Chris Tong Advanced Photo Portfolio

LEARNING EXPERIENCE

This course has taught me valuable knowledge such as technical skills and the philosophy in photography. I learned how to develop black and white film by myself and how to edit photo with Adobe Lightroom. The lectures and photographer researches have given me a new perspective to see photography. Photographers like Georges Rousse, Erin O'keefe and Francesca Woodman are very inspiring. The course works are good opportunities for me to try in different genres of photography.

Project #1 - Meaning Through Camera Functions

The project aim is about communicating through shallow depth of field and long exposure.

The first photograph is about a mother's love to her child. The shallow depth of field is to emphasize how the other things were insignificant to a mother when she's taking care of her child.

The second photograph is a self-expression of a emotionally low girl. The blurriness of her face is created by long exposure. It represents her lost and frustration.

SKILLS LEARNED

The requirement of project #1 is to shoot on black and white film. During the class, I learned how to use film camera, the procedures of negative development and scanning. I also learned the masking technique in Adobe Lightroom when I was cleaning the dust on the film digitally.

PROJECT #2 - INTERVENTION

The project aim is about creating photograph by intervention to the object.

The first photograph is about the trail of existence. I used my iPad to display an old photo taken by me, went to the same spot and took this photo. What I'm trying to express in this photo is that we never know what happened there even if it's just an ordinary tree.

The second photograph is a work inspired by Andy Goldsworthy. I picked up the tree branches nearby and built an irregular hemisphere shape on a plain ground. The focus of the photo is the aesthetic value within waste material. An ordinary place and waste material can also make art.

The third photograph is a work inspired by Junji Ito, a Japanese horror manga artist. I used bizarre colour, twirls and melts to make the slot machines look surreal. The slot machines are like portals to another world. Those who are addicted to gambling will be pull into the machines and they can never escape.

ANALYSIS OF CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY

Photography was not considered as art after it was invented. To many people, Photography is limited to photojournalism and street photography. However, contemporary photography is not like photojournalism. After learning about photographers like Andy Goldsworthy, Georges Rousse, Erin O'keefe and etc, I came up with knowledge that contemporary photography focuses more on the aesthetic value of a work and the photographer's intervention to the object. Unlike photojournalism and street photography which focus on the story behind the work. There are also some contemporary photographers who focus on the self expression as well as the aesthetic sense in photographs such as Francesca Woodman and Ana Mendieta. I think contemporary photography has given photographers a great autonomy to explore different kinds of genre such as aesthetics (e.g. Erin O'keefe), intervention (e.g. Andy Goldsworthy), self-expression (e.g. Ana Mendieta) and etc.

PROJECT #3 - STILL LIFE

This project aim is to challenge people's belief on what is real. It is done with geometric models to demonstrate the optic illusion created by camera. In the project, I used studio lights and black backdrop to create a plain and spacious background to match with the clean lines of the geometric models. The amount of light is evenly projected on the geometric models to create the flatness of the image. I also used Adobe Photoshop to edit the photo, making the image looks real but it has actually been altered.

FINAL PROJECT - 'ONLY IF YOU LOVE ME...'

This project is about documenting family time in form of black & white street photography. The theme is inspired by a song that is about a person who wish his parents love him more when he was small. The black & white effect is used to emphasize the lack of love in childhood.

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