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Disastrous Day and Video

Okay its time to do this!

After plenty of research and much planning on the colour choices and compositions that i want to create, what’s left is to experiment.

My goal for project is to reduce the usage of photo manipulation as much as possible afterall i want to show the uniqueness of liquid in its natural form. Hence i did much careful planning on the colour theory for each images i have in mind.

My friend who is very knowledgeable in photography had kindly agree to guide me through the technical aspects on setting up the right environment for the shoot and using the camera. Before that, i had tried using a Nikon camera borrowed from school and the result was horrible. I didn’t manage to capture a decent photo so i was very grateful for Siong June’s help.

Day 1 of the Shoot

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These are the medium i used in my shoot.

Others are bowls, measuring cups and fish tanks.

To capture the liquid art sculptures. he brought all of his equipment.

  • Camera: Canon EOS 60D
  • Lens: Canon 24-70mm F/2.8 lens
  • Flashes: 1 flash gun and 1 studio strobe light
  • Tripods
  • Remote trigger

I was so surprised to see him carry such a huge long bag. He looked like he just came back from a long overseas army trip haha!

This whole experiment is split into liquid above the water surface (dripping scenes) and below the water surface (liquid flow scenes). I will be doing the dripping scene first.

I prepared different bowls to contain the liquid. In the end, i decided to use the white bowl so that no colour from the bowl will be reflected and muddled the coloured liquid later.

The setting up of the perfect environment for the studio effect shooting is so time-consuming. There was a cast shadow on the bowl that we tried different methods like changing the direction of the lighting and changing the shooting place from table to my roommate’s bed frame. Yes we did this in my hall and at my roommate’s bed frame haha! I have to say this till now i have no roommate. I’m not a inconsiderate person that ruined her place while she’s away hahaha! At the end, adding the studio strobe light solved the issue.

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First, i added water in the bowl and placed a coin in the middle to act as a focus point for the camera and for me to know where to aim my drip later. I mixed food dyes or acrylic paint to liquids and used the medicine dropper to drip the liquid on the bowl. There is not much different in the outcome of using acrylic paints or food dyes in the dripping scene.

Getting the right timing is the whole essence in this project. For this dripping scene which show the water droplets colliding onto the water surface in the bowl to form interesting sculpture, the shutter speed is set at 1/200 to capture liquid speed. In order to get the composition i wanted, i repetitively dripped on the water and change the bowl when it became too polluted.  It is definitely not for the impatient one. I had to go down to check the photos then climbed back up the bed frame and down again. While i was on top, i was in a squeezed area because my surroundings are all paints, so i can’t sit in comfort. After continuously doing this for hours, my knees started to hurt but i had to endure.

After getting the drip compositions done, the next will be liquid flow scenes. Basically coloured liquid will be flowing in a fish tank filled with water. I thought the scenes can be easily done because liquid flow slower in water and the compositions i had in my mind are more spontaneous and less confined to the structure i sketched in my journal like the dripping scenes. I had never expected it to become a nightmare. Initially i used a fish tank i made during my polytechnic life but the side cracked after refilling it a couple of times. The table was flooded. I had to clear up the mess and called for help. My parents came with a fish tank borrowed from my aunt. It turned out to be a pretty large fish tank so a lot of time are spent refilling it to pass a certain level for the liquid to have enough room to flow.

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The medium i used to experiment for liquid flow are heavy whipping cream and milk mixed with food dye or acrylic. Cream has more density and a higher viscosity than milk, so the outcome was it appeared denser and had lots of creases. The green liquid in the photo is achieve with heavy whipping cream and blue is done with milk. For the yellowish green liquid, it is achieve with food dyes.

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 Day 2 

Siong June borrowed a macro lens. Woohoo! Never expected it but thanks a lot!

With previous experience, i went to borrow a lighting set from school and bought other medium i want to experiment.

Add on to the equipment list

  • 100mm Macro lens
  • 1 Strobe light

I thought the shots using his normal camera lens was pretty good but the macro lens gave a way clearer and sharper image. It was stunning.

However before that, lots of calibrations like the lighting had to redo again. Few hours gone.

When everything is okay, here’s another issue. With the macro lens, the depth of field is smaller, so the water droplets have to dripped very precisely or the droplet will end up looking too blur to be used. I ended up taking a much longer time to get a suitable photo for my composition. The whole workflow speed had slow down. I had to find a way to fix the dropper so that it can dripped in the correct place. I taped the dropper to a piece of wood and secured it to my stool. With this d.i.y stand, the dropper is fixed in a spot and the droplets fall accurately into the middle of the bowl.

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I realized for the dripping scene to achieve the crown in the composition, the height where it dripped and density of the liquid are crucial factors to achieve the result i wanted. If a low density liquid is dripped at a high distance, the crown will be very tall and thin. The sculpture will not be form if the dense liquid is dripped from a low distance. The best is to have a high density liquid dripped from a high height to get a crown that is wide on the top with some spikes coming out.

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I explored a bit with oil and soap. I wanted the inks to float on top of the oil, but I never expected them to sink instead. As for the soap, when i pressed my soap bottle, it came out in a long strand. It looked like a torn spaghetti piece and did not give any interesting effect. I doubt it can be used in any shoot.

Lastly, a video of how i do the dripping scene by myself laughing

 

Concept and Artists Research

Frankly, i am not an open person and neither am i ready to bare it all out…

I prefer to talk about me in a more detached manner so i decided to talk about an issue that me and some people are facing.

 

My low self-esteem.

 

I have always doubt myself, thinking i that i’m not special.

Everything about me is average.

What is my purpose in life?

But…

 

Coming to ADM, every time i showcased my work, i gained a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. When my classmates gave me positive feedbacks like how they find my works interesting and seeing how different our works are from each other, i realized that we are all special. Everyone see things differently. I may be quiet and shy but my art speaks for me.

 

My concept is to encourage people like me who are doubting their self-worth that we are all special in our own ways! Its an EGO boosting project!

 

I thought of using blood as a comparison to my real selves because it is very relatable to how people normally think my personality. When they ask what blood type i am, they naturally fit me into the mold of that blood group’s characteristics, but i’m more than what my blood says about me. We are more than what life give us.

 

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I saw the distinct behaviour difference in me and how my blood type B is represented as. I’m a mix of A or O type depending on the situation.

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Somehow i always end up dozing off when i’m study so i’m like AB hahaha! Need to plan my time well to absorb the information.

More comic on https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=blood%20personality&rs=typed&term_meta[]=blood%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=personality%7Ctyped

 

With this concept in mind, it comes to the execution part. What form do i want to present me work in? The possibility is endless as there is no restriction this time round. Its all up to my imagination.  I knew i want go about it in an abstract manner.  That is when i thought of personify blood with liquid. I researched a lot on liquid art and encountered a new world, deeply entranced by the beauty of it. I decided upon liquid art photography right then.  This is a field i have never done before. I did plenty of artists research to have an idea of what i can achieve from this experiment with the equipment i can get to the best of my ability.

 

Artists References

 

Markus Reugels

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He explore liquid art photography for three years and explored using many different methods. He shot them with a pellet, bend it with an air stream, work with fountains, soap bubbles, smoke, the combinations are endless and only limited by the imagination.

These are his drip on drip works.

Water are mixed with ink, food dye and other medium like milk to achieve the colourful visuals.

Water droplets dripped from medicine droppers or water drop kit collide at a precise timing to form these imaginative beautiful water sculptures.

Alberto Seveso

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Dropping

This project titled Dropping is a tribute to the master of dripping technique, Jackson Pollack.

He was a big fan of the chaos theory, the process is quiet similar. He used sunflower oil instead of the usual water mix with ink to achieve these.

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Blackground

Blackground is achieved by pouring the varnish into the water. It’s not easy as he just described, because he spent a lot of time building all that stuff that now he use to shoot varnish into the water. Most of the time he can catch something beautiful just by chance but it’s very very important to find the right light and, the hardest part, find the perfect mix between varnish and water and the way to pour this mix into the tank.

I love the effect of these mixture forming a density mass. It look very surreal like a crumbled piece of an expensive fabric. Liquid in liquid always have a light feeling because of their fluidity but now it make me question the weight of the mass. The blending of colours also create an interesting visual imagery that can be further explore.

 

 

Corrie White

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Liquid Flow

These images are created by manually dropping cream or water, coloured with food dye, into a small aquarium filled with water. The images are then rotated 180 degrees . Some are altered using the mirror and flip technique.

Liquid art photography uses the most ordinary medium and create the most beautiful mystifying photos. It is a sight that not much people know of. ( When i was borrowing camera equipment in the school lab for this project, no one ever heard of this.)  This form of art really express my concept that everyone is unique. Water being the most ordinary form in our daily life. If we spend some effort to look at it more closely, they are so beautiful that they don’t lose out to anyone.

 

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I have zero experience in using a professional camera nor adjusting the right setting to shoot. I’m basically like a fish out of water. This will be my hardest project with my lack of knowledge and having to accomplishing it within a short time frame with piling stack of homework. I’m quite intimidated by my own ambitious but let give this a “shoot!”

 

Wish me luck! X.X

 

 

4D-PHOTO ESSAY

Been so suay this week…

My video got lost and im been trying to make a new one but lots of issues…

 

So ya, i will talk about the techniques and filming process before trying to post up again later.

 

I have always been keen to do a project on object and to explore their emotions. I used white bread as my subject because i like the soft and fluffiness of bread. A bit shortsighted on my part that’s why i faced a lot of difficulties to craft out the ending. However, i still did it!

 

Theme: Embrace yourself for who you are

Genre: Drama/Adventure

 

Story: Plain white bread lives together with his family in the bag. They are very excited when their owner grabbed them. This is what they have been waiting for all their life, to be eaten and satisfy one’s stomach. They flew into the pan one after another and be whipped up into delicious egg bread.

Just then a call came. Time flew fast as the owner chitchat over the phone for a long time. Without knowing, the bread soon turned black. She realized that she overcooked it and tossed it away. The hurt charred bread refused to be thrown away and escape.

Having lost its purpose in life, how would it find ways to regain its identity and meaning?

 

 

Process:

 

Rules of Thirds

In the beginning of the film, i focused strongly on using the rules of thirds to show the owner’s love for bread and all she could see is them.

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Breaking the Rules of Thirds

Another reason is to show the contrast once it got abandoned by its owner.

By familiarizing the audiences’ eyes with the bread being in the center and suddenly out of frame, the bread will look like it is placed in a odd position. That was how the charred bread felt; being left out from its family, abandoned by its owner and doesn’t have a place of its own.

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From Out of Frame back to Rules of Thirds

With the appearance of the birds appreciating the bread’s beauty, it was slowly brought back into the rules of thirds. The mission of the charred bread to be eaten is completed.

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Framing

The owner was framed at the opening of the door. The wall and the lines on the door draw the attention to the center where the owner was.

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A shot that i like a lot and it was really difficult to shoot. The bread was being lead to the pan. On the reflection of the stove, the owner face is framed, smiling as she anticipate to eat them. Our eyes goes from the white bread to black pan and the owner in a triangle pattern.

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When the bread was abandoned, the edge of the basin acted as the separation between it and the owner. It also guided our eyes from the plastic bag to the owner at the end of the edge.

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Semiotics

Colour as visual metaphor adapted from American Beauty.

Red– Passionate to eat (Owner & Birds)

Passionate to be eaten (Breads)

Desire to be cooked (Bread)

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Blue – sadness from being abandoned (Charred Bread)

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Special scenes

Overflowed with Red

One interesting thing i realized was the bird’s feet are red! Initially, i intended to use red pillars to express the desire to eat the charred bread. After i found out about their feet, i included this shot.

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Sweet Ending: The charred bread became very popular among the birds, who are eager to eat every single bits of it, even CRUMBS. Say No to wasting food!

Combination of Red & Blue

Blue- Left alone (Single bread)

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Signifier

Cross was to represent the bad omen about to happen to the bread as it’s going to be break into pieces.

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I tried to personify the charred bread by making it move in a slated manner to show it slouching and have no confidence.

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Canted Angle 

It was used to exaggerated the disgust felt by the owner as she looked at the charred bread.

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Lines & Lighting

Diagonal lines and lines going in different directions created the tension as the bread get trapped among the humans. As the scenes intensify, chiaroscuro lighting revealing parts of the bread enhanced the bread’s desperation to escape.

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After the bread was thrown away, i used a darker tone on the subsequent scenes to show the sad feeling of the bread. The world no longer look bright and cheerful to it but became a cold and isolated place as it tried to find its goal in living.

Timing

Inspired by La Jetee’s use of time frame to add mood to different situation, I varied the short and long speed for different situations.

Long speed scenes

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Yearning to be cooked and join its family to be eaten

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Call scenes to show the owner talk non-stop

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It had no aim in life, so subsequents scenes were slow

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Doom

Short speed scenes

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Danger scenes are used to give a rushed feeling

 

Other elements i used: Depth and Contrast. 

Depth is used to create an implied line from the bread’s perspective to what it desire to make it look like it has its own thoughts.

When the bread was white, it was easy to see it because the pan i used is black. They have a strong contrast, making the white stand out. Same for when it turned black, it easily stand out from the lighter environment.

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” It so far… i want jump into the pan!” (Bread’s thoughts)

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Can u find where is the charred bread?

 

Conclusion: I like filming object and giving character and emotions to it. It make me feel like a magician who can give life to non-living things. Filming the birds was so unpredictable. They were so active that the bread move around anywhere and they chase after it, pecking it. It was so fun. I can just stay in one spot and the whole dynamics happen in front of me!  Things to improve on is to give more perspective shot on the bread. After looking at my classmates’ works, i felt that my film has no strong flow like how a stop-motion film provide so i was not able to build up the intensity leading to the crisis. I should add more action by action images at the time when the owner taking on the phone and back to the bread.

 

That’s all~~~

Will be trying to put up the movie again ~.~