An Ad Is Worth a Thousand Words

My First Introduction to Photoshop

As I began this assignment, I was traveling and only had access to the internet in the house we rented for a couple of days and at the homes of family we visited during our travels.  Our first assignment when we begin a new program is to complete a downloaded worksheet that teaches us how to use the program.  This week we were introduced to Photoshop.

On Monday morning, I had a couple of hours of freetime before I had to pack to begin our journey home.  I decided to download the worksheet and get started.  When I opened the worksheet after I had downloaded it, it was only 1/2″ wide.  I knew I must have done something wrong in the download.  I attempted to download it two more times.  Each time I had the same results.  At this point, I reached out to my teacher through email to see if she could help.  I attempted to download it one more time and I discovered that the tab file in Photoshop said saved at 6.36%.  That gave me the idea that I should be able to enlarge it.  I clicked on the tab View in Photoshop.  There on the list was 100%. I clicked on that and it opened to the full screen.  Not to be profane, but I wanted to get up and dance and sing Hallelujah.

By this time, it was time to pack up and leave and for varying reasons, I was not able to look at the assignment again until late Tuesday evening when we arrived home.  The assignment was due on Wednesday evening and I had to work all day Wednesday, so I used the one time extension to give me a couple of extra days to work on it.  This put me behind on creating my rough draft that had to be submitted by Saturday at noon to give Sister VanSistine time to give a critique on it. Also, I wanted to be sure to get it in for some kind of a grade rather than take a 0.

My Really Rough Draft

I knew my rough draft was really bad.  I was assigned to create an ad for measuring cups.  My target audience was well educated 65 year old males.  Just to give you a good laugh, I am going to post my rough draft here.

Let me know when you are finished laughing and I will continue.  My thought process was a retired man deciding he wanted chocolate chip cookies and deciding to make them himself.  Of course, having had the best all of his working years, he would only consider using the best mixing cups.  Which at that time had to be this measuring cup graphic that I was able to find that I didn’t have to have written permission to use and the Logo for Kitchen Aid.  I was really in a crunch for time and I felt incredibly embarassed by this attempt, but my creative juices just were not flowing.

Even as I submitted this my head was spinning with things I needed to do differently.  I took a break from it Saturday evening and Sunday to let my head clear.  On Monday, I began to do some research on places I could find images that I could legally use without getting written permission.  I would be happy to get permission, but time and finding out how to contact people to use their work was just not a viable option for me for this assignment.  So I had to find images that were legal to use.

Final Draft

After a few revisions, I came up with a final draft I was ready to submit.  One of the requirements was to use creative symbolic communication.  That has been very difficult for me to do.  Here is my final draft.

This is my static tv ad.  The document size had to be 1920px X 1080px.  My resolution on it was 150dpi.

This is my Magazine Half Page Ad.  It is 8.5″ X 5.5″.  Resolution is again 150dpi.

I used the following images to create these ads.


I chose this one from a website called pixabay that offers free use of their images.  All of the images fall under the guidelines of CCO or creative commons use.

This was also found on pixabay as mentioned above, it is a CCO site.

I am pretty proud of these measuring cups.  I hunted for several hours for measuring cups that would look nice and go with my color scheme.  After several hours of finding images and trying to manipulate them, I finally created these cups in Adobe Illustrator.  While not perfect, they definitely worked better than any images I found.

Project Conclusion

While I have struggled with symbolic visual communication, I’m honestly not sure that a 65 year old man with a masters or doctorate degree would really be impressed by a symbolically creative ad.  I think they are men who are intelligent and want things laid out in front of them so they can make a decision without having to decipher what is being communicated to them. At least the men I know who fall into this category are like that.  They are very literal.  This has been a fun project inspite of the frustrating moments.  I wish I had more hours/days to really create a masterpiece.  However, time is rushing by and I do have a deadline.  Once again, a big thanks to our instructor, Jenny VanSistine for her help and guidance.



Baby Steps Into the World of Photography

I have concluded that photography, while a great skill to have, does not come easily to everyone.  I have enjoyed learning about this new skill this week and hope that with lots of practice and more knowledge, I can become a decent photographer.  This assignment is enticing me to purchase a dslr camera to help me gain better skills.

The Rule of Thirds

The above picture is an example of the rule of thirds.  I found it on a website called  The photographer is Jack Morch.  I was not able to find any information about him, but I love this picture.

This picture is an example of the rule of thirds.  The horizon is right at the top horizontal third.  The dandelion drifts away at the top of the left third.  The little girl’s face is centered along the right third of the right vertical side.

The above picture is one that I took with my phone.

The object of focus (my granddaughter, Jordyn) is along the right vertical line that divides the picture into three vertical sections.  The top of her head is right at the point where the top horizontal line and the right vertical line intersects.  I think using the rule of thirds for this photo helps the viewer focus on Jordyn and her Grandpa rather than the background of the photo.

Leading Lines

This picture by Jim Zuckerman is an example of leading lines.  Jim Zuckerman left his medical studies in 1970 in favor of photography. He has written over 20 photography books, teaches photography through webinars and hosts photography tours all over the world. I found this picture at

Leading lines should direct the viewer’s eye directly to the main object of focus.  This picture is a perfect example of that.  Each row of flowers leads us through the photo to the windmill.

The picture of the lilac bush that I took in my backyard is a good example of leading lines.

The top of the fence and the edge of the grass lead directly to this beautiful bush.  The neighboring hedge also gives a very powerful leading line that directs the eyes of the viewer toward the bush.

Depth of Field

I found this example of depth of field at  It was taken by a photographer named Nita and it has a CCO License.

In this example of depth of field, the dandelion stands out in perfect focus while both the middle of the picture and the back of the photo are blurred. The dandelion represents the depth of field in this picture.

This is a photo I took with a borrowed Nikon 5500.  I had never used a dslr camera before so this was a steep learning curve.  These are lilacs in my backyard.  While I have a lot of practising to do to become even an amature photographer, I was happy with this picture.

In this picture, the depth of field is seen in the center lilac which is in focus while the other two lilacs and the background foliage are blurred.  This allows the viewer to focus clearly on the center bloom.

The world of photography is very new to me.  I have never been drawn to or experimented seriously in the field of photography before.  I have taken quick snapshots of family and on family vacations, but never worried about how they turned out.  It was all about the memories.  This has been a fun week and I am looking forward to learning more about photography and the possibilities it could lead to.