ds106

Expecto Paw-tronum!

As soon as I saw this assignment on ds106 I knew I had to do it! I love nothing better than puns, and putting together animal and human is just asking for some sweet, sweet puns to be made.

And so I give you…. Ron Weasel-y!

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My love for Harry Potter is one that has lasted for many years, and I feel as though this pun has just been waiting to be made that entire time. From the red fur to match the classic Weasley red hair, to that smirk on Ron’s face that says “I’m a weasel and I’m proud!”, I think this image may just be my favourite thing I’ve created this semester.

With basic knowledge of Photoshop (or a similar program such as gimp) this photo manipulation is easy enough to create. I just used the polygonal lasso tool to cut Ron’s face out, then copied and pasted it into the image of the weasel. After that, a little bit of touch up with the eraser tool and using the clone tool to get rid of some out of place whiskers resulted in this finished product!

Photo manipulation is something that I have tried in the classroom before, and has both gone really well and crashed and burned. For a classroom that’s very comfortable with computers, building skills in Photoshop and becoming comfortable with the various tools can be a great way to engage kids in graphic arts. I’ve had students excel in creating photo manipulations and be extremely proud of the work they’ve done. Other classes, however, may become frustrated with the finickiness of the lasso tool in particular and see photo manipulation as a waste of time.

With that being said I think it’s a really useful (and fun!) skill to learn in our technological world as many students may be interested in the growing field of graphic design. I will definitely continue to try and teach graphic design to students in the future, and hopefully photo manipulation finds a place in that.

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This world can be ugly, but isn’t it beautiful?

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For my first try at tackling an assignment from the DS106 assignment bank I chose to a visual task that asked the creator to combine their favourite lyric with an image to make the meaning even stronger. The assignment can be found here if you’re interested in seeing more about it.

I chose the lyric “This world can be ugly, but isn’t it beautiful?” from the song “There, There, Katie” by Jack’s Mannequin. This lyric has stuck with me for a few years now. I think it means that even though our world might feel overrun with dark and ugly times, the beautiful parts of our world are always out there if we just look for them. The picture I chose to pair it with is one that I took a couple years ago, and I think it shows off a small beautiful moment in the clouds that could easily be missed if you’re not taking the time to look for it.

I found this activity to be very accessible. Though I used Photoshop to create the image, it could easily be done on any online picture editing website. It’s the kind of assignment that has a million different possibilities for placement, image choice, and lyric choice which opens it up to a wide variety of students, and can therefore be engaging for students of all kinds.

During my internship I did some work with quotes with my grade 8 students. They loved being able to share their personal favourites and many of them chose song lyrics to share with the members of our class. I think adding this photographic element to that would result in even more deeper thinking about how to visually represent the words, as well as a great cross-curricular connection between Visual Arts and Language Arts!