[4D] Assignment 1 – Task 1: Research and Process


Before jumping straight into executing this project, it is important to start with some research so that I can be inspired and head this project in the right direction! This entry is a compilation all the research and thought processes behind Task 1 (Object and Representation of Self).

As this will be a content-heavy entry, I will be dividing it into 4 parts for easy reference:

  1. Readings Key Takeaways
  2. Inspiring Photographers
  3. Ideation
  4. Execution Process
  5. Concluding Thoughts

Let’s begin shall we!


Part 1: Readings Key Takeaways

Sherry Turtle, Introduction: The Things that Matter Insights:

  • Objects often hold sentimental value to their owners, bringing back memories and nostalgic feelings. This is where their value lies in.
  • Keepsakes such as trinkets, souvenirs and photographs tell their own stories.
  • Hence, objects can be likened to companions who are with us in our journeys, contributing to our life experiences in one way or another.
  • Being sensitive to the power of objects in our lives.
  • Objects can be anything. They can be natural, artifacts, ready-made or made by the author.
  • Objects play different roles in different people’s lives.
  • Most objects exert their holding power because of the particular moment and circumstance in which they come into the author’s life. Therefore making it difficult for the author to get rid of that particular object.


Part 2: Inspiring Photographers

Rinko Kawauchi

All images above belong to Rinko Kawauchi

A Japanese photographer who captures the ordinary and every day moments in life. A wave of peace and serenity washes over anybody who views her photographs. I am charmed by Rinko Kawachi’s photography as she inspires me to be slow down my pace and be aware of my surroundings. When we do that, we start being aware of the little things that we would otherwise overlook in our busy lives.


Kayo Ume

All images above belong to Kayo Ume

A Japanese photographer whose street photography captures the sense of silliness, fun and absurdity that would surely brighten up any dull day. Living in such a hectic and stressful city like Singapore, Kayo Ume’s adorable photography subjects remind me to relax and not be so uptight about my daily tasks!


Part 3: Ideation

Challenges for Task 1

  • Cliche with a twist.
  • Using object as a metaphor to convey story.
  • Choose the clothes that I am going to wear wisely, as clothing plays a part in the storytelling.
  • Consider interesting angles and expressions, interactions with object.
  • Stage the set: Include props and other elements that can add on to the depth of the story. Everything that appears in the shot has to be intentional.


Going experimental?


The images above feature overlayed photographs of my close polytechnic friends. The overlay effect evoke a sense of movement and was able to compress a series of emotions into a single image. Initially I thought of applying this technique for this task as well. However, I decided against it eventually as I felt that this technique would cause my final images to be overly-edited, which is not the objective of this task.

Part 4: Execution Process

CD Album [.CALLC.] shot from various vantage points:

Front cover – 3/4 view
Front cover – Top view
Back cover – 3/4 view
Back cover – Top view
Cover spine
Front and back cover – 3/4 view
CD Contents – 3/4 view
Interior without contents – 3/4 view
Close-up of interior – 3/4 view
Close-up of interior – 3/4 view


Lyric booklet – Top view
Close-up of lyric booklet – 3/4 booklet
Close-up of lyric booklet – 3/4 booklet
A page of lyric booklet – Top view
Standing CD cover – 3/4 view
Standing CD cover interior – Top view
Standing lyric booklet – Front view


As I was shooting this alone with the assistance of a tripod, I had to set my camera on 10-second timer mode first, then run quickly to pose. It was quite tiring as I had run back and forth between my photo-taking position and my camera to check that the shots turned out well.

Hence, I figured that the most efficient way of getting the shots that I want is to decide on my desired angles for the full-figure, mid-figure and close-up shots first, then focus on getting my body position and facial expressions right. Honestly speaking, the most difficult part of this task was getting my facial expressions right! I hardly ever take selfies so I had no idea how to convey the right facial expression, hence it took me quite a while to finally get the shots I wanted.

P.S. I cut a yellow plastic bag into strips and wrapped them around the ends of the tripod so that my bed would not be dirtied! God knows how dirty the legs of the tripod are, yuck!


Full-figure shot of me and my CD album:

Full-figure shot of me interacting with my CD album:

Like I’ve mentioned before, it was really difficult to get my hands on this CD album since it was only available in Japan. My friend happened to be in Japan at the right time and she was gracious enough to help me get it! It felt like the stars had aligned for me since it was a miracle that my friend (who isn’t very good at finding things) could even find this album.

I tried to recall the elated moments when I received this album and express my uncontainable joy in my shots. Standing on my bed gives me the elevation that I needed to get my full-figure shot since the other parts of my hall room are full of distracting elements.

So excited that I couldn’t even stand straight!
Jumping around because nothing can contain my excitement!
Still jumping

Mid-range shot of me interacting with my CD album:

For this series of photos, I wanted to convey the sense of peace and comfort that I experience while listening to the album.

This explains why this mid-range shot series have a slight warmer tone to them as compared to the previous full-figure shot photo series. The warm lighting was achieved by switching off the main white lights in my hall room, and using my yellow table light as the main source of light.

The best way to interact with a physical music album is to listen to it. At this day and age, most of us would simply transfer the music from the CD into our iTunes so that we can listen to the music from our electronic devices. However, I felt that it would be more appropriate to listen from the physical CD itself in this case. Hence, I borrowed my mom’s CD walkman as a prop. Yes, she is still using a CD walkman at this day and age. It also served as a throwback to my primary school days when I would listen from my CD walkman for hours!

Pose is stiff and quite unnatural, can tell that it is posed.
Facial expression was too bland, did not convey any sense of excitement or peace.
Thought that I should change my pose a little to make things more interesting, so I copied a pose that I often see characters do in movies. But… nobody really puts their arm like this in real life right?
Head was too low in the shot.
Used my cushion as another prop and leaned more towards my side. This was to make my pose a little more natural and comfortable.
Again, facial expression was too bland and poker. Overall composition of this shot was also not visually interesting.
Decided that a slight smile could work, instead of going for a wide smile. Composition wise, I felt that taking the shot from a diagonal angle would make it more visually appealing and less boring.
Take 2!

Close-up shots of me interacting with my CD album

This particular angle doesn’t reveal much about my object, it simply felt as if I was taking a picture of myself sleeping. Hence this angle was rejected.


For the close-up shots, I chose to lay the different components of the CD album out on my bed and show interaction with them.


So many things wrong with this shot! Composition was bad as I was in a very awkward position. The different elements of my CD album were also scattered around distastefully.  Facial expression was bland again. The background was messy as well.
Cleaned up the background, but composition was bad as there was too much free space to the right side.
A better shot as compared to the ones before. I leaned slightly forward so as to convey eagerness to listen to the album.
Changed the lighting back to white light to see if the mood of the shot will be any better. I personally still prefer the warm lighting from the previous shots!

Concluding Thoughts

I personally find this task very daunting and challenging since I hardly ever take photos of myself. Therefore it is painfully awkward for me to act ‘naturally’ in front of the camera. However, I am glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone and completed this task to the best of my abilities. That aside, I had a great time conceptualising and showcasing my special object to everyone!

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