Break-Light Done

After the manipulation with Photoshop, I have finally got 3 favourite pieces of works on hands. I edited the images with a simple method which was black & white the background and left the main object in colour. Although it was not complicated, I still spent quite lots of time to do it. The lights in the images were arranged in so many crisscross lines so I had to highlight them very carefully.

The result of these three images is exactly what I want through the Break-Light project. Lights moving in circles represent the interesting point of breakdance which is Bboys suppose to dance in a circle with any moves.

These images will be exhibited on Free for Art Festival 2010 in Piccadilly.

Break-Light Shoot Out

Today was my project Break-Light photo shooting day. Break-Light is from the B-boys or B-girls which mean break the beat with dancing steps and moves. I took the photos at my friends flat with him and another bboy friend. My friend usually does some training at the sitting room so there was enough space for us. Those images at below are some of the photos I took today.

These photos were taken in RAW files so their colours, tones and contrast are already manipulated for a little before upload to here.

I tried different moves of breakdance to see what kind of moves could produce the best result.

First try was top-rock which is a kind of standing dancing steps. In breakdance, top-rock is like a dancing of freestyle although there are some formal steps of top-rock. People can add any moves to their top-rock to create their own style. And we tried some formal steps.

Then we tried foot-work. Bboys need to touch the floor with hands and foots to do the steps. Same again, people can do whatever steps they want as long as they are moving on beats.

The last one was power-moves. This kind of moves is based on spinning. The well known moves are such as wind-mill, back-spin, head-spin and flare. My friends were too tall to do the moves in the flats so I did the moves and they pressed the shutter. I can do wind-mill and flare but I was too tired to do flare after training.

From these images, my wind-mill looks pretty good but the foot-work and top-rock look so messy.

I like these three images the most because they have the lighting line at the right middle of the pictures. Additionally, the movement of the light are so beautiful even without a proper Photoshop manipulation. They will be so much better after I edit them.

CU Environmental Art Project

I just went to the information session about the Children University Environmental Art Project. In the older blog, I mentioned I love to work with children so I am quite interested in this project.

Today, we were told about what we have to do for the project. After that, we had a little brainstorming about what we can do with the children. And then we shared our ideas.

Due to working with children, we are needed to apply for our CRB certificate before to do the project. Therefore, the staffs were helping us to finish the CRB application form.

Trying the Breakdance and Light Painting at Zion Centre

Zion Centre is a common place for Manchester Bboys to practice and I usually do my training there as well.

Today, I brought my lighting stuff, camera and tripod to there and took a few shot of my friends to dance with light. Unfortunately, we could only use the café space to dance because every room had been fully booked.

As you see, my glow sticks are not bright enough to against the other lights. Before to take the photos, I already turned off the lights which I could turn off but the café space is a quite open area and it is near to the entrance and the reception. The space were still be shined by many light. I realised the result was not going to be good and I still tried to do it because I thought the space was quite dark. I thought it might be work to capture the moving lights with a clear background. Just as expected, moving lights and background both could be captured but not looking good. In my opinion, the problem is those glow sticks were not bright enough. If I took those photo was in a full dark area, I could capture the lights with higher ISO to solve the problem of not so bright. However, the café space was so many different lights on. Those lights would get brighter in the photo followed by higher ISO.

I think it would work if I had some brighter lights rather than the glow sticks because I could capture the image with a lower ISO. The background would be darker and the moving lights would be still bright and obvious in the image.

The First Shot of Breakdance and Light Painting

This is the first try of the breakdance and light painting project. I was holding a bike light with my hand and doing a couple steps of footwork at my room with light off. The image was captured by my DSLR on the tripod with a 5 second exposure.

The image looks all right even though I could not really dance at my small bed room. I am really looking forward to trying this with many colourful glow sticks in a bigger place.

Free for Art Festival 2010

I am so glad that I am still able to join the Free for Arts Festival 2010 because when I have seen the email was one month after I received it. At the moment, I was still in Hong Kong and had no chance to meet those people who are involved with this festival. I am not sure what will be going on but I plan what I am going to display for the exhibition.

For the festival, I intend to exhibit a series of photos of Bboys(male breakdancers). I will use the method of “light painting” to take those shots. Lighting stuff will be put on the bboys’ bodies, arms and legs to make them obvious in the dark. I will take some shots when they are dancing in a dark environment with a long exposure to capture their significant breakdancing movement in photos.

I have had this idea for 2 years already but I have not had any chance to experiment it. The Free for Art Festival is the right thing at the right time.

Moreover, I found some good stuff in Hong Kong really cheap but good for my breakdancing project. Which are those glow sticks in the above picture. It cost only about £1 for 50 glow sticks and I brought a hundred of them. Now, what I need to do is to find a place where is dark and suitable for breakdancing and then I can start to do this. I hope it will work.

Teaching children in Hong Kong

If I will have choices, I do not want to be a teacher as my career in the future. However, I really love to talk with kids so I often look for some voluntary job of teaching. I already have quite a lot of experience working with children.

This summer, I had an opportunity to be in charge of three summer classes in Hong Kong. My duty is to teach children how to draw and paint. The summer classes were held by The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions which is one of the political parties in Hong Kong. Last year, I helped them as a volunteer to teach children drawing at one of their office, so they gave me the offer of managing those summer classes this year.

I had more pressure to manage the summer classes than the last year because I had to take the responsibility for those parents who paid for their children to join the summer classes. Not just the health and safety but also what the children have learnt from my lessons, the parents in Hong Kong are very care about this. They expect their children can draw something understandable rather than something abstractive. That means the teacher draw something out on the board and let the children copy it that is the best and easiest way to show their parent what they learn. So many parents are happy with their children can draw a nice dog or a nice cat. I would say there are so many people without any sense of arts in Hong Kong. I did not want to teach drawing and painting with the way just copying. So I would like to do something different, that the children can learn the real skills. Eventually, I planned to teach them how to sketch and how to use watercolours.

I taught children how to draw a cartoon lion and tiger in 2009.

Last year, I used the way ‘draw and copy’ to teach the children drawing. They were very happy with it but I knew they almost learnt nothing from me. This year, I hoped the children could learn the real skills of sketching. I planned to do some life drawing for the first four lessons. Because of last year’s experience, the children about 4 years old could not really control their hand to draw and after on, I realised that sketching is not suitable for too small children. Therefore, I requested children who wanted to join my classes must be older than eight years old. Unfortunately, there were still two 6 years kids joined.

During the sketching lessons, I taught them how to draw objects with contrast. I used my lamp to shine on the object that I wanted them to draw. Those objects had very simple form such as eggs, apples, melons, boxes, etc. So the difference between the bright areas and the dark areas are obvious. When they were trying to draw those objects, I walked around and told them what they should do.

I used the similar way to teach in the watercolour lessons. A little bit difference was I needed to explain how to use watercolours and watercolours before we started because most Hong Kong people think any pigments which can be diluted by water are watercolours. I chose to teach watercolours because there are easy to be washed. In addition, the children would get excited to paint on a wet watercolour paper that they never tried before.

All in all, this was a good experience and I was quite enjoying teaching those children. There were 6 children each lesson so it was not difficult to handle. However, I think there was still something not good. The time was too short. It was only one hour per week. They would forget what they learnt until next week so it would be better if I could have two lessons per week. Moreover, some children did not want to join the classes actually. They were sent to my classes by their parents and they were absolutely not interested in drawing or painting. I had tried to get their concentration but it was too difficult.

Finally, I do not think the way I used is good to teach children drawing or painting. I used this way was because I learnt to draw and paint from this way and I thought it should work on children. Nevertheless, I forgot I was already a teenager when I started to learn art. Therefore, I prefer children just draw or paint anything they imagine. All right, what is the point to send them to those draw classes and painting classes then? Those classes are so popular in Hong Kong.