“Images construct reality” (Weaver, 1999), and we are constantly surrounded by images: at the newsstand, on TV, on billboards, on the internet, at the checkout counter of nearly every store... There have been numerous studies on the effect of images on the perception of reality, all of which have shown that images can and do influence what we believe is real. In 2001 a research article entitled "The Effect of Experimental Presentation of Thin Media Images on Body Satisfaction: A Meta-Analytic Review" looked at data from 25 different studies. The conclusion of the authors was that media images can and do impact individuals perspectives on what constitutes an ideal body, and had a negative effect on how these individuals viewed themselves. The results were most profound for individuals less than 19 years old. This unit challenges students to consider the ethics of digital photo editing and the impact of images on culture, while giving them the skills to enhance and alter digital images. By manipulating images themselves, they can become more informed consumers of images. This unit challenges students to reflect on the nature of digital photography, and the integrity of photos.
Audience: Appropriate for Middle School, High School, or College Students
Students will be able to identify and articulate the significance of various digital editing techniques.
Students will be able to articulate how “doctored” images impact culture.
Using a digital image editing program students will doctor a photograph with specific intent.
Students will be able to identify specific tools needed for specific editing techniques, and show skill in using such tools.
NH Visual Arts Standards:
#1 Apply appropriate media, techniques and processes
a. select media and analyze how it effectively communicates and expresses ideas;
b.use the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas;
a. apply media, techniques, and processes with sufficient skill, confidence, and sensitivity in ways that reflect their intentions;
b.create works of visual art that demonstrate a connection between personal expression and the intentional use of art materials, techniques, and processes;
#4 Analyze the visual arts in relation to history and culture
#6 Students will make connections among the visual arts, other disciplines, and daily life
#4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
#5 Digital Citizenship
-access to a computer lab (f2f)
-computer with sound capabilities and a projector (f2f)
-LMS using "choice" (online)
-Digital Image Editing Software: Photoshop/Gimp/FotoFlexer/Piknik
-student journal (either digital or paper)
Approximate Time Requirements
Introduce unit by telling students that in this unit they will learn to paint with pixels (the little dots of colors that makeup a digital image. We will also look at the power of images to effect not only our emotions, but our perceptions of reality. When does something go from being “interpretive” to “deceitful” ? Is it the artist’s duty to make it clear? If a picture tells a story, and that story can be factual or fiction or historical fiction, is it the artist’s duty to make sure the audience understands the genre?