Final Project Part ll: Highlights Popping, People Sobbing

For the final curation of the photoseries, I have decided to organise a set of portraits that highlight 12 different individuals, be it orientation of landscape or portrait. The 12 different portraits aim to show the mood of introspection and melancholy- in particular, the inner mindset of a city dweller lost in the bustling of life. With 12 different people, I aim to highlight their individual personalities, especially with different postures, composition and background. A suggestion by Bryan was to edit the photographs differently, each with their own set of presets and layers. And here they are:

ps some other considerations were the number of male/female or portrait/landscape as well as negative space.

This is a landscape shot of Ethan in front of two panels of flower wall within Gardens by the Bay. I tried to keep the editing to as minimal as possible, with most of the colour grading concentrated on bringing out the highlight on the face, and shadow in the background. The greenery was also untouched as the contrast between the pink and green really popped.

This portrait was probably the one I took the longest to edit. This was because the terrain of the shot (random staircase in SOTA)  was dark and dimly-lit. However, the mood portrayed by Eduardo was great and really suited for this photoseries. The main issue was to bring out the natural highlight on the models face but the bad lighting killed it, so that took awhile.


This shot was taken on a bright afternoon day in Outram park and that really brought out the shadow of the trees nearby. Because Chloe is really fair, there had to be some effort in terms of bringing out her skintone in comparison to the backdrop, mainly in terms of shadow and highlight as well.

This shot had more colour grading compared to the first photograph in the series as I wanted to mix in some yellow to create a triadic colour scheme, complimenting the blue outfit on Dustin. I masked out the fence and coloured the leaves over the fence, making it seem like he is stuck in a forest of greenery. The natural highlight also reduced the need to mask out the channel highlight.

This is an interesting shot as it is the only black and white-sepia shot in the entire series. Shot with the intentions to be black and white, I used a portable flash to really draw out the natural highlight within the dimly lit Golden Mile Complex. I put in a thin layer of red and brown over the black and white to give it some pop. Martin posed in front of the mail box and I aimed to highlight the natural contours of his face with the direct light from the high ceiling windows. Bryan advised me to crop it in to focus on his face and it really helped.

This one was shot outside ACM where the lalangs were. It was interesting as this piece is one of the few photos in this series that focuses an equal amount of attention on the model as well as the landscape. It took 3 tries before I found the right angle to crop in to focus on Luke. I gave this a reddish and faint colour grading to accentuate the dreamy effect propped by the lalang.

This shot was done in front of a random office building by One George Street. Nadia saw a really interesting stream of light popping out of the trees and suggested to shoot there. The stream of light really brought out the introspective mood of her posture.

Taken on top of Mount Faber, Camila and I found this abandoned cable car and we decided to take some shots in it. I walked around and really liked the retro colour scheme given by the cable car aesthetics. However, I did not pursue this retro look as it did not fit the series. The shot was taken by focusing through the window and aiming at her face, creating the faint bokeh of the light. Not much editing was done except for trying to bring out her contours and highlights.

This was a rather simple edit as well, focusing mainly on the balance between the highlight and shadows. Kimberly had a really natural pose just laying on the walls and really merged in with the natural light.

Out of the entire series, this is one of the most abstract in terms of composition. I focused mostly on Sheryl’s face and it became quite edgy in terms of the mood. The colour patches are out of focus flower petals, which gives the picture a surrealistic colour scheme.

This picture was taken outside Clarke Quay, in front of a red brick wall that again had this retro looking aesthetics because of the plastic frames garage door. Colour grading wise I gave a thin layer of highlight and brightened shadow, giving it a bright appearance as Cooper stares outside of teh frame.

Last photo of the series, I wanted it to compliment the first photo as much as possible, thus choosing this one with Marui within greenery as well. A big difference between this to the first one would be the usage of a mirror to show Marui’s face even though her back is facing the audience, this is a hint of the introspective element of how the entire series is people looking into the camera or looking away, whereas the last piece is one person looking away but looking into at the same time.


Final Assignment Part 1

This series picks off a theme that I have been exploring for a while now, which is portraits of people juxtaposed in front of nature. I like the solemn and moody look of people engaging with the camera, as if a silent conversation between the audience and the subject- an intense, introspective look of an urban dweller in mother nature. The moodiness is derived from the colour grading as well, generalised into a points like purple-orange gradient, selective colour of red in shadows and a pinkish hue layered over the picture. More on how below!


This is the first photograph of my series, starting off with something more positive. However because the camera captures best when objects are static I thought I could just photoshop in the other petals from the other attempts to capture the thrown petals, shown below in a step by step basis.

Left Side of Flowers
Right Side of Flowers
Last petal

Now, I feel like the composition is slightly tilted, so I pulled it outwards to balance it slightly. I moved on to dodge and burn, where I pulled contrast to the hair and facial features, exaggerating the highlights and shadows accordingly.

Liquify and Frequency Separation

After that I cleaned up with frequency separation to clear up tiny pores or rougher textures. And because of the angle, liquified a few exaggerated parts.

Colour Grading

Final for pic 1

Healing brush and DnB

Same goes for the previous picture, I used healing brush and DnB as the base layer of editing, making the models even more perfect than they already were. Using healing brush to clear off any rougher texture from teh camera and DnB to create a stronger tonal and 3-D appearance on camera.

Next is frequency separation and liquifying, but this was done minimally as the model has really clean skin. The bulk of the work of FS was done on the jacket, wanting to give it an ironed look as if a clothing campaign.

Last but not least, the colour grading. The colour grading for this is similar to the previous picture as I wanted to give it an overarching autumn-ish colour theme. This one compared to the previous picture has a stronger introspective look, hence I adjusted for a stronger purple and red hue within the shadow, attempting a balance between the red and green grading.

The last picture for this half of submission would be the one as follows,


The first few steps of the correction is similar to the first few, starting with minor edits with healing brush I then moved on to DnB. However because of the conditions where we took the pictures, where it was raining, there were much more mud and dirt that had to be cleaned with FS. (Same goes for the T-shirt) Colour grading wise I lowered the intensity of the purple-orange hue and increased the white in shadows with colour balance.

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Digital Photography Assignment 2: Landscape


 In assignment 2 we focused towards landscape style photography and editing with colour grading, on top of the previous lessons on cleaning up an image. I chose this golden hour shot of my friend Theo right beside a carpark in Little India. My style of photography and editing tends to be moody and drizzled with warm tones. I love to make the subject matters look they are in their own world of introspection and I found this image to be quite useful in terms of that. I would aim to accentuate the colours of the architecture outside as well, bringing out the smooth tones of the golden hour. The main colours I focused on were purple, orange and pink.

Firstly, I began by editing out any parts of the image that had any visually hindering details, such as dark corners of the feet.


I started the next process by masking out everything individually. I saw this process as a taxing one as the image can be split up into many layers: the indoor architecture, the outdoor architecture, Theo’s dress and skirt, as well as her body.

Colour Grading Outside

The reason of my grading was to increase the warm tones within the sky and how it lands on the red tiled rooftop of Little India. I believe that the golden hour ray at that point of time was merely bright but not sufficiently warm enough, so I added some pastel golden hues as well as increasing its contrast, to give it a stronger aerial perspective. This included the interior of the carpark as well, albeit the colour being much orange already. I wanted to add that pink hue that gives it a fantasy like structure. An issue I had was the density of the shadow within the indoor architecture, I wanted something much more wholesome and gives a strong contrast to the outdoor. I did so with layering of gradient map, switching between the light and dark tones, specifically orange and purple.

Indoor Grading
Overall Environment Colour Grading


Next segment would be colour grading Theo herself, being the main subject, she should stand out from the environment. Hence, I asked if she could lift her legs up and actually form this hook shape, which made the image structurally interesting. It gives an additional albeit subtle different of introspection. (in my perspective) Colour grading wise, I lifted the tones with selective colour as well as a little bit of exposure to the blouse, as i realised only exposure could give it that additional jazz unlike selective colour, gradient map or level toggle. The masking of Theo was really difficult as I found the hair to be difficult to manoeuvre.

Just a little notes on my selection of toggles and layers.

I primarily used only a few adjustments to treat the image, mainly selective colour, gradient map, black and white as well as levels. With a few exception layers that needed some exposure adjustments as I didn’t want to compromise the entire colour grading for the segment without raising white tone across. I used selective colour to raise brightness of most areas as it focuses on the coloured tone and act on it. I used selective colour and black and white to layer colours over the segment, after which lowering its opacity. I would use gradient map to drop colours into the shadow, to give density into the shadows like the indoors.


Digital Photography Assignment 1: Repost


As you can tell by now I didn’t follow the assigned boundary of the assignment for my first attempt of the task, which stated that lighting adjustment wasn’t encouraged and frequency separation kinda had to be used. Thankfully we had another attempt to go at it.

The original photograph was actually shot at Little India, right in front of a sugarcane stall, so my friend Dustin had to lie down to fully utilise the sugarcane as composition accessory. I felt that the denim paired well with the brown tones as it gives a strong, rugged appearance to the concept. I shot this with a 35mm 1.8 on a D5600, low aperture to focused solely on the face.

Clone Stamp


This segment consists mainly of using the healing brush and clone stamp to clear off the minor freckles and discolourations that would be a bit of a hassle in the later process of frequency separation.

Frequency Separation


This part was where most of the work came in, whereby I separated the image into two layers, mainly low frequency which is the colours and tonal values, whereas the high frequency consisted mainly of the textures. This segment helps to contour the face as well as remove any bigger patches of discolouration, without taking away the natural skin texture.


With the help of Bryan, I even took the FS to the clothing as well, removing the noticeable crease with the white T-shirt and denim jacket. The veins on the arms are also lightened without taking it away entirely.

Dodge and Burn



This segment calls for the brightening and darkening of certain areas using a 50% gray layer. I brightened up the light eyebags and lightened the white T-shirt t give a stronger dimension.



As Bryan had mention in class, liquify serves to make an already perfect face even more perfect without compromising the original quality of the model. This segment I used liquify to lift up my friends eyelids on the left as he tends to have a lower eyelid when he gets tired, pulling the lids to match the other eye. Also, I pushed the nostrils to be of the same size, as well as lift up the jaw a little bit since he was lying down and vulnerable to gravity. Some parts of his hair was also liquified to volumise it as well as shift a little bit of the hairline. I also went through one last round of sharpening using the high pass filter.



Portrait Assignment 1

For this photograph I was just aiming to clear up the subject and reduce the editing to the minimum. The only touch ups I did on the subject would be the skin texture as well as some tonal value.

This layer was the fundamental edit of the texture, clearing off bigger pores or acne scars as well as really obvious vein lines.

Afterwards I did some slight colour correct.

The last section is my edit on the background to change the colour as I realised it was a tad desaturated.