Style Analysis – Bobby Vu

Introduction

This is the third post in a short series that will focus on forming an analysis on a selected photographers works. The idea behind this is to form a better understanding of various photography and editing styles and methods and to eventually create my own style. The end goal of this series is to eventually create my own unique style of photography whereby I will at a later point create an Instagram account to showcase.

Point to note – photography is subjective. This is not a post pointing out what I think are “good” and “bad” photos, rather I’m trying to take a fairly objective view and simply examine the techniques and style preferences of the photographers.

Bobby Vu

Bobby Vu is a film director and photographer based in Los Angeles. His photography can be found on Instagram @kingvuddha while his latest film project can be found here. More information can be found on his website.

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Vu, (2017)

Photography

Bobby shoots portraits, around the city and during his travels with a distinctly old school vibe. His photos tend to reflect the feel and style that he creates his videos in. For his photography, he uses a Nikon D750 with lenses such as the 35mm f/1.4 and 50mm f/1.4.

  • Color

The first thing about any photo that I notice is the color. Most of Bobby’s photos have a desaturated look, with all the colors toned down. However a lot of his photos incorporate neons, or other light sources and in these cases the color of the light is made to pop just a little bit more. Another point to note is that the blues are usually edited to be more aqua, which seems to be a popular Instagram look these days. Lastly, the photos lean ever so slightly to the green side of the tint slider.

  • Model

Bobby’s photos are almost exclusively portraits, and as such the model plays an important part in the frame. The model is almost never made to smile, rather maintaining a more neutral expression. In certain shots the model looks away from the camera, conveying a distant, dreamy expression, while other shots have the model looking straight at the viewer. Both of these looks portray a sad, moody emotion.

  • Composition

Composition-wise, the photos are relatively simple. The subject is usually centered and the camera is placed at eye level with the subject, making the person look “real” instead of the over dramatized look provided by positioning the camera at very high or very low angles. The background is very plain and in a single color for studio shots, while outdoors a large aperture is used to blur it out and create bokeh.

Conclusion

These are a few key points that I have noted from Bobby Vu’s photos. As usual, this is not meant to be an detailed analysis, but simply my observations, meant to help me develop my own visual style. Did you notice anything else? Leave a comment if you did!

Refrences

Vu, B. (2017). [photograph]. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/kingvuddha

Emotion

A Small Project

What do I want people to know about me? There are many things I would like to tell, and narrowing it down to just one was difficult. After browsing through my previous work for inspiration, I eventually settled on emotion. More particularly how I love to capture emotion in photos or videos, or create them in illustrations and stories. Emotions are at the core of most great works. It’s what makes people laugh or cry, it’s what brings a smile to their face, or a tear in their eye. In the end that’s what I aspire to do with any of my art. It’s to evoke emotion.

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For this project, the medium I chose was a poster, as I could use easily use my photography to its effect. While a video or animation would have also been a great idea, I chose the poster due to it’s simplicity.It’s relatively easy to create, but done right, can be a very effective medium. Various designs were experimented with and different sketches were drawn in the brainstorming process, but the final design was chosen because it was simpler and more to the point. There’s no guesswork needed to figure out what idea is being shown. There are photos of people with various expressions to help convey emotion, as well as a quote from a song. The starry sky backdrop also adds to the grand, dramatic feel of the whole piece.

ADAA Poster Design

Research and Analysis

According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime people trafficking is the fastest growing international crime, and one of the largest sources of income for organized crime (Stop The Traffik, n.d.). As of 2014 there were an estimated 21 million victims globally. Over 14 million were exploited for labour, and over 4.5 million were sexually exploited (Human Rights First, 2017). According to Human Rights First, human trafficking is worth $150 billion every year for traffickers with 66% of that coming from sex trafficking. Yet in 2015, the Department of Justice convicted a shocking low figure of 297 human traffickers. Despite human trafficking being such a large criminal business, few people are aware of it. For most people, human trafficking is usually something that happens “somewhere else”. However trafficking occurs globally, from tiny villages to major cities. Due to these reasons, this topic was chosen to create awareness about human trafficking.

Project Deliverable

The final output is a series of three posters, each containing a different aspect of human trafficking. The visually aggressive red color scheme subtly hints at the disturbing reality of human trafficking. The black background represents the darkness and hopelessness that victims face. The text is intentionally thin and simple, to adhere to the minimal feel of the posters. All pictures are obtained from Pexels (www.pexels.com) and used under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.
A Design Studio Project created for Adobe Design Achievement Awards.

Emotion

A Short Essay

If a picture is worth a thousand words, just imagine what a video is worth! It’s thousands of photos combined into one! In my videos, I like to take simple ordinary things in life and put them on the screen. Things that we sometimes tend to take for granted, or things that simply go unnoticed because they’re “normal”, and showcase them. It could be nature, people, maybe a few toys on the shelf, or even just some empty roads. With a little creativity and imagination almost anything can work.

My favorite kinds of videos are the ones that have an extra emphasis on music. It can be a music video, or it could just be a video that has a great soundtrack. The music is really important as it helps complete the video. Great videography is nice, but combine it with great music and it has the ability to change people’s worldview, to give people new perspective – that’s what I aim for.

Videos that stir people’s feelings. Motion pictures that create passion in people. To make them laugh or make a tear roll down their cheek or put a smile on their face. Short films that people can say reminded them of a special event in their life. Movies that people can watch and say it really touched them, it lifted up their spirit even if only for a moment. And that’s the great thing – everyone can feel. Anyone from a child to a grandparent can watch a video. Age doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, that’s my hope for all my work, whether it’s a movie, or a photograph, or music – to create memories and emotions in people.

About Me

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had an interest in art and design. It started out with drawings and sketches – I would draw almost anything that I saw, although it was mostly limited to cars and animals. Later when I got my first camera my focus turned into photography. I carried the large – for 12 year old me at the time – black camera everywhere I went, clicking pictures as if my life depended on it.

Gradually, as time passed, I got into videos, music, graphics, web design, UI design and more. Eventually this led to pursuing Multimedia Design as a degree.  During this time I worked on several projects, including doing an graphics design for CanOfJuice, a company that showcases designs from various artists by selling products and home accessories with their artwork. I also recreated the Facebook app in my own way as part of UI/UX design, and later created mockups of my own app.

While I did designs and projects for all of these different areas, my main focus has always been on photography and videography. It could be because with a camera you can go out and capture real people out in the real world, as opposed to the other mediums, which are more “digital” so to speak. There’s just something about a good photograph that I simply love.

The way you’re able to capture people’s emotions in one picture is, for me, amazing. And videos are able to do even more! A video is a continuous set of photos, and combine it with great music and sound, and it has the ability to make a person cry, or laugh. In the end that’s what I aspire to do with any of my art. It’s to evoke emotion. To me that’s what makes art what it is – the way it can lift people up, encourage them. The way it makes people feel.

Welcome

Hi, I’m David. I’m currently working on a degree in Digital Media Design. I love music, design, books, photography, film making and my family. People tell me I have a talent for clicking amazing pictures. Along with photos I’m also extremely passionate about creating short films and movies that stir people’s emotions. I’m looking for ways to further my skills in this field to impact people by producing movies that make a difference.