Final Conclusion: A Summary of BA2a, BA2b, BA3a & BA3b

Through this two years of intensive research and development of my photographic practices has finally (almost) come to an end. I love my course. I love photography. I loved the people and environment. Most importantly, I loved doing what I do. Thus concludes all the experiences I have accumulated and all works I have done thus far. I have divided my thoughts into six key areas to look into.

  • The Provocative Landscape

  • Photographic Practices

  • The Industry 
  • Self Promotional and Business Plans
  • Collaboration
  • Post University Plans

The Provocative Landscape

In my BA2 works, I explored colours and structural elements in my body of works and “A kaleidoscope of colours” was the result. As I developed my focus into landscape photography later on in BA3, it developed into “The Provocative Landscape” and much of my research had revolved around it.

In my essay, “The Provocative Landscape”, I have proposed that there could be three approaches to reading provocative landscape images: The controversial Image, The Dialectical Image and The Rhetorical Image. These approaches have been helpful in identifying what landscape images can be considered provocative, though sometimes images do not fall into a single category. Thus, I have decided to use many landscape photographers’ works to further elaborate on my point.

I  not only look at landscape photographers, but also at art installations, films and listen to music, and to an extent, the photography works I have done have been a response to those influences over the two years of my course work. It is not a matter of straightforward references but rather a subconscious accumulation of experiences which finds its way into the pictures.

As artists and photographers have engaged with a wide variety of techniques and continuously sought to evolve their photographic practices through time, I have found that for some landscape photographers, it is not the technique that makes an image provocative, but the interaction between the image (how it was created) and the audience (what kind of emotion does it evoke) that makes the image provocative. Provocative landscapes could also be from a religious point of view, as though a sign from the heavens, since the chances of encountering such phenomenon are very rare. How these research has informed my photography works was through my two series, “Allenmanstretten” and “Pandora’s Box”.

In the pursuit of better quality in my photography,  I have sort of evolved from full frame cameras though exposure of other works and understanding the limitations when I consider for large prints. Though I have not used a medium format camera for most of my landscape works due to logistical constraints, but that should not stop me from dreaming bigger.  I think I am ready for medium format cameras!

Photographic Practices

Just like the many photographers before me who set out to explore the potential of landscape photography. We wished, for a number of reasons, to work against, or at least question, some of the accepted conventions of landscape photography, and I certainly realised that there was much ground for me to explore. As my experience in research and planning continue to evolve with my knowledge of the landscape constantly with paradigm shifts, This has grown into a sort of personal preoccupation, to a point where it has become one of my primary interests. This was also thanks to the pieces of advice from the tutors and peers and industry professionals whom through these critique sessions have constantly challenged me to outperform myself in surprising ways.

Though this is only a point of my photographic practices, it is a never-ending learning experience. These practices will continue to change and evolve. Who knows what future holds when my practices evolved again!

The Industry  

The point of understanding how my practices are relevant to my industry is an important one.  Through market research, understanding differences between the UK market and Singapore market and setting up interview questions for those professionals already in the Singapore industry, meant that while I am in the UK,  I have to commodate my works to cater the interest of both groups of audiences. But when I return back home, I will cater predominantly towards the local group of audience. To survive in a small and competitive market, it has been the way that the more skills one can acquire, the better the chance of being hired. The current practice of the industry in the region is not healthy, but that is the way it is.

Self Promotional & business Plans

The point of understanding the relevancy of my practices to my industry is an important market research. Identifying the key differences between the UK and Singapore market and interviewing professionals already in the industry led me to a better understanding of how my industry actually works and how my business can fit in.

Figuring out a business plan that will work for me takes time and refinement. There are no hard and fast rules than I can complete this within a school semester. My original objective was to set up shop to make some money off my prints. Yet if I were to bring this business back to Singapore, the environment there is will not be the same. Setting up a business is a daunting task, especially if I were to bring the business back home. I have no experience in this area and it is going to be a different ball game. I could research as much as I can, but unless I tried it out and get some experience out first hand, I won’t know how it is really like. But in any case, if my business model doesn’t work out, I will need to consider other options, such as changing my plans, collaborate with another creative to sell products, etc.

Understanding the market needs also meant that my portfolio works have to cater to these groups of audience. Hence I opted for Press Kit boxes; a balance of digital and hardcopy prints. The reason I am favouring press kits over large portfolio boxes or photo albums is because in Singapore market has a different mentality compared to the UK. As for the mode of showing portfolios, both clients and vendor tend to prefer the convenience of the portfolio than showing something big. This means that the people generally prefers everything online and digital. However, if a tactile box with lots of interesting items might entice them to work with the photographer.

I have had an unsuccessful collaboration attempts in BA2 works due to my unfamiliarity of the UK work environment. But through the collaboration work with Fahim in BA3bhas enabled me to discover other fields of industries where landscape imagery can be relevant (other than car adverts) – the game industry in areas of environmental concept designs, as well as the movie industry. As game artists and visual effects artist have exemplified using references of elements of landscapes to build an imaginary landscape, it is possible to interpret a provocative landscape in the form of a utopian/dystopian world. In regards to the Singapore industry, game design and Visual effects companies are more prevalent there than car advertising. There is  LucasFilm and there is  ILM branch in Singapore. These are the prominent ones, and such projects are usually collaborative ones.

Post University Plans

“Carry on with life, get married, have children and grow old.”

No, seriously, a lot of people have begun to ask me about my plans post university. Industry professionals asked me if I could work in the UK. The answer is No. This is because of the current political situation in the UK. With the Brexit situation going on, major businesses are moving away from the UK and into Europe. This also meant that I will have to fight a lot harder and at a more disadvantaged position.

UK friends outside of Uni have asked me what I am going to do next. Most likely set up my own business when I get back home. Either that for I find a production company to get more photography-related work experience.

Peers have asked me if I were to continue Masters. The answer is No. the reason is two-fold.  Firstly, a year of degree course for a non-EU student is already a lot higher than what the local students are complaining about (imagine what you could do with £4000 difference) and I am not eligible for any bursary nor under any scholaship awards. Simply put, it is not sustainable for me financially. Secondly,

Secondly, Masters in Photography is completely unheard of back in Singapore, because photography in the sense isn’t recognised as a niche profession. what is important to do photography in Singapore is the work experience. If I were to study a Masters, most likely I would consider doing Masters in Multimedia locally, where both photography and film production falls under the same umbrella. perhaps, if I were to consider teaching photography as a profession in the longer run, I may consider. Hence I’m not pursuing Masters at the moment.

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Last night we initiated an informal group crit session at my house, just seven days before our final submission hand in. I managed to cook some curry and apple salad while we went through each of our works and portfolio image selections. It was a critical session as sometimes when we are caught up in the rush of getting things done and we may miss out a few details. These details would be picked up by a third person with a different perspective. And so, we went through each other’s scrutiny and came out better with these feedbacks. This session lasted for about 4 hours and we were mentally drained by the time we finished going through everyone’s works.

This was what I got out of from the feedback sessions.

I thought with my RJ & VL, I was almost ready for submission, but it turns out I had a bit more details to look out for before my submission. I would also need to reflect back on the tutor’s feedbacks from my BA3a submission and try to capitalise on my strengths and address the areas of development.

Screen Shot 2017-05-12 at 01.24.42

 I think it is impossible to hit every checkbox with the mammoth amount of task list at hand. But with one weeks’ worth to tighten up our stuff,  I will try to do as much as I can.

Update 1: 10.04.17
Update 2: 11.04.17
Update 3: 12.04.17

Iceland Trip (part 2)

Visiting Iceland has to be one of the most memorable trips of my life. Not just because it is a haven for landscape photographers but also because of the challenging weather elements that make the adventure all the more exciting. Managing every single aspect of the journey single-handedly was a daunting experience. I managed to meet up with an Icelandic photographer, Jon Hilmarsson whom brought me out for a night to catch northern lights and gave me tips about driving in snow terrains. Of course, safety is of the utmost importance to me since this would be my first time driving in snowy terrain. 

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In this post, I share my journey in a chronological order, not in the order of a curated image series. There are many things I wished I could do during my time there, however, as I am driving for the most part of my journey in the southern region, I have my constraints such as:

  1. I could not visit many popular tourist sites such as the Blue Lagoon or explore the ice caves, etc.
  2. For certain places, I didn’t have the time to stay at one place for too long. 
  3. There were a couple of good scenes along my drive, neither could I stop abruptly on the road and take out my camera, nor soak myself with the view as I had to concentrate on the road. With the amount of snow, it was also difficult to see where I could pull over. 
  4. The icy terrain meant I had to be very careful where I tread or drive, especially when I’m alone on high grounds. There were many instances where I had to refrain from being too adventurous at the expense of personal safety. 

Day 1


The journey began after boarding the plane to Iceland. The weather at the time was extremely good that we were treated with an amazing view of Scotland from our plane windows. I have never seen Scotland landscape from above. As we got closer to Iceland, the pilot announced that it was rare to able to see Iceland from above. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see much as my plane seat was in the opposite direction.

By the time I got onto the bus from the airport to Reykjavik it was evening time. snow on the ground was thick and dragging my luggage in the snow for quite a distance had been a challenging task. I managed to find my way and check in two hours later. As soon as I arrived at the hostel, Jon contacted me and he brought me out to catch northern lights in no time. I was elated for the immediate adventure, but I regretted I didn’t have enough time to prepare myself for the tour. We went out on his 4WD, anyway.

Like many of the experienced Icelandic locals, Jon was an avid landscape photographer with many accolades under his belt. He advised me about driving in Iceland and how to catch the Northern Lights when I’m out driving myself. It is better to have a 4WD car as it could get me to places not reachable by normal cars. As we were out photographing at Hvítárbrú in Borgarfjordur, the night temperature got colder to -6 degrees. I came underprepared, but I managed to hold out from the freeze. As the Northern Light dances wildly in the night sky, every second not capturing it are opportunities missed.


Although I had two cameras, I wish I had taken more panorama images but I didn’t have a second tripod and I was focusing on time-lapsing with my main camera. I didn’t think I have quite captured the best of the northern lights at the location on my first try. I didn’t have the time to prepare my mirror cube which I initially wanted to incorporate with the Northern lights. Nevertheless, it was a good session. We returned back an hour past midnight, exhausted.

Day 2


On day two, I didn’t explore the city of Reykjavik as planned (I rearrange it towards the end of my trip). Instead, I went onboard with a group of travellers to the Snaefellsnes region, about 2.5 hrs of drive west of Reykjavik. It was the same direction that I had been to last night, only further. One of them was driving as I have not gotten my car yet. I didn’t think we had reached the destination they wanted to visit, partially because we set off late and ran out of time. It was also their first time driving and they couldn’t drive too fast.

We got out at one point to see some sights as there was a horse stable around the vicinity. Mountains, snow, cute Icelandic horses. Having the telephoto lens was extremely useful. However due to time constraint, as the sun was setting and it was getting colder, we didn’t stay there for long.


On our way back we managed to catch a brilliant sunset. I wanted to pull out my tripod and stay longer, but it was too freezing cold for me (it was -3 degrees)! I took a few quick shots and jumped back into the car, and made our way back to the city. It was a brilliant sunset with pink, purplish tone over the mountains, I wish I had more time to explore further during our pit stops; unfortunately, we had to make our way back to the city. Thus conclude the second day of my journey.

Day 3

Day three was where my car journey actually starts. The image below was where my hostel in Reykjavik was. Look at that amount of thick snow!


I spent the next couple hours in the morning picking my car up and to familiarise myself with the left orientation drive which took me a while to get used to. After that, I was on my way out of the city. The first view I saw was from a vantage point which overlooks Hveragerði village. After driving past Selfoss, I got to my first pitstop of the day, Urridafoss Waterfall.

Next was Seljalandsfoss waterfall. I got there by evening and decided to stay overnight in the car, as I hope not only to catch the sunrise at the waterfall the next day, but I would also have more time to explore the location. This was the first of two nights I stayed in the car. I was able to see the Northern lights, but I didn’t get out of my car as it was simply too cold for me. I think it was around -4 degrees. Even so, somehow there were still travellers coming by to see the waterfall at around midnight.

Day 4


The next day was a cold morning at the Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Even though it was still early, more people came to see the waterfall. The first (middle aged) couple I met at the waterfall happened to be Singaporean. There were staircases up into the waterfall, but I couldn’t go up as the surfaces around the waterfall were icy slippery. I didn’t have crampons on my boots and had slipped quite a few times around the bridge area. The scene must have been quite nice from up there, but unfortunately, I didn’t get to see.

Right beside the main attraction was another waterfall called Gljúfrabúi. The falls are partially obscured by the cliff rock, but there is a trail to enter the narrow canyon where the water plummets to a small pool. I took pictures from outside as I realised how wet and cold it would be if I went in under-prepared. I was slightly jealous of the other tourists who came with Mavic drone but also impressed that a small drone could do well in the winter environment. This was where I developed the interest to capture tourists in the landscape, in conjunction with my original landscape photography intend.

After spending a good time at the waterfall, I continued driving eastwards to my next destination. Midway, I stopped by for a couple photos outside the Eyjafjallajökull information centre, a family-run facility to give visitors a personal look at the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010.

The next destination was another famous waterfall Skógafoss. it was the most impressive waterfall I have seen yet. it was afternoon when I arrived and there were already many droves of tourists up and down the waterfall. I went up the viewing platform eventually, and the view from above was simply breathtaking! Had I more time I would have stayed there longer till the stars come out, but I had to quickly move on. The last pit stop for the day was my hostel accommodation in Vik. No meals were provided so I had to run to the nearest supermarket to get ingredients and cook myself.

The last pit stop for the day was my hostel accommodation in Vik. No meals were provided so I had to drive to the nearest supermarket to get ingredients and cook myself.


Day 5

Honestly, I didn’t know the hostel I’ve booked was located up on the higher ground. I was pleasantly surprised by the amazing view from the top. I recovered quickly from my exhaustion and did a bit of photography before driving.


This time, I drove westwards to the other side of the mountain facing the hostel. On the other side was the Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, where the road ended on a field and a makeshift parking lot. There was a small pathway that opened into the beach. Reynisfjara are basically basalt sea stacks situated under the mountain Reynisfjall which is framed by a black sand beachI was surprised to find most of the beach was actually various sizes of black pebbles and stones. Next to the beach was the Hálsanefshellir Cave, with cliff made of hexagonal shaped basalt columns.

What I find interesting was that whenever the winds pick up, blowing the sands out into the sea. People who do not want to get hit by the sand would all freeze towards one direction until the wind dies down. Other interesting sights around the beach was a Reyniskirkja church. After visiting the black sand beach I continued on my journey eastwards. It was a long drive to the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.

Along the way were more interesting sights. Snow capped mountains, lonely roads and a strange landscape with stone cairns. Laufskálavarða is a mound of lava in the southern coast of Iceland. An ancient farm once stood there but disappeared during an eruption of the Katla a long time ago. According to custom, every traveller who passed through this place for the first time was to erect a cairn, so that his journey might be favourable. What got me interested was a peculiar man-made, cube-shaped container in the snowy landscape. Ominous clouds were approaching so I had to get on quickly.

I stopped by a small Shell station at Freysnesi for a short breather, about 50km away from Jökulsárlón. I could see the Northern lights from my car. I got out to capture a long exposure, just to see how it would look like. The Northern lights looked otherworldly, as though a scene from the film Independence day. Also, it was getting cloudier, which means a storm might be coming over my way. I’m not sure if it was going to be a passing storm as the weather could be very unpredictable. Regardless, I had to be more alert from this stretch onwards.

Resuming my journey eastwards, suddenly the weather changed for the worse. The road becomes much more slippery and I could felt the impact of snowflakes hitting my car. It seems like I had driven into a snow blizzard. I  scrambled to control the air in the car to prevent my windscreen from fogging up. Visibility was so poor, I could not assess the situation (it was really bad!). The winds were so strong that the car was shaking, I thought it would be a bad idea to stop the car in the middle of nowhere. Eventually, I found a closed petrol station my car could seek shelter and wait out for the storm to pass.


For at least three hours I stayed in the car. A couple of vehicles drove past and into the blizzard. I turned on the car heater at hourly intervals so as to conserve petrol. I did occasional long exposure to see if the storm had resided. It was still extremely cold. Eventually, the storm passed. Petrol police came to make rounds and left. Another car drove towards me. An American-Korean tourist, an old uncle came out from his nearby hotel to check out the situation. we struck up a conversation and he left soon.

After another hour of waiting, I decided to change my plans. Instead of stopping at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon for the night, I would drive on to my accommodation in Höfn, and come by the glacier lagoon on my return journey. Höfn was about 111km away from my location, about 1.5 hours drive.

As I drove on, the snow storm appeared again. A few times my car skidded and almost crashed. It became increasingly difficult to keep on one side of the road as the road markings were covered in heavy snow. All I could rely on was the car tracks left behind by the previous vehicles. I had to drive in the middle of the road carefully. I had to drive in the middle of the road carefully, in the case of incoming vehicles.

Eventually, I reached the next city at 4 am in the morning, it was my most intense drive ever. Unfortunately, I could not check in early and I had to stay in the car for a while longer. I parked at the petrol station and took some rest. I didn’t take many photos as I had used the whole day to recover from my fatigue. It was a good thing I had stopped at Höfn for two days before heading back towards Reykjavik.

Day 6


After a good couple of hours of rest in my hostel, I set out to Stokksnes in the afternoon, slightly east of Höfn. This was the reason I travelled that far east, to see the Vestrahorn mountains, and I didnt want to go back empty handed. The weather in this area had been terrible compared to my time in Reykjavik a few days ago, but I thought I should go all out anyway. though it wasn’t my ideal weather to capture Vestrahornwith all the raining and snowing as I had hoped for a cloudless sunset, but I had to make full use of the little time I had left.

The route to Stokksnes was quite confusing for me. It looked like an F road, I wasn’t sure if my 2WD could access. I eventually reached, after seeing other regular cars driving past me. At the end of the route was a Viking Cafe. I explored the area further, eventually to the other side of the black pits for the famous view. It was a beautiful place, totally mesmerised by the landscape; the scale of the mountains and the crashing waves. I stayed there until sunset and had to return back before the last light.

Day 7


This day, I had to head back westward. While on the way back I also had to factor in time to visit Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. These icebergs have broken off the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier and into a lagoon, and they then float out to sea and get washed up on the beach with the tides.

I was really hoping to capture that blue ice backlit by the sunlight to get the crystal-clear quality ice. Blue ice occurs when snow falls on a glacier, is compressed, and becomes part of the glacier. Air bubbles are squeezed out and ice crystals enlarge, making the ice appear blue. Unfortunately, the light condition did not improve as it was still cloudy and intermittent raining that day. In addition, many of the ice shards that washed up on shore were mostly white. These ice appear to be white because of the air bubbles inside them and also because of the presence of small quantities of water in these ice.

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is quite an expansive area, even three hours still wasn’t enough. On instances, I saw a glimpse of the rainbow as the cloud breaks momentarily. I experimented with my mirror cube to see if it had worked, but the rain was a disappointment. With the ongoing rain showers every now and then, it would probably take the whole day to explore the glacier lagoon properly.


Despite the poor weather conditions, I had to make full use of the little time I had left and press on. It was going to be a very long journey back to my next hostel in Laugarvatn, which was about 360km away, or about 4.5 hours of driving. Throughout the journey, I saw many sights but were unable to take out my camera. Even around the Laugarvatn area, there was fog. I could have spent a while capturing the villages in fog in the night. However, my top priority was to get to my next destination as soon as I could. I had only managed to reach my next hostel at almost 12 am with slight difficulty in locating my hostel and only 7 hours of rest.

Day 8


The next day at the Laugarvatn area the weather was all bright and sunny. I like to shoot in this weather, but I didnt had enough time. Outside the village was the route Gjábakkavegur which connects Laugarvatn to Þingvellir, I spent a bit of time photographing at a vantage point overlooking towards the Laugarvatn lake. there were so many interesting sights to see along the connecting route Þingvallavegur towards Reykjavik. yet again, I could not pull over every 10 mins of drive.

I eventually reached Rejkavik and managed to meet up with Jon Hilmarsson again for an evening tea. from my Reykjavik hostel, I drove my vehicle out to the city centre with him as I wanted to explore the city after meeting him. This was my last chance of exploring the capital city, no matter what.


Came back to see the Hallgrimskirkja church, but again, the cloudy evening wasn’t my ideal choice to capture the church. There appears to have some maintenance at parts of the church, and the wonky spotlights lighting the statue annoyed me a lot as I framed a perfect symmetry shot of the church. Visiting at such late hour means I could not enter the church either. There were many elements that annoyed me from capturing my ideal photo. But this was it, no more chances.

Day 9

After a hearty breakfast, I had to return back the car. I made my way to the bus station towards the airport, snapping photos at any scene I find interesting. This marked the end of my Iceland trip.


I try to be as flexible with my schedule, but my itinerary does change due to the following factors:

1) Actual distance covered were not the same as initially planned, due to my unfamiliarity with the terrain.
2) For various reasons, I spent more time at some locations & things snowball because of it.
3) As much as I want to capture the ideal light at one location, I cannot control the weather. Sometimes I arrive late and I miss the opportunity. Sometimes I have to pass on due to bad weather.
4) My driving exhaustion may take longer to recover than expected. 

It is important to be sufficiently prepared for the photography trip. Being a tourist on foreign land, I am limited by the time and the amount things I could do. However, by adapting to the environment and make do with what I can, taking as many photographs with a street photography approach to my landscapes, this enabled me to capture surprising images and sights that I feel more personal to me.

Certainly, like many people who fell in love on their first visit to Iceland, I would definitely want to come back again if given another opportunity.

Music Influences: An Introspect

Music Influences: An Introspect

I love listening to instrumental music. As I begin to review the works I have accumulated for the past two years, somehow I begin to realised how music has played a huge part in influencing my photographic works. Interestingly, I have never realised this before until now.

I have a collection of music I listen to when I’m working on specific tasks. For example, If I am stressed out at work I would listen to a slow pace music that would help me calm down and relax, such as Tchaikovsky or Disney instrumental music. I listened to that for two full weeks when I worked on my essay as I needed time to think and consider information. If I am working on photo editing that requires my full attention and concentration and to edit my work as fast as possible, I tend to listen to fast-paced music, such as cinematic orchestra or epic dubstep music.

Recently I have been listening to cinematic orchestra music pieces, such as Transformers, Lord of the Rings,  The Best of Hans Zimmer, particularly the Dark Knight Trilogy soundtracks.

I now realised that whenever I do most of the editing works I tend to listen to Epic music. I would randomly find a two-hour session track on youtube and let it run for some 10 hours at a stretch, playing the next music after the end of the track.  This inspires me to work out the post processing images quickly and as intuitively. The influence of these kinds of music puts me on a seriously focused mode and in turn, makes me search for the “Epic-ness” within a landscape image. The reason I preferred instrumental soundtracks was so that I wouldn’t be distracted by the lyrics or visuals of the music videos. Sometimes when I hear Music videos and if I find the song lyrics to be meaningful I would stop and watch the video. More time is wasted in that sense.

Sometimes I would also find gaming music or Chinese pop songs for a change of mood as I work on my stuff. To name a few, famous Chinese Singers such as Hebe and Jacky Cheung have also influenced me in one way or another.

I have also realised how I subconsciously preferred Ryan Taubert’s “Honour” for my showreel music.

Well, I guess why I loved to take landscape images in its grandeur from a vantage point and edit them into vivid colours and the high level of details was influenced by the choice of music I listen to.

Analysis: Print Consideration

Some thoughts I had for my prints were that I wanted my final prints to highlight the contrast of vivid colours and structural style effectively. There should be a smooth tonal transition from shadows to highlight. I had the preference for Lustre or semi gloss over Matt as I thought that would suit well with my photographic style. I had three considerations of paper types and had them test printed.

Baryta Fine Art Paper Vs Photo Rag Paper

Baryta paper enables rich blacks, wide gamuts, great contrast and sharpness, and smooth tonal transitions on my images. It also has that bit of texture on the paper. PhotoRag paper were the ‘regular’ paper we use to print for our submissions. The Oyster Lustre finish is the perfect combination for my photographic style. I have tested both the Baryta Fine art and Photo Rag paper, I realised I still liked the photo Rag paper more. The fact that we often print them for submission kind of give the idea that it’s cheap and of low quality. But actually in fact quite the opposite (at least for me). In addition, I don’t have to spend more to purchase separate paper as that will cost more money for me. Hence, I decided to stick with Photo Rag paper.

Metal Print / Infused Metal Print

This print process uses Dye Sublimation to print onto metal plates. This is what I wanted for my final exhibition images.


Free Range Exhibition Proposal

29th June – 5th July


Free Range is the platform for showing the best works. Since I would not be staying in the UK after graduation, the aim of showing my work is not about getting future work in London, but rather to get myself noticed. This work needs to be of the highest quality yet realistically achievable and on a reasonable budget. In consideration of my landscape photography style, which is a focus on vibrant colours and structural contrast, I have developed a general preference towards lustre and gloss finish. I have found that infused metal prints could be the best representation of my work. Hence, I intend to exhibit one landscape image in large format metal print. For contingency plans, I am considering Acrylic print and Hahnemuhle Oyster Lustre paper as alternatives.

Potential Market Audience

After graduation, I may not be able to carry the metal plate back home, due to its bulkiness. Hence, I am also keeping the option open, of selling the print away for a profit. Potential buyers could be art collectors or corporations looking for quality fine art prints. 


I have been shooting on full frame cameras, these images would not be able to compete in the medium format range. The ideal quality for full frame would be 24×16, or A2 equivalent. 

Dimension Reference

Size Width x Height (mm) Width x Height (cm) Width x Height (cm)
Maximum 2000 x 2000 mm 200 x 200 cm 78.74 x 78.74 in
A0 841 x 1189 mm 84.1 x 118.9 cm 33.1 x 46.8 in
A1 594 x 841 mm 59.4 x 84.1 cm 23.4 x 33.1 in
A2 420 x 594 mm 42.0 x 59.4 cm 16.5 x 23.4 in
A3 297 x 420 mm 29.7 x 42.0 cm 11.7 x 16.6 in


Proposed: HD Metal Prints

Infused metal prints can make colours extraordinary vibrant and the depth of coating gives the contrast in photos a luminous quality that no paper can achieve.


Print type:       Dye Sublimation
Paper:              Aluminium Metal
Dimension:       33.1” x 46.8” (A0 equivalent)                        .           24” x 16” (A2 equivalent)
Mounting:       Float Mount
Frame:            None
Budget:           min £265.95                                        .           min £85.95


Proposed Alternative (1): Acrylic Print


Print type: Ultra HD Photo Print Under Acrylic Glass
Paper: Kodak Metallic
Dimension:      33.1” x 46.8”   (A0 equivalent)           .      24” x 16” (A2 equivalent)
Mounting: Slimline Case with Aluminum Rails        .     Slimline Case with Aluminum Rails
Frame:            None                                                   .           None
Budget:           min £375.95                                        .           £98.95


Proposed Alternative (2):  Giclee Lustre Print


Print type:       Giclee Print, Lustre
Paper:              Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308 gsm
Dimension:      33.1” x 46.8”   (A0 equivalent)                 .                 24” x 16” (A2 equivalent)     Mounting:       Dibond with subframes
Frame:            Wooden Frame                                   .           + £30
Budget:           min £374.44                                        .           > £50



Print type:       Giclee Print, Lustre
Paper:              Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308 gsm       .
Dimension:      48” x 36”         (A0 equivalent)             .                 24” x 16” (A2 equivalent)
Mounting:       Classic                                                 .           Classic
Frame:            Wooden Photo Frame (outside)            .           Floater Mount? (outside)
Budget:           £90 ++                                                 .           > £150



We had a session with four photographers who came down to see our proposals of our image selection for the Free range exhibition including considerations for the paper and framing, etc. And these three photographers who would help us decide.

My initial proposal was to exhibit one good, large one. I prepared a series of images and let them choose one image that they thought could be the one. I showed them the small prints and explained to them the context of these images and my plans about how I wanted to exhibit them.

Instead, they advised that it would be better for me to exhibit more images. This was the order of images that they proposed.


For their choice of selection, but I’m not comfortably sure that this selection would have best represented my style. Some students in my group session brought a whole selection of images for them to choose. I didn’t prepare my images that way. I only showed them what was meant to be individual images that might be the one, and I did not expect it to turn out like this.

Recently I had just for back from my Iceland trip and have been rushing to complete my photo edits as much as I could. And then, I also had to settle plans for my parent and relatives to come over to see my graduation. This was the first time I have to plan out not one or two locations, but four locations after my graduation! They were more interested in visiting the Scandinavian region after seeing me.

I have planned all of my travels and so far all have been to single locations or country. This was the first time I have to plan out not one or two locations, but four locations! It seems They were more interested in visiting the Scandinavian region after seeing my graduation.

There is Scotland, Oslo, Stockholm, and Copenhagen.

I have to oversee their transition from flight to accommodations to transportation, etc. For three weeks a large part of my time was to study the various modes of travelling and read up articles about these locations. I have never been to these places before and I have to read up about the dos and don’ts. Because of these plannings, I didn’t have the time to complete my work assignments or the things I need to concentrate on.

This was why am I had been stressed out just before the Easter break and fell ill for two weeks. The doctor’s diagnosis was that it was due to stress. I had developed three kinds of pains in my head: muscle aches, headaches, and toothaches. I had never experienced such amount of stress in a long time. I hope to recover from it and continue my works soon.

Ten photographers from the industry had come down to see our photography works and for a portfolio review session. contempalting on what to images to print and show them, I thought might as well show them the prints i had submitted for BA3a works.

The first gaffe was that I thought my Thursday’s session would be at 11 am as usual. But when I turned up at the table with photographers Jonathan Kitchen and  Jasper White (whom I’ve seen in the previous sessions), a lot of activities were going on and I thought it was strange that I got to present my works first. I later found out after the session, that the session started way earlier than I thought and everyone had presented finish. To think that I woke up early and had a leisurely breakfast before coming down to Uni for the session, I was actually late for the session!

Alas, when I show them my prints, they were somewhat amazed by the quality of work I had produced. it was a positive feedback and I received a lot of advice, things to consider in making them better, or with a commercial value.

For this session, I tried a different approach, as previously guest lecturer Christian Payne suggested, in recording audios as an additional tool to enhance my research. I recorded down their advice in audio, listen to them makes the experience worthwhile.

Analysis: Website References

Update 1: 20.03.17
Update 2: 16.04.17
Update3: 09.05.17

I have been advised that my portfolio work should reflect my style as a coherent thematic series. I digress. It is not that I am against that notion of one-photographer-one-style approach for one whole series, but the South East Asian region’s market is quite different from the UK, due to the nature of the small market being saturated and competitive. It is a good exercise to develop series of consistent looking images, but If I were to be a commercial photographer based in Singapore, the mentality has to be that more skills I acquire, the better chance of me getting more work.

On this post, I not only discuss having a style as a coherent series but also share some insights on the website platform other photographers used. These are just some examples to proof my point.

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Tan Kay Chin is a Singapore-based photographer. He spent the early part of his professional career at The Straits Times, where he held positions from photographer to picture editor. A vocal advocate of photography in Singapore, he founded Southeast Asia’s first photography workshop, Shooting Home with Objectifs and has exhibited widely and his photographs are collected by Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European House of Photography in Paris and private collectors. Tay Kay Chin was a lecturer at the Nanyang Technological University for a few years until 2015 and has supervised many final year projects in the areas of photojournalism and illustrated feature.

Though Tay Kay Chin is a photojournalist, we can see from his website that he has done a wide variety of genres from documentary to travelogues to architecture as well as commissioned projects across many industries. The documentary element is still present in the majority of his works, but he has also used a wide variety of styles, from panoramic on one project and black and white photography on another. some colours are washed-out and more toned down, while others are more contrasting. His website is running on WordPress template with small sliding pictures on his homepage and blog entries below. Categories separating genres from his personal and commissioned works. He also separates books from his limited edition prints.

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CJWadha is a commercial photographer who provides creative solutions to art directors, designers and business clients. Portraitures are his speciality and highly sought after for his environmental portraits. With a personality to connect with everyone from CEOs to ministers to the common man, he has created iconic images for a diverse set of clients.

For CJ’s website, most likely he used HTML web pages, made by website professionals. from his portfolio works, we could see that even his commissioned portraitures show a diversity of approaches, where the style in lifestyle is done differently from business corporate portraitures and sports portraitures. Yet in his personal works are landscape-based images with different styles. Could we say that his best personal works are not curated coherently? If that is such a case then I think that defeats the purpose of categorising them as “personal”.

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Lumiere Photography is a multi-disciplinary photography company based in Singapore, which seems to have a specialisation in events photography. while they may not necessarily have the strongest visual image or the coherent series around, but their experience in many genres of photography and videography makes up for it. Their clientele base is most likely built through event photography with over 100 clients under their belt in both private and government sector and this is what makes them a reliable service. As for the website platform, it is pretty safe to assume that they have used WordPress template, because of the sheer amount of contents and portfolio images they had to manage. I think as a photography business consisting of a team of photographers, this could be the better approach as a commercial service instead of one-photographer-one-style approach.

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Stefen Chow is a Singapore raised photographer and artist currently based in Beijing, China. the award-winning photographer has had work widely published and exhibited internationally. Stefen undertakes long-term projects with a social conscience. Stefen is the co-founder of ‘The Poverty Line’, a global visual project that contextualises poverty. He has held group and solo exhibitions as well as being jury for many competitions and held TED Talks. The Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and the Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum in Beijing has acquired works to their permanent collection. Hs website was most likely HTML web pages.

Having worked in a wide array of genres in photography projects as well as commissions, it is evident that his approach in photography does not stay coherent. As a highly esteemed photographer, does it mean that the broad range of approach portfolio reflects badly of his methodology in curating images? I don’t think so. In my opinion, it simply means his experience in photography has spanned across so many genres, and versatile in many approaches. all these experience has enabled him to take the advisory role in the photography scene.

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Tuckys is pretty much an all-rounder photography service which seems to specialise in a wide variety of genres, such as corporate photography, corporate portraits, interior photography, aerial videography and theatre photography. From its WordPress-based website portfolio, I guess these amount of works were amassed through many years in the field. It might also mean that the more capabilities the service can cater, the more diverse clients they can get. It might also mean the harsh reality of the industry in the small market, that everyone is trying to amass as much service capability so as to clinch more diverse clients.


These are some examples from my market region. But having a diverse style as a portfolio series does not only reside within my region; this approach has also increasingly become widespread among other photographers around the world as well. here some of the photographers I admire, to proof my point.

Ming Thein | Trey Ratcliff | Serge Ramelli | Finn Beales | Chris Photo

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Ming Thein is a commercial photographer specialising in product photography on location and corporate reportage. He is also the Chief of Strategy for Hasselblad, well-respected by the photographic community.

From the categorisation of the portfolio images on his website, they were not strictly a series, to begin with, though he tries to include some of them. We can see that even the visuals in his series are not that consistent, apart from using Hasselblad most of the time. Yet surprisingly for a high-profile person, he chooses WordPress blog (not a template) for his portfolio website.

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Trey Ratcliff is a Photographer, Artist, Writer & Adventurer. Trey’s images and stories have captured the beauty of exotic travel destinations and the humour of the bizarre situations he often finds himself in.

I’m not entirely sure if the term “portfolio website” fits this website, but one thing for sure is that it contains some of Trey’s best works to be sold as high-quality prints and he used WordPress template. Again, his images are not that consistent as a series as his works are not curated in that way in the first place. However, this unique approach works for him, so it works.

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Serge Ramelli is a French photographer specialising in landscape and urban photography.  He uses Squarespace for his portfolio website, his best images were arranged according to generic subjects, not as a thematic series. By showing his best images this way, he pulls the focus on the singular image as a visual narrative, rather than the series as the narrative. This works for him as a commercial photographer.

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Finn Beales Finn is an award-winning photographer. Attracted by his cinematic style and the narrative he weaves throughout his work, he shoots travel, lifestyle and commercial commissions for the likes of Apple, Land Rover, Audi, Barbour and a variety of other global brands. Attracted by his cinematic style and the narrative he weaves throughout his work.

Finn uses Squarespace to showcase his works, and its clean layout really stands out for me. His photographic style was largely consistent, and he does categorise his works in a thematic series. however, in the case of other categories such as editorial and landscape category, the image visuals do not look similar. This is the closest example I can find who has a fairly consistent style present in his portfolio, but then again, he didn’t strictly categorise them as thematic series. he presented them as a bit of both.


James Russell Cant

This is an example of categorising images into thematic series. It is really a good way of curating images according to particular themes and built up over a long time. However, I think this kind of approach does not fit the series of images I am making now. However, for my personal works, this might be the way to go.


My Website


In October when I was back home, I met up with an acquaintance whom I met with during my working years. He was in the web consultant agency and was the best person for advice in this area. Though he does not do WordPress templates for his clients, it was his advice that I choose “.photography” as my domain name. It is slightly more expensive, but nevertheless a unique domain. It was also through his network that he managed to could get me a hosting server free for the first 12 months, which would serve as a testbed for my business plans.

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Based on the above references gathered and weighing the pros and cons on my previous posts, I decided to go with WordPress template. I did with content management system because I wanted to start my business small first. In the sense, buying a template at a one-off fee certainly beats a monthly subscription hands down. It would also be easier to expand in the longer run such as the e-commerce and other services, and I could tweak HTML codings if I needed to. I was looking for landscape scrolling templates and good ones were hard to find. Initially, I made a small blunder, as I choose a free hosting platform instead of a self-hosted platform. I went on to create a proper business gmail account and directed my original email to This process was called “masking” in technical terms. It was challenging for me at first, and it took me a while to figure it out, under the advice of my acquaintance.

After curating my best images meant for submission, I decided to put that collection, or series as one might call it, into a portfolio page on my website. this was because earlier on when I did it in a thematic fashion I felt it didn’t present my best potential out. I created a “work” subpage under portfolio so those would house the thematic approach, which may also include personal works (at the moment) I am slowly expanding my works and I intend to include more video works as well as my pre-uni works.  For now, I do not have any commissioned works, hence I put it as a generic category.



I intend to create a few pages with a more responsive interface. the theme itself has its limitations (and quite a bit of it ). Under Works Page, is a different format from Portfolio, where I can call out project categories based on “year” tags. Most of my older works from pre-uni days are locked in my archive disk back in Singapore. I plan to add them after I graduate when I have the access.

I did not want the work research in my Reflective Journal and Visual Logbook to end after I graduate, hence I have incorporated it as my Journal for my portfolio website. I intend to carry on updates in my journal in future, but perhaps more as a diary journal format.