Photo Life is proud to partner with Seneca students to document their journey through the school curriculum. This week Sage Bassett shares about creating a public service ad.
Class: Photography III
Assignment: Create a public service announcement ad.
Student: Sage Bassett
Professor: Ray Steinke
Assignment guidelines: Use one of six lighting patterns and create a Public Service Ad (PSA).
Our PSA assignment was a project in which we had to create an ad that could be used to advertise a public problem in an effective way. I decided to do my PSA on safe sex for HIV/AIDS awareness. This project was one problem after another: models cancelling, lights not working, etc., but at the very last minute, it worked out and I got exactly what I wanted. My original idea was a model in a vintage setting and suggestive pose, while keeping the image classy. When I finally got my model, I used a living room with a vintage chair and dressed the model in a white oversized long-sleeve shirt and knee-high stockings. I chose to do split lighting for a dramatic effect and placed one light on the right side of the model and one light to light the background white wall. The shot I chose was one of the first ones I took and automatically loved.
Post-production was the fun part: I got to use my Photoshop skills to manipulate the image to bring it even closer to what I wanted. I chose to do the image in black and white to bring out the classy look I wanted. The steps I took in editing were as follows:
Brightness / Contrast boost
Make eyes bigger
Clone hair to increase volume
Take out skin imperfections
After the first edit, I then had to composite in the condom I wanted as the advertising part of the image. I put the condom on a white background with a light straight on and then composited it into the first edited image. After that, I put it in black and white and increased the contrast.
For the final part, I had to add the text and find the right slogan to advertise my idea. After an hour looking at condom captions and laughing hysterically, I picked one with a less profound nature: “No glove, No love.” I decided to add a script font to fit my theme. When it all came together, I was very happy with the result: I got my idea and theme across.
This project was one of my favourites because it was the first project in which I got to portray a theme in portraiture as well as have a real-world experience in a simple form of advertising. I look forward to the projects to come at Seneca.
The Seneca @ York Independent Digital Photography Program is a two-year diploma course that prepares students for a freelance career and provides them with the necessary skill set to work in a multidisciplinary studio.