Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Week 10 games


Hands of War 2

The Dreamhold

Castaway 2

London Road

Choice of the Dragon

Friday, October 12, 2012

Photo Essay - Andrew Tohme and Alice Gracie


Andrew Tohme - 42851769
Alice Gracie - 42869013


We have chosen the theme of shadows to reflect Susan Murray’s concept of the ‘everyday aesthetic’ for our photo essay. Almost every place is imbued with a variety of different shadows and reflections. This could range from a reflection coming off a light from an object or something as simple as your own shadow. Each day, we constantly pass hundreds of shadows without taking notice to any of them. It is this concept which Murray explores that alerts the amateur photographer’s fascination. Thus, this logically creates our sub-theme of ‘unnoticed’. We have chosen this theme in order to reflect Murray’s concept of the everyday aesthetic of “immediate, small and mundane objects” (Murray 2008, p151).

We have decided to embed the song “Explosions in the moon” by Beatlove. Shadows generally evoke somewhat eerie and uncanny connotations. Therefore, the dark and ominous tone of the music we have chosen fits seemingly in with our theme. The tune by Beatlove aptly fits the tenor that we are trying to convey in our photo essay.


Murray, S (2008) Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics. Journal of Visual Culture August 2008 vol. 7(2). 147-163

Photo Essay: Jazz Infused Street Lamps

Theme: Light
Sub Theme: Street Lamps

Understanding how I took, manipulated and produced my images, it is easy to see how “digital photography has in many ways raised our standards for the quality of the image … we erase our mistakes and work to find the best shot before saving it” (Murray 2008, p145) so our end product exceeds our ability to create the perfect photo.
Jazz Infused Street Lamps is my photo essay highlighting the everyday presence of light with reference in particular to street lamps. Many of the photos taken were located throughout Europe and Sydney, so the positioning, effects (Sepia, Black and White and the Antique) and transitions used, aimed to highlight both the Street Lamps (main focus) and the background in which the image was captured. The use of Jazz/Blues as the soundtrack proved more versatile as it wasn’t limited to particular pictures and atmospheric creation. This inturn creates ambience and evokes a sense of feeling for the individual, highlighting the power and history of certain images in contrast to the others, depicting the everyday aesthetic of Light in a new light.

Murray, S 2008, ‘Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notion of Everyday Aesthetics’, Journal of Visual Culture, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 147-163.

Photo Essay- Bird Droppings

Bird Droppings in the Everyday Aesthetic

By Maddison Colgate and Jordan Murray

Humans unknowingly engage with bird droppings on a regular basis, as a result of it being a small and mundane aspect of their lives. This idea relates directly to Murray’s (2008)concept of the everyday aesthetic. She makes links between amateur photography and ‘ephemera’ photography, and their importance in creating a purely realistic portrayal of human surroundings, as well as the unnoticed aspects that we encounter on a daily basis. Bird droppings demonstrate these concepts as a very common object within our lives we have become disillusioned to this typically ‘grotesque’ matter. We endeavoured to reveal the modest beauty behind this ordinary phenomenon by capturing the subtle elements of the droppings through its variety of distinct colours and textures on a wide range of surface. These included, light fittings, concrete and pathways, park benches, poles, and rubbish bins. We were able to capture these images in a style that creates total, raw, realism and urbanisation- thus, leading our photo essay to be one characterised by amateur photography. Many of these images depict bird droppings in different stages of decay and decomposition. By capturing these stages it poses the idea that bird droppings are polluting the urban environment which directly links to Murrays’ idea of ephemera.
Through our editing process we implemented a practise, explored by Murray (2008), which involved deleting selected areas of an image - to ensure that our photos would directly communicate with audiences effectively and  be more manageable within our iMovie process. This process is commonly known as “Lossy compression” (Murray, 2008, pp.150). It is clear that by using many of the techniques Murray (2008) has described in her work “Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics” that we have successfully understood and captured the everyday aesthetic.

Sun City Flats- Ryan E. Goodwin (2009), Attribution- NonCommercial- Share Alike 3.0 USA License, http://freemusicarchive.org/music/E_Ryan_Goodman/Sun_City_Flats/.

Photo Essay: Clocks


Theme: Clocks

Stephanie Edmonds 42857813
Rachael Sharp 42853796

Photos often are recognized as a method in capturing special occasions or important moments in time. However, Susan Murray’s notion of the ‘Everyday Aesthetic’ focuses on the idea of capturing things and objects that would not normally be noticed or recognized. It is about the mundane images or moments that occur on a daily basis.

For our photo essay we decided on the topic of ‘Clocks’. Clocks are objects that hold great significance in our daily lives. Without clocks we wouldn’t be able to fulfill our daily tasks or appointments. Hence, they remain vital objects in our lives but often aren’t seen as such. When undertaking the task we noticed that clocks are present wherever we go, whether small or large.  For instance, on phones, iPad’s, computers, shelves, bedside tables, hallways or even in your kitchens. It was noted that digital clocks now appear more than analog. This emphasized the increase of digital media in our everyday lives. Evidently, clocks are becoming more apparent in our lives and therefore clearly depict and emphasize Susan Murray’s notion of the ‘Everyday Aesthetic’.

In our photo essay, we included the music “Instrumental Revenge” by Carter William. This music is simple yet holds the digital quality that we wanted to depict. It begins with a distinct ticking sound, which identifies with an analog clock then transitions into a digitalized sound, which resonates with audiences today. It complements the images, moving between analog and digital. Our aim was to illustrate this changing nature in society whilst capturing the ‘Everyday Aesthetic’.

Murray, S (2008) Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics. Journal of Visual Culture August 2008 vol. 7(2). 147-163

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Photo Essay: Sliding Doors

Gabrielle Wheeler McGregor 42458897
Justin Pabustan 42873479

Theme: Public Transport/Subtheme: Train Doors


Our main theme for our photo essay is public transport, with our sub-theme being train doors. We chose this because transport is something that most of us use every day of our lives and never take the time to stop and notice the details that surround us. Everyday transport has been so subtly integrated into our lifestyle, therefore it often goes unnoticed. Our film attempts to recognise and explore the every day aesthetic described by Murray,S (2008, pp 161)) as one that "privileges the small, the mundane, the urban and the industrial" with our focal point being train doors.  The video also attempts to reveal the strong dependency we have on these means, as it connects and ties different places and communities together, allowing everyone a convenient and accessible means of travel. These connotations would be and have been easily missed as people simply do not take the time to step back and admire it by itself and really think about it in a standpoint of everyday aesthetics.

To capture our shots we chose to use our iPhones to encapsulate and demonstrate the notion of amateur photography. Our images, through the use of our iPhone's, manage to capture the spontaneity of amateur photography, and demonstrated the process as a discovery in itself.

We chose to use the technique of stop motion to introduce movement into our film which helps the audience to re-live the experience of everyday commuting and travel. The stop motion technique also gave the process and the film a sense of being out of control, and capturing the moment as it played out in front of us, further demonstrating the notion of amateur photography.

References: Murray, S. 2008, ‘Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics’, Journal of Visual Culture, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp.147-163

Photo Essay - Paper: Shape and Form

Photo Essay - Paper: Shape and Form


Modern photography has seen a shift from the idea of capturing special occasions or rarefied moments, to exploring the aspects of our everyday lives that contribute to our construction of self and the world around us (Murray, 2008: 151). This change, along with technologies that blur distinctions between the professional and the beginner, have instigated movements of amateur photography
. Trends have adopted an attraction to the everyday aesthetic of otherwise mundane objects and ephemera that would usually go unnoticed. Thus, the theme for our Photo Essay is 'Paper'; an ordinary accessible object, yet one that can be both simply and complexly transformed into artwork.

We were both fascinated with the idea of how paper can be cut, sculpted, coloured and burnt, which generated the idea of our sub-theme; shape and form. Our short film commences with mundane images of plain, one dimensional paper, in a printer tray and a blank notepad. It then progresses to multifaceted images that demonstrate how paper can be manipulated to create art; producing paper doll chains, three dimensional origami, brightly lit paper lanterns and birthday cards. The order of our images corresponds with the building of the music track, becoming brighter and venturing towards more creative paper forms. We have incorporated the dissolve, blur and fade to black transitions; enabling subtle, sophisticated and professional cross cutting between images. Thus, the colour, lighting, positioning and movement of our images capture the everyday aesthetic of paper and transform it into art.

Kristen Gillies 42458110
Ashleigh Lee-Joe 42876346

Ready to Drink

Danielle George (42914175) & Yvonne Nemes (42862906)

The main theme of our Photo Essay is "Ready to Drink". We initially began with the theme 

being simply "Drinks", but this sub-theme emerged from the collection of photographs we took, and became the focus and main theme.
Our Photo Essay addresses Murray's (2008) idea of the 'everyday aesthetic' in its exploration of one aspect of everyday life. Its appeal lies in what Murray  refers to as an "ability to locate beauty in the mundane" (2008, pg. 155)
Humanity thrives through a basic group of instinctive needs. The theme of our photos includes drinks, from the casual stay-at-home person all the way to the socialite. Our photos are then in fact able to take this culture, this necessary tradition of our lives and to then place them into a visual perspective. Thus we are representing Murray’s concept of everyday aesthetics through finding and capturing this meaningful part of who we are. As Murray (2008) says, our relationship toward digital media and social sites has "significantly altered our relationship to the practice of photography" (2008, pg. 161). She still then reaffirms that our idea of “the everyday communal aesthetic that has been constructed is one that privileges the small, the mundane, the urban, and the industrial”(2008, pg. 161) – humanity cannot go on without food or water, just as the socialite cannot go without recognition. They are two and the same.

References: Murray, S. 2008, ‘Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics’, Journal of Visual Culture, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp.147-163

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Photo Essay: Refrigerator Endoscopy

MAS110 Photo Essay Rationale
Thomas Williams - 42909465
David Scro - 42848350

Photo Essay Title: Refrigerator Endoscopy


Our central theme is food in fridges, which we chose for its mundanity and relation to the idea of an everyday aesthetic.

The ‘Everyday Aesthetic’

Our photo essay evokes the ‘everyday aesthetic’, as prescribed by Murray (2008). It does this through an ‘exploration of the urban eye and its relation to decay, alienation, kitsch, and its ability to locate beauty in the mundane’ (ibid. 2008:155); it captures moments which are not typically captured, and not typically seen as being of artistic value. 

This can be seen in our photos, as they capture the latent artistic merit of everyday moments. The photos progress in a warm/cold light/dark cheerful/bleak set of binaries, highlighting difference and nuance between frames.


Our composition seeks to ‘establish a connection with the image that is simultaneously fleeting and a building block of a biographical or social narrative’ (ibid. 2008:155). Editing our photos using iPhoto allowed us to create a movement from warm to cold, working alongside the fridges’ movement from full to empty. The Ken Burns effect was utilised to create subtle illusions of movement, creating both rhythm and momentum. 

We emphasised this movement by using two contrasting songs by Nine Inch Nails. A heavy, warm tone is used to add colour to the first section, and a light, cold tone is used to emphasise both the stark aesthetic of the second section, and its role in creating a progression for our decaying narrative.


Murray, S, 2008, ‘Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics’, Journal of Visual Culture, vol. 7 (2), pp.147-163

Kitchen Objects

Digital Media Production Rationale

“Kitchen Objects”

We chose the theme of kitchen objects, as we believe that it is a simple yet effective theme to communicate the everyday aesthetic through photography. Murray (2008 p. 151) discusses the shift in photography as moving away from capturing ‘special or rarefied moments of domestic/family living and more about an immediate, rather fleeting display of one’s discovery of the small and mundane’. The theme kitchen objects demonstrates this, as kitchen objects are the epitome of everyday, mundane items. We cook with them, we eat food off them and we clean them. Once their use has been fulfilled they are forgotten until once again needed. All actions an average person completes in a day starts and finishes in the kitchen.  Our fleeting moments with kitchen objects embody the new form of everyday aesthetic photography known as ‘ephemera’ where images focus on the discovery of ordinary subject matter with no lasting meaning (Murray 2008, p.155). To enhance such dull objects the avid photographers within this genre seek to highlight their natural beauty through ‘composition, use of lighting and framing’ (Murray 2008, p.155).  Similarly, our use of neutral backgrounds, positioning and editing draws focus to the unique aspects of each object’s everyday aesthetic.


Murray, S 2008, ‘Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notion of Everyday Aesthetics’, Journal of Visual Culture, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 147-163.

Hannah Dunlop 42820286
Lynette Anne (Annie) Collins 42797055

My photography essay, titled "Stairs to Nowhere", epitomizes the simple beauty of the commonly overlooked stair. To illustrate their subtle attractive quality, I selected Darling Harbour as my site of photography, notorious as one of the world's most spectacular harbors. The positioning of everyday stairs against the beauty of Sydney's Opera House and Darling Harbour draws a parallel between the simplistic aesthetic of the stairs, and the breathtaking city views. Although stairs, as a commonplace structure, go unnoticed as objects of beauty, their essential purpose enables us, as mobile humans, to access areas beyond our reach. They typify the basic brilliance of simple human technology, and allow us to reach the highs and lows of our urban landscape, thus the choice of my photography subject.

Ellen Jephcott
MAS110: Semester 2 Lab 13
Music - "Quit Bitching" by Broke for Free, from the Album 'Layers'. Released April 8th, 2012
Licensed Under Creative Commons Attribution, Noncommercial.

Software: iPhoto, iMovie 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


My Name


Friday, August 31, 2012

Online Essay - Digital Media Convergence in Relation to Advertising and New Media

Discuss the phenomenon of digital media convergence in relation to Advertising & New Media.

In the current media climate, advertising seems to be something that is virtually inescapable. Advertising industries have evolved, leaving advertising companies “dissatisfied with the uncertain performance of ‘old’ media” (Spurgeon 2008 pp.27). This is largely due to the evolution of the Internet, which is now a significant force in media and advertising flows. Dwyer (2010) defines ‘media convergence’ as “the process whereby new technologies are accommodated by existing media”. In the case of advertising and new media, the Internet plays the role of the new technology, being ‘accommodated’ into the existing media of the advertising industry. Sheehan & Morrison (2009) use the term “confluence”, which is perhaps more apt in describing convergence in the case of advertising and new media. They define a ‘confluence’ as “a place where things merge or flow together… the situation where traditional methods of work adapt to embrace the new reality of interactive content” (Sheehan & Morrison 2009).

Advertising can be split into two forms, ‘informational advertising’ and ‘creative and persuasive advertising’ (Spurgeon 2008). Informational advertising “appeals to reason and usually addresses the fulfillment of human needs” whereas creative and persuasive advertising “seek[s] to influence purchasing decisions by indulging human emotions and wants” (Spurgeon 2008 pp. 24). This is critical, because appealing to the ‘emotions and wants’ of people drives the way advertisers promote their products. They try to find new ways to reach their audience by ‘creatively embedding’ (Spurgeon 2008) their advertisements in media that their audiences are more than happy to consume. 

This is the concept behind product placement, the most common example being when advertisers pay for their products to appear in a movie or television shows. Sometimes the appearance of product placement is very well concealed as a natural part of the movie, so the audience may not even notice they are being advertised to. One such example is the Disney Pixar movie franchise ‘Toy Story’, which contained advertisements for many toy brands, which seemed to fit seamlessly into the movie. The product placement was of toys in the child’s room, and the movie is solely about the adventures of toys, so this didn’t seem like something intentional that you would notice right away as a consumer, until you come to the realization that everything in the entire movie must be intentional since it is an animated feature. Product placement in Toy Story 3 alone was extensive; it included Apple, Barbie, Corvette, eBay, Fisher-Price and Sharpie (BrandChannel 2010) among others. In other instances product placement can be very obvious. 

An extreme example of this is in the 1992 film ‘Wayne’s World’. Wayne’s World is supposed to be a satirical comedy, having originally developed as a skit on Saturday Night Live. A lot of movies can’t avoid some form of product placement, and Wayne’s World takes advantage of the fact that they need to incorporate some level of it by blatantly flaunting it for comedic effect. 

This concept has been taken one step further, where companies have now taken to producing entertainment with the sole purpose of advertising their product, known as “branded entertainment” (Spurgeon 2008 pp.40). One particularly prominent example of this is the branded entertainment produced by BMW. The car company created an entire series of short films using famous producers, directors and actors to advertise their cars on the Internet (Spurgeon 2008). 

Taking this further still is advertising for a very specific target audience through branded entertainment. ‘Dating Rules from my Future Self’ is a 2012 web series produced by Alloy Entertainment, an established and trusted entertainment company that also produces popular television shows such as Gossip Girl (Wharton 2012). This show is made with the same quality of a television show, but it is split into small episodes for the Internet web series format. A romantic comedy, it is obviously targeted at the predominantly female audience traditionally associated with that genre, and the sponsors take advantage of this. The show’s premise, characters and storyline are all aimed at this particular demographic, and each episode contains quite obvious, almost shameless product placement and advertising. Each episode is brought to you by a different sponsor, and usually whichever sponsor’s name is on the episode from the beginning features their products throughout. For example, in episodes that are brought to you by the car company Ford, you can be sure that the character will be driving around in her Ford Focus and utilizing the voice recognition features the car offers. 

Ford and the constantly shown Apple iPhone, which happens to be almost central to the plot, are possibly the only product placements in the entire show that are not specifically and exclusively targeted at women. Product placement from sponsors throughout the two seasons of the show include the Schick® Quattro for Women® TrimStyle® razor, Revlon Top Speed nail polish, Garnier® hair products and Bioré® skin care products. The sponsorship takes a bizarre turn in the last episode of the second season, when the episode is brought to you by a film that is going to be released later in 2012.

 Companies choose carefully what to sponsor and where to have their products appear in order to keep a reputation with consumers, and this kind of advertising shows this. As d'Astous & Séguin (1999 pp. 896) point out, a “sponsor is likely to gain goodwill by associating itself with a popular program targeted to a selected audience”. This web series is a perfect example of this. ‘Dating Rules from my Future Self’ shows attractive, intelligent, vibrant young women using particular products in their everyday lives. The storylines and characters the show attracts are exactly the target audience for the show, and sponsors recognize that if they want to reach that target audience, this show is how to do it because it is more than just an advertisement, but actual entertainment that their target audience will happily seek out themselves and consume. In this way, this show is the epitome of digital media convergence in relation to advertising. It shows convergence between television, advertising and the Internet to produce a very specific and effective form of branded entertainment that audiences actively consume.


  • BrandChannel 2010, Product Placement in Movies, Product placement in movies released in 2010, Interbrand, New York, viewed 30 August 2012, <http://www.brandchannel.com/brandcameo_films.asp?movie_year=2010>
  • d'Astous, A. & Séguin, N. 1999,’Consumer reactions to product placement strategies in television sponsorship’, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 33, Issue 9, pp. 896 - 910
  • Dwyer, T. 2010, Media Convergence, McGraw Hill, Berkshire, pp. 1-23
  • Sheehan, K. & Morrison, D. 2009, ‘Beyond Convergence: Confluence Culture and the role of advertising Agency in a Changing World’, First Monday, Vol. 14, No. 3, viewed 29 August 2012, <http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2239/2121>
  • Spurgeon, C. 2008, ‘From the ‘Long Tail’ to ‘Madison and Vine’: Trends in advertising and New Media’, Advertising and New Media, Routledge, Oxon, pp. 24-45
  • Wharton, D. 2012, ‘Web Series Dating Rules From My Future Self Takes Retro Approach To Romance’, Television Blend, viewed 30 August 2012, <http://www.cinemablend.com/television/Web-Series-Dating-Rules-From-My-Future-Self-Takes-Retro-Approach-Romance-38290.html>