Author Archives: Bao Nghiem

Final Project Ideas

My final projects will be a series of images that accompany with the article

The “Mean Drunk”: When Alcohol Abuse Unleashes Anger and Violence by Randy Varga. ( Click here to read the full article )

I think alcohol abuse is a serious problem every where that needs to be addressed. Having friends and relatives who have drinking problems, I’ve seen how out-of-control drinking can have big negative impacts not only on drinkers’ lives but also on their families and friends. The effects that alcohol has on one’s mind can damage his/her social life and intimate relationships by physically hurting their loved ones. The victims can be alcoholic’s partner, children, parents or friends.

My first idea is to pair drinkware/ liquor bottles with stuffed animals that embody the idea of child abuse being as one of the alcohol-influenced actions.

. Teddy bear: the boy

. Rabbit: the girl

Idea #1The second idea is to show alcohol drinks along with broken mugs that represents the loved ones in a drinker’s life being hurt.

Omega and Cindy: Time Together

In her case study about the Omega Watch ad in which Cindy Crawford appears as a spokesperson for the brand, Liz Wells explains the message and the goal behind the idea of having the model posing in such a specific way in relation with the watch and the treatment  of the photography of the campaign. Known for her enduring beauty and intelligence, Cindy’s figure image is sophisticatedly implied to the watch by depicting a so-called “relationship” between the famous model and the watch. That message of having a watch as a perfect companionship is not only conveyed through the photography but also through the text. Those elements support each other and indicate an alluring yet meaningful relationship.

The effectiveness in the concept of the Omega ad speaks to a bigger picture of how advertising manages to achieve certain goals by forming certain relationships between their products and the consumers. In that bigger picture, the depicted quality of the product and how they will improve the consumers’ life, especially those rendered through photography, outstand other facts and other contexts related to the manufacture process. That thought of Well’s on advertising photography restates a part of the reality of the consumer culture that we often forget. However, considering the core of this business, the professionals, in one way or another, are still aiming for the best persuation.


The two poems describe driving a car as two different experiences giving different emotion and feelings. In “she being Brand” by e.e. cummings, the interaction and the relationship between the driver and the car make a delightful and sensual experience of pleasure. In the other hand, the journey that Phillip Levine had with his car in “Coming Home, Detroit, 1968” is a passage of chaos and devastation filled with lost and depressed feelings.

The car in cummings’ poem is depicted as “new” and “good” to which the driver “careful” controls. The masterful control of the driver along with the smoothness of the car movement create the notion of erotica and the absolute satisfying experience in which both the driver and the car fulfill their missions. On the contrary, “rags” and “fire” in Levine’s poem create destructive image of Detroit going through chaos and breakdown. The city became “where you lost it all” and “the cry of wet smoke hanging in your throat”.

E.e. cummings completes his poem with a perfect “stand-still” of the car stopping after a smooth journey which helps accomplish the feeling of satisfaction. However, Phillip Levine chose to end his poem with a statement ” We burn this city everyday” that enhances the notion of lost and desperation.


Unlike other still life paintings, Dutch 17th and 18th Century still life paintings differentiate themselves by the message of mortality. The apparent similarity lays at the common subject matters that often appear in any still life paintings such as fruits and flowers which embody for the beauty and delicacy of the privileged class. However, the main difference is that instead of focusing on the material value of the beauty image of those objects, Dutch still life paintings show the nature of things being decay and fade throughout time. In the Rachel Ruysch painting Fruit and Insects, among the seemingly luxurious and delightful image of colorful peaches and grapes, we see the leaves are dying and the insects are eating the fruits. The decay of those organic matters speaks to the core of nature and materialism: In the shortness of life, all of the desire of beauty and material things are vanity.

In the series Hegemony or Survival of Hector Rene Membreno-Canales, his use of Dutch still life painting approach along with rather opposite other subjects is meant to reveal the irony of how humanity or to be exact, a group of people with power, is destroying other people’s life and the world for meaningless motives. In the blindness of power and the desire of domination, people are drawn themselves into the devastating and brutal conflicts and forget about the nature of life and the rather important needs of their situations and their countries’ destiny.

The Botany of Desire

In this excerpt from Michael Pollan’s Botany of Desire, he reveals the mystery of the food chain and how it’s being administrated. Things that consumers usually take for granted such as buying potatoes and planting them appear to be much more complicated under federal regulation. He also expresses the concern about potato plants, under Environmental Protection Administration, are considered as pesticides. It brings our attention to the safety of the food we eat everyday.

The dramatic changes in agricultural production and productivity not only have an impact on us- the consumers, but also cause harms to the American farmers’ health and financial stability. As a solution for those issues, the agricultural biotechnology companies such as NewLeaft propose a new generation of plants with engineered genes that can act as pesticides against insects and diseases. That revolution can create a totally new notion of  so-called Information age of Agricultural in which a company has the right to own and take control over the plants’ gene information. If that happens, what will the price be ?


Pantone Make It Brilliant

In the ” Make It brilliant” campaign, lighting acts as a central metaphor to convey the Pantone’s reputation of color fidelity. By the use of lighting technology and design, the team came up with a powerful creative solution of a tri-panel composite scene in which each section represents each of Pantone’s distinct products.

The message of standing out and making creativity bolder is thoroughly and strikingly rendered with the result of colorful and seamless light effects in which the eyes and brain work together to transform the world into a stunning and sensational environment. Since lighting is the core concept of the campaign, the challenge is to make sure the final colors of light captured on the images match the Pantone’s color palette. In order to achieve the desired final results, the creative team needed to find the unique colors to start with and went through a lot of different setting experiments until the camera captured the exact Pantone’s palette. The team did a great job not only with color experiment but also with manipulating the physic shadow which is different across the panels, establishing an overall dynamic composition as well as translating the core message in the best way possible.

Mirrors and Windows

Szarkowski used the terms “Mirrors” and “Windows” to describe the two different ways of perception towards a photo. A photo can be seen as a “Mirror” if it conveys the photographer’s intention and idea through which the viewers get the notion of what the photographer wants to say. In the other hand, the term ” Window” is used when a photo is more about providing a reality of the outside world that one can take in.

Apply those conceptions to the two photos by Crewdson and Winogrand, we will be able to conclude that Albuquerque is an example of a “Window” while Daughter is a “Mirror”. Taken randomly with no setting, Winogrand’s photo renders a real picture, or a reality in which the viewers will have different feelings towards. One can say the image of the two children playing in a seemingly remote land evokes the loneliness while another one might look at it as an ideal picture of the American Dream. On the other hand, Daughter of Crewdson tells a different story with character portrays, location and lighting that  bring up specific feelings of drama and shame.