Nightmare – Process Journal

Fear of puberty is the theme of my scenic design. It is designed for a thrust stage which the audience can visualize the play from three sides. My design purposefully intends to make the viewers look from several angles, so they can have many point-of-views and interpretation of the play. At the foreground, you can see bent nails stabbed onto petals, and blood stains remain on every part of them. In the middle ground, the focal point of the stage is a silver well. Notice that I decorate gold paint with gradient blue color in the center, it represents mysterious deep water. The tarnished plastic that plugs onto the well is a satire of the Hollywood sign. Instead, it is written “HELL.” I decorated the background with red paint and broken plastic. They are associated with violence during puberty. Throughout the design, the audience can connect the stage with disorder, pain, and confusion during the youth of one’s life, but more dramatically.

-Elements and Deeper Meanings-
I utilize unity, contrast, and symbolism in the design. The most significant parts; the sharped edges of the nails, the splashes of blood, the heart-shape blood stain, the bending nails, and the bullet holes, they symbolize pain, violence, breaking during the puberty stage of a person. Additionally, the white petals that are half colored in red symbolize the kids are polluted with realistic views, almost too harsh. The subordinate element of this design, the unity of the bending nails evokes fear. It connotes the danger in the nightmare. Furthermore, the position of the well emphasizes the importance of it. The “HELL” sign alludes to imperceptive teenagers imitate the Hollywood’s celebrities. The color scheme of the water is an allusion to Van Gogh’s Starry Night. On top of that, the contrasting tones help the audience to conduct the well to an unorthodoxy world. Moreover, there are six gold paints in the well. Number 6 appears as the number for the devil in the religious world. The connections lead to a theme of the power of subversion which young adults during puberty often subvert meanings as they grow.



I am satisfied with the usage of unity on the bending nails. They look sophisticated but easy to understand. The appearance actively displays their meanings. Nevertheless, the nails are also visually appealing as they are bending as a whole. The blood-stained petals also go well with the visual of the nails.

-Didn’t do well-
The model is disproportionated, scruffy and no negative spaces. If the scene is in scaled, it will become a cluster and the actors will have a hard time walking across the stage. The nails are positioned near the edges of the scene; the sharp points are going to hurt people near the stage as well. After the hot glues cooled down, they formed in shapes all around the places where I meant to keep them flat. If I have a chance to develop the design, I will create more negative spaces and make the design proportional to the real world. Also, the color of the blood needs to be redder, and I should apply less volume of glues. The sides of the platforms expose the fact that I add a layer of black foams onto the stage. I could’ve paint them black.

Making a scenic model for a stage drama helps me understand the difficulties of measuring the props in scale and positioning them to demonstrate the significance of the theme. The design has to convey meanings and aesthetically pleasing. Theatre process including scenic design, therefore, I learned to do the first step and recognize the things the designers have to do next.


The Lady Capulet


The short story displays a vital moment of Lady Capulet, the mother who is married at a young age and the wife of Capulet. I change her name to Angelica, as Shakespeare mentioned this name in his script.  The story demonstrates the encounter of Lord Capulet and Lady Capulet. Which the mighty noble, Lord Capulet helped her when she was in a dilemma.

I choose some techniques to connect young Lady Capulet’s personality and her experience in life. Foreshadow, I give hints about Lady Capulet’s experience and relation to the reason why Lady Capulet want her daughter to marry the wealthy Paris.

“In the light that painted Angelica’s skin so warmly,” I utilize personification, creating a more interesting story-telling, and helping the reader to imagine the scenery. Characterization, this technique is to show the true color of Lady Capulet, and I adapt it to build her into a unique character. I am using third person’s perspective to descript the story. This perspective is allowing me to play more with the settings and descriptions.

All in all, Shakespeare’s language is seldom appearing in the short story, even the settings are in the 16th Century. It is a combination of the contemporary and the old.


The Lady Capulet

In the year of 1584, the moon hung up on the mountains, and a family was living in a house on top of one. Although the family was poor, the daughter of the family was a precious gem.

The girl sat on a chair, drawing her favorite portraits. Later, her mother knocked on the door and demanded, “Angelica, come down to meet us. We have a guest.” As the sound of her mother’s slippers faded away, Angelica turned off the lights and stared out the windows. She heaved a sigh and went downstairs.

At the table, a boy sat with Angelica’s parents. He was wearing brown knee-length tunics and a pair of ankle-height shoes. Another peasant, Angelica thought. Before her mother could introduce the boy, Angelica announced, “Our family still have lots of debt that needs to be paid. Alliance with a family in miserable poverty will drag us down.” Those words carried the truth, and they struck out the colors of the day. Thicker than the unnecessary tension in the atmosphere, a heavy silence settled over the dinner table. The parents were upset, so she decided to move to live in town.

Grey carpeted the sky entirely, even the lights shone dimly into the twilight. Angelica strolled down the street. In her pockets, she held a few pence that could only afford some cabbage. The night air made her shivered. Down the road, droplets of rain rhymed with her single steps. Suddenly, rough footsteps broke the silence. It became faster and faster. A force pulled Angelica from behind and dragged her to a side of the road. She struggled, tried to use her feeble voice to call out for help.

The six-feet-tall man searched through Angelica pockets and laughed, “Ay! Found some treasure, though, why is it only a few pence? Where is all your money? Tell me!” His face turned red after he noticed the amount.

“That’s all I have, sir! Please take them all and leave me alone,” Angelica cried desperately.

“No way! Tell me, where are …”

Before the man could finish his sentence, a firm voice interrupted, “Stop! In the name of Lord Capulet, I command you to stop! You are an adult who is stealing money from a young lady. How disgraceful!” Knights surrounded and arrested the thief. Lord Capulet hopped off his horse and rushed to hold up Angelica.

He filled up his eyes with worries. Gently, he asked, “Did you get hurt?”

“I am fine, thank you,” Angelica answered.

They got up. Facing the knights, Lord Capulet ordered, “take him away. He needs punishments.” They took the thief away. Meanwhile, Lord Capulet brought Angelica into his mansion.

“What’s your name?” Asked, Lord Capulet.

“Angelica,” she answered.

“Excuse me if I am rude, but where do you live?”

“I am away from my house, because of some issues.”

“Do your parents know that you’re moving away?”

“Yes, sir,” Angelica answered softly.

Lord Capulet confirmed, “It was a dangerous journey. Well, I guess you can live here before you found a peaceful neighborhood.”

They greeted goodnight.

In the light that painted Angelica’s skin so warmly, she woke up. A servant of the Capulet knocked on the door and whispered, “Miss Angelica, it’s time for breakfast. Your new dress is on the stool. Please come out when you’re ready, I’ll lead you to the dining table!”

At the table, Lord Capulet greeted, “Good morning!”

“Good morning, sir.” Angelica had never felt this warmth before, in anywhere. They chatted. Afterward, he gave Angelica a tour of his mansion.

Spending time together, the two loneliest human-beings founded their soulmates. In a second of a moment, their eyes met. Her eyes shined brighter than diamonds, with blue creeping in around the edges as if it was trying to take over everything. As Lord Capulet looked into her eyes, she could feel them searching deep into her soul. Her well-structured features also made his heart flutter. The moment lasted longer than a century, and from that moment on, Angelica knew that she would become the lady Capulet.

Portraits Reflection


In this picture above is a girl from ISB Pre-K3. She is smiling directly at the camera. I tried to emphasize her expression by vertically positioning the camera, and framing her in the center. The brightness of the original picture was not very ideal, so I adjusted the level and exposure in Photoshop. I also cropped out the objects in her hands. The colors of the toys were really variety and saturated, so I chose to hide them and not let them became distractions. All in all, this picture conveys feelings of youthful and innocent.


This is a picture of my friend, Evelyn. This was shooting outdoor, so I adjusted my ISO to the lowest. Though, it’s a wide depth-of field shot, the aperture was f/4.5. She was leaning on a wall, and covering her face with her hands. There are two focal points: nails and eyes. She was giggling while looking into the camera , but her hands hiding her laughter. Her nails were polished with nail art, and they built a sense of aesthetic. I cropped this photo until the wall is invisible, showing only her face and hands. I also crop it to create a symmetrical balance. I filtered this picture with black-and-white demonstrates a sense of mysterious.


This picture was assigned under “experimenting with gel lights photography”. Gel lights were basically different colors of gels covering on lights. One of my classmate took this photo of me. The ISO was set at 2500, aperture was f/4.0, because it was in a dark room. The classmate utilized the colors flashing on me and my expression as the focal point. Shallow depth-of-field made the background turned blurry. The red and blue gel lights casted on the variety-sized bubbles in the background. I adjusted the brightness and contrast to make the two colors less identical. The contradictory colors link this picture to contemporary art.


In this picture of my classmate, she was sitting in the middle with a red gel light on the left, and a blue one on the right. Vertically symmetrical, the lights displayed on her face, and it didn’t cast any shadows. The bubbles in the back were details decorated the background, they also broke the symmetrical balance for this picture. The setting were the same as the previous one.


This photograph was also included the usage of gel lights, along with the same camera settings as the previous pictures. This photo contained the illustration of two techniques: Introduce A Prop and Breaking the Rules of Composition. The classmate was blowing bubbles, and I captured one of it while it flew away from the frame. In a fraction of a moment, she blew another one. Thanks to auto focus, I was able to capture a clear shot of my classmate and the bubbles. I adjusted the level to make this photo brighter, and the objects became sharper.


This technique is to intentionally take blurred photos to convey a unique kind of feeling. Maybe it is not obvious in here, but it is focus on the flowers instead of the children. The two flowers are in the middle of this photo, reminding me of symmetrical balance. However, the children (main objects) stay on the left, so it becomes asymmetry.  The colorful handprints on the background are really distracting, so the focal point might move to the back, even though it’s unfocused.


This picture was taken while this boy was playing with doughs. He was so focused that he ignored the camera, and the outcome was amazing—a candid shot! The light in the room was yellow, so I had to altered the white balance. The boy looked at the object in his hand. With the posture in his hand, the focus point became the hand and the dough. The background was a little bit messy which I disliked. In general, this picture was a suitable demonstration of a candid shot.


I personally have a fondness for this picture because framing is one of my favorite techniques. It states and emphasizes the object cleary to the audience. The wooden blocks build a frame for the girl in the middle. She is looking down at her toy. The colorful material on the ground creates a smooth , water-like texture. With all the colors and the dark exposure, this picture gives out an authentic feeling.

PORTRAIT TECHNIQUE: FOCUS UPON ONE BODY PART My friend was walking on a decoration-used railroad. The peddles on the ground were dull and grey, so I used photoshop to change the tone and made it blue. Fortunately, my friend was wearing a pair of white shoes, so they pulled the attentions to her feet. It was a cloudy day, and I shot it with wide depth-of-field to display the background.


This one is another picture of a girl in Pre-K3. She was playing a “cooking” game, but then, she saw I was taking pictures of her. She put the plastic bowl in front of her face, suspiciously looking at the camera. This picture was very real and candid, especially in the way she looked. I added auto-tone since the light in the room was yellowish. I didn’t adjust the exposure. I wanted the picture to seem real in general. Moreover, the colors of the tree on the background was saturated, and they gave out a sense of story tale-like mood.


Human of ISB

Question: How are you feeling right now? Is there a reason you’re feeling that way?

“I am working as usual, watching the door for parents. However, today I bought a lottery ticket from the PTA. It is for the Spring Fair on Saturday. I am looking forward to it.”

Question: If you have one wish, what would it be?

“If I had one wish, it would be that my family would be happy and healthy. And all my friends are happy. I love my family and friends! I want a boyfriend (shh) because I’m lonely.”

Question: What keeps you awake at night?

“What I am gonna do in the future. The job I want to do, the school I want to get in…I want to go to America for university, maybe Stanford? Which is very difficult to get in.”

Question: What does happiness mean to you?

“Happiness means anime, the thing I like. And (happiness is) I get to do the freedom to do the things I like. It is a form of art, and the way the creators tell the story is interesting. Anime is different than a book, but it is longer than a movie. It is unique.”

Question: Who inspires you?

“For me, I think I inspire myself. Because I think I am GREAT! I am an unique individual, and I am Chinese. I feel proud of my country and I am living here. The world needs a person called Jeffrey!!!”


Field Trip, April 2018

In this field trip, the whole Digital Imagery class went to Gulou, The Drum and Bell Tower to take street photography! We started to walk from a street near Gulou, and through Houhai. By the end of the day, we return to another side of it.

It was 9am, and we were all excited to go on this field trip that Ms. Z kept giving us some sneak-peak about it. Everyone was holding a camera, and strolling through the street. People looked at us, as if we were paparazzi. The retro buildings, lined up to show travellers the Chinese culture. It was perfect for taking photographies. I enjoyed looking at the view and people who were influenced by the old culture.

Unfortunately, I lose my paper for technique guidelines, but I tried my best to use techniques from what we’ve learned. It was fun to revise all the knowledge from class. Contrast, leading lines, shadow, and panning were the main compositions and techniques that I had used in this field trip. I was focusing on the composition guidelines, because that would help me take good pictures;)

As I said before, the hutong was reflecting the old Chinese culture. It was interesting, and there wouldn’t be anywhere else this aesthetic in modern China. I heard a lot of people who passed by questioned about why were we taking photos of them in the hutong. Some were shy and didn’t want to be in the frame, but some were very confident and positive about us taking pictures of them. The most memorable person was the old swimmer who wore a pair of shorts, and posed for us to take pictures of him. He was nice and confident, we all liked him a lot, haha!

I found it challenging on changing the settings on my camera while doing street-photography. It was bright and the sunlight came in, within a second, we walked forward and the shadow just covered the brightness. I had a hard time changing the ISO and aperture. At the end, I had to deal with it by keeping the ISO between 100 to 400, and if the brightness was still not enough, then I would adjust my shutter speed.

I learned to use black-and-white filter to edit my photos on this trip. The values of the colors did matter a lot to convey the feelings of a photo, especially photos from a street photography. Asking people for their permission or secretly take a picture of a crowd of people was harder than I thought. Though, it would be polite to do that.

This field trip was an opportunity to take street photography. It was my first time to do it, and I would do it again. Street photography was a learning experience for me to use the techniques I’ve learned, and find the delicacy in small details.

Manual 101 Reflection

In this unit, we’re learning photography techniques on DSLR cameras, manual mode. The predominant is the “exposure triangle”. The “triangle” includes Exposure, Shutter Speed and Aperture.

Exposure: “ISO” is the unit of the exposure adjustment on a digital camera. The higher the ISO is, the more lights the camera allows to taken in. Though, when the brightness of the scene is not ideal, and you adjust the ISO, the picture would become grained.

ISO collage

Shutter Speed: It is an adjustment of the speed of a shot of the camera. For example, if you settled a fast speed (1/4000), the shutter of the camera would react fast. The shot would be taken quicker. Vice Versa, if you settled a slow speed shutter (20”), the shot would be taken slower, and it might be blurry when not stabilised.

Aperture: When you see the element “F22” or any kind of number with a capitalised ‘F’ before it, it’s the setting of the aperture. Aperture represents the pupil of the lens. The smaller the letter after “F” is, the greater the pupil expands, which means more lights are captured.

The connection of these three elements in camera is important. Slow shutter speeds take more time to capture the lights, so the aperture has to set in a higher number. Faster shutter speeds do the opposite. Photographers adjust ISO due to the condition of the environments. Sometimes a higher/lower aperture cannot fulfil a perfect lighting.

Talking about exposures, when you accidentally set a lower ISO, the lights are too vague causes the photography to become underexposed, and the value of the picture will become too dark. When you set a higher ISO, too high that it will become overexposed, and the photo contains too much brightness.

There are lots of modes in a digital camera, but manual mode is still very important. Photographers can adjust their cameras to suit for their styles, and the effects they want to achieve. Acknowledging the way to operate my camera helps me to improve my photography skills easier.

Freezing Action: the picture above is taken with ISO 6400, shutter speed 1/4000, aperture F5.0. It is taken without a tripod, and it is manual-focused.

The focal points are on the splash of water dusks. It was a freezing moment, or in another word, a shot of a moment. The movement, texture and form of the water are visible. This picture is also taken in an interesting point of view. The colors of the photo is unsaturated, which conveys a simple and modern style.

Motion Blur: ISO 3200, shutter speed 25″, aperture F20. Taken with a tripod, manual focused.

This is a wide depth of field, motion blurred photography. The saturated colors make this photo stands out. The contrast between the blue locker and the orange wall makes the photo more interesting.The blurry people behind the chair are in the middle of this photo, center of interest. The chair used as a tool to emphasise the blurriness of the people in the back.

Panning: ISO 1600, shutter speed 1/50, aperture F5.6. Taken without a tripod, manual focused.

This picture was taken in the morning, so the lighting is too bright, and it was overexposed. Though, the picture was overexposed, I photoshopped it into black- and-white filter. This filter distinguished the value in the picture above. “Giving space to moving objects” is a technique in composition guidelines, but in this picture, the space is not enough. A successful picture of “giving space to moving object” supposed to have a space blank in the direction the moving object is heading.

Shallow depth of field: ISO 200. Shutter speed 1/160, aperture F6.3. Taken without a tripod, manual focused.

The subject of this photo is the white flowers on the right hand side. Shallow depth of field emphasises the subject. The leaves in front of the subject is blurred, and the surroundings of the subject also creates a rhythm. The flowers are posed at the “rule of thirds”. The subject also in the center of interest.