Final Image Project Set: Stardust

Austin, Tricia, and Richard Doust. New Media Design. London: Laurence King Pub., 2007. Print.

Montfort, Nick, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. The New Media Reader. Cambridge, Mass. [u.a.: MIT, 2003. Print.

Where and how I found the images: The original images were found using, which is the tool I use to find all the CC content I use in blog posts.  All the images were licensed to share and remix, so I edited and shared them all with credit to the individual creators in the image descriptions.

What processes I took to learn the image editing application:  I used the built-in tutorial for part of an earlier blog post assignment, but I really learned the most from just clicking through the tool and seeing what options were available to me.  I discovered a few tools as I was editing, and made use of the sample images they give you to test out the features.  I’m not sure if I learned much about photo editing that I didn’t already know, but I’m a little disappointed that Picnik will be closing down in a few months, because it’s really easy to use and fast.  I edited, saved, and organized images with Picnik much faster than Flickr could process them, which was slightly frustrating, but spoke well to Picnik’s speed and functionality.

How my process and product helped me to understand class work: One section of New Media Design that stood out to me while I was creating these images was the section on Old Media vs New Media (pp. 10-11).  Because I could acquire, edit, tag, and organize my images without having a hard copy of anything, I was reminded of the old (dark) days in which I’d literally have to glue printed out images into an album and hand write descriptions of them.  The process of creating and organizing these images was a good illustration of how far we’ve come since then.   In several of the images I used, I altered the color to fit the greater vision of a cohesive set. This was like the section on Color in NMD, in Chapter 2 (p.68).  I thought about the individual reactions to colors that the book describes, and made most of them blue in order to evoke a serene, calming mood for the image set.  I didn’t want any overly “active” colors like red, because I didn’t want to create that kind of psychological response.

The quote that I chose is:
“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. … So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.”
–Lawrence Krauss – “A Universe from Nothing”

Krauss, Lawrence Maxwell. A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing. London: Simon & Schuster, 2012. Print.

Audience and purpose:  This is a floaty, utopian, beauty-inspired quote that is grounded in science, which is what I tried to get across in my post.  The audience is an open-minded group of students or general free-thinkers who can appreciate the beauty of the universe with no god necessary.

Photo 1 – Nebula

A blue toned nebula

Source: creambillz Flickr – Eta Carina nebula

Found 1/23/12 – Original taken 04/12/2010


  • Increased sharpness
  • Increased saturation
  • Decreased temperature (made it more blue)

Photo 2 – Star Explosion

A star exploding

Source:  NASA Goddard Photo and Video Flickr – NASA Telescopes Join Forces To Observe Unprecedented Explosion

Found 1/23/12 – Original taken 04/6/2011


  • Increased highlights
  • Removed red cross from center of explosion with the blemish fix tool
  • Increased contrast

Photo 3 – Andromeda Galaxy

The Andromeda Galaxy

Source:  NASA Goddard Photo and Video Flickr – Best-ever Ultraviolet Portrait of Andromeda Galaxy

Found: 1/23/12 – Original taken 09/16/09


  • Raised exposure
  • Increased highlights
  • Increased contrast

Photo 4 – Eukaryote

A simple eukaryotic organism

Source: sprklg Flickr – Untitled

Found: 1/23/12 – Original taken 11/23/11


  • Inverted colors to blue, to match the color scheme of the rest of the set
  • Increased sharpness
  • Increased clarity, to emphasize that it was a cell being viewed on a slide

Photo 5 – Sprout

A daffodil sprout emerging from the soil

Source: Pink Sherbet Photography – Free Early Spring Green Daffodil Sprout Creative Commons

Found 1/23/12 – Original taken 04/19/22


  • Increased highlights
  • Increased shadows
  • Decreased contrast
  • Adjusted tint to fit the blue color scheme

Photo 6 – Sunset Tree

A tree in front of the sunset, tinted blue

Source: Heverton Woss – Tree Red

Found 1/23/12 – Original taken 02/21/07


  • Increased shadows
  • Cropped
  • Tinted blue to match the rest of the set