So, after consulting Prof Joy and hearing what other classmates had to say, I moved off entirely from my previous approach of wanting to actually get myself into exhilarating situations and getting a shot from my point of view when doing it. I personally felt that it would not have been so much of an effect as, after all, pictures are still pictures. I cannot really get others to feel what I felt. Maybe to a certain extent but definitely not the intensity I did when I am doing the particular activity.
Hence, I decided to go with my second ideation which was to base the project on enhancing photos. Building on the point where adrenaline elevate our senses and makes us feel more than what we usually will experience. However, I will not being using photos from my own point of view but rather, I decided to make use of my photo collections as a photographer. To search for photos that I have taken which shows exaggerated expressions on my subjects’ faces and subsequently, edit the photos’ backgrounds to suit what I, as the photographer, interpret my how my subjects were feeling at the point when I snapped the photograph.
Here are some of the photos that I considered but were not chosen for the final submission.
These are 10 photos that did not make the cut for my final submission. Either because they have too many parts that were cut off by the people around/backgrounds, or their expressions cannot really be used in other situations. Looking through all these photos and my subjects’ expressions really brings me back to the moment I snapped them. Photographs are really amazing aren’t they. Allowing us to freeze moments for eternity and letting us relieve moments when we want to.
After all the filtering and brain storming about what pictures can be manipulated, I finally decided on the final six photos that I will be using for my panels and here they are. Below each photos are the reasons as to why they are chosen.
First and foremost, I chose this photo which was taken during one of my client’s son’s birthday party. This particular moment is when everyone was engaged in water gun and balloon fight and one of the kids was chasing an adult with a water balloon in her hands. The man played along and pretended to be afraid of her and let her chase him with the balloon. Although in this photo, the expression of his cannot be seen, his actions do show exaggeration from possible adrenaline. This is an example of adrenaline caused by mostly fun.
The second photo that I have chosen was taken during my overseas trip with my friends. In this particular shot, my friend was jumping off a platform that is only one metre off the sea level. Although it seems (and actually is) quite a simple feat, the expression on her face showed otherwise. This is an example of adrenaline caused by mostly fear.
The third photo that I have picked was snapped at my friend’s surprise birthday party. This particular moment was when she was having a balloon fight with another friend of ours. Although it was just balloons, her being extremely afraid of balloon caused her to have such an exaggerated expression. This is a good example of adrenaline caused by both fear (from the balloons bursting) and fun (from the friendly balloon fight).
This fourth photo is one of my favourites. I met this lady during one of my trips with my friends and she gave me permission to take photos of her (I am not a pervert). For this shot, the lady was jumping off a 10 metre board walk and into the sea. If you can zoom in and look at her expression, you will see how frightened she actually was. This is a photo that shows adrenaline causing reactions and expressions that are caused by fear.
For the fifth photo that I have chosen, it is an example of adrenaline arising from joy. This was snapped when NTU Cultural Activities’ Club pageant was crowned and she was receiving bouquets of flowers from the audience. Her expression shows that she is extremely elated and hence, this is also chosen as one of my final panels.
Last but not least, it is this particular photo that was taken during another of my client’s birthday party. This was when a lady was threatened with a water balloon by her niece. Although it was all in the name of fun, the lady who really did not want to get wet, experienced adrenaline caused by fear. And hence, having such an exaggerated expression.
These are the six photos that I have chosen to manipulate for my final submission. With the selection of photos done, I moved on to finding pictures that can be superimposed on my photos to make them look more exaggerated and allow my viewers to see what I interpreted my subjects to be feeling.
Honestly, I have always avoided photo manipulations and editing on photoshop because it is so complicated and I am really lazy. I am actually quite glad this project give me an official reason to do it and I “had no choice”. It turned out to be quite fun. Although the pictures seem to be quite easily manipulated, like just stack a picture there, stack another picture here, it is actually way more complicated than it is.
Firstly, I have to imagine what background/situations my subjects can be superimposed on. After which, I have to search through thousands of photos to find one that can be used. One that can fit the mood, one that has the right scale so my subjects do not look too big or small in it and one that has enough MP to not look grainy when printed. (Trust me, this took the longest time of all process)
After selecting the suitable images, I have to crop out whatever was not needed in my original photograph. This means that for all of my photos, I have to crop and cut my subjects to isolate them from their original backgrounds. I have to follow point by point around them to separate them from the original background. Other than that, for the photos that I want to use to superimpose on my images, I too, have to crop them.
After cropping all the photos and stacking the layers together, I had one last thing to do. As all the photos are of different environments, some are warmer, some are cooler, some are indoors, some are outdoors and have different cast shadows, I have to tweak every single minute details in order for the photos to look like they are one. Hence, the last step is necessary for the photos to not look out of place.
Here is an example of three photos that I am planning to merge together to form one of my panels. It is supposed to become a hostage situation in a warehouse.
As you can see, my original photo is outdoors and a whole lot more warm than the background image of a warehouse that I am going to super impose it on. Hence, apart from the warmth of the pictures, I have to also edit the lighting that is shone upon my subject. That is after I finish cropping my subject and the parang out of it’s background.
That is more or less it for my process post. Hopefully everything will turn out as I intend for it to and the print will be good!