Given this open brief, I decided that I shall take this opportunity to create content for social media. As I was choosing which brand to work with and also keeping in mind that i’m not going to spend a ton just to buy their products.. I realize that I am already subscribing to fashion rental service by Style Theory. As Style Theory has yet to be a global brand I thought it would be nice to create an advertisement for them!
In this advertisement, I wanted to highlight the 3 attractive points that the brand provides, for instance – wardrobe freedom, fast delivery and free laundry. I think that for an advertisement, title is very important as well as the opening. Hence I use the term “Smart Wardrobe” to serve as sort of a “click bait”. The conversations at the beginning left the viewers wondering what is next – how did the girl solve her problem, did she manage to get the dress etc..and then followed by the scene which most of us can relate to – a wardrobe full of clothes yet the girl has nothing to wear. After that, I proceed to cover the 3 points mentioned with the doorstep delivery, split screens and the cafe incident. With a balance between entertaining and promotional, I hope that it will help to create brand awareness for viewers who want to explore different styles without much commitment.
In this third assignment, I created a short narrative about having a crush on your best friend. Initially I kind of struggle with this because having a storyline in mind is not my forte. Later on I decided that I should probably do a storyboard and just proceed with my shoot. I tried exploring different shot scales and relating them to what I usually observe in videos. I find it hard to separate my vision of how the story should be progressing in a video into a sequence of still images. When it comes to still image, I have to select the keyframe that can communicate a point, leaving out the fillers.
What I did to show that there is a change of settings was to have the characters wear a different set of outfit. But it seems a little confusing to viewers as mentioned in feedback. In addition, I need to be selective when it comes to the props as well.
All in all, it was a fun experience to be able to create a mini series in this short window of time!
For the second project, we were tasked to explore different time settings while capturing and also on timeline during editing. Hence I headed out with different gears e.g. DSLR, Mokacam and iPhone to capture different scenes and hopefully be able to put them together! There wasn’t any storyboard planning – all the video clips were filmed randomly. Since I brought my action camera along, I decided to try capturing the water scene. The camera was tied at one end using dental floss (the only *string* I found with me) and dipped it into the pond for the green tint effect. I also did some simple color grading in Premiere Pro- mainly dealing with exposure and added an adjustment layer on top for LUT.
I am quite satisfied with how the water scene turned out as it looks like someone is drowning but it doesn’t really connect with the rest of my city shots. Therefore, I decided to overlay an eye shot (using close-up+10 filter) at the very end of the video to sort of link them together.
A brief pause is also added after the water scene to give the illusion that it could be something that happened in a different time period. The contrasting clips in this video feel like it can be a trailer of something else.
For the last scene, I sped up the 11-minute long footage in Premiere Pro to 3000% while the rest of the timelapse in this video was taken with interval timelapse feature in camera (1 frame/second).
In the original video for the above cinemagraph, the kids were walking around at the side. Initially I wanted to keep their movement and freeze everything else, however due to the moving sea background, it was just too complicated to mask the movement without having to interfere with the sea. To makes things easier, I masked parts of the shoreline so that the movement is still considered subtle, leaving out all the incoming wave. As for the sky, I had to mask the part where the bird flies and not the whole area to avoid the moving clouds. I also adjusted the opacity of the mask at the right side to create an illusion that the bird was at a further distance.
Animated GIF- From Still to Moving Image
For the second set, I tried to convert a still to moving image instead of capturing a video. I masked the smoke area using different opacity and then cropped it out as a new layer. In the timeline tab, I added keyframes and adjusted the size of the smoke (Command + T) accordingly. Additionally, I also added Fade effect into my smoke layers to smoothen the transitions.
The artist in reference for this assignment is Matthew Pillsbury. Pillsbury is known for his magical long exposures which make viewers face the fleeting nature of time as opposed to asserting presence. In his Screen Lives series, he captures domestic scenes such as someone watching tv, working on computers, using electronic devices etc to address the role of technology in our modern existence today.
I was looking for a way to combine still photography as well as videography without them having to fit into either of the categories. Therefore, I feel that long exposure photography is the key to achieve that – a still image that indicate movement but it stays just that; there is this continued suspension/tension of what’s next? Also, I love that long exposure photography largely depends on trial and error which is similar as film photography where the results are surprising; sometimes I get goosebumps from capturing subjects whose head getting “chopped off”, legs separated etc.
I chose this image because I love how it presents the subject of its desire to be in place – the subject is semi-present at that place looking out to another world as if she is standing in between an abstract space and the real world. (I edited the image in such way to convey the narrative) Just like Pillsbury’s images that are always “shimmering with the ghostly passage of time and enhanced by a spirit of transience”.
The more I practice, I kinda get a sense of what I can expect out of each setting and I think the most important thing is to first have a feel of the location you are shooting – is it an active area where things are moving fast? Are the light sources too harsh for long exposure? An interesting learning point is that I can get an extremely clean area by having a very long shoot as it automatically wipes out all the moving objects! Challenge-wise is to find a location that have a nice range of color palette (unless if you are shooting b&w) and substantial human motion because the colors can be all over the place which is highly disturbing or the subjects walking towards the wrong directions thus ruining your composition.. In this assignment, I used an ND filter to block off unnecessary light source as well as letting me to work on longer exposure. The filter helps to isolate harsh light making them even stronger which is pretty amazing!
Below are some photos which I feel that the traces of human represent the dialogue between subjects, their activity and the environment.
When I was composing my photos in the first series, I found that my subjects were lined up on the ledge, very much organized which I feel that the photo was looking dull/static. Hence I decided to look for something that may give the whole photo an interesting foreground, thus changing the viewer’s perspective – instead of introducing everyone that “my subjects are the tortoises”. By adding the grass as my foreground, it adds a sense of depth. Besides, by moving my camera slightly higher and lower, the photos give an illusion that I was actually moving/approaching the subjects. In the second series, I used both a 24mm lens as well as 200mm telephoto lens. It is interesting to see the difference in the scale!
The experience of shooting color reversal film blew me away – not to forget the insanely long processing time, which includes all the worries if I will ever get my film back or are they lost in the mail?? It was such a revelation putting the slides on the light table or even holding them up to the sunlight. They felt a lot more immersive as opposed to looking at normal photos. Also, I hardly ever revisit my film strips once I have digitized them, but slides are the opposite – they just took things to another level. I am reasonably pleased with how most of the photos turned out (a few mishaps.. because I left my tripod at home). Even though working with ISO50 has been quite a challenge, I would love to shoot slides again but this time with 120 film!
In this assignment, we are tasked to recreate an old photograph which is at least 10 years old!After rummaging through boxes of photo albums, I have picked up a few that I thought interesting and doable (hopefully) with the resources I have.
The first photograph selected above seems relatively manageable, except the fact that we don’t really get beautiful white clouds against blue sky in Singapore. Also, I figure this photo was taken at some beach resort where the folding chaise lounge were placed right in the middle of the beach. While here in Singapore, the lounge chairs are placed close to each other (as shown below). I used point-and-shoot film camera with a 31mm lens to achieve the wider angle. Another thing that I forgot to take into consideration is the shadow, which explains the rather “off” long shadows on the beach.. when I should have taken it during the mid-day.
Outtakes taken with SLR 35mm:
Sequel to the first photograph, I used the same point-and-shoot camera for the photo below. I realised that the photos which I have scanned actually look A LOT older than the “Old Photographs” I am recreating from! Or maybe it’s just me and the histogram clipping?
This is my favourite photograph among all! And it turned out to be the most challenging one. I love how the photo has a mysterious touch to it. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like there was a flash being used, but possibly a wall lamp which shines downward, however the light on the subject’s hair kind of clued me in on there might be a flash and the photographer was standing quite a distance away. It is interesting to see how the reflection in the mirror is dark, not affected by the flash at all. The photo below is taken using SLR 35mm f/5.6, 1/60s with external flash. Due to the different setting especially the small mirror used, I couldn’t place the camera further away from the subject, resulting in the extreme brightness as below.