friends on film

I loaned a camera for a week and I made some pretty good memories 🙂
disclaimer: I didn’t take these shots on an actual film camera! I used a normal DSLR camera and tweaked each photo with VSCO to achieve faded, grainy and vintage effects. I think there is a certain aged beauty to film photography, even if I didn’t exist in the time when they were the most popular mode of photography.

here are some of my own personal tips about how I achieved these effects on these pictures below:

  • VSCO filters: AU5, AV8, F1, Q5, A6, P5, FN16, FS4, K2, Q8 (of course, there are more! the final effect you achieve depends on how you choose to play around with the settings)
  • apply vignette (around 50-70%)
  • the grain effect may help to achieve a dusty/mid-quality effect to the pictures but don’t overdo it. I suggest using RNI film for overlays.
  • try removing shadows
  • try the fade option
  • I personally used the tint effect (either end of the spectrum may work) but this is really contingent on how the original photo looks like and the effect you want to achieve. in reality, different brands of film will produce different tones so you can emulate them accordingly. for example, fuji films tend to have a greenish tint)
  • lower the contrast
  • in some cases, I increased the brightness for a slightly overexposed effect

when you said no

discord sown in the fields of my own mind
grow to be weeds, strangling the little seedlings
that cry for renewal, for a fresh breath,
gulping down the last yolk of sunshine for supper.

they tell me that it’s all in my own head:
a mass of tissue and neurons entangled with
the steady beat of my soul, stretching and contracting
like train couplers reconciling cabins that will never touch

all the time, I think about your typicality,
yet having to think implies mystery.
how is it that you never look at yourself in mirrors,
given how you’re so god damn beautiful?
why have I never tasted pretence in your voice,
but have only heard the purest thoughts, organic and
yours alone?

some questions will always be questions.
thus I, deciding whether these are tears or raindrops,
stagger back into eden, crawling
back into the soil of late winter,
retracting my roots in the wait for rebirth next spring.

shanghai & nanjing

Last November, I travelled solo to Shanghai to meet my dad there. He wanted to expose me to the F&B franchises in China at an exhibition as well as to show me around Nanjing, where he spent a lot of time working in the past. It was a really great experience to once again revel in the upbeat city of Shanghai and to take a walk back in time on the historic grounds of Nanjing.

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SIT DOWN, PAIR UP

two white dresses at a wedding will command stares. 
a change of outfit is not granted; 
there are so many skeletons in my closet
that i can’t tell my backbones from belts. 

i can choose to smile and wave like i 
have always,
a rag doll pinned onto a cork board to be 
sliced, diced, and everything nice. 

to iron out my incompatibilities,
a creaseless palm clutching the smallest of 
infinities that persuade me to let go of
cards that no longer serve purpose

for i am a temporary tattoo,
the last page of a calendar, 
counting down to when i won’t fit the 
occasion anymore 

feliz navidad

Christmas has always been my favourite time of the year but I never understood why. I can’t say that I do now, but I think that it has a lot to do with the communal spirit of excitement in the air regardless of one’s profile. The occasion also has a lot of sentimental value to me because, well, it’s been one of the only constants in my life, even if the way I experience it changes as I age.

Merry Christmas wherever you are from wherever I am, and all the best for the year ahead.

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circus caravan, always on the go

words taste bitter in december when
urns are emptied, filled, lost, doubled till
small talk becomes no talk.

this year, the gap on the shelf
of a borrowed book reminds:
keep the moment when the acrobat
freezes on the trapeze, statuesque
marbled eyes locked in the space between
one second and the next,
feasting on the contradiction of being motionless
yet on top of the world.

this year, the gap on the shelf
of a borrowed book reminds me just that.

only a time too vulnerable to be measured in minutes
prevents seizures of lunacy when
young things trickle in rivulets, engulfing the space
only you and i knew.
they could never learn of
a time too vulnerable to be measured in minutes. foolish, whimsical young things don’t speak in sepia
like we did.

deep breaths.
smiles in january will be sweeter,
the kinds that are followed by birdsongs.
i know this in threes, twos,

ones.

taiwan 台湾

img_5182-1-e1540478430252.jpg

At the start of September, I went on a short getaway to Taiwan! I was on my study break before my Y4 finals in school so I spent quite some time on the trip buried in books (eg. before dozing off or during pockets of free time before we set off for the day) Nevertheless, it was truly a trip to remember.

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