Thursday, October 1, 2015

FOURTH GRADE . . . Is it real or is it Photoshopped?

Fourth graders are discovering the magic of modern technology in their general art class. With our self portrait project, we are going to explore how art can be expressed using software on the computer. The art of Andy Warhol (1928-1987) is the inspiration for our digital transformations. Andy Warhol saw dramatic changes in the 20th century with factories mass producing products such as Campbell's soup and Coca Cola, and television and movies flashing a constant stream of celebrities, athletes and politicians into our daily lives. His artwork reflected the pop culture of America and he quickly became as famous as the well known people and products he portrayed. Towards the end of his career, he began to see the implication of a digital platform as a creative tool. Imagine what he could have done using the art of Adobe Photoshop!

Adobe Photoshop is a wonderful retouching tool for graphic artists as well as anyone who owns a digital camera or cell phone. Most of us know how to upload photos to a computer and use them in different applications. Therefore, we should also know how to correct a photo, change its size or alter the color. With Photoshop, fourth graders will learn how to do all of that, as well as discover how to change a digital image into a creative and original work of art.

With new advances in technology there is always a moment we have to step back and review what impact this new technology will make in our lives. When I was younger, cameras used film to record images. Unless you were very skilled at darkroom techniques, the image was printed just as it was captured by the camera lens. The best we could do at the time was use a pair of scissors to crop the photo. Now with software such as Adobe Photoshop, photos can be altered and you would never realize a change was made. Photographs can no longer be assumed to reflect real life.

Here is a video by Dove Beauty that I shared with my classes this week. The video really highlights the significance of Photoshop and the impact it has on our perception of beauty and reality.