SWF File Format

Using an “Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Air Software” SWF files carry text, videos, vector graphics, and sound to millions viewers over the world wide web (SWF Technology Center, 2011).  It was designed specifically to “deliver graphics and animation over the Internet” (A Concise Guide to the SWF File Format, 2011). With a high compatibility rate of  “ over 98%” with web enable desktop computers, and over “800 million” personal handheld devices, the SWF file format has proved to be a very efficient an effective way to exchange this binary data (SWF Technology Center, 2011).

While the format is extremely useful for displaying the binary information, SWF does not offer editing capabilities, which forces creators and editors to keep the original document in a different format. At the same time, the inability to edit SWF files, serves somewhat as security for the files that have been created.

The format was created with a handful of key goals in mind. The creators knew the importance of having a file created primarily for on-screen display. The on-screen display would then need to offer “fast rendering to a bitmap of any color format, animation and interactive buttons” (A Concise Guide to the SWF File Format, 2011). It also needed to be expandable so it could easily evolve with technology and demand, as well as, maintain compatibility. There was careful consideration placed in the ability to have files compressed for quick loading regardless of the speed, and bandwidth, as well as, then ensure high quality of the viewed information. Having files that were no longer dependent on other external source files was also very important. This removed the concern for linking external files like fonts, source graphics, videos or even sound. Everything would be contained with in the SWF file. Finally the other area development considered is how the file would interact with different sized displays. With continually changing resolutions, screen sizes and shapes it was important to make the file format scalable.

Works Cited.

"A Concise Guide to the SWF File Format." The Labs: Homepage. Web. 22 May 2011. .

"SWF Technology Center | Adobe Developer Connection." Adobe. Web. 22 May 2011. .


Lewis W. Hine - Men Working on Skyscrapers

Objective: Select an image that you consider to be representative of today's documentary photography and that resonates with the documentary examples:

Workers on Empire State building
(NYPL Digital Gallery, 2011)
Title: Rivetting on the dome, a quarter mile up
Artist: Lewis W. Hine
Date: 1931
Location: Rochester, NY
Medium: Photography
“Lewis W. Hine. Rivetting on the dome, a quarter mile up during construction on the Empire state Building in New York City 1931 Photograph George Eastman House, Rochester; New York” (Pohl, 2002).

(Working on Skyscrapers | Aashish Puniany, 2011)
Title: Working on Skyscrapers
Artist: Unknown/Aashish Puniany
Date: Unknown
Location: Indonesia
Medium: Photography

In studying the images in the book I was very drawn to the work of Lewis W. Hine.  In his “Hine. Rivetting on the dome, a quarter mile up” I was quite amazed at the angle of the shot. The photographer is actually higher than the workers. The viewer normally would see the large towering buildings above them, not as small distant shapes below. The dark images of the men and structure contrasting the lighter city really show the viewer how far below the city is. This concept is very impressive totally captures how dangerous the condition is for the men working.  His title fills in some questions a view might have. First of what is, how high are these men, and the second is what are they doing.

It was difficult to find a modern version of this today with so much “red tape” and liability issues. Most photographs I found were stock images that were save and shot from the bottom of the structure with a large lens. In my mind that is a completely different photo. I finally found some photos that are quite similar to what Hine is doing in his. On Aashish Puniany’s blog, he features a small series of photos very similar to Lewis W. Hine of men working very high up on a building over looking the city below. Aashish Puniany also uses black and white photos like Hine, which creates a dynamic contrast, as he too shows his foreground darker and distant city below lighter.  His angle of his subject is not quite as drastic as Hine, but the photographs are still taken slightly above the subject to reveal they breath-taking height. A few of his photos defiantly highlight the lack of safety and danger of what these workers are doing. 

Works Cited:

"NYPL Digital Gallery | Detail." NYPL Digital Gallery | Home. Web. 05 May 2011. .

Pohl, Frances K. Framing America: a Social History of American Art. New York, NY: Thames & Hudson, 2002. Print.

" Working on Skyscrapers | Aashish Puniany." Images, Videos, Websites and Many More. Web. 05 May 2011. .


Wasteland - Vik Muniz - Murals Out of Waste

The other night I saw something I found to be most interesting though as a new technique for murals. It was a documentary on PBS about the artist Vik Muniz and how he is creating huge murals out of trash. I think the film is called "Wasteland". Check out this piece below from www.wastelandmovie.com

Allie Mae Burroughs, Wife of a Cotton Sharecropper- Cirtique

QUESTION: Although documentary photography attempts to be impartial about the situation it records, there are aesthetic approaches taken by photographers that elicit a strong reaction from the viewer. Allie Mae Burroughs, Wife of a Cotton Sharecropper, Hale County Alabama, taken by Walker Evans that was made as part of a project that addressed the plight of migrant workers during the Great Depression. Consider his choice of setting, lighting, compositional arrangement, and title, among other strategies, to describe aspects of the Evans photograph that you think have been manipulated by the artist to produce an empathetic response from the viewer.

(Uppsala Universitet, 2011)

Walker Evans has set up his photograph “Allie Mae Burroughs, Wife of a Cotton Sharecropper, Hale County Alabama,” beautifully. I would speculate that every technique used in this photo was used with the intention to reveal a simplistic way of life that has been very wearing. 

In first looking at the 3 main textures captured in the photo the viewer sees the rough wood grain of the backdrop, the detailed pattern material on Allie Mae’s blouse and the smooth texture of her skin. These three main textures create a great contrast. This contrast reveals a rough abrasive environment that this soft individual is surrounded by. The building is her environment, and it is rough and surrounds her every moment. Her blouse is her labor and tasks. She is very busy not having even a moment for herself. She has so much too do and barely enough time to do it. Her environment requires her labor. The third main texture is her skin. It is soft and smooth and is the only constant in the piece. We see how the skin is revealing wrinkles showing time and abuse from the environment and labor, but the skin is resilient against its opposition. 

The flat lighting creating little dimension, may lead the viewer to further speculate that the life of this migrant worker is very simple and monotonous. She works hard long hours day after day sticking to her routine. Her stark expression cues the viewer to know she is turning into a machine. She has been hardened, by life, extreme conditions and hard work. The wrinkles on her forehead help the viewer know she is less than happy about her current situation, but the gaze in her eyes show that she knows this is all she has. 

Work Cited:

"Uppsala Universitet - PM_fotografi2 - Mynewsdesk." News Releases Mynewsdesk - Search, Monitor, Publish and Share Press Releases. Web. 03 May 2011. .

Jackson Pollock Early VS Later Work - Is there a connection?

QUESTION: Jackson Pollock is known for his abstract work. Much of his career focused on the production of work that was meant to avoid illusionism. His early training, however, was based on a realistic approach to the representation of the artwork. Naked Man with Knife is an early piece by Pollock. Compare it to his Autumn Rhythm No. 30. Discuss similarities between the two works. In your opinion, has his early training influenced his later work? Justify your response.
(Pollock, 2011)   
  (Jackson Pollock, 2011)

At first glance Jackson Pollock’s Naked Man with Knife and Autumn Rhythm No. 30 do not appear to have many similarities at all. Overall the pieces are very different. In Naked Man with a Knife, His earlier work, he reveals the figure in more of a cubistic style, but non-the-less a figure is discernable as well as the knife. In Pollock’s later work, in this case Autumn Rhythm No. 30, there are no discernable figures in this piece.

Looking deeper into each of Pollock’s paintings the viewer begins to uncover subtle similarities. Each piece reveals great a sense of chaos, yet shows great balance and unity. Each piece also reveals an enormous feeling of energy and creates a unique affect to almost release internal aggression. One of the most obvious similarities between Pollock’s pieces is the circular swirling motion continually leading and guiding the viewer around each piece.  Both pieces also appear to use a more limited color pallet. While Nakade Man with Knife introduces reds, blues and yellows, the overall tone is more muted creating a more monochromatic effect. Autumn Rhythm No. 30 uses black, white and a tan color which also creates a very muted earth tone.

Both pieces have a very full visual plane, but Naked Man with Knife, does lead the viewer to focus on the knife. I believe among the chaos created in the piece the knife is revealed to be the focal point. The many faces and exaggerated figure leads me to believe Pollock is shows a battle within in this piece. In Autumn Rhythm No. 30 Pollock may also reveal a battle within, but does not have the piece establish any form of visual hierarchy. “There's no central point of focus, no hierarchy of elements in this allover composition in which every bit of the surface is equally significant” (Jackson Pollock, 2011).

In my opinion his early work did defiantly influence his later style. The swirling and circular motion is very apparent in both. I think in the beginning Pollock revealed more of what was behind his paintings. As time progressed Pollock was able to use a more expressive abstract style, but hold his core meaning on a more private personal level. I think he also grew to move away from a focal point, wanting his work to be viewed as an entire expression instead of focusing on just one area of the piece. His early work was needed, and necessary for him to be able to evolved to his later works.

Works Cited:
Pollock, Jackson (1912-1956) - 1938-40 Naked Man with Knife (Tate Gallery, London) | Flickr - Photo Sharing!" Welcome to Flickr - Photo Sharing. Web. 03 May 2011. .

"Jackson Pollock: Autumn Rhythm (Number 30) (57.92) | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Metmuseum.org. Web. 03 May 2011. .