The Fourth Wall

9.18.08 Manipulation 101

I took this amazing photo of NYC from my hotel room window the last time I was there. I printed it in my darkroom at home. I’ve got photography skills, don’t you think?

Oops, what is that… um, crease along the bottom? Well…. umm, uhh, I wasn’t showing you the whole lovely print I made in my darkroom at home, because, well, my 10-year-old folded it along the bottom so I cropped that part out. Yep, that’s what happened.

Oh no, I’m caught in the act. I didn’t take a photograph of New York City after all… and my 10-year-old is exonerated.

In fact, here’s the reality. The “photo of NYC” is actually just a super tight crop, a close-up of a part of a cute little gift bag that sits on my desk here at the office. The reason I love this bag and the reason it occupies valuable real estate on my desk, is because I can (mentally!) dive into the image, as shown at the very top of this post, and feel like I’m there… I can zoom in with my mind’s eye, eliminating the surrounding clutter… and travel. I heart NY.

I can also demonstrate what’s possible with cropping, a tool in every designer’s bag of tricks, and something we do by second nature after a certain number of years. A practicing designer begins to really see the world differently and can then manipulate your perception as well. Verrrrry powerful stuff.

Thankfully, most of us (your friends at designfarm, included) operate in service of good vs. evil.

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