Monday, 31 October 2011


I have been thinking of the most efficient way to retouch the 72 images taken. It should be very labour intensive. By checking them again on the bigger monitor, I found the perspective is not what I wanted. , so I decided to use Lightroom to retouch the tone, and Photoshop to correct the perspectives.

I tried to use batch process in Lightroom but soon I found I can not do so, as the white balance is very difficult to control in case of batch process. The white balance has been changing during the day, and it could result in from subtle to drastic colour tones. I had to make a choice to keep the original or similar camera adjusted tone cast, or correct it. There are pros and cons either way. The original white balance gives the image the colour cast signifies the time sense of the image. The adjusted white balance gives the image a coherent and ‘right’ detached surveillance feel. I am still strugging between the two, but probably I will have to choose to adjust the white balance.

Also the amount of exposure needs to be adjusted as well. Especially during the night the block actually was lit by some external light, so some frame exposure was not controlled well, and I had to adjust in Lightroom manually. I worry this create a not coherent look.

Sunday, 30 October 2011


I finally checked into the right room (block A, 1801).

I have tried different composition. I would like to use the 50mm standard lens to get the normal eyes perspective, but the block distance is too short and I hardly can pull not many rooms into the frame. I had to use wide angle to contain enough rooms. Too fewer rooms can not create the dynamics of change as time goes by, I need enough numbers of rooms.

Another issue is the exposure. The daylight will be exposed with no problem. However at night due to the contrast, most of the cases are the room lit will be over exposed if I use the full frame light meter model. I had to dial down the expose and resume to normal when daylight comes.

That night, the shooting started...

The housekeeper told me that I was the only guest in the whole 18th floor that night...

Saturday, 29 October 2011


I changed to a room in the right block (Block A, 1705), but it is not the right position. It is not in the middle therefore the perspective is not straight. I called the reception, but was told that due to a conference they do not have the room in the middle position. I have to wait another day. Well, at least it is the right block, so I set up the time lapse shutter to test for a day. When I came back to the room, I found the house keeper visited my room and closed one of my curtains. So the shooting was totally wasted...

Friday, 28 October 2011


I checked in to start the project. Unfortunately I was given a room (Block D, 726) not what I expected. The window view is street not the block I anticipated. There are a total of 4 different blocks in this hotel development. I tried to change the room but was told there was no space until the next day, so I have to wait one night.

Thursday, 27 October 2011


I happened to spot a site by chance months ago. I found it very conceptual. It is a block of tens of rooms within a hotel development. I can see everything clear from the block in the front. Behind the curtains, Who are these strangers living in these rooms? What they do? What are they doing at this moment?... Do they see me at this moment? What are they looking at? Maybe we are staring one to another. Maybe they are looking at something else in other rooms in my block. I normally keep my curtain open as I like to see through windows anytime even sometimes when I wake up. Maybe I am expecting something unusual to happen. Maybe I just want to be part of the nature or metropolitan..

I plan to set up a camera right in front of my rear window to catch the scenes. I will shoot for 7 days. The everyday every moment differences in the images are my narratives. I would not like or seek any decisive moment or spectacle. The mundanity and non narratives are my narratives. I will programme a time lapse shooting to let the machine peek and surveillance in the distance with no emotion. Maybe a video is a better medium, but the still image can let viewer see better, engage more and at the same time allow viewer to connect all the images to play like a video or cinema.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


We had a workshop of book making at BookWorks ( It was interesting to learn the grain direction of paper and we have to make it parallel to the folding direction. The process requires planning, precision, and patience. In 6 hours, we made one hard cover multi section book and one “Japanese Binding” booked (no idea why this is called Japanese binding though).

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


We had a training session of Final Cut Pro. System setup is first things first. It seems not the core area, but actually it is rather important. If the system, format, directory etc are not set up well there will be much headaches in the future. So does file management, it has to be extremely organising as it forms the basis for everything. Setup and organising are the keys for any software usage. I had much bad experience before in other software usage especially Photoshop. The difference between professional and amateur is to see if there is any systematic and standardised workflow. Anyway, I found Final Cut very interesting. It maps out all relevant data and gives very good overview of all files, so powerful. Secondly there is a ‘time’ element and you have to always keep the ‘time’ element in mind, of course because it is video editing, but as I have been working with still images, I feel very refreshing.

Anyway this is a good start. More sessions will follow but I do not know if I continue as I have to miss the ‘Page’ session. Today I missed Allan Parker’s workshop on printing, books and ideas, which seems informative and interesting…

Saturday, 15 October 2011


Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window

Privacy, public, border, voyeurism, surveillance, intentionality... I decide to make a project on it. We live in a unprecedented era. Modern technology armed us with all necessary equipment to penetrate the secret lives of others. Facebook, Youtube, advanced cameras, ever expanding metropolitan, etc all makes voyeurism and privacy one part of our everyday life and culture. I will do this project to explore this complex contemporary issue using my camera to blur the border of public and privacy.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


We were asked to make our first publication. I am always interested in doing some image montage like John Stezaker. I tried to cut out some portraiture from magazines to play around. The original idea is to use oriental face to merge with western portraiture in glamour magazines etc, but the look is quite odd and I can not achieve a coherent format...I was really struggling and ended up an ‘A-level Happy Photomontage’. My first publication is really bad, bit disappointed. I was very excited to see how others worked out. Their works are amazing. I particularly like Rob’s work. He used newspaper, all kinds, and juxtapose different texts with images and created very interesting situations and meanings. The title is ‘This is not the....’ in the background of all broad paper titles...

Saturday, 8 October 2011


We had some exercises to explore how to edit and layout text and images. I found this is very interesting. However, if there are a couple of images and much text, then to find the right layout is not easy. I would check a few graphic design books to get to know more...well, if I have time...