We feature some of the brightest Instagram storytellers in the Passion Passport community through our Instagram Spotlight series. This week, John Wong (@oasisohaiyo) explains some of the stylistic elements behind his most talked-about shots.
The “Tired” Portrait
When I first started shooting, I was inspired by quite a few photographers, one of them being Yafiq Yusman. He created a trend called the “tired” portrait, which inspired me to create a version of my own. My interpretation typically features one to three people lying on a ledge with their hands hanging down, displaying the act of being tired. To add a sense of repetition and depth to the photos, I always look for buildings that feature multiple levels (and ledges).
Singapore is a city full of architecture, which should not only be appreciated from the ground but also from above. Photographing from the sky offers a whole new perspective, and a view that’s not typically seen every day — unless you’re a bird, of course. Seeing cities from above has been a dream of mine since I was a kid, and since I don’t have wings of my own, this is a close second.
I love mixing and playing around with color, and finding new tones to utilize in my photos. Knowing which colors complement each other can make this process even more interesting. For instance, complementary colors can make one another appear brighter, they can be mixed to create effective neutral hues, or they can even be blended together for added shadow.
I really enjoy shooting at night — it’s the time when cities seem to become increasingly busy and bright lights shine on every street and building, bathing the city in the hues of varied colors. I also love to play around with my zoom lens when I’m taking long-exposure shots at night; it really makes the photos come alive. Even if you’re looking at a photo after the fact, it seems like you’re actually there in person, watching the city pulse.
I always challenge myself to find new angles to shoot seeing things in a different perspective — it’s a process that is always very fascinating to me. Photography is all about using your imagination; it’s about creating ideas that speak to people, and creating interest from a viewer’s standpoint. As a photographer, I’m constantly pushing myself to tap into this space and find new angles to shoot.