Assignment 1 – Expiration Date

Expiration Date

Nani? What is this about?

The narrative of the image was inspired by Wong Kar-Wai’s Chungking Express. Specifically these two lines said by Cop 223:

Somehow everything comes with an expiry date. Swordfish expires. Meat sauce expires. Even cling-film expires. Is there anything in the world which doesn’t?

If memories could be canned, would they also have expiry dates? If so, I hope they last for centuries.

In this composition, I tried to depict the groceries previously bought from the supermarket being placed on the table. The edibles chosen were either canned foods or simply foods that expire easily. They are accompanied by photographs and handwritten notes that represent the “memories” aspect of the quote chosen. And of course, the composition wouldn’t be complete without the iconic sliced pineapples (but not the actual brand from the movie…I couldn’t find that brand in NTUC).

Artist References (brain juice suppliers)

      1. Wong Kar-Wai – Chungking Express

In terms of stylistic approach to the edit, I heavily referenced the scene of He Qiwu (Cop 223) eating the sliced pineapples.

Takeshi Kaneshiro in Chung Hing sam lam (1994) Chungking Express – Wong Kar-Wai

Pineapple Cans in Chung Hing sam lam (1994) Chungking Express – Wong Kar-Wai

The greener hues and the grain as well as the magenta highlights stood out the most to me. The mood from the scene was solemn but still playful. Though it was visually appealing, I still felt unsettled. To incorporate the dreaminess or hopefulness of the second quote, I chose not to use the high contrast in these screenshots.

2. Jennifer Lauren Martin

This image titled ‘Wrap Sheet’, though thematically dissimilar, had the right composition and feel I wanted for the scene of “coming back from the market”. I referenced the composition as well as the shapes they used overall.

Wrap Sheet – Jennifer Lauren Martin



Camera and Digital Processes: 


Canon 80D. As I’m not the most familiar with photography or how to use a DSLR to take good pictures, so I just auto-ed it. I focused mainly on the pineapple can, it being the most iconic object in the picture. I also turned off all the lights in the room and used my phone light to create the lighting I wanted (soft w/ not much harsh shadows + isolating the milk bottle from the white wall behind it).


After the cleaning up the dust on my camera lens (??? oopsies) and the dirt on the orange etc., I did a quick colour balance based off the white on word “pineapple”. I then lowered the highlights and brightened the shadows to decrease the contrast to create a dreamier look.

I then brightened the photo and the frame separately just to fit the softness overall as the blackness of the clothes in the picture was distracting. Then brightened pineapple can, bringing up the highlights to bring more focus on it.

To create the mood/setting I wanted, I used colour balance to increase the greens in the midtones, and used selective colour to increase the magenta in the whites to create the emotion needed.

Finally, a quick lens correction for the slight slant in the original and distorting it just a tiny bit to make it look less harsh/”in your face”. And the grain to sort of replicate the grain in the original screen cap.

link to files:

arigathanks gozaimuch


Comments taken into consideration for Part B of the assignment:
so this is the second rendition 🙂

Published by

Samantha Peng

ADM Student.

20 thoughts on “Assignment 1 – Expiration Date”

  1. amazing composition! love how you stacked each object and lighting was still quite consistent.Wong Kar Wai for the world

  2. hellooo! I like how it is a little quirky looking!! But i do think that it can be crazier and messier and have it look more chaotic and that could bring out the narrative further:)

  3. I like the different objects used in the picture, I feel like they each have their own significance to you. Love the personal touch!

  4. The thought process behind the image is well thought out, I love that every object has a symbolism to it and the theme of nostalgia. However, I hoped that there was a focal point and more depth as I’m not sure what to look at here. Also, go crazy with the edits! The colours can definitely be pushed more 🙂

  5. I think that the green tint makes the image look more vintage and gloomy. I think that as cher said, to add on to your narrative, arranging the objects in a more disorderly manner will make it more natural and crude.

  6. The concept of the expiration date is very interesting! However, I think the color can be a bit faded to bring out the old photo feel.

  7. I think your concept is nice and sentimental! I can see the use of some complimentary colours within the shot and that’s good! Good effort!

  8. Hello Samantha :-D, I really like the use of colours here! I think it really adds to the vintage vibe to the image and it helps to bring the narrative of the image out well! Actually I also really like the composition of the image! good job!!

  9. I think changing the background colour did help your image to gain that nostalgic feel. and nice choice on the vintage idea.

  10. The idea is great and it really make the audiences think about it. I think adding rust to the cans and replacing semi-dry skinned oranges can further emphasise on the concept of expiration.

  11. I really like the intention behind the image! I think perhaps the references you selected are a bit at odds with each other..? (the modern, sharp feeling of the wrap sheet reference and the dreamy, nostalgic feeling of Chungking express… maybe if you fully went for the WKW vibe? rlly appreciate what you’re trying to create in the image though!!)

  12. YooooO the colours of the canned foods, orange and milk bottle cap go really well together and the adjustments made to achieve that moody vibe is *chefs kiss* as well. I really like the area where you can see the milk cap and the filter doing their thing HDKSJHDFHSJ IDK HOW TO DESCRIBE LMAO nbut yes i also like how u have the subtle bottom to top cam perspective yasss love your work!!

  13. Hi Samantha! I love your reference to the beautiful beautiful ChungKing Express and I think how you translated the significance of the pineapples in CK Express into grocery shopping to be unique and interesting to explore! Cool stuff!

  14. nice concept and play with colours! however i feel that it might be better if the table was more filled, a more “messier” look might help to bring the narrative out a little more 🙂

  15. Hellooo, I love the concept of the narrative on the expiration date! Never really thought of that. I love the colors as well as it gives off a sentimental feel to it. Composition could be better to make the shot more pop out. Overall, still, nice job!

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