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Disappointment: A Senior Listener Lyric Photographic Diptych by Amruta Bhavsar (2018)

My lyrical essay explores the lack of representation within American media for East Asian Americans. The passage that I chose encompasses the sentiments my interviewee conveyed to me about this subject, the main one being disappointment, but also hope because there has been more representation in the media for this group of people.

I chose this specific photo to exemplify my passage because of the raw emotion written on the subject’s face. I thought that the expression on her face fit with the feelings my interviewee described to me. Additionally, this photo was shot at the train station in downtown Mountain View, where the subject was waiting for a train, just like how East Asian Americans have waited to be represented in American media. The background clearly shows the train station, so it could be a visual metaphor within the photo for the lack of representation Asian Americans know all too well. I also liked the color of the woman’s clothes and backpack, which were all blues and purples and I thought they fit the mood of the photo and my lyrical essay. Because there is such little East Asian representation in American movies and music, they are virtually invisible in American media. I chose to make the colors of the woman’s clothes and backpack brighter to show that she does exist, even if the media does not.

To edit this photo, I first used the pen tool in Photoshop to trace around the subject’s jacket and backpack and then made that into a selection. I then inverted that selection and made everything outside it grayscale. After adjusting the brightness and contrast of the colorized part, I used a gradient map to adjust the levels of purples and blues and even them out across the shirt, jacket, and backpack. Then, I made a selection of all of the woman and copied the shape onto the right side of the canvas. The typeface I chose is tall and blocky and could be like the font of a newspaper headline. It’s kind of ironic because the phrase in it implies that a group of people’s stories aren’t being told, yet the font looks like it could be used in a headline. In order to fill the shape with text effectively, I rasterized the text and warped it to fit it the best it could. Related website
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