Time really flew by this year. This was a post initially set for Christmas but the wretched cold has hit me hard for the last 3.5 weeks. There has hardly been anytime to reflect and I was starting to feel a little more human after my course of antibiotics but got ill again this week. Whilst in bed over the last couple of weeks, I read this article by Harper Lee on her Christmas in New York.  It was really touching and I think this year was my year which the dude gave to me and as it is coming to an end, I cannot help but feel a tinge of sadness.

On the other hand, my work has been on show in several exhibitions in London this winter and to get feedback about the work has been a great experience. I am also happy to announce that A Woman’s Fate will be shown at Art Rooms 2016 at Meliá White House from 22-25 January 2016.

I look forward to what 2016 brings and have several commissions and projects which I am eager to start working on. For now, it is going to be quiet New Year’s eve for us and may the New Year brings all of us good health and fun times with family and friends.


Sayaka Namba Ceramics






And the year went… just like that.

What a feeling. Submitting my last assignment for the year. My year of being a student is now over. Not quite official but you get the gist. This year has gone by in a whiz. Total madness.

As I now sit and enjoy a beer whilst planning for the hanging of the exhibition early next week, I can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness. It has been a great year and who knows what tomorrow brings. Although there is fear showing my work to the public, I am still pleased with what I have done so far. It would be great if you can join us for the private view of the exhibition next Tuesday at London College of Communication between 6-9pm. There will be a lot of amazing work up on show, I promise.


And if you really would like to see what the work is about, here’s a little sneak preview. More will come after the exhibition opening next week.

Finding my bearing

As photographers or aspiring photographers, there is always this constant struggle to find our own bearing. Perhaps for some, it may be easier but it seems to me that a lot of us struggle to find our way especially in this day and age where everyone is a photographer.

Early last year, I set myself the task to explore photography outside of my architecture job and see where I can take it. I did a few portfolio reviews, spoke to photographer friends and made new ones. I was enjoying my new found inspiration so late last year with work taking its toll due to some issue, I cracked and quit. After all, I have been working full time for about eight years straight after university, I needed some time to rethink my future. As my postgraduate studies draws to an end in just about eight weeks, I can’t help but be reflective.

Throughout the year, I see fellow aspiring photographers fight themselves and feel like they are going nowhere with their work. It is a journey, this.

I hope I can enjoy the next few weeks as it comes. There is absolutely no regret for taking the year out. For now, I am fighting to get my major project done as well as prepare for several exhibitions which are happening in the next few months before Christmas comes!


Quiet summer…not.

It’s been a little quiet on the blog since it’s summer! Bear with me as I am currently working on my major project, sorting out prints, planning my three weeks summer holiday and moving flat… It is ALL HAPPENING!

On the news front, one of my prints have made the shortlist of the Royal Photographic Society International Print Competition! Tres excited! Very honoured to have made the first cut and to be amongst many talented photographers. You can view the images here. My selected image is made at Ridley Road market earlier this year and I wrote a post about the trip.

Last year, I participated in The Swap with Erik Nilsen and our photos are up on the site and we were featured on Don’t Take Pictures,  a biannual print, online & tablet-ready magazine. Do check it out too!

On the other hand, I have been shooting more ceramic wares for amazing crafters and this image below is one for Sayaka Namba, an architect slash ceramicist! She and several other ceramicists are selling their handmade creations tomorrow at Turning Earth Studio sale from 1-6pm. Definitely check out their work! Details here on the Facebook page. I might just be hanging about so do come and say hi!


Our two selves…

As humans, we have many sides to our personality. We present ourselves as a unified being but in actual fact, we are composed of many layers. Over the last few months, I decided to slow down whilst shooting and captured a few portraits of friends and loved ones with silver film. A small mistake quickly grew to become a mini project of mine. Below are some of the images I have captured on Mamiya RB67 and Hasselblad 501c.



Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015

The winner for this year’s Deutsche Borse Photography Prize was announced three days ago and the prize went to Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse for their publication, Ponte City (Steidl, 2014). I managed to view the exhibition a few weeks ago and went to their talk on the Wednesday that’s just past. For this year’s Deutsche Börse photography prize shortlist, it included the works of Viviane Sassen, Nikolai Bakharev and Zanele Muholi. When I first viewed the exhibition, Subotzky and Waterhouse’s project had the most impact on me with their work but I was really moved by Zanele Muholi’s series, Faces and Phases about the black LGBTI identity and politics in post-apartheid South Africa. Ponte City really stuck to me perhaps because of my architecture background.

“Ponte City depicts a 54-floor apartment block in Johannesburg which was built in 1976 for the white elite under apartheid rule. During the political transition in the 1980s and 90s, it became a refuge for black newcomers to the city and immigrants from all over Africa.” (Guardian website)

This is a building that dominates Johannesburg skyline and is an icon of the city. Subotzky and Waterhouse spent six years from 2008-2014 documenting Ponte City. They started out by photographing people in the lift as that was the central core where people had to use to get in and out of the building. That was also their way of getting to know people living in the building. In their talk, Subotzky and Waterhouse mentioned that there were some suspicion from the people in their first encounter but they would then print the images after they photographed and delivered it to their apartment in person. This was their way into the lives of the people living there. ponte-plan

Ponte City floor plan (from Lindsay Bremner’s blog)

One of the most interesting element of the project which I really enjoyed are the light boxes which was a recording of all the doors, windows and television set of every apartment within the building. The installation really works well and the viewer is like a voyeur looking into the lives of the people who lived there. This idea was inspired by a quote from Le Corbusier where he said that “the apertures of a building captures the spirit”. Waterhouse had heard this quote somewhere before (but could not find it!) and it got them thinking about creating these light boxes which showed the apertures of the whole building, following the typology of Ponte city. c87c8d21aa

Windows, Doors, Televisions – three light boxes by Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse

SOUTH AFRICA. Johannesburg. 2008. From the Ponte City project, A book about the tallest residential skyscraper in Africa. In collaboration with Patrick Waterhouse.

SOUTH AFRICA. Johannesburg. 2008. From the Ponte City project, A book about the tallest residential skyscraper in Africa. In collaboration with Patrick Waterhouse.

Windows, Doors, Televisions (close up) by Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse


Looking up the Core, Ponte City, Johannesburg, 2008  

All images © Mikhael Subotzky / Patrick Waterhouse

Subotzky and Waterhouse’s compilation of the found images, history and documentary photographs reveals the complex layers of Ponte City. This is a great project and one not to miss. The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015 exhibition, featuring work by all shortlisted artists is now on show at The Photographers’ Gallery until the 7th of June. Do try to catch it!

For more reading: Lindsay Bremner wrote an essay ‘Buildings are geological agents’ on her blog, which was an accompanying piece for Ponte City’s exhibition in Paris and is a great read!


A couple of months ago, we were given a task to shoot ‘Blue’. It was totally up for our own interpretation.

For me, I decided to find inspiration from Picasso’s blue period and found a painting called La Celestina painted by Picasso in 1904. To give a little background, Celestina was a notorious procuress from a 15th century Spanish play who was the subject of Picasso’s painting. I tried recreating the painting in the studio using myself as the sitter.

Studying the lighting of a painting certainly helped with the lighting in the studio. What I found unsuccessful in this image was the expression I had. I will have to learn to be more patient when creating self-portraits and study expressions a little more!


Analogue is better…

It is one thing to write about a photographer you like and another to be able to meet the photographer you admire in person. One of the highlights in March was getting to meet Mary Ellen Mark in person and to ask her a question that many have asked and continued to question her for. The question of whether digital or analogue is better.

Mark is one photographer who chose to stay with analogue even though she is working in the age of digital. Over the last couple of months, I have delved deeper into her works. From my research, Mark typically shoots with medium to large format for portraiture and 35mm for her street and documentary work. She shoots in both colour and black and white but her black and white work is definitely more prominent. Mark herself admits that ‘color is more difficult and less forgiving… I just see in black and white. It’s a real personal thing.’

I remembered that when I first started shooting back in 2000, it was all film. I lugged my Nikon SLR to Annapurna basecamp alongside 30 rolls of film. I fell in love with the analogue process. Being able to develop my own black and white images in the dark room was magical. I came to own my first digital camera in 2004 – an Olympus Camedia C-740 zoom with 3.2 megapixels and 10x optical zoom. Following that, I bought my very first Nikon D90 DSLR. It was never the same. Perhaps it is the nostalgia I feel towards the analogue process. This year, I managed to go back to my analogue film processes and recalled the days of being in the darkroom. I like how it slowed me down and put more consideration into each shot. Nothing like the modern day trigger on the DSLR hoping to find the moment in one of those shots.

There is also the association of truth to photography with analogue processes. When photography was first invented in 1839, it was to produce accurate drawings and representation. Now with the introduction of digital, Batchen wrote that ‘Digitization abandons even the rhetoric of truth that has been such an important part of photography’s cultural success.’(Batchen, 1999) In one of the interviews of Mary Ellen Mark, she mentioned this.

When I started out, it was considered very wrong to change an image. …When I look at magazines and see a portrait, I assume it’s been digitally altered. I’m not putting down Photoshop. When it’s used like that, it’s just not a photograph, but an illustration. (Mark to Row, 2010)

Documentary photography is a genre of photography, which is associated with authentic and accurate recording of the world and with this alteration of ‘truth’ associated with digitalisation, it might be a reason as to why Mark decides to stick to analogue photography.


The Damm family in their car by Mary Ellen Mark

What are your thoughts on analogue or digital photography?

“Stop trying to get it right,” she said. “Just take the picture.”

Just earlier this year, I discovered the work of Sally Mann (I know… I am just a little slower than others!) and really love the images she makes. Sally Mann works with antique view cameras to create her images. Below is one of my favourite photograph by her.


At Warm Springs (1991) from the series, Immediate Family by Sally Mann

Recently, Sally Mann had an article, Sally Mann’s Exposure on The New York Times and it was a great piece in terms of content. To digress a little, what I found interesting was the way the article had some accompaniment of moving images done by Leslye Davies. These short video vignettes were a snippet into Sally Mann’s life in Virginia. This article, in terms of the layout, is a portrayal of what the future of news and media is going to be like. For me, it is like Harry Potter’s moving portraits of people within their picture frame. It makes them seem alive.

Leslye Davies wrote about her assignment to create those vignettes in a ‘Story behind the story’ article called ‘A lesson from Sally Mann: ‘Just take the picture’. I found it so incredibly interesting as Leslye recalled her moments whilst trying to capture Mann and how she told her to “Stop trying to get it right,” and “Just take the picture.”

Mann typically shoots with large format. One would think that the analogue way was to ensure that everything was set up as well as it should be in front of the camera before one would take the shot. For Mann, it was all about imperfections and as Leslye wrote, ‘Hers is a sensibility that embraces mistakes’ as opposed to herself who tries and ‘avoid mistakes whilst on assignment for The New York Times’. Leslye shot digitally for this assignment and after Mann’s words, she shot this image of Mann below.

sallymann-by leslye davies

Sally Mann by Leslye Davies

It is not often that you get to find out about what happens behind the scenes during a photography sitting. Definitely well worth a read.

Access Through Tools festival

Just a couple of days ago, I have been documenting a festival called Access Through Tools organised and curated by London College of Communication’s graphic design students. I had a lovely time observing the designers and the participants come together to use processes to develop their craft.

I have been wanting to do a time-lapse video and thought it would be a good addition to the photographs which I have taken during the festival. Below is a first attempt using an intervalometer to take the images before processing them in Lightroom with a plugin. Never thought it would be this easy. Still have some editing of the music to do but here it is.

Access Through Tools Exhibition Night from Wendy Lee on Vimeo.

Video by Wendy Lee-Warne
Music by Jazzy Frenchy by Ben Sound

Another quick video which I did during the festival was a printing process lead by Richard Ardagh of New North Press using my iPhone 6 which has this time-lapse mode. I really like the ease of use on the iPhone. If you are creating your first time-lapse video for instagram, you do need to note that it is a minimum of 3 seconds video which means that you do need to shoot for a period of time.

On the camera, you can use your intervalometer to calculate the number of images you need to take. For the iPhone 6, Apple’s website states that “iOS 8 does all the work, snapping photos at dynamically selected intervals.” After a quick google search, Studio Neat did a couple of tests and found out that ‘What Apple means by “dynamically selected intervals” is they are doubling the speed of the time-lapse and taking half as many pictures per second as the recording duration doubles….’ You can read up more about that here.