Self Portrait: I plan to photograph myself wearing a traditional Chinese cheongsam dress to highlight my cultural background.
On Location/Environmental Portrait: Depending on availability, I might photograph my maternal grandparents gardening in their front or backyard since they enjoy gardening, or sitting in their dining room because it has a lot of elements that tell things about them: a Chinese tear-off calendar, medication boxes, expensive china in a cabinet, etc. If that does not work out, I plan to photograph my mother crocheting and watching TV in her bedroom because she does that in her down-time.
Formal/Simple Portrait: I plan to photograph either my brother or my dad to show their sense of character in terms of clothing, accessories, and hairstyle.
Creative Portrait: I would like to recreate one of Anna May Wong’s portraits: either one where she’s wearing a cheongsam and measuring her long hair with a tape measure (General Photographic Agency/Getty Images), or one of the portraits done by Carl Van Vechten where she is wearing a tuxedo and a top hat and is drinking out of a glass.
Locations of printing
Top Row (left to right): Bill’s Camera, Costco, CPP Print Lab
Bottom Row (left to right): Walgreens, Walmart
Where was the best quality print?
While all of them were printed on pretty sturdy paper, I think the best quality print was from Walgreens. The colors, highlights, and shadows were similar to the digital file as viewed on my laptop, and the print was crisp and not pixelated, though the picture was cropped in a little more than the original jpeg file. The only thing I did not like was the paper type since it was glossy and not luster.
Like the Walgreens one, both the prints from Bill’s Camera and Costco were printed on glossy paper, but neither were as bright nor as saturated. The prints from the CPP Print Lab and Walmart were closer in exposure to the digital file compared to the prints from Bill’s Camera and Costco, but the colors were not as accurate as the Walgreens one. However, they were on luster paper, which I prefer.
Where will you print in the future? What adjustments will you need to make?
I think I will print at the CPP Print Lab. The luster paper that they used has a nice surface quality, and the image itself was neither cropped nor pixelated like it was in the Walgreens print. Since the colors were not as accurate as the Walgreens version, I would have to lower the saturation and/or vibrancy a little bit. I would also have to lighten up the shadows because they printed darker than I expected.
For the traditional still life, I was thinking about photographing origami “balloons” of different colors, paper types, and sizes. As for the arrangement, I think I would try stacking them or possibly positioning them in a way that would like like they were floating. I would probably photograph them at an angled perspective slightly above eye level.
For the product still life, I think I’m going to photograph Bicycle Playing Cards (the boxes and the cards themselves). I was thinking about organizing them in a clean, geometric way by lining up the boxes and cards (see research example photograph by Adam Luszniak). I’m currently debating whether I should photograph them from an angled perspective or with a bird’s eye view while they’re laying flat.
For the food/ingredients still life, I am going to photograph ingredients for the Chinese egg flower soup. The main ingredients are eggs and chicken broth, but pepper, scallions, and tofu can be added. I think I will photograph these five ingredients with the camera pointing down directly above them.