in My Work, Project 1. The Narrative Still Image

Void – The Narrative Still Image


Void is a single narrative image that represents the place in my mind I retreat back to whenever I want to escape reality. Here I sit silently in a corner with the mask I present to others taken off my face, as if I’m exhausted from interacting with the world. It is in this void where i find peace and comfort away from the busyness of life; it is here where I escape my responsibilities and dive into oblivion, for what better place is there in the world than a void where no one can reach you? Where you can finally exist – where you can finally be?



Technical Decisions

The shot was taken with a Canon 6D on a 24-70mm f2.4 lens via timer and tripod with a single speedlite to further enhance the dim lighting. It was also taken outside my house by the corridor.

As for the digital process, I felt that it was necessary crop the image take away the element that I shot the photograph in reality. I also felt that cleaning away the stains and dirt on the walls and floor helped make the photograph look more put together. I played around with channel curves to add more depth into the image. I also made some hue adjustments to the wall and chair so as to make it a purer white, thus emphasising the emptiness. I found that desaturating my skin tone and giving it a pinker hue suited the aesthetic I was going for. Eventually I sharpened the image and added grain as a final touch.

Artist References

Lara Zankoul

I was inspired by this particular body of work by Zankoul titled Dimensions. As I tend to gravitate towards vibrant colours in my work, I often fail to see the beauty in plain empty spaces. I was drawn to how she makes use of shapes and lines within the space to create such beautiful compositions despite having the subject do so little. I thought that I could challenge myself through this project to make use of a plain empty space to tell a narrative.

Dimensions, Lara Zankoul,  2017

Dimensions, Lara Zankoul,  2017

Willy Vanderperre

Another photographer that I took inspiration from was Willy Vandeperre, especially in this particular campaign. I was personally drawn to the simplicity of the image, especially the pinkish faded skin tone against a plain white backdrop. This body of work is minimalistic, yet stunning as the contrast of the images created more defined looks in the models, which added more depth to the image. I thought that tweaking my own skin tone could help to further enhance my narrative better.

Jill Sander FW 16/17 Campaign, Willy Vandeperre

Jill Sander FW 16/17 Campaign, Willy Vandeperre

Google Drive

  1. The cropping here is amazing, adds an element of mystery to the photo. The cool pinkish colour grading for this photo really blends the image together, like a subtle sense of comfort and peace. Good job, keep it up!

  2. I really like the way you were able to emphasize on this safe space where you can retreat to. The carefully chosen elements are really smart on further highlighting your message! Really nice work!!

  3. HI RACHEL!!!!!!

    So here are my notes!!!!

    1. please name your layers more descriptively, what does each layer really do?

    2. I feel the workflow is definitely in the right direction AND I would love to encourage INTENSITY lol

    Please see my screenshots sent via ig dm! You will understand what I mean by this!

    I’m also curious what do you think of the crop I have done considering your theme here is void?

    Excited to see more!!! MORE IS MORE lol


  4. i think your image really creates a mysterious narrative with a minimalistic aesthetic! although i feel like you could play with the negative space a bit more, too much white? haha i dont know its nice either way

  5. I really like how you managed to capture a polaroid/ snapshot feel like its capturing something in the dark you’re not supposed to. That combined with the minimal colours really builds up the off-ness of it!

  6. the cropping was so transformative! really adds to the narrative of the space being a “retreat”. I also liked how you kept the image very clean and crisp with the monochromatic background. Adds a sense of cohesion and elegance.

  7. I really love the monochromatic and desaturated tones of the image. It really brings that extra oomf to the image. I felt that the cropping of the photo also evokes this claustrophobic sense. Loves it :))

  8. I like the clean colours you managed to edit into your picture. I think you have successfully achieved the concept that you were working towards! Keep up the good work! 🙂

  9. I love how you approached the minimal aesthetic, think the way you posed/looked into the camera really adds to the narrative you have in mind. 🙂 nice~

  10. sorry it took me a while to comment omg 🙁 but i love the brightness of the whites, it makes it so crisp but also eerie because light in real life is rarely so clean and so pure white. the minimalist approach really works! welldone:)))