Wednesday, June 04, 2008

It's All About Context....

Ever have some really irrational fears?

Like, what if you’re researching a psychology paper about the criminally insane? In context no one would think you’re weird, but out of context, if someone browses your search history they might think you’re a little unbalanced.

It’s not a gigantic mental leap to see ‘psychology research’ and think ‘murder manual’.

I found myself in a similar situation today.

I was hunched over my desk, drawing my comic, when I just couldn’t get a panel right. Basically the main character is on the phone and gets some really good news. I couldn’t get the hand right, the facial expression or anything.

So I do what I usually do. I turn on my webcam in photoshop, make the facial expression or assume the pose I need and snap a picture. Then I have some basic reference so I can say “Ah! So that’s what a hand looks like when it’s holding a phone!”

Well, I’d always assumed that capturing an image from my webcam in photoshop is just like scanning a picture in photoshop. If you don’t save the image before closing the window, it just goes away…it turns out I was wrong.

I discovered a freaking library of pictures of myself pulling some of the most stupid faces ever in some pretty weird poses.

Take today’s picture for example. Like I said, I wanted to see what a hand looked like holding a phone from a particular angle…nothing strange about that, right?

But out of context, if you just found this picture on my computer, here’s what you’d see:

A picture of me, shirtless, with a gigantic goofy grin on my face, holding a pack of cigarettes to my ear while wearing big over-the-ear headphones.

You wouldn’t think “Well, here’s a guy who’s listening to a podcast while he draws, shirtless because his air-conditioner just froze up, holding an object to his ear as a stand in for the phone that he’s drawing.”

No, what you would think is: “Who is this insane naked man, and what is that packet of cigarettes telling him that’s so damn amusing?”

I’ll be deleting them from now on.


Kelly said...

Oh come on! Be fair....We are all curious about this picture, I think you should post it LOL

OzzyC said...

I have similar thoughts at the store... do you ever do a profile on the person in front of you based on what they're buying?

MC Etcher said...

OR you could save em all, for years and years, and then publish it posthumously as an art project.

Think how happy all your progeny would be with that fat cash!