Culture, Journal

My Week in Photos: 2016-03

Week 3 of the MWIP project has been rather challenging in terms of making the effort to take a daily photograph. While not a requirement of the project (I’m supposed to present my favourite photos from the week), I did form a tinge of guilt for not keeping up with a daily discipline.

What was fun though, was being able to take some macro shots with the Magniband, a strap with a macro lens that you can easily attach to your smartphone. Link

You can see this in action in 3 of the photos. I don’t think I need to say which. I took those in low light from a singular light source, and was just messing about with the subjects in my room. It’s really interesting when you have a new tool that lets you change your perspective.

Notes from this series

  • Rain always produces puddles of water which are great for catching reflections. My personal favourites are the ones where I caught the building’s reflection in the manhole cover, and the one where you can see the refletion of two girls sitting on a bench. The stains on the floor were also an excellent foreground for the frame. It’s sort of like a dirty dream.
  • Patterns. Not really a fan of how I captured the shot with the installation made from lights. But, the idea was there. Through my eyes, it was calming to see all the lights in a row, in a repeated system. Unfortunately, I didn’t achieve that through the perspective of my lens. Limitations of the photographer and the tool I reckon.
  • Composition and shapes. The shot of the balcony that was half wet and half over-exposed also struck me as one that I really like. It’s rather neat in the way the subjects are segmented, and all through the randomness of nature. It was one photograph where I did absolutely zero post-production.
  • The photo of the clouds was the most liked photo on instagram that week, which I find surprising. Personally, I find it boring, but I suppose it was a beautiful day, and people do like to look at clouds. I’m open to that, that these presentations are a dialogue with whoeever comes across them. I just find it boring, because I wasn’t really challenged in any way while taking the photo. I do think it’s nice though.

Maybe if you see something you like, or something that strikes you, I’d like to know! Leave a comment, and maybe we can start a dialogue regarding this project.

As always, the entire project is being archived here.

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Culture, Journal

My Week in Photos: 2016-02

On the surface, routine can kill creativity, but I find that it discounts the necessary discipline needed in order to cultivate a process of creativity.

I didn’t have a routine of creativity for last week, since it was the routine of life. As such, I wasn’t taking photos during the day since I was pretty much going to the same locations, communting to and from work. However, the needs of the project required me to constantly keep one eye open, for things I normally would not have seen.

What I mean is that I wasn’t constantly looking at my phone while I was on breaks, or during my commutes. It’s incredible the amount of visual information there is outside of the confines of the phone, and I think it’s a good habit to keep even if this project was no more.

Look up, look around, you’ll find your subjects for your frame.

Some notes from this series:

  • The first photo happened on a Monday night commute, as I was feeling exasperation from not being able to find a subject, and a somewhat empty train, I looked out the window as it was moving and noticed the reflection of lights and a lone person. It’s not the sharpest of photos, but I think it conveys the fleetingness of our mortal coils.
  • The photo of the empty street is unremarkable, but I was confronted by this empty street one day after work. It was disconcerting to not be around the usual bustle of the workplace’s vicinity, and I decided to take the opportunity to walk in the middle of the road to take my shot.
  • The closeup of the leaf was inspired when I saw my partner take a similar photo. I wanted something with more shadow waves, but I’m still rather pleased at how this one turned out. The one-source light really brings out the pre-existing lines of the leaf, and I think it succeeds in highlghting the things you don’t usually notice about nature that’s around us.

The whole series can be found here.

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Culture, Journal

My Week in Photos: 2016-01

Well, the very first week of 2016 is over, and there are 51 more weeks of this project to go.

I don’t really know why I’m approaching this as a countdown, but one of the useful byproducts is that I get to keep track of where exactly in the year I am, and how much time we have left for the year, before the cycle starts again. Kinda like how for some of us, when it’s Friday, we’re already thinking of Monday, and the dread that follows it.

One of the challenges of this project is taking time to either take photos, or compile them into a post. As such, quite a few photos from last week involved shadows, because whilst I’m at work, I do leave the office at different times and notice different things.

I usually hang out near some corners, so you do get some interesting shapes at different times of the day, and I am starting to get a bit of a handle on the sharpness of the shadows based on the time of the day.

I’m not too sure what I’ll be exploring for Week 02, but pray that I find something.

_The whole collection can be found here

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Culture, Journal

My Week in Photos: 2015-52

The last week of 2015 was a cool one, weather wise. The end of of the year is usually colder in Singapore as the monsoon season kicks into high gear. I was indoors most times, either at work, or while having a break at home with my video games. However, the times I found myself outside of work or home settings, were usually at places of food and the company of my partner, who has been encouraging me with taking these photos, and giving her own inputs as well.

Despite the lack of external stimuli, the week has been an exercise in composition, and I find myself gravitating toward empty space. I’m not too sure how that plays into my attempts at photography, but perhaps I wanted to evoke a sense of barreness due to the colder temperatures.

The only one I wished I could have improved on much more, is the shot of the sea cucumbers on a bed of ice. The textures were foreign to the usual urbanscapes I’m familiar with, yet, I don’t think I did it much justice.

You can see the entire collection-in-progress here.

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Journal

Come 2016, I have decided to only upload black and white photos to my Instagram. It’s going to be really simple in execution and I will place more emphasis on the story within the frame.

My intention is to desaturate colours from Instagram’s in-app photo editing tools and leave it at that. This way, I won’t spend time fretting over how a photo to look, but just take the damn photo. Possibly tonnes of imperfections, but I want to improve my eye for photography rather than rely on post-work.

And ideally, I’ll post one post a week in the format: My week in pictures: 2016-xx for a total of 52 weeks, highlighting my favourites.

That is all.

EDIT-2015-12-28: I am using the Obscura App, Noir filter with almost no post-production work. The app lets me adjust shutter speed and ISO settings, and my goal is to concentrate on photography rather than post production work.

EDIT-2016-01-04: I realize that the series should be called, “My Week in Photos”, not “My Week in Pictures”

Announcement: “My week in pictures” will debut in 2016

Aside
Journal

I’m still online.

Despite all the time that has passed, and all the excuses I make for not writing, I find myself back here saying the same things, over and over again.

I’ll write again. I’ll be disciplined. I’ll find my groove in the process.

And the same excuse will always be about how uninspired I am with regards to writing in here.

To give myself a little boost, I installed a Markdown plugin to let me write these posts the way I prefer, but even then it’s a small change. The real change has to come from the inside.

Excuse me this little dog-ear of a post. I’m hoping 2016 will be a year where I’ll share more about my thoughts and opinions on the things that shape my being and my perspectives on the things I care about.

Indulge me, one more time.

Excuses

Aside
Journal

Lately, it’s been increasingly difficult to escape or find new perspectives. I fear inertia is setting in. Today I mused to myself that it would be great to have an app that randomized other-worldly sounds and images, just pure randomness, to help take my mind off the things I’ve curated and ritualized.

Because everywhere I look, it’s the same thing. The same type of content being recycled, the algorithms predicting what I’d like, when what I really want is discovery.

The recycling of thought

Aside
Parr
Mixtape

Mixtape 020: Rebel Base Star Fox

It’s 1130pm now and I’m scrambling to get Mixtape 020 out before the stroke of midnight. Why the rush you ask? No reason apart from me wanting to stick to the deadline I’d set for myself. Writing’s a discipline, and like any discipline, targets must be set, they must be practiced, and then some slight improvements can perhaps happen. Or at least the regularity will give some illusion of predictability.

I’m not really a tastemaker, in any legit sense of the word, but I hope you like some of the tracks I’ve pulled out from Soundcloud. It kind of describes the moods I’ve been feeling such as noise and distortion, as well as the comforts that never go away no matter how hard I try, like an addiction-fueled groove or an understated beat.

Like Sons of Magdalene’s Move To Pain; it carries an exceptionally spellbinding melody that’s both melancholic and uplifting all at once. Or take for example, Arterial that follows after it; awash with an ominous tragedy. The stop-start of Demon Practice‘s fuzzysexy bassline also never seems to grow old, neither does the long-drive-on-straight-road groove featured on Crystalise

Beat-wise, the glitchy patchwork of Fort Romeau’s remix of Go Back and this mixtape’s closer, naked, both evoke a primal instinct when it comes to enjoying electronic music.

And if there’s something in between, it would be muxmool’s Teal Trim, which is one of my favourite tracks off his Just Say It All EP. That reverb laden keyboard line that plays throughout the entire song juxtaposes so well with that gravity sucking bassline. And just for good measure, I decided to throw in Tendo Beat as a ‘lil ditty of a beat, just because it’s so pleasant and platonic.

Tracklist
// Sons of Magdalene – Move To Pain
// Lusine – Arterial (Telefon Tel Aviv Remix)
// TOBACCO – Demon Practice (Instrumental)
// George Fitzgerald – Crystallise (feat. Lawrence Hart)
// Tony Allen feat. Damon Albarn – Go Back (Fort Romeau Absolut Remix)
// muxmool – Teal Trim (Edit)
// Magi – Tendo Beat
// four ● lore – naked

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void-desert
Journal

How should I pick up the pieces?

Sometimes I feel like a sodding mess, sometimes I feel like I could give it my all. Sometimes when emotions get carried into the workplace, I feel like I should create instead of manage, and sometimes when I’m resting, I think I should be working.

Life was neatly compartmentalised, until one day, compartments weren’t enough.

I didn’t title this post “How do I pick up the pieces”, simply because I know I have to, or I will; it’s in my DNA to face forwards, or meekly accept that I’m not so special that the rest of the world will wait for me. Everything moves forward whether you want to or not.

But some times, I wish I could just stay here in my own filth. To not move, and not become whatever new and improved version I’m supposed to become. Maybe I don’t want to rush it, because I’m still learning from whatever inertia I’ve been jolted out off. Ironically, by staying inert.

Maybe it’s a method to misery, maybe it’s putting my emotions under a microscope. Maybe it’s rationalising as a coping mechanism.

But let me tell you, music’s a lot more visceral now. Which is weird because I stopped feeling to stop hurting.

I stopped feeling to stop hurting.

And yet, when the zeitgeist takes over, when just the right notes go together, in the intensity that pulls the cord in your spirit, and the howls of madmen take over, it’s the type of empathetic agony, that while we’re alone in our filth, we’re not alone in dealing with filth. It’s there, all around, and try as we might, nothing we could ever humanly do could take it away. Except perhaps to be absolutely devoid of all that it means to be human.

Devoid.

Now there’s a pleasant, calm-sounding word.

How should I pick up the pieces? Not by filling the void, but by embracing it.

And maybe one day, relinquishing it.

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