Featuring Singapore ‘Hidden Door’

Singapore ‘Hidden Door’ is featured once again, this time in India. An editor of Colour Quotient from Asian Paints wanted an interview of my personal work and feature some of the ‘Hidden Doors‘ series. I was more than happy to grant his request and assist whatever is needed to support.

Featured articles

– Singapore ‘Hidden Door’ in 畅游行, Singapore first Mandarin travel magazine
– Singapore ‘Hidden Door’ in ArchDaily, with more than 10 million viewers internationally
– Singapore ‘Hidden Door’ in Lonely Planet Travel News
– Singapore ‘Hidden Door’ in 42 magazin, an online magazine in Siberia
– Singapore ‘Hidden Door’ in Metro daily newspaper at Russia with 1.9 million readers
– Singapore ‘Hidden Door’ in Nine Australia
– Singapore ‘Hidden Door’ in Asian Paints, Colour Quotient

Instagram is the Worst App for Young People’s Mental Health

Copy this article from Petapixel news.

Instagram is the most likely social media platform to cause teenagers to feel depressed, anxious, lonely, and with low body confidence. That’s according to a newly published study by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) in the UK.

The report, titled #StatusOfMind, surveyed 1,500 young people includes some troubling statistics on social media and mental health among people aged 14-24. In the survey, the participants were asked to rank to what extent different social media platforms impacted certain health-related factors, from -2 (a lot worse) to +2 (a lot better).

Of the 5 platforms included in the survey, Instagram fared the worst. From most positive impact to most negative, the platforms are:

  1. YouTube
  2. Twitter
  3. Facebook
  4. Snapchat
  5. Instagram

It should be noted that all social media platforms except for YouTube were reported as having a net negative impact on mental health.

Instagram users reported a high negative impact on Sleep, Body Image, FoMo, Bullying, and Anxiety.

“Instagram easily makes girls and women feel as if their bodies aren’t good enough as people add filters and edit their pictures in order for them to look ‘perfect’,” says one female participant in the report.

The results were not all negative though –– the report notes that social media can improve young people’s access to other people’s experiences of health and expert health information, and those surveyed reported feeling more emotionally supported through their contacts than those who do not use social media.

The RSPH is calling for action to help mitigate the negative aspects of social media use. From their report, these recommendations include:

  • Social media platforms to highlight when photos of people have been digitally manipulated.
  • Introduction of a pop-up heavy usage warning on social media – include the support from young people for each of these recommendations.
  • Social media platforms to identify users who could be suffering from mental health problems by their posts, and discretely signpost to support.

Social media has revolutionised how we all connect with one another, but has impacted none more so than our youth. According to the report, 91% of 16-24 year olds use the internet for social networking, so studies like these are vital to understanding and discussing how these platforms impact our lives.

If you are interested in learning more, the full report is available in PDF format from the RSPH website.

Personally i noticed it in my daily commute that a lot of youngsters were browsing on Instagram. I hardly see anyone reading a book or newspaper anymore, as e-book and e-news is available at the touch on your smart phone. We have totally moved into a realm of digital technology. Truly a 21st century.

 

I haven’t been updating new pictures on my Instagram.  Over the few years i was eager to be acknowledge for my post, the more “Like” i have, it means my pictures served their recognition. Recently i realised, OMG i am actually wasting time browsing on Instagram. I would have used the spare time for a good book, a good workout, do something i like that keeps me away from over bombardment of digital information/digital pictures on my smart phone.

Is naive to totally cut off from social media. I feel it is important to stay relevant. I  occasionally browse through some of my favourite photographers on Instagram to stay inspirational and informative. Only spending about 10 mins (maximum) of my day to look through update. Now, i got more time to blog – reflect and express my thoughts, improve my sucky writing, and share my experience in photography to help others.

Purging in progress on Facebook

Photography Art

Photography Art

When i told people my occupation. They said:”Oh you are an artist, that’s nice.” I was always dumbfounded by their replied, felt kinda of unnatural each time. Because i never thought myself as an artist. For some time, i can’t clearly define what does Art mean. I usually see myself as a commercial photographer or a business person, wanting to  provide unique value picture solution for companies around the globe.

In my personal opinion. Art has various form of interpretation. Let’s just focus on photography practice. If you asked me what is photography art. I think it like a visual absorption feast. Is about individual pair of eye get to notice the scene at that point of time or moment, using photography medium to capture it.

Everyone sees things differently, have different way of analysing information. That is why i think the topic of Art is always subjective. The debate/discussion of photography art is not necessary about technical aspect of the execution; aesthetic plays a major role as well. How Art is perceived also depends on the human’s emotion in that moment of connection.

Now as i write, i reflect. I think Art cannot please everyone. But if my photography Art work able to evoke someone’s emotion and interest. I think that is consider a successful piece of Art work (photograph), even if only take a person to admire it.

We all may see a same visual but each mind has a different perception/opinion. For example, put a group of photographers to shoot a vase in a decorated room, each photographer will produce different beautiful picture through their own interpretation. No two pictures will be the same.

How i think now may not be the way i reflect about Art in future. Is still a learning process for me, as i continue to grow, i believe i will find more deeper meaning in Art.

Purging in progress on Facebook

What am i purging?

I am currently removing most of my pictures albums from my personal Facebook account. Why am i doing this, am i crazy or depress?

Why am i purging? 

You see the thing is, i don’t enjoy that eager feeling of waiting for someone to click that magical “Like” button for my photographs. I just realised i hate instant gratification. Honestly, a tremendous waste of time (i hate wasting time). If there are no “Likes” – what happen is self doubt creeps in, the feeling can be degrading and losing a bit of confident at time. Everyone loses confident at some point of time because of doubt or fear. Perfectly human being to say.

Posting so many pictures on social media may not truly reflect your life. That depends the type of pictures you are sharing. I used to see how people only portray the glamorous side of their lifestyle. Luckily, i barely can envied about that type of life, we all know how reality work.

Next, purging doesn’t mean i don’t like the pictures, but is less meaningful for me as i matured more. The perspective thinking between age 25 and 35, and so on, can be a lot of different.

Should i purge?

Is like cleansing; practicing a long meditation makes one more focus. Similarly, going to the spa to ease muscle tension accumulate on the weary body. Purging pictures off social media is a very personally decision for me. If you don’t want to purge doesn’t mean you are wrong because the pictures must be holding much memory for you. If you dare to purge, it means two things. First you got the guts, yes i got guts because i don’t really care if the old picture are there or not. Secondly and most importantly i see, is that there will still be much room for me as a person to grow.

Conclusion

As a photographer, the picture i took can reflect my style and personality. I want to start this journey of sharing pictures that are more meaningful to me, it would also be great if the pictures i share is able to resonate with someone else. Hope you feel release after doing it.

Eric Kim said:”Don’t care about the likes, care about the photos you like.”

Patience is reward

Life work in a funny way. Before success, you will constantly faced rejection, disappointment, agony, frustration, and maybe give up in the end. You think nobody give you a chance. Another hard truth is, this is a destined path to struggle in order to reached the peak. There is no short cut except very very hard work, fighting your way through all the difficulties.

Forget about admiring other’s people success. Don’t ever think they are lucky. Luck comes with a lot of hard work that most people don’t get to see behind the curtain. Rather, study how did they fail and become successful in their own way, ask yourself what can you learn from failure as well?

The picture above, condos at Tanjong Rhu. I went up to the spot so many times and always get much disappointment of the scene. Somehow i persists and was finally rewarded with the best weather i could possibly imagine. I would say is a personal triumph and learn how determine i was to get the picture at all effort.

Such determination will also be applicable into my commercial jobs for clients that require photography service. I want to offer valuable pictures that goes a long way.

Bless all

Travel Collection – 2 in Bangkok

Not sure had you read my Travel Collection – 1 in BeijingTravel Collection – 1 in Beijing

Now here goes another one of my picture story telling of why do i make this particular image and how do i approach towards the subject during travel in other countries.

As many of the pictures were taken years back. I may not remember all the small details anymore, but the scene still linger in my mind.

Portrait of a Monk

I was like a street hunter, with an eagle’s eye looking for picture opportunities in Bangkok. I can’t remember which temple i was at, there are so many temples everywhere in busy Bangkok. A Buddhism’s country that much devoted to the belief.

I wandered into this temple where i can see a row of golden Buddhas in line. I took the opportunity to rest myself from the heat of wave. While i was cooling down under the shelter, my eyes was scanning for my ‘prey’, not many visitors at that moment, kids were running around, a few monks making their way to the exit.  I capture some still life street photograph and that was about it. Something was lacking. But i don’t know what is that hollow point at that moment.

Often when i search hard for picture opportunity, that situation never appear. The moment i stopped seeking, the chance is presented and is up to you to grab it. Why do i say this? Is because much patience had already dry up while waiting or expecting for something to happen. If nothing occur as you visualise,  you may end up being frustrated, disappointed and even a waste of time.

What is the disparity between Waiting and Expecting?

Waiting – Not knowing what is going to happen next, unable to control the situation. (negative)

Expecting –  A desire to see a situation that is going to unfold. (positive)

Back to the temple. As i as was about to leave, i noticed a monk by himself standing in-front of the Buddha statue. Somehow that particular moment caught my attention. I  boosted up my confident, approached the religion man. Is a do or die moment, i don’t want to moan later why i did not even asked about it and regret for the rest of my life.

I can’t speak Thai, except for the basic “Sawadee kap”, palm together. I spoke in the most simplistic English and hand gesture to ask for a picture. Hoping he will understand. I was not nervous, but neither will i be disappointed if he rejects me.

The monk smiled, nob his head *throw fist on air*

I recalled having some difficulty in the composition, whether should he be standing at the side or the centre. I quickly made a few frames and concluded that standing in the centre would be better. Everything is all centralised from the background to the key subject. Is the the student being humble in-front of the Buddha’s teaching.

He did not smiled throughout, neither i want to control his expression. For street/environmental portrait. I decided to let the monk to be himself, and be respectful to him is important.

Personally i like this picture so much that i printed out 12 x 8 inch and hang it up on the wall.

Hope you enjoy this article, drop me a comment if you like it or how to further improve it.