Was It Just My Day ? (A Short Reflection)

Looking at my plan, I have to say that I definitely lacked time management, but yet it still worked out my way. This was because I decided in the end to leave my photographs unedited, because this would delete the authentic message and feel it was supposed to give out.

Since we couldn’t go to the Dance class and take photographs related to contact improvisation, I decided to make the most out of the Chinese New Year holidays instead, to take photographs related to what I call “celebrations” in my father’s hometown on Kedah. It was definitely a perfect opportunity to capture the culture in rural areas, where it is more quiet and brings out an eerie atmosphere.

Overall, I think I did quite well and have definitely learned how to appreciate and analyze photography in many more ways. Photography indeeds make you think “What’s that message ?”

This unit was definitely fun, interesting and interactive, because we got to analyze various pieces of photography, which are as below, and also experiment with different styles of photography to come up with our own style to express ourselves in our own unique way.

This was the peer assessment by Tim on my photography experimentation.



The True Meaning of Happiness (My Photo Essay)

During the Chinese New Year holiday, I captured a few photographs that for me, showed a little of the dark side about how some people may not be feeling as happy when others are. The places that the photographs were taken include Kuala Lumpur, Kedah and Penang, and have not been edited in anyway.

DSCN6114 (1)

DSCN6140 (2)

DSCN6144 (3)

DSCN6148 (5)

DSCN6156 (4)  DSCN6164 (6)

DSCN6165 (7)

Narration/Artistic Intention

We walk around. We talk, we go on social media, play games, the list continues. Yet, we forget that there are others. People without anything. They are busy washing, while others just have fun. The bell strikes 12, and people like me are woken up by the sounds of fireworks and celebration. Clock hits 11, and we become models as a united family. Yet, we forget that some are quiet, while all others do is crave for more food. What is the true meaning of happiness ? We may never know – some will never experience the development and fairness.


(100 words)

Breaking Into Three (Rule of Thirds)

In this post, we will be looking at the rule of thirds in photography, one of the most common rules in the art form.

The rule of thirds is when the view of the camera is divided into a 3 x 3 grid. The rule states that the subject is supposed to be within the centre square, and then this feature will make the photograph interesting and more convincing. The theory for this is that putting it on the lines of the grid will make the photograph more balanced as a whole and therefore allow the viewer to feel for it more. They can make their conclusions better and therefore “like” the picture better.

In some occassions, the lines of the grid may be used as a point of focus. Here is an example of the rule of thirds in action. The subject’s eyes are the point of focus and align with the lines of the center sqaure.


However, wouldn’t it be a little too boring if all we did in any photograph was place the subject in the center. Here is an example of a photo which goes against the rule of thirds.


Since placing the subject in the center maybe a little bit awkward for this situation, which means that the chair is on the table, we get more interest as our curiosity is raised on other parts of the picture due to a focus in a different place.

Personally, I feel that if you want to break this rule, you should be daring and learn how to use your own theory effectively, such that it is more effective then what you have right now. The link below provides you with more information on the topic.


History Says A Thousand Words

In this post, we will be analyzing our third photograph (yay !), as we look at history and the protests and wars that have happened in our much-filled past. This photo was taken in 1989 at Tian An Men Square, Beijing, China, when hundreds of thousands protested due to a lack of mourning for the communist’s party general secretary Hu Yao Bang.


Personally, I like the way that the side is really dark, as it gives off an eerie, silent and dark atmosphere. The fact that the streets are quiet and silent show that people are going to be attacked, what more innocent people, as nobody knows about it. The man in front of the first tank is also questionable, as it may depict the man that is leading all of this – the man that is to be guilty.

I like how this photograph was taken from the top and not the side or the front, as this shows the big picture of the silent streets, which boost the photo’s composition. The subject, which is not exactly in the centre, could mean that it is about to turn, and that the people are going to be attacked right after this turn. It keeps me on end, wondering what is going to happen, and makes me come up with my own conclusion on the event.

That’s photography. Something we know about gives off a thousand words. We look at a photo, analyze the various things that make it, before making our own conclusion or opinion. We develop our thinking, and therefore, good photography will make you think what is going to happen next.

A Look At Life

In this post, we will be analysing a second photograph, taken by none other than me ! This was taken in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I was trying to quickly catch a photo of the busy city with my camera. However, I needed to use flash without interfering others, Thus, I covered my finger on the lens, and that is what you see as the shadow.

(This photograph has not been edited in any way.)

A Look At Life

For me it was deja vu ! It looked so awesome, and the fact that it was quite a direct approach made me even more proud. However, after looking through it again, the finger felt like a lamp shining on the centre of the street. The rain also looked a little bit like snow, which gave it extra effect.

From this piece of documentary photography, I see a modernised Vietnam, quite a long time since the Vietnam War. People have grown and as they continue to work hard at life, rain pours down on them, when all they’re trying to do is to get back home. This photo in my eyes expresses suffering and overcoming issues and challenges they face. Although Vietnam was basically a city of ruins after the war, they worked, and worked and worked, until they got here. For a second, I thought that I was in KL itself.

The vague subjects in the background clearly communicate my intention of a hustling and bustling Vietnam. The darkness shows that it’s really late, and that rain/snow is pouring down on them, and yet they cannot reach home. The contrast between the neon lights and the motorcyclists were actually there to show a silent atmosphere. The finger/lamp proved to show the spotlight of the picture, which is the cyclist in the centre.

I chose this photograph to post here because I can relate to it. Ever since I skipped grade levels (not trying to boast here), I have been working hard ever since I started tackling the IB MYP two and a half years ago. I have walked in rain, went down in tears and had a great lack of sleep. However, I still carry on, and continuously take another step forward. The hard work and pressure we experience as children is even more valuable compared to those experienced by adults, in my opinion, because it shapes you as a person and also determines your future greatly.

No matter what comes in your way, always try your best, because you need to believe that you can take down anything that comes in your way.

Abstract Expressionism and The Butterfly Effect in Photography

Before we go into the second photograph (taken by me) right after this, we will be discussing a little about Abstract Expressionism and The Butterfly effect along with their role in photography.

Abstract Expressionism grew up in New York during the 1940s and 50s. By the way, expressionism is art that expresses feelings or emotions of the artist or third persons through the piece. Abstract expressionism is basically figures that one may not recognise that are used to communicate ideas. This may be done (on canvas) using quick applying of paint, scribbles or even splashing paint. It was for vigorous and ambitious painters at that time.

I like to call this movement “baby art” because I felt that throwing paint on canvas was something that even babies could do. However, after getting up close to paintings at the Pompeii Gallery in Paris, France, I noticed that you could see lines and that the colours actually complimented each other in a way. I was beginning to picture something on a whole new level. The work may be unconscious, and to help you further understand, here are a few.




Moving on, the butterfly effect is actually a scientific theory (Don’t worry – I am not going to talk like a scientist) about one small and single occurrence that changes the course of the universe or subject forever and ever. I believe there is even a movie for this, and it expresses the theory quite well. The theory was created by Edward Norton Lorenz, mathematician and meteorologist. In simple words, because he started a model in a different way, it completely diverged and turned into something different, which inspired him to investigate before coming up with this theory. The change was small yet the outcome was so different. This is why it is part of the chaos theory. If the Earth’s temperature was to increase by five degrees Celsius, as scientists predict, the Earth would be wiped out.

Linking back to photography, if a photo is unique, people will be more interested in it. Something simple can mean so much, giving it its essence and beauty. It makes people think and that is what photography is supposed to be. Professional photographers capture moments that have many definitions, which intrigue people. Looking at the butterfly effect, even one small change can affect the entire message in a photograph. For example, forgetting a sun of a seemingly fine day could mean something totally different. It could even mean a spooky day because people might wonder why a Sun is not placed.

Heading back in time to Liang Yue’s Morse Code, without the existence of the flashlight, it would mean just a man standing on the street or in a isolated area. People may think that the photograph leans more towards sadness and depression. However, with the flashlight, it starts symbolising a secretive feeling and makes it eerie and quiet.

In conclusion, I think that photos are impactful only if they have meaning to it and not necessarily because they are stunning and have high definition. The meaning in them is what matters most.





A Few Photographic Terms To Get That Message

Here are a few photographic terms that I will be trying to use in the next few posts on the Abstract Expressionism movement along with an analysis on my second photo.

Abstract – Focuses on elements of the art piece (line and shape) rather than a certain and realistic object, making it look rather unreal.

Content – The subject or information captured in the photograph.

Direct Approach – Capturing the shot directly without taking it from weird angles or changing it in any way.

Documentary Photography – A photograph that is used mainly to communicate a person, place or event.

Expressive – communicates a lot of emotion

Geometric Shape – Simple shapes found in geometry such as rectangles, triangles, squares and circles

Intention – The reason/cause for the art of work to be produced

Landscape – A setting that portrays the natural world.

Objective – A point of view, which are bias free, and considers justice and equality.

Representational – An image which shows images/objects that can be recognized.

Subject/Theme – The main or powerful idea or content in a piece or pieces of work.

This is where I got most of these definitions from. There are a few more words for your reference, so please do look at it.