Analysis: Darren Soh

Born and based in Singapore, Darren obtained a degree in Sociology from the National University of Singapore in 2001 while serving as a contract photographer at the country’s leading English broadsheet newspaper, The Straits Times. Since 2001, Darren has been a full-time independent photographer doing a mixture of personal, editorial and commercial work with a particular interest in architectural and landscape photography.

I was particularly drawn to Darren  Soh’s aerial photographs of Singapore in which he document its opulent landscapes and luxury property developments in stunning aerials. By taking off the ground from an elevated position, he presents a different Singapore from a unique perspective, incorporating striking graphical elements into his images. His photographs effectively reflect Singapore not only as a leading economy in Asia but also a garden city.

Singapore being a small country with tight securities, not many local photographers would have the opportunity to shoot aerial photography the way Darren does. These series of images are represented by Bloomberg, and more can be viewed here.

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Darren Soh is primarily an architectural and landscape photographer, which he has been fascinated by the built environment and how human beings are using a space. He is well known in the local scene, particularly for his graphical representation of the high rise buildings and the neighbourhoods of Singapore. The more I explore his works, the more I feel intrigued by his style.

Through framing his subjects in the best light and from the best angles, he has shown that that even boring buildings are worth taking a second look at because they are all interesting in their own way. Darren mostly uses the tilt-shift lens for most of his architectural  and landscape photographs.

From the business aspect, the online gallery website, “The Artling” who have worked some of the top galleries to promoted growing artists in Asia, has represented Darren Soh’s architectural photographs and are selling these large prints at a high value. To find out more, click here.

 

For more about how Darren Soh started his journey, click here.
To find out more about his portfolio works, click here.

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Analysis: Kelly Richardson

Kelly Richardson is a Canadian artist who is one of the leading representatives of a new generation of artists working with digital technologies to create hyper-real, highly charged landscapes.

‘Legion’ was her first solo exhibition in the UK, and had provided a retrospective of over a decade of her works. Drawing on the imagery of science-fiction cinema, literature, and the history of landscape painting, Richardson’s work imagines an array of possible futures for humankind. She visualizes the kind of relationships mankind may yet have to the natural world in an imagined near future through the use of high-tech animations with footage of some of the world’s most spectacular wildernesses.

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While researching for ‘provocative landscapes’, I was instantly mesmerized by Kelly Richardsons’s latest video installation and large-scale photographic work Orion Tide. It features a desert landscape at twilight with what appears to be numerous missiles or vessels charging towards the sky.

The image composition is interesting. The desert landscape itself has the natural element and calming presence because of its overall dark color tones. The stars in the sky tend to be assiocated with space and all things sci-fi. The distance and timing between each rocketing objects varies. But when they appear, as though a cinematic scene, it makes one question what is happening. That in essence is a thought provoking.

Analysis: Tim Simmons

Tim Simmons is a photographer who specialises in large-scale landscape images. He works on a large format camera with artificial lighting, which gives the images a surreal, other-worldly quality. His work has been exhibited and published extensively in recent years. The body of work he has developed over the last ten years is the result of a personal exploration of landscape in the context of the profound mystery of our existence.

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I am drawn to his series of images, particularly his Rockpool series. These photographs are taken in Scotland and North Devon, at dusk and in places that still hold a feeling of mystery and untouched wilderness. The atmosphere is produced by enhancing the natural changing light of dusk with artificial lighting, giving a sense of hidden expectation. These images create a space for contemplation; a moment of visual clarity to reflect on our place within this ever changing landscape.

 

Analysis: Benjamin Von Wong

Benjamin Von Wong is a conceptual photographer based in Montreal, Canada who has risen to a prolific status recently. I have been aware of his works for many years, but his photography style has never been so relevant in my research until now. When it comes to collaboration in photography, Benjamin Von Wong is the first person that comes into mind. No one does it better than him; at least none that I can think of.


Collaboration

“Coordinating models, building sets & designing lighting – all without knowing where the shoot would take place, while storms zip by at who knows how many miles per hour? It would be an absolute nightmare and impossible to pull off without funding! We should think of a different project.”

Planning a shoot whilst chasing a storm must have been one of the most challenging projects for Benjamin Von Wong, who has never attempted a project around an uncontrollable force of nature. He needed someone that could not only safely navigate storms, but one who understood photography and would be capable of getting me in the right position to capture the shot.

Friends and fans located across different states interested in assisting or modelling were contacted, in the off-chance that storms developed close to them. A local fan and photographer had graciously offered to come with his ambulance. Although not the fastest or the most nimble, it was capable of fitting the spontaneous props to be transported around – from sofa to toilet seat. Meanwhile, a small team was assembled to film and document the entire adventure.

Adequate plannning and preparation are extremely important as there are certain risk factors involved. In his collaboration team there were (other than him as photographer):
A Stormchaser, graphic designer, camera operators, Drone operator, assistant and/or models.

Thus, Von Wong concluded, it was challenging, but not impossible.

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The Image

This series of images has an interesting concept, particularly the image above. It appears that the visuals were conceived before the environmental concept. But by making it relevant to the environmental issues with its message, it becomes a provoking image. On one hand, it makes one in awe of the force of nature, on the other rethink of the issues presented.

In the above image, the focal point is clearly on two subjects: human and nature. Softbox lighting was used to light up the human subject while the lighting at the background.this creates depth, as accentuated by the power lines on the right of the frame.

By placing an irrelevant human activity against the nature landscape, viewers are forced to make the connection between the two contrasting elements. Colors work well here; deep blue of the storm in contrast with the orange hue of sunset on the horizon.

 

Analysis: When Colors Run

When Colors Run by Rob Woodcox on 500px.com

Rob Woodcox is a surreal portrait and fine artist currently residing in Portland Oregon.  As he creates each piece of his artwork, Rob strives to capture fragments of a vivid life sewn by the threads of reality, memory and dream.  Each concept is a declaration of his experience and seeks to tell a meaningful story to each individual that views it.

For this image, he took wax and watered-down paint, running them down a windowpane. He used some dyes to get thinner streaks of color within the paint streaks until he was satisfied with the outcome.

This piece of work is so experimental, yet filled with emotions. It reflects the sort of feeling the artist was going through at the time. The expression of the portraiture, and Colors running down from a dark and blurred world. It seems everything is running into a blurred state. On detail, textures of the wax give the image a more tactile feel. vignette effect enhances the feel, bringing focus to the portrait whose identity partially hidden by the wax.

This is image it reminds me of my experimental rough cut assignment; the mix of glitch effect, the burning experiment, and perhaps bokeh. Distorting images and re-present a new meaning. I can relate all these to the image.

For more of his works, click here.

Analysis: Philip Keel Photography

Artist, author, and publisher Philipp Keel was born in Zurich. Keel’s photographs, paintings, drawings and silkscreen prints have since been shown in numerous international exhibitions and are present in leading collections. Central to his work are caricatures, the beauty of details, light, and the complexity of the human mind.

In Philipp Keel’s Color, the beauty of the mundane is made visible. His work invites the viewer to take a fresh look and to be curious. Through the lens of Keel’s camera, the usual becomes unusual, and the familiar appears in an unfamiliar way. His pictures are lively, spontaneous and ironic. The perspectives surprise and the reflections hint at the world in front of and behind what we see, suggesting something more – a story, a secret, a puzzle.

I was drawn to his photography book, Color, which was said to be the most comprehensive collection of his editions. His views on colors on everyday life were unique, and there were a few images, certain elements of colors and structure, which I felt connected to, in relation to my works.

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Defragmentation, 2002

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Gumball machine, 1999

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Inside a potato chips bag, 2001

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Fire Truck, 2002

 

 

 

To find out more about Philipp Keel’s works, click here.

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Analysis: Masashi Wakui photography

The works of Masashi Wakui, a self-taught Japanese photographer, who creates an almost surreal atmosphere with his kaleidoscopic portrayal of Tokyo by night. His photography style often identified with the background stills in Japanese anime. He used high-performance compact cameras and alter the colors to create a vivid and magical quality to scenes of everyday life in the city.

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This image, as with most of his other landscape images, were captured in the winding backstreets and alleyways of Shibuya, Shinjuku and various other districts. I took an interest in this series of images because it had a similar photographic style to mine; backlighting produced by the neon signboards, a contrast of warm and cool lights. There is a certain complex structure in the buildings, adding a narrative element to the image. this works especially well with the reflection of lights on the streets, suggesting a rainy evening.

what made this image stands out was the post-process behind the image, which seems to have a unique faded color effect, adding a touch of emotion to it. upon further analysing the editing technique, I think it is a simple editing process of using curve layers, perhaps presets, but quite effective for a night scene.

 

Note: I initially approached my Roughcut with a similar style as this, but went on to develop it further.