My communication objectives for this assignment were to present a subject that favours their virtual reality within video games over their real life. Throughout the creation of my composition I had to change my execution of the project after finding that my original ideas wouldn’t quite work.

The image I have created features a young man sitting at their computer playing the newly released Grand Theft Auto 5 for PC. Originally, I had wanted to place them into a messy, dimly lit room but a comment I received from a classmate caused me to realise that it would seem as though it was a single photo in the first place. I took their advice and placed my subject into the middle of the road to display their isolation and preference for the simulated open world over their reality. The road that acts as the subjects reality has a blue tone to cause the viewer to connote the environment with feelings of depression and isolation. The game featured on the computer screen is more vibrant than the background to make this the prime focus, channeling my subjects priority of this environment.

To execute this image, I brought both images into my photoshop file and created a mask layer for the subject and their computer to realistically place them into the environment. I had originally tried to use the magnetic lasso tool but was not provided with a very smooth outline of my subject and their computer.

I then changed the hue of the background to present a blue tone. I discovered that the cars in the sub-dominant section of my image did not look right with the full hue adjustment and used a feathered mask to make this effect less intense and more realistic.

To contrast the two environments, I then adjusted the subjects screen to appear more vibrant in order to catch viewers’ attention.

By transforming the computer and subject, I created a shadow using a feathered mask as without it, the image did not look photo-real.

A light in the background of the image was a bit too over-exposed while a sign next to the pedestrian crossing seemed to be too saturated and both were seen to be a distraction. By using a adjustment mask layer, I changed the levels of the lamppost so it was not as overpowering while using a brightness/contrast adjustment layer to dim the parking sign down a bit.

I was unhappy with a small hole within the chair my subject was sitting in that caused a white section to shine through and the brand name of the chair behind the subject’s head. I took sections from other parts of the chair and used ‘layer via copy’ to patch up these spots and make the image of the subject more solid.

Overall, I am pretty pleased with how my image turned out. I think it effectively represents the idea of how virtual reality games such as Grand Theft Auto 5 can provide escapism for those that play it and how it can often be the environment players feel safest or happiest within.


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