Monthly Archives: August 2017

[4D] Process: Task 1 – Object & Representation of Self

  Shoot 1.1: “Comfort” narrative  

I took all of the photographs for this narrative at home, in my room. I used natural lighting to give the photos more of a “soft” look, and post-processed them with Color Balance, adding more red and yellow to increase the sense of warmth.

  Artist References 
(Stylistic) AR 1: Wolfgang Tillmans

His still life photography shows the beauty in the banal. He makes everyday objects look almost luscious – I wanted to bring out that same quality in my photographs of just the book.


(Stylistic) AR 2: Jeffrey Larson

I really enjoy the analogous colors he uses to unite the elements in the photograph – it’s very harmonious and makes looking at the image comfortable and easy, which is also another technique I wanted to try.


  Close up shots

I tried taking the photos from a variety of angles with a fluffy rug and back lighting from the steps on my platform bed. The fluffy rug looks soft and inviting, which goes in line with the theme I had in mind. I also used the rug because it’s white and is harmonious with the grey steps, in line with Jeffrey Larson’s aesthetic.

  Close up shots of myself with object

Artist Reference
(Angles) AR 3: Oliver Charles

I particularly enjoy this photograph by Oliver Charles. It is very warm, enveloping me in its world. Here, the darkened edges heighten the sense of coziness more – I tried to do that with some of my photographs below as well.





I tried framing and different poses, but I felt that the top row didn’t convey as much of the comfort I wanted to bring across. I prefer the second row for the emotional connection, but ultimately the last picture was my favorite (happy, warm), compared to the other one which looked a bit confrontational with the hand coming towards the camera.

  Mid-range and Full figure shots

Artist Reference
(Angles) AR 4: Martin Parr

I realized a lot of the test shots I was taking looked the same, so I looked to Martin Parr for some ideas on how I could frame my shots. He photographs people from really uncommon angles, and I feel that it reveals something very honest about them. I wanted to try to emulate this honesty in my work as well, as I’m trying to relate to the viewer about the comfort I feel when I read.

Full figure Shots

I tried including some props like my stuffed toy dog and a blanket to give a more cozy feel. I asked for some friends’ opinions and they said they thought the toy dog was real, which was amusing. I wasn’t really feeling the dog, though, to be honest – I felt like it distracted from the main subject. I like the last image best because I composed it such that the blankets’ line would lead to me, so there was a greater focus on the subject.

Mid range shots

These were my favorite to take because I felt that I could explore the most with angles and lighting.

  Final Shots Chosen

I chose these three photographs as I felt that they told the story of what I feel and do when I read “The Fairy Kitten” – the story draws me in at first, then I get comfortable reading it, then (I get too comfortable) and fall asleep reading it.

[4D] Ideation: Task 1 – Object & Representation of Self


Having been brought up with supportive parents and lovely friends, I wouldn’t say I have gone through extreme hardships in life. My personality is one that is optimistic; one that believes in the magic and beauty of the world.

Upon closer thought, I realized the things I find beautiful always involved the element of escapism – they let me immerse and lose myself in them. I made a small rubric to pick an activity and its corresponding object that references my life the most closely.

Activity Object Resonance (1-10) Advantages Considerations
Playing soccer Soccer ball 8 Photos could be very dynamic; wide range of shots to be generated

Would have to capture motion – not confident enough with my DSLR

No one from my soccer team goes to NTU so it’ll be weird playing by myself

Reading Book 10 Very familiar and dear to my heart –would probably not run out of ideas with the time frame given Complex – books make me feel a wide range of emotion so it might be hard to choose one consistent mood
Playing the piano Piano 6  ? Hard to transport piano around so I wouldn’t be able to do much with the background or lighting
Painting Paintbrush/Palette/Watercolors 9 Could shoot from various angles and possibly explore the most visually I personally feel that it’s overdone


Out of these, one that is always cozy and I’ve been doing the longest time is reading.

I remember reading an awful lot of Enid Blyton voraciously. I’ve kept my entire collection – about 50 books – for more than 10 years, because they’re my comfort books.

Enid Blyton books move fast – almost as fast as comics – and you never get bored on any page, no matter how many times I read it over. I like to flip through them once in a while.

It’s not great literature, but it doesn’t need to be.

I picked “The Fairy Kitten” because it was the first Enid Blyton book I got. The day I got it at a book fair, even though I came back from school exhausted, I didn’t take my usual afternoon nap because I couldn’t wait to start.  I remember falling asleep on it because I could not stop reading.

Nothing’s quite like lazing around in your bed with an old book in hand. I still fall asleep whenever I take it out and read it – it’s almost become a habit, the way my body tells me that “Hey, this is familiar, and easy, and it’s okay to fall sleep if you don’t want to stop”. If not just for the stories, the delightful illustrations carry me into fantasy realms where toys talk and goblins exist.

  Plan of Action

I grouped the emotions I experience when reading it into two main categories: one of comfort and one of childish delight. As they are both complex and I didn’t want to shortchange myself by dismissing an emotion I felt too early, I decided to explore both before finalizing on a singular narrative.