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China Town, Oh Chinatown.

A connection between the environment and buildings  

For this project, I plan on going to Chinatown in Singapore and capture the culture of the area through the buildings and items I find. Instead of doing what I usually do which is storytelling through portraits and people, I want to start off the course by exploring something I usually don't do which happens to be architecture and landscape photos. This idea of storytelling the culture through taking photos of the literal place, architecture, and items in Chinatown is the theme for my project. I want to really show the connection of the buildings to the enviroment.
Below are my three images of inspiration for what I am really going to try and capture when I am in Chinatown.


I chose this picture as a picture of inspiration because of the composition and the story it gives about Singapore's Chinatown. The composition here clearly lays out the town with the middle and background displaying how Chinatown is smackdab in the middle of a huge city yet has the city surrounding it. The connection between the environment and the buildings in greatly shown here.


I chose this picture as a picture of inspiration because of the composition and the story it gives about Singapore's Chinatown. The colors here display how Chinatown is bursting with life and even how an older temple can still bring life and sustain life even today. I hope to emulate this in my own pictures by displaying color the same way.


I chose this picture as a picture of inspiration because of the composition and the story it gives about Singapore's Chinatown. The point of perspective of this picture is something that you rarely see anywhere and especially in Chinatown, it displays the great power these temples have in people's lives and how much they impact their characters.

For my next steps, I plan on using my Nikon D3400 with lenses ranging from my telephoto to my prime portrait lens in order to capture these images of the buildings. I will only be shooting in China Town exclusively and hope to go between August 23-25 in order to do most of my shooting. I want to go in the morning or mid-day in order to get photos. I will only be using the buildings and light and therefore won't need any models or props. I hope to use framing, point of perspective, leading lines, and overall use of light, shadows, contrast, and color in order to capture my photos. 

Think Tank Feedback 1: 
  • Ambika -  ​​​​Try to have people in your shots but keep the photos about the buildings.
  • Camila - Change the colors and make it very different 
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Digital Contact Print ​
I chose these four photos because of their ability to display the overall theme of my piece which is the connection of people and their buildings/environment. 
For the first photo, a woman is walking in Chinatown and looks up to the rain in an almost heavenly way that displays the tranquility and almost holiness of Chinatown.
The second photo shows a woman standing in front of her sop in a way where she is backlit from her shop, showing how her shop lights her life and shows who she really is.
The third photo on the second row shows a man cooking food with hanging chickens to the right of the photo which adds great context to the photo and overall theme of Chinatown. 
The final photo on the bottom row shows a man sitting in his colorful shop which is exactly what I wanted to portray, which is daily life of a Chinatown local but with beauty and color.
Think Tank Feedback 2: 
  • Ambika -  Keep the photos raw looking.
  • Camila - Focus on how the person connects to the environment when you are editing.
Editing Technique for One of My Final Photos 
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4. (Yellow) Finally, I cropped the photo again, adjusted the clarity, added strokes to the woman's eyes to make them pop, lightened the photo, and finally exported the picture.
3. (Red) Here I started to play with colors by changing the hue of the red and blue in order to make it a more flat look while also keep the color and changing the photo to what I wanted it to look like.
2. (Purple) Next, I started using the basic tab in Lightroom to control the contrast, shadows, dehaze, and clarity. For contrast and clarity, I added and for shadows and dehaze I took away
1. (Yellow) I imported the photo into Lightroom and started to crop it by using the crop angle and auto-straighten
Here is the final photo.
This photo was chosen as my first final photo because of the composition and emotion the woman is showing as she walks through the rain in Chinatown. The composition shows the foreground with the woman and the background showing the hawker and community center in Chinatown.  
Here are my other 3 final pictures.
I chose this photo because of the story it tells between the woman standing in front of her shop looking out at the rain. She was walking out to get some food and I asked her if I could take her picture, it came out great and I am happy with the connection of the woman to her enviroment.
This photo stuck out to me because of the candid aspect of the man doing his work. The composition is also great with the foreground showing the pigs (the environment) and the middle ground connection it to the background of the man working (the person).
I chose this as my final photo because of the story and use of color in the photo. The story is clearly stated with the man sitting in his store waiting for the rain to pass to try to sell to more customers. This photo also shows the beauty and use of color in Chinatown.  
Successes and Challenges
I think this project was hugely successful for me because of my ability to capture the perfect moment in order to show the connection of the people to their home, Chinatown. I was able to go through the rain and still capture the images without getting my camera wet or my lense. However, one challenge I did face during this photoshoot was going up to the people in order to get their consent for the photo. Even though I did get all of the people's consent, it was still difficult for me. I loved this project and really enojoyed it.
Final Print Document
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