Photo Documentation Part 2 / 2

Kenneth

DAY 1
Balance: $20
Caption: This is my wallet, a Braun Buffel Wallet that was given to me on my 18th birthday by my parents. While going through my wallet to see what I could document, I realized that the most exciting thing that will be happening to my wallet will be the return of my Pink Identification Card soon. As I am currently serving and defending our nation, I have in my possession a Singapore Armed Forces Identification Card. My usual Pink Identification Card was removed from me when I enlisted 2 years ago and in a week’s time, it will finally be coming back to me.
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NIGHT 1
Balance: $20
Caption: While going through the cards in my wallet, I realized that I have very little cards in possession. My identification card, my individual bank cards, my ez-link card and my credit card are the only cards I have on hand now. I guess my 1 and a half year trip in USA helped me removed any unnecessary items in my wallet. In case you are wondering, I was actually sent over to the States to serve my National Service for a year and a half, and that period taught me on the importance of having a light wallet as when your buttocks are on a seat for 26 hours flight, a thick wallet is not very nice to sit on.
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DAY 2
Balance: $50
Caption: I finally decided to get out of my comfortable home and do what I have been procrastinating for the longest time, which is the booking of my basic theory test for driving. As I got my license in the States, I have to go through this test before I will be able to convert it into a Singapore Driving License. I’m pretty nervous about it as I always dislike studying for exams of any kind. I hope I can pass!
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NIGHT 2
Balance: $12
Caption: After a long day out, I realized that money seems to fly out of my pockets without my realization! As far as I can remember, I don’t remember buying anything while I was out but I seem to be 38 dollars poorer. I guess this documentation might be a good thing after all, I can finally track my spending and try to get into the habit of saving some money as I always seem to spend what I get.
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DAY 3
Balance: $20
Caption: Papers and receipts are starting to pile up in my wallet! I guess I will have to tidy up my wallet soon. Let’s hope that I would not procrastinate on that too long. Looking through these receipts, I realized that although I do not buy things often, I usually buy something really expensive to compensate for the lack of times that I shop. I still have a receipt of a 1.6k guitar that I bought in US. Not that I’m complaining, the guitar is pretty darn awesome.
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NIGHT 3
Balance: $20
Caption: Wow, I look so different as compared I was last time. This picture was taken before I enlisted in the army and I can’t believe how long my hair was in the past. Everyone that I knew did not recognize me when I showed them this picture and they also said that I look much better now in shorter hair. I laughed when they said that, I don’t regret leaving my hair to grow, at least I know that long hair is a “no no” for me!
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DAY 4
Balance: $20
Caption: I finally cleaned up my wallet! I’m glad I did not procrastinate as much as I thought I would have. Here’s hoping that I can maintain it that way. I guess there is something about documentation that makes people self conscious of themselves. I remember the video that Reinar showed about people having unnatural expression on their faces when they took a photo of themselves in the studio in the past, I personally think that those people were self conscious about how they were looking and decided to go for their natural look so that nothing will go wrong in their photos.
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NIGHT 4
Balance: $6
Caption: I know I said I will stop spending money and save up but the temptation of supper and friends was too good to be denied! At least I had fun hanging out with my friends, I sure missed talking to them while I was away. I’ve known them since I was 8, now that I have penned it down, I realized that I have been friends with them for 14 years! A decade has just went by me with a snap of a finger, and we’re still making time to meet up with each other. Such friends are hard to come by and I’m glad to be able to call them friends.
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Observation/Conclusion:

After 4 days of documentation, I realized that I became very self conscious. I actually cleaned up my wallet and made it more presentable so that it will look nice on camera. This is something that I would have never done if I was not documenting it. I also took note of my spending and tried my best not to spend on anything that I don’t need.

It also made me feel detached from myself even though I was only documenting something that I use. I felt like I was looking at myself from a God’s eye view and I was monitoring my very own actions! I don’t know about everyone else, but I sure do not reflect on myself on a daily basis like how I was doing when I was taking the pictures of my wallet!

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 Syarif

DAY 1
Balance: $4
Caption: My Fossil leather wallet. It was a gift from my cousin for my 22nd birthday.  I don’t really pay much attention to my wallet. It is just a daily necessity where I stuff my receipt, cash, cards and coins. When I took a picture of my wallet, then I realized how evil I have been, it is as though I have been abusing it. It has been serving me everyday, it has been a part of my life ever since I used it but I don’t seem to care about it. Just look at it lying there hopelessly. 😦
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NIGHT 1
Balance: $4
Caption: Before I slept I decided to “explore” my wallet. Believe it or not I spent a good 45mins on my wallet. It actually got me thinking deep. When I went through all the things that I stuffed in my wallet, I then realized that my wallet is actually full of stories. It is in a way bringing me back into time. When I saw my Temasek Poly student card, it made me reminisce the good moments in that school, sleepless nights at friends’ houses trying to finish up projects and memorable parties we had together. That was a great feeling. Different cards made me remember my different walks of life. Man!! This wallet is rich!
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DAY 2
Balance: $250
Caption: My Free day! I decided to spend the day in Johore Bahru, the nearest get a way. Cheap Petrol, seafood and grocery shopping! I went there with a couple of my friends. Really excited about it because this kind of moments do not come often with our busy schedule. I just realized that there was no house keeping done to my wallet despite the 45mins I spent on it last night. Infact it is going to get messier with receipts. Not good at all.
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NIGHT 2
Balance: RM 10
Caption: From $250 to RM10.00!! I just realized! I told you it was going to get messier with change and receipts. When I took this picture, I was really shagged. Part of me tells me to tidy up but the call from my bed was stronger.
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DAY 3
Balance: RM 10
Caption: Woke up in the morning and head down to the AXS machine straight to pay Bills and Traffic fines! I wish I didn’t have to take this picture. It made me ask myself how many fines have I paid these pat 3 months! My heart ached!! I realized after I took the picture, it really got into me. I told myself I have got to be extra careful on the roads. I wouldn’t want to burn my money just like that.
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NIGHT 3
Balance: $20
Caption: Spent on fines in the afternoon and spent on a birthday present in the evening. It is my brother’s birthday tomorrow and he has always wanted a laptop. The feeling was not as bad as the feeling I had in the afternoon, taking picture of the receipt. I felt happy instead even after spending $1,688 on a birthday present. I can’t wait to see the expression on my brother’s face tomorrow when he receives this.
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DAY 4
Balance: $20
Caption: These past few days my wallet has been really heavy because of the amount of coins I have! Just look at it. A mixture of Singapore and Malaysia coins. When I took the picture I then realize that my ignorant self is not doing me any good. My wallet is getting heavier without me realizing, it is affecting its accessibility. I feel lazier to bring it out of the car due to its weight. Something really needs to be done.
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NIGHT 4
Balance: $20
Caption:
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 Observation/Conclusion:

Documenting my wallet these past 4 days really made a difference. Taking a picture of my wallet really mad me look at it from a whole new perspective and dimension. I realized I actually put some thought about my wallet after taking picture of it. As weird as it may sound, it is as though my wallet is a living thing. I decided to make my self-feel good being the last time that I am going to document it. I bought leather polish and cleared up the entire wallet. Everybody wants to look good in pictures so does my wallet. 🙂

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Yong Hao

DAY 1
Balance: $52
Caption: This is the faux leather wallet that was given to me by my aunt 2 years old ago and it has been durable and in good condition till now.  I drew the 50 dollars note from the ATM the day before. The receipt of nets transaction made me feel particularly conscious of my spending.
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NIGHT 1
Balance: $52
Caption: I start to feel awkward about photographing the contents of my wallet. I feel that I am starting to intrude my wallet’s personal space and privacy.
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DAY 2
Balance: $70
Caption: This activity of documenting the contents of my personal item has become routinely strange and uncomfortable to the point where i can’t even focus anymore (pun intended there). I start to question if it is right to scrutinize the monetary contents of my wallet and whether if the photograph taken will show my personality when it comes to expenditure.
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NIGHT 2
Balance: $60
Caption: When I attempt to take this photograph, I did not bother clearing the receipts in the notes compartment. I feel that I have given a new undiscovered meaning to the contents of my wallet through the lens of my camera. My wallet starts to become more than a display of monetary cash; it shows how tidy or untidy I am. It reflects on the user of the wallet.
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DAY 3
Balance: $52
Caption: As I spread open my wallet consciously in front of my iphone camera, I felt the motivation to show the off-pass I have gotten from my boss in camp. The act of photographing this subject preempted me to prepare the contents of my wallet.
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NIGHT 3
Balance: $45
Caption: This act of documentation compelled me to lift out the contents of my wallet in front of the camera. I realize that the world beyond the lens expresses more than what we see with our naked eye. It summarizes my daily activity.
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Observation/Conclusion:

The act of documentation affects the way I perceive my wallet. It gives significance and meaning to something that used to be so mundane and overlooked. It feels like I am being isolated from the subject and concurrently, the picture of the wallet attempts to link its meaning back to me. It creates a push and pull relationship.

The various compartments of the wallet reflects on the personality and habit of the user. The act of capturing those contents creates a third person sense of objectivity. That objectivity is being taken away and replaced with subjectivity when the user starts to perceive the photograph. The process of diligently photographing my wallet increases my awareness and concern of what is exactly being captured.

I feel that I have been intruding the privacy of a non-living thing that tries desperately to communicate with the world via this simple act of photo-documentation.

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