passion for design. Before, it was more like a side hobby but I’ve learned that design is something you can and should integrate with everyday life. I’ve considered multiple futures for myself but I know now that design will definitely be related to whatever I end up doing.


Project 365 Completed!

On September 1, 2010, I decided I wanted to try and do a photo project. I ended up choosing to do a “Project 365” where you take a photo every day for an entire year. I am proud to say that on August 31, 2011, I completed it! There were days where the conditions were not ideal but I still persevered.

My Project 365 can be viewed here

Everything You Discover at Waterloo Belongs to You

The University of Waterloo has been undergoing some changes lately in terms of transitioning to their new look and feel. They have been working on a new redesign for the homepage and through this whole process they have asked for the community’s feedback. I think getting the community involved and getting their input is such a great thing. It’s pretty much a win-win situation.

A large part of the new homepage design is a photo feature. This image, which will change on a regular basis, is not supposed to be a marketing-quality picture. Rather, we want this picture to be an extension of what it’s like to be a part of uWaterloo, from the insider’s perspective.

I read this and thought that this would be a good opportunity to try and get some of my photography out there. I submitted this shot and they ended up using it! It’s really neat to see your own photograph on the University of Waterloo homepage!

20th Annual Beach Cruize Weekend

At Wasaga Beach, Corvettes were lined up across the parking lot (I played around with HDR Toning in this photo just to experiment)

This weekend I attended the 20th Annual Beach Cruize Weekend at Wasaga Beach where there was a showcase of many Corvettes by their proud owners. It’s interesting how the Corvettes all are so very different and unique but they all look very distinguishable at the same time.

I looked up their website and they have an interesting motto.

Wherever great sports cars gather, Corvette is front and center.

The Chevrolet Corvette is marketed as “America’s Sports Car”. Of course I have a few facts that I’d like to share that I found from Car Tuning Central

  • The original front emblem logo on the Corvettes that made the trade show circuit featured a checkered flag and an American flag crossed, later Chevrolet was alerted to the fact that it is illegal to use an American flag on a trademark and the logo was changed.
  • As revolutionary that the Corvette was when introduced in 1953, the only part or component included in its manufacturing that was not already available in other Chevrolet models was the fiberglass body.
  • Manual transmission was listed as an option on the 1954 Chevrolet Corvette, but no model was ordered, manufactured, or delivered that year with a manual transmission.
  • The 1958 Chevrolet Corvette was the first ‘Vette with factory installed seat belts.
  • The first year that an AM/FM radio was offered as an option in a Corvette was 1968.
  • The 1963 through 1967 Corvettes were known as “Sting Rays”. The model name disappeared in 1968, but returned in 1969 only to be spelled as one word, “Stingray”
  • The last Corvette manufactured to run on the old style “leaded” fuel was produced in 1974.
  • The most Chevrolet Corvettes ever manufactured in one year was over 53,807 in 1979.
  • The first Corvette produced with windshield wipers that clear water in the same direction instead of opposing directions was made in 1997.
  • In 2005, Chevrolet manufactured Corvettes without the famous pop-up headlights for the first time since 1962.

I thought this was a very interesting license plate for a Corvette

I am not really a “car person” per say, but I do really  like the aesthetic appearance of the Corvette. I am pretty sure I won’t come into ownership of a Corvette anytime soon, but I will continue to watch Chevrolet grow and produce more interesting Corvettes.

Photo Manipulation

Photo manipulation is the application of image editing techniques to photographs in order to create an illusion or deception (in contrast to mere enhancement or correction), through analog or digital means.

There are many differing opinions about photo manipulation in general. There are extremists that think it should not be done at all, or others that think it is acceptable in all cases. Others think that photo manipulation should be allowed depending on the situation. I am one to believe that there are times when photo manipulation is appropriate and other times when it is not.

The earliest recorded case of photo manipulation was in the 1800s with Abraham Lincoln’s head John Calhoun’s body. Before we had computers, people would use to use techniques such as ink, paint, scratching or manipulation while in the darkroom. There are also some people think manipulations in darkrooms are more acceptable than digital manipulations.

The majority of people think that using photo manipulation in journalism is not acceptable. There have been many controversial cases where photo manipulation was used and it changed the photo in such a way where it depicted a visual lie or “exaggerated” the photo. The National Press Photographers Association have actually written a Code of Ethics and one of the points are:

Editing should maintain the integrity of the photographic images’ content and context. Do not manipulate images or add or alter sound in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects.

I agree with this for journalism. I used to think minor edits were okay if you just changed the brightness, contrast and colours. I was surprised to find that just changing those small details can really “change” the photo and the mood and tone expressed as well. There’s a very blurry line as to what is just fixing the photo and going too far.

Now if we switch over to advertisement, it’s a whole different world. If you look through a magazine, chances are you won’t find a single picture that hasn’t been manipulated. This seems to be accepted now, and should it be?

The image above is a photo of Keira Knightley before and after photo manipulation. It still looks like her, but note the changes. They added volume to her hair, changed the colours of the image and increased the size of her bust. The background is more exciting and they’ve added marks on her face and arms.In my personal opinion, I think it takes it too far when we change how the person actually looks. Even Keira Knightley herself stated that she didn’t want this.

I do believe that photo manipulation can be an art. I’ve seen fantastic pieces where a photo has been changed to depict the impossible and I think it can be lovely. I also think that in some advertisements, it is implemented so well as a display of creativity that it really does work towards advertising their product. I think as long as the artist in question makes it very clear that they are using manipulation to place a statement or idea, then it’s fine. The picture below is creating a concept that would otherwise be very difficult to reproduce in real life. It’s not trying to make you think that you are actually seeing what you are seeing. I think it’s done so well and it would be a shame if this person was not allowed or discouraged to use photo manipulation for this art.