Conceptualisation from Locale Research…
Photoshoot 1 from Locale Research
See locale research presentation here.
My initial trip down from Mt Faber to the Southern Ridges was pretty enjoyable. I felt really blessed to be surrounded by such an abundance of greenery and natural beauty. It had been quite some time since I last immersed myself in the great outdoors. Going through my photoset, the recurring theme of doing something related to cultivation, contemplation and zen kept going through my mind.
Thus , the three ideas that I have generated all share common threads, each with its own focus and graphic ideas. Although I had a rough idea of the kind of imagery I intended to present, I combed through Pinterest to form a mood board to base my ideas in more concrete forms. It also helps to somewhat communicate my ideas if required.
I then started coining some phrases to loosely create a narrative to adequately convey my ideas. Selecting suitably similar photos also helps develop the ideas further. And this brings us to a mood board with some initial wordings…
To gain more inspiration and widen my choices of base imagery, I decided to pay HortPark a visit as well. The field trip resulted in the following photoset:
I am now ready to begin making some pictures! My initial set of 8 pages came out as shown.
These are mostly placeholders, I will be compositing stuff onto them. On a side note, most of these images came from another visit back to Mt Faber and Southern Ridges. And through the magic of RAW images I was able to create pretty compelling base images to work on.
Let’s composite !
Because of serious time constraints, I have to think of effective and simple ideas to convey the messages. Dedicated photoshoots with subjects and props were avoided as much as possible. For some of the pieces I try to use existing photos that I have on file of family outings. For the Self-Belief piece I was able to make use of a recent paper sculpture that I have completed. I added a couple of folded paper strips to suggest as flora.
Due to restrictions in material acquisition, I rely heavily on other design elements to help create viewer interest. For the Declutter piece, I played around with sense of scale. The mum with child is intentionally made so small that they can hardly be made out. In the back cover, the figure-spatial relationship is reversed as I portray myself peeking into the coastal landscape. For the Anger and Acceptance piece, I relied mostly on light and dark contrasts to create an provocative sense of mood.
For all pieces, I also tried to maximise the play with words and the image. I try to have both interact whenever feasible, as seen in the pieces Feeling frustrated, Declutter and Surrender yourself.
In terms of general artistic considerations, I really try to push the latitude of color range from the compositions. I wanted the images to look as rich as they possibly can, even if at some point they can start to look “hyperreal”. Innately, our brains are hardwired to detect inconsistencies in what we see and what is real-life.
All in all, I enjoyed the process of compositing and integrating the disparate elements together to form a short narrative that hopefully can inspire its reader!
Crafting the zine
A few lessons learnt here… I think I was to greedy and printed on paper stock that was too thick.. When folded, the pages were misaligned by quite a bit because of the substantial paper thickness. Therefore I tried to trim the edges. The right edge trimming went pretty smoothly, but when I tried to trim the top edge, it DID NOT went well at all 🙁 So I didn’t trim the bottom edges. Lesson learnt..
Final thoughts after presentation
I shall start off with one of my favourite comments from a fellow classmate,
“The zine showers me with images of nature/landscape and on pages w/o human elements, I feel peaceful and can even ‘hear’ the sounds of crickets. I feel that the zine has bring me to another place and am fascinated by the landscape. The paper is thick and reminds me of a photobook.”
The thickness of the paper made viewers treat it as a photobook, which honestly wasn’t necessarily an important aspect of what I was going for, but I guess it was also a happy accident in a way.
On another note, some comments were regarding the readability of the words, which I totally agree. Also, Mimi commented that the compositions could have been a bit more adventurous, and I feel that I might have been too caught up with the technical aspect of piecing everything together and missed an opportunity to push further design-wise.