Discover How Popular Culture Arts Are Being Transformed by Digital Photo Manipulation

Pop art in its beginning freeze-framed what consumers of popular culture arts experienced into iconic visual abstractions. With the advent of the techno age, visual information circulates in such quantities, so rapidly and exponentially, that to comprehend a fraction of it all becomes a kind of production process in itself. The recording of history and how it’s interpreted has forever changed. The exposure to mass media and consumer advertising has opened up a brave new world of imagery saturation, with a tech savvy generation only too aware yet receptive to the processes of imagery marketing; including the cautious acknowledgment of the digital photo manipulation that readily occurs to such images, ranging from the air brushing of features to outright attempts at fraud.

The use of digital media has moved from the role of recording and documenting a popular culture of the time, to one now that creates its own culture(s), in ever quickening flashes that morph in and out of time often in unison with the latest fad television series or movie franchise.

The ‘spinning pop’ project as popular culture arts, is supported through the maintenance of logs, diaries, and various volumes of collected documentary materials. These documents comprise five components through which the nature of my practice is explored. I have adopted a visual approach to the traditional ‘artist’s journal’, with an extensive series of visual, written, and collected documents that have recorded the works in process. The five documentary components of this project comprise Collections (volumes of text based source materials); Diaries of digital daily images and collages printed onto copy paper; Work in progress logs (volumes of notes and photographs of the daily work practices); Daily postings to the social networks of the completed works; and including the Digital video compilation diaries.

While my work is influenced by Rene Magritte’s great sense of mystery in his juxtaposition of what appears to be unrelated images, I seek a less literal representation of the images created. His intent is to build an ambiguity into the visual language, an intention to engage the viewer on several levels. Generally my painted work is in a pixelated style, and while they are influenced by Georges Seurat’s intent for the viewer’s eye to blend the colours, they are not developed through the Pointillism technique. The digital work varies in its use of mediums and presentation, often produced with archival inks-on-cottonrag paper.

Unsurprisingly, we as a collective of artists examine every facet of life from a popular culture arts perspective, utilizing all available resource, materials and mediums to depict our interpretation of the world about us. The use of digital photo manipulation, and the creation of random imagery is just not surprising, nor outside the ‘norm’ of our brave new world. Photography has for many decades had to combat the accusation of ‘But is it Art?’, and thus as technology develops at such an astonishing pace, photographic manipulation is the medium at the proverbial ‘coal face’ or cutting edge, at which you would expect to find artists operating.

What To Do If You Hate Keeping A Food Diary: A Smart Weight Loss Tip

It’s clear that keeping a food journal or food diary – a written record of every bite you put in your mouth – is an effective weight loss tool. Women who record what they eat, eat less and lose more weight. They are also more successful at keeping the weight off. Used correctly, a food diary can be an effective tool for taking control of emotional eating.

The problem is, just about everyone hates keeping a food log, and setting up an approach that you dread can be an easy path to self-sabotage. Writing down everything you put into your mouth can be inconvenient, tedious, and it requires a lot of discipline. It can also be difficult to record portion sizes accurately, and far too tempting to bend the truth.

Here’s a smart weight loss tip that holds promise. You don’t have to write down everything you eat anymore to get the benefit of keeping a food diary. There’s actually a simple, graphic and accurate way to record what you eat – at the touch of a button. Grab your cell phone and snap a picture. Yep, take a picture of your food-all your food-before you eat it. Pictures don’t lie. They don’t fudge on portion sizes (consider placing something like a fork in the picture so that you can assess for scale), and they show everything on your plate. They even document the times when you skip using the plate (not a good weight loss tactic, by the way).

Research indicates that keeping a photographic food diary may work even better than a written one.

What to do with these photos? A simple, free solution is to set up a free blog at Blogspot.com or other blog site. You decide whether you want to keep it private (for your eyes only) or open it up to friends or to the world (accountability helps). New apps and options are being developed as we speak, so chances are good that you’ll be able to find something that will work for you. For those on Twitter, there is an app, for tweeting what you’re eating, allows you to add pictures to your tweets and says it will be streamlining the process in the near future.

What do you think? Have you used a food diary (written or photo-based)? How has it worked for you? What has helped you stick with it, or what has gotten in your way?

The Importance of Keeping a Food Diary to Ensure Weight Loss

Using a food diary as part of your armoury can be the missing link of any exercise and nutrition program and can be a very powerful tool when utilised properly and honestly.

Believe it or not, one of the most common causes of failure in exercise and weight loss programs is simply the fact that the person is just eating too much food or eating the wrong types of food or even “crashing out” at regular times each day.

For the majority of us, the overall stance on losing weight is very simple when you really strip it down and that is just the equation of calories in versus calories out.

Put more specifically, the body burns calories 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and the only thing that changes is the rate of calorie burn. This rate is determined by the activity the person is currently undertaking but rest assured that even while watching TV or sleeping, the natural functions of your body are causing calorie burn!

Therefore in theory, as long as we do not consume more calories from our daily food and drink than we burn off, weight loss is virtually guaranteed. By adding exercise to the mix you can obviously increase the differential between calories in and calories out.

So now we know a little bit more about calories let’s get to this food diary!

You would probably be surprised to learn that just about all of us underestimate exactly how much food and drink we consume each day. Sometimes by as much as 50%! Normally, we just think about our main meals and tend to forget the little bits and pieces here and there like a cookie, a can of soda or beer with dinner or perhaps a slice of cake from the office party at work!

When you keep a food dairy and providing you are totally honest with yourself, it will easily and clearly identify problem foods you are eating or drinking, problems days, problem parts of the day or specific meals that are going against you. You may see a general over eating pattern or you may just find that your afternoon snack is the main cause of your weight woes! For some reason, alcohol seems to be the most common item left out of food diaries!

The best way to get a real feel for how you are going is to keep your food diary religiously and 100% strictly, leaving nothing out that passes your lips for a period of two weeks. It is also very important to eat and drink as you would normally and not just be good while you are recording your food – kind of defeats the purpose don’t you think?!

You can write it all down in a notebook, keep it in a file on your lap top or PC or actually use a small diary. Whatever method is easiest for you to fully note down everything you consume in a day.

What I feel is the absolute best way however and the method I use, is to take a photo using my mobile phone camera of everything I consume. The great part of this is that I just about always have my phone with me and therefore it is quick and easy to simply pull it out and snap! No writing, no note books etc. Just before I go to bed, I cycle through my photos for the day and see what was good, what was bad and what can I learn from it all.

This method is also fantastic if you are co-ordinating your efforts with a personal trainer, nutritionist or dietician where it is sometimes hard to fully answer their questions on what exactly you eat and in what portions.

The crucial point is to ensure you take note of ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. More often than not, it is the little things like one cupcake or a few lollies, an alcoholic nightcap or that donut at morning tea that we don’t include yet these are our calorie rich enemies!

So overall, a food diary can be a really powerful tool in keeping your nutritional choices in check and making sure you stay on the right path. The critical factor is being totally honest with yourself and recording everything during that two week analysis stage.

Upon the completion of your two weeks, have a thorough review of all the information you have accumulated and then make the necessary changes. This will go a long way in ensuring you have the best chance of achieving your fitness and weight loss goals!