Tuesday, November 30, 2010

And the Winner is...

Zach Finn from Emory, class of 2012.  Defensive handler on Emory Juice (Men's Ultimate team).  Congratulations Zach!  Enjoy your free money to Disc Golf Station.

In other news, on my way back from Berlin, I saw a line of men holding long metal cases.  Kristian Kasi joked, "OMG, what if those were all sniper rifles."  A few minuets later I responded, "OMG you were right..."

Okay.  So maybe not a sniper rifle...  I blurred out faces and words so I don't get in trouble.  The second shot is just a crop of the first one with increased contrast for easier viewing.  It took them about 5 mins per metal box to go through the x-ray machine.

A Little too Cliché

Just got back from Berlin last night.  Quite a few stories to tell, but here's just a quick post while I am developing some of my Berlin B&W film.  These pictures got torn to bits at a critique last week.  'Too cliché and too easy.'  But very enjoyable to shoot and only took about 20 shots total :)

Back to developing,

Friday, November 26, 2010


Here is the start to my Atmospheres for Emotions series.  I won't share too many details about it yet, but its related, hopefully, to my Davis Peace Prize project proposal.  Interesting that my best pictures from it are with the people I hangout with most here in Paris.  The overlying idea for the series is the pursuit of inner peace; peace with one's emotions.

Headed for Berlin today and I'm not bringing my laptop so hai-lights is probably taking 3 day vacation.  That means that when I get back, I get to browse through my email and choose a winner for the $20 gift certificate giveaway!  Only a couple entries so far, so its still anyone's game right now :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Been lugging around tons of lighting equipment all around paris. I'm starting to light my outdoor portraits.  I quite like the look :)  The above portraits are in a studio.  Very subtle effects (in my opinion).  A light purple gel for a dreamy glow in the shadows of his hair and skin, and 6 incense sticks burning away between me and the model, Theodore.

Remember to send in your cell-phone captured portraits to ngoh@carleton.edu for a chance to win the $20 gift certificate!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kristian Kasi's Inkboat Project

I'm not quite clear what the assignment was, but it was something to do with creative mapping of the Notre Dame area/islands via photography, painting, and sculpture?  So the idea for this project, I think, was to map out the waves of La Seine river.  There was a ink dripping device on a makeshift plexiglass boat with paper side.  The rest is pretty self explanatory I think.  I got to stay clean and warm taking pictures while Kristian poured 7 euros of his ink all over himself.  Pictures are raw from the camera and were just meant to be documentary.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Not Workplace Safe

First off, just to warn you, this post is not workplace safe.  It contains a picture of my first in-studio nude shoot.   But first, the above picture is my 20 min exposure.  My 55mm lens only stops down to f16, so it's not the sharpest, and the composition could probably be better.  I guess it was more experimental for me.

In my Lighting Seminar class last week, we had a nude shoot which, which went fine, but not great.  I probably should have walked away with a few more great shots.  But I did get one, although it was pretty heavily cropped.  I also shot it on film, but those didn't work out too well.  Anyways, here's the shot, model released and all:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

$20 Giveaway: Disc Golf Station

hai-lights' second giveaway is brought to you by Disc Golf Station: Disc Golf Discs, Discraft Discs, Frisbee Golf.  Free shipping, no minimum order!  They have generously offered a $20 gift certificate to the winner!  Continue reading below to see how to enter.

I had a surprise in-class essay in Color Photography: "What does photography mean to you?"  This was actually a very useful exercise for me.  In this essay, I talked about elements of control and finding peace with the elements you do not have control over.  I could go more in depth about this, but that could take a while.  Anyways, I brought some studio lights on my roof to 1) make a self portrait and 2) test a lighting idea for one of my finals. I failed in both instances.  The self-portrait was suppose to be what photography is to me, but it isn't even close to what I imagined.  It also didn't help that it was raining and slippery.  Oh, and I didn't have a tripod, plus my remote stopped working (dead battery?).

To enter hai-lights' 2nd giveaway, email me, ngoh@carleton.edu, a self-portrait taken with a cellphone camera.  (You can have someone help you take the image.)  Images can be manipulated in the post processing (i.e. they can be photoshoped).  Images will be judged based on composition, technique, and creativity.  The winner will be announced  the 23rd of November, 2010.  All entries are accepted until a winner has been announced.  By submitting picture, you are acknowledging to have full rights to the submitted image and are aware that the image may be posted on this blog.

PS.  If anyone reading this knows anything about studio lights, I'm looking to buy some, and I was wondering how much I should pay for these Norman lights.

Lambda Prints

For my color photography class, we were asked to make a couple Lambda prints, which is a process of digitizing your color film, making digital edits, then printing them as you would in the darkroom by projecting the image on to light sensitive paper.  I never knew there was such a great difference between digital prints and c-prints (color darkroom prints).  The colors are soo much nicer and you keep soo much more details in the highlights and lowlights.

First pic is by the Notre Dame, the second is by the Louvre.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Wow, so check this out.  The top one is an absolutely raw image, straight from the camera.  No color corrections, no vibrance enhancements, no increased contrast.  The second one is a tripodless HDR (high dynamic range) shot (you can tell by the clouds and tones of the buildings.)  Now maybe I'm just bad with creating HDR images, but the first one looks much better to me.  Maybe its this whole film thing that's getting to my head... (Side note: When I saw these pictures I thought, "ah.  There's the Hai I knew from before Paris."  Not a good or bad thing.  Just a thing.)

Anyways, here's my final selection shot.  You can compare it to yesterday's finalists.  Think I made the right choice?  Why or why not?
PS.  The frisbee-related sponsorship giveaway is coming up! :)

Adam Thomas William Wilde

These three were in my final 4 selections, but not very very final selection.  They were just lightly processed (contrast and levels) so I could have a better idea of what they would look like in the end.  If I could shoot it again, I'd say less is definitely more with thumbtacks.  Which one is your favorite of my non-final finalists?

I have my presentation today in Market for Art and Design.  I did a research project on how and why free magazines exist.  It is really quite interesting.  There's a whole network of people that exchange skill sets for status and exposure.  Its more complicated than that, but that's the short version.

Special thanks to:
Model: Adam Thomas William Wilde
Make-up Artist: Kylie Guthrie

Thursday, November 18, 2010


The first shot was the cheapest Fuji color negative film I could find.  Fuji Supera I think?  The second one is Kodak Portra VC.  That was my first time trying to shoot color film in the studio with strobes.  I ended up under exposing all the shots...  I guess my blue filter cut more light that I thought... (Negative color film is white balanced for daylight and studio lights are tungsten.  So you need to use filters to correct everything or else the colors get goofy.)  Filters and ISO differences between digital and analog was too different I guess.  It's too bad cause color film demands pretty accurate exposures.  I processed the second pic via photoshop in my attempt to salvage it.

As for my laptop, its getting worse and worse.  I have to use Christian's spare monitor he left here to use my laptop... and processing pictures are going to be a lot more difficult with all these different (unsynchronized) monitors coming into play.

Special thanks to Kylie Guthrie (Make-up Artist) and Adam Thomas William Wilde (Model).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Here's some more HP5+ Film shots for you.  The last one is one from my environmental portraiture assignment.. except somehow I accidentally made it a double exposure (how does that accidentally happen?!?)  And so most of what you see in the background, primarily the left side, is my room.  And on the desktop screen is the 4 pictures I selected to submit for the assignment, which includes the digital (non-double exposure) version of this one!

In other news, went to a Parsons Paris student's birthday party last night which was on a boat.  Stayed till about 3:30 or something like that and then Vélib'ed home.  Went under and around the Eiffel tower and stood in awe for a while.  It looks quite nice disappearing into the clouds.  When I got home, I popped up on the roof, set a long exposure, set an alarm for 4 hours later, and went to sleep.  Heard the alarm, but kept sleeping.  Woke up an hour later and realized I really need to stop that exposure..  So got back up on the roof, said 'Wow... its really bright out' which means that shot is completely over exposed, and then took a few quick 1 sec exposure shots at f22 with a polarizer on a tripod.  Went back down and slept some more.  Now its 1:08pm here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Film Obssession

There's just sooooooooooo much experimentation to be done with film.  I shot a couple rolls on my roof yesterday.  Exposed one shot for 20 mins at f22 pushing HP5 400 to 800 (was finishing the roll).  I just leaned about stand development and the philosophy of exposing for shadows, developing for highlights.  And then I read about overnight exposures, etc.   ... :)

Pics above are from my lighting seminar class.  I took the second picture and Brian, the guy in the second picture, took the shot of me.  My lighting set-up.  Colors on the backdrop were made in the studio (as opposed to being added in the post production).

Monday, November 15, 2010

Got My Keys Again

My keys were at the front desk waiting for me this morning.  Here's a couple Kodak Portra VC 160ISO shots just around the Notre Dame.  AND below is my first video assignment for my Moving Image class.  He just wanted us to get going so we had to turn in a finished product within a week.  So it's really basic, simple, and not really worth its own blogpost :)  Also, music credit to Daniel Curme, class of 2010.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Another Sunday Post

Wow.  So I forgot my keys at school ... again ...  and school isn't open Sundays ... so I'm sleeping over at Kristian's and so I also have internet!  The first picture above isn't a final product.  I decided it looks much too Ipod-y to use for a potential portfolio image.  The next two are my final selections from last Thursday's shoot with Michas.  I created a subtle halo in the 3rd image but I'm not sure its appropriate for the picture.  Thoughts? Also, in terms of content, do you prefer image 2 or 3?  And why?

PS.  Yesterday's shoot with Adam went pretty well!  Didn't get through all the set-ups I wanted, but still got a handful of great images.  More on this later.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

About to Shoot

I'm about to shoot.  This time I have a time restriction.  But I think it'll be alright.  Its thumbtacks instead of zippers this time.  The make up is similar to the villain in Hellboy.  The plan for lighting is first a basic beauty dish to catch all the make-up.  Then some directional lighting (what can I say, I love rim lighting..), then some expirmental stuff.  I bought incense sticks to see if I can do a smoky background.  It'll be tricky because I can't have light hitting the background and the key light can't hit the back-lit smoke.  Fingers crossed.

The shot above is one from my 3200ISO push.  I pumped contrast and deepened the blacks in the post.  Lots of grain as expected.  But a nice look in my opinion.  I think I'm going to reshoot it.  I just guesseed on the exposure.  I'm getting better :)

Friday, November 12, 2010


So the other day I was gallerying (gallery hopping) in le Maris.  Saw Sally Mann, some urban art by Lady Pink and Atlas (Atlas was also the artist on exhibition at Gallery G where the inauguration for the Photo-Off was held), and plenty of others.  At the end of it, was walked into what was a BMX Pro-store promotion.  Pretty low lighting and all I had was my wide-angle lens on me. I also finished one of the rolls that I pushed to 3200ISO here.  Nothing spectacular, but a spectacle nonetheless :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

No School, Just Studio

So today is some holiday ... forgot what its called ... But I realized I need to do like 4 shoots a week if I`m going to finish all my finals on time (not to mention some animation and video work).  My laptop battery died and I forgot my charger, so I guess you guys get to see some raw pics from my shoot today. None of these are the final product, nor THE shot, but you get a glimpse of the concept :) These aren't straight from the camera; I pumped the contrast a little.  Uncropped though, as you can see.  Shot at f20 with my 70-300 zoom.  Had to go manual focus due to the limitations of my camera body.  Model: Michas, son of two models.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

First Youtube Video

I know I`m a bit behind with this one, but here`s my first assignment in Motion Graphics: Lyrics and Visual Animation to 30 seconds of Music.  Song credits:  I Leave the World Today (Special D. Remix) by Baracuda.  I figured I`d share this after gmail chatting with Zach Finn, St. Louis Park High School `08.   ...I think I`ll stick with photography...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pushed to 3200ISO

I pushed HP5+ 400ISO to 3200ISO yesterday.  Apparently that's not recommended for the developer we have here at school -- D-76.  I think I over developed it ... 27 mins in stock ... and so the negatives are looking super contrasted and pretty dark, but I think they will scan in fine.  It'll just make printing a pain...

It's been raining the last 3 days which is a bummer.  But on the flip side I got to see an ENORMOUS exhibit of Andre Kertesz's work.  Breathtaking!!!  ...I wish I was that good...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Point and Shoot

Well, when you are carrying around your laptop, charger, a couple film cameras with a couple lenses each, some filters and some film (color and B&W of course), the backpack starts to get heavy.  To lighten the load, I've often traded in the Nikon D3000 for a Samsung point-and-shoot.  Above are couple pics inside The Louvre from that $80 camera (purchased about 4 or 5 years ago).

On a different note, my laptop has decided to start dying on me...  the deep black pixels turned green and some other weird discoloration...  So now, on the off chance that Apple wants to advertise on my blog, I could really use a new computer :)