235 - Photo Magic


I am partly regretting promising you guys that I'd do a photo-tutorial (or something that runs along those blurry lines). Either way, it's obvious enough that a lot of editing goes into my photos. It's honestly the neon highlight of any photo-taking experience for me. Editing is really the craziest fun part, especially if you enjoy playing with colors and lighting. This was an alternate location and shoot to the outfit shot of Day 3 of my Taiwan trip (see official post here). 

But I suppose to answer the questions of the tools of the trade first, nowadays (especially for the Taiwan trip), I used a Nikon D5100 with a 35mm prime lens. As for editing, Photoshop CS5. Subjectively old school, but good enough for me. Matthew, my six-year-old brother, starting early.

Truth to be told, this is entirely why I'm doubting this post - in my mind it is impossible to explain how to edit your photos. I can only show you what adjustments I use. Mainly:

Brightness/Contrast: I really like high exposure
Levels: to deal with brightness and exposure too, but a bit more specific
Curves: Brightness, contrast, colors and warmth of photo
Selective Color: Mainly to deal with ugly greens (Singapore is rampant with them) or if my face is too red, etc.

I'm still pretty new to this whole editing thing, I only started using adjustment layers properly about a few months back after exploring their uses when I downloaded a set of pre-made Photoshop Actions mimicking Instagram filters *cough* Learning experiences, learning experiences.

I really enjoy looking at before-and-after photos. I'm not sure how much this helped, but I hope you at least enjoyed the pictures!

(P.S. And I'm not going to lie - I went over my whole face with a healing tool to get that kind of complexion. Dreams have yet become reality.)

234 - V: Fall's Fools

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"'What is she wearing?' said the Mother; 'I don't know, ask her," said the Father. Of course, our Sartorial Sloth of a hero heard that. 'I don't care!' was the only verbal response, accompanied by the gesture of a hand. It was that gesture, the hand moving away from the side of her face, as if flippantly swatting the metaphorical fly of sartorial ignorance."
- Excerpts from 'Conversations from, and about, the Sartorial Sloth'

(I have come up with yet another imaginary, fictional, and utterly ridiculous non-existent book about myself) More than halfway done with the outfit shots from my Taiwan trip back in December 2012. This was taken at the Taroko National Park in Hualien, at the entrance to a walking route my family was too lazy to attempt. The unfortunate gathering of my blazer has given me a more than voluptuous chest -cough-, and a beautiful lack of neck. What's the opposite of a giraffe? I feel like a hippopotamus. 

I cannot express how much I miss being able to discover amazing, unique photo spots in Taiwan, unlike our incredibly unique (because everyone else in the world is unique), and artificial landscape. 

Zara Men pleather jacket; Taobao panelled blazer; Mango t-shirt; Uniqlo pants; Clarks desert boots; Flea bag

233 - White, Two Grays, and Three Blacks

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And I welcome to the ever-expanding family, six new outers.
From left: Cotton On drop shoulder white blazer; Cotton On tweed coat; Taipei houndstooth blazer; Taipei pleather sleeved bomber jacket; Zara Men pleather jacket; Uniqlo x Undercover pleather jacket

The last of which, I got for a mighty steal of $40. 

232 - Looks & Everything

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"A person is nothing but his image. Philosophers can tell us that it doesn't matter what the world thinks of us, that nothing matters but what we really are. But philosophers don't understand anything. As long as we live with other people, we are only what other people consider us to be."
- Paul, Immortality by Milan Kundera

There is a distinct schism between the point of Cameron's honest, down-to-earth speech that I had the pleasure of stumbling across during my nightly phone-before-bed time, and the opinion of Paul, a character from Kundera's work that I read during the day. Yet at the end of the day, the conclusion I've reached is perhaps congruent with both perspectives. 

Cameron ends off her speech by saying, "But mostly, it was difficult to unpack a legacy of gender and racial oppression, when I am one of the biggest beneficiaries." In our society, we tend to use our eyes all too eagerly. First impressions formed merely based on a person's physical attributes or their image change how you treat them. And it may seem to you, at this point of time, that beyond the fact that the talk was delivered by a model, it seems to have nothing to do with fashion. However, how you dress is simply part of your image as well. Cameron transformed from being a partly attention-seeking, polished woman, to one that seemed to possess much more humility. The fact that we acknowledge and sense the change already speaks volumes about how natural this mindset is to us. 

Perhaps we shouldn't use dressing as a basis of judging others. It doesn't mean that because they dress in black and leather, or wear men's clothes, that they are more masculine; it doesn't mean that because they dress in pastel colors and full skirts, that they are more feminine. Perhaps we shouldn't put the act of dressing on such a high pedestal that it actually 'reflects' our character, and instead see it as merely an expression of self, an exploration of tastes, and a hobby. 

I encourage you to watch the TED talk if you haven't done so already. Cameron speaks personally, with truths we would sometimes rather not acknowledge, and a brutal yet compassionate honesty that keeps it refreshing no matter how many times I've watched it. 

231 - IV: Mental Blossoms

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While my parents were busy doing the logistical nightmare that is checking in, I couldn't wait to go outside our hotel at Hualien, Taipei to take shots at this small park. If this is what it looks like during "winter", I'm dying to come here in Spring. I reckon this is the thickest outfit I wore throughout the whole holiday, but I think it paid off in helping me sleep during the two over hours of train ride. One can only watch the passing scenery and list to Michael Buble herald the angels for so long.

Also, here's a gif(t). That probably answers your question to the title of "Mental Blossoms".

Really such a beautiful place.

Editor's Market white collared shirt; Zara pullover; Taobao faux fur jacket; Editor's culottes; Clarks desert boots; Flea bag

230 - Bart Farts

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It is upon post-inspection that I notice I have white fuzz too big to be dandruff in my hair, but let's just keep it on for more ridiculous displays of modestly decent outfit of the days. Bart farts, because I sort of regret buying this pullover. It is reminiscent of my state of mind during my Taiwan trip where I wanted to try 'eclectic loud' fashion instead of my monochrome one. Obviously, I'm not too comfortable in it, nor am I comfortable in a piece of clothing too statement for too many people to already possess. Which is why my shots ended up in the car park of my house. 

I have the sinking feeling this might just be one of those rare pieces of clothings I stash for a long time until no one wears anymore, before taking it out and calling 'out of style' the new 'in style'. Definitions will always be subjective; Panda-face makes it's reappearance. Go, panda-san!

Curtsy and out. 

Photos taken by Jazell
Taiwan Bart Simpson pullover; Zara asymmetrical chiffon skirt; DIY sunglasses; ASOS boots


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"Everytime you say that [KLEINE ZWARTE], it sounds like you're doing something for Calvin Klein." - Sean

First time doing a more editorial-skewed shoot with Sean Seyfried of horse.weave, with the key piece being the adjusted jacket from the Maison Martin Margiela x H&M collection late last year. Unfortunately, not even in my dreams it comes anywhere to Calvin Klein and their cherry-picked models.

Styling | Sean of horseweave
Clothes | Sean & Elizabeth
Photography | Elizabeth of rednotion
Editing | Elizabeth of rednotion

228 - EMERGE

Spring Green Teardrop Diamond Necklace, $28.90

About a month or so back I worked on a shoot with a friend of mine for her blogshop - Kollidea - and after a few weeks of obscure badgering and anticipation filled with intermittent overseas trip that took my mind off it, she has finally uploaded it. (See the candid behind the scenes shots here) It has always been a sweet longing of mine to take shots on a drenched floor or even a flooded platform, just for the reflective goodness. Wet dreams come true, longing half fulfilled. Do check out the collection, which has lots of neon (don't 2013 is holographic me) and general fuzziness. 
Psst! Enter "REDNOTION" at checkout for a 10% discount~ 

Neon Clutch Double Envelope Bag in Yellow, Pink and Orange, $45

Diamond Drop Weave Necklace, $26.90

Fur Two-Way Bag in Black, $48.50 -Brown still in stock-

Leopard Two-Way Bucket Bag, $45 -SOLD OUT-

Leopard Poof Hairclip Beret, $13.90

And... this last beret doesn't seem to be up on the site yet. I also took some shots of some real girly headbands, so keep an eye out for that!

Photography & Editing | Elizabeth
Styling | Kollidea
Accessories | Kollidea
Clothes | Elizabeth - Shirt from Editor's; Skirt from Zara; 
Rachel - Boots from Topshop

227 - Memory Space

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A recent post by Dapper Kid got me thinking about what significance actual clothing had. (If we wanted to talk about the significance of the fashion industry and 'style' had, let me refer you to a currently at 4000 word essay in which multiple late nights poured their befuddled thoughts into). The other day my older brother mentioned that most of the clothes in my closet are probably less than a year old - true, also explaining the sorry state of my wallet, which has less money in it than it costs - so I have picked something slightly over 13 months old, and depicted it in a style truly peer to peer with my other brother. Who is 6. I could take a few coloring lessons. 

Every piece of clothing tells a story. More than the furniture in your home, because you only spent half your time at home, and half of that is already spent sleeping. More than your new bag or phone, because it's such a constant in your life it's hard to remember a few specific events, and even then you wouldn't attribute it to your phone, as such: "Oh this phone! This phone saw me through Christmas, and Chinese New Year, and the first day of the school, the second as well. You know what? The third too! ..." 

You change clothes everyday, and if you change outfits every time, you'll have a lot of storage space for memories. Each piece has a few stories to tell: a) how you got it: I splurged on the skirt as a Christmas present to myself, rushing over to the Zara at Liat Towers after a rehearsal; b) people's reaction to it: mother thought it looked too suggestive; c) every other event you have worn it to: (i) A leopard print t-shirt and the skirt, with boots from Far East, during Christmas 2011. I also mark this as the start to my extensive consumerism habits. (ii) A white collar tee and snakeskin brogues, missing a blazer, for my friend's confirmation somewhere in the middle of 2012. (iii) The ever ubiquitous - and hence the nagging. anxious need at the back of my ear telling me to wear it as soon as possible - Bart Simpson pullover, together with ASOS boots I bought in a haul I considered my birthday present. Outfit post soon to come.

Perhaps one of these days, when I stop being a sad, lazy, waste of energy, I'll attach a piece of paper to every clothing I have, and write down every event I went to with it. The silver pullover I wore to church, when I still took outfit shots with a small, digital camera; the silver pullover I wore to church again, when I sat on a concrete block and got my berms dirty; and the silver pullover I wore to the Marcellie Emerge event that got me sweating like a shopaholic with a Zara sale at 70% off. 

Of course, I'll put that in after I create a system that gets the right clothing back to the right hanger with the right note, and doesn't frustrate me when I'm having one of my late night alone parties. Just me, my closet, and my mirror. And some Diplo. Show some love. 

226 - Astronaut Tendencies

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"You look like a piece of foil!" No, for real. This is the by product of one too many shirts with terrible necklines and ghastly prints, and a yard of silver pleather that is used only for the most somber of MMM x H&M counterfeits, and a failed neck-piece that still hangs forlornly as a skeleton in my closet I'd rather be Narnia. I ever read somewhere not to take shots in the middle of the day when the sun is totally out, but I figured light from all directions plus a mirror on my chest would hide the obscenities of my sewing machine to a surprising extent. Your reflection on my chest, bro.

It's simple enough to make - just buy pleather, or whatever fabric, cut off the front panel of your shirt, generally outline the shape of the panel, cut, and sew. And if you're working with pleather or other fabrics that don't fray, you get a Superior Sartorial Sloth silver (because silver is the new gold) star, because you don't have to hem the collar. And what this means, fellow astronauts, is that I have a quick-step solution to my 6-month-long dream of pulling off an entirely silver outfit. Talk about unimaginative. 

Either way, I count this as baby steps to technical masterdom in my currently non-existent fashion design hobby-to-hopefully-turn-career.

Photos taken by Jazell
DIY shirt; Uniqlo berms; Monorain bag; Taipei shoes; Taipei sunglasses

225: III - Blow Wind Blow


We broke our taxi driver's umbrella, given out of the pure goodness of his heart and the harsh winds of the sea. It drizzled slightly, and I was more than happy to accommodate the turbulent weather if it meant such nice outfit shots in the end. And, it also justified me wearing three layers. I count that as four birds with one stone. Also, this was followed by a well-deserved trip to Starbucks, on the day my brother coincidentally wore his 'Starbucks' T-shirt. Coughembarrassingcough. See the next photo for ultimate underage pseudo-pregnancy-scare shots. Cheers.

And a moving, breathtaking shot... of my hands.

bysi blazer; Zara pullover; Editor's shirt; Uniqlo pants; Clarks desert boots; Flea bag