Why I Love Architecture Photography

Dear Readers,

Many years ago, i was admiring at pictures of the building that was presented vertically straight. I compared my building picture i took and it was not as impressive at all. At least is horribly wrong!

The building pictures i took, look distorted and in a converging manner. I thought, “What the hell am i doing it wrong?”  I saw how a friend who is now an architect took such awesome pictures of the buildings when he travels. He is sharing pictures of building in a straight, vertical perspective manner. I began to ponder how did he do it? I was absolutely drawn by the picture he had taken. I remembered many years ago, i was working with an agency in Vietnam, i sat down with the person in charge to do a review. He told me this particular picture was in distortion, but i just couldn’t see it, then i realize i haven’t yet to understand how perspective works on a deeper level.

Clark Quay Central was one of the first few picture i capture using a wide-angle lens and photoshop technique. Picture made in 2014

I did not ask my friend how did he take those nice architecture pictures. Instead, i went online to search for information, watched numerous videos on Youtube about architecture and interior photography. I learned to understand how perspective work. Without using the expensive tilt-shift lens, i began to experiment with my wide angle lens and doing editing work behind the scene.

Below are a few videos i used to study on how these photographers compose a scene and editing in their workflow.

  1. Jeremy Segal was my first favorite on Youtube. Do check out his Youtube channel if you want to learn more on his workflow from the start of scouting, taking picture and to the editing.

2. Serge Ramelli is a hyper energy photographer in his channel. I like the way he shared about the ‘secret’ information about editing in Lightroom, i particularly enjoy how he speaks with a passion which can be affections to me. Although he is a french, his English is very articulate. Below is one of my favorite video i used to watch repeatedly.

A common trait from these 2 photographers is they are using a full-frame DSLR camera with a wide-angle lens. This is why these 2 channels suit me perfectly that time. Strongly recommended if you want to have a grasp how architecture and interior photography work.

To continue, many months were spent on understanding, practicing on how to photograph a building – going to the particular spot at the right time to make the picture, making numerous trip to photograph to gain that experience, practicing it on Photoshop and Lightroom, study Julius Shulman’s idea. Over time, I realize my curiosity has somehow developed into a new skill set. I had unknowingly achieved an additional skillset in my arsenal, not just with people, industrial, event, and travel. This is something that i am very proud of to say as an achievement. I have truly grown as a photographer.

Bank of China Tower in Shanghai. Picture made in 2016
 

I started to put up some architecture and some interior work on my website. The first job i undertook was an interior assignment for a European company. I really appreciate the chance given because i did not have any prior experience in interior work. I got the chance to visit many places to do clinic interior photography. After the first job, i decided to invest in my first 17mm tilt-shift lens as more jobs request were coming in from the beloved client. I use the word “invest” is because i only buy what i need and the return of investment must be justified. I am not the kinda of photographer that always spent on gadgets and accessories. Basically, i don’t chase all the latest things released on the market, is a never-ending process, to be honest.

I am more focus on getting great pictures for the client, that matter.

With a much deeper understanding of how to make an architecture picture and perspective. I was able to carry these skill into my other genre of photography. My visual skill is brought to my industrial photography as well.

After more than a decade, I still enjoy making pictures to please myself, i get a lot of satisfaction out of it. Honestly, i don’t give too much time on Instagram or social media, somehow it doesn’t work for me, or i don’t understand how it works. I don’t care if you dislike my work, if you are inspired by it i will be happy to know. I do occasionally enter into photo competition for architecture work. Spider award in 2015 and 2016. Honestly, it doesn’t make me any famous or gaining more business, but that’s not the point.

Jack of all trades but master of none? I have to disagree with this statement. Today’s market is extremely competitive. Relying on one skill is not enough anymore. I need to be diversified in the service to the client. For each job, i put in 100% effort in the passion and dedication i had for your business need.

Continue to learn and grow everyone. Peace!

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Kampung Admiralty​

Kampung Admiralty in Singapore is designed by WOHA. Honestly, that is all i know, full stop.

Without any read up about the place. I simply went down to check it out. This area is rather unfamiliar to me – visually it will be refreshing, and i love exploring as well.

Below is the first picture of the name of the place, Kampung Admiralty. I wanted to make a picture of a person walking pass normally. Somehow this picture caught the lady looking at my camera with a huge grin. Oh, i love the font of the word “Admiralty”. Am not too sure why the triangle design?

I took a random lift and up to a random floor. Greeted by the beautiful design. Then i realized i was actually inside a residential block. It was a nice surprise, good thing i did not read up about this place to be surprise.

I took a random lift and went up to a random floor. I was greeted with such a beautiful design. I spoke with an old lady who was in the lift with me, and was surprised to find out this block is a residential area! She is living in a studio apartment with a hall and a room. Mainly for retired folk like her. She was sharing in detail the convenience this place has to offer for her. #geometry #facade #architecture #woha #archilovers #huaweimate9 #huawei #modernarchitecture #icu_architecture #passionpassport #tv_leadinglines #visitsingapore #archifeatures #tv_buildings #tv_pointofview #sky_high_architecture #facadelovers #igmasters #excellent_structure #igasia #wanderlust #buildingstyles_gf #ig_excellence #instadaily #jj_architecture #lookingup_architecture #archi_features #neverstopexploring #master_shot #citylife

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The cloud started to gather in thick grey foam, i hope it rains and it did! The picture (below) was captured just before the rain. Here you can see the 2 residential blocks.

Let’s be creative a bit more, make use of the pool of water (2 pictures below) to create reflection picture.

Check out the lush of greens (below) planted all over the roof and down to the available space. I guess this is a new way to live in, having plants and trees integrated into the building. I can’t wait to see the birds nestling their home here. It would be nice to have a few chickens to roam around.

Ditching my usual heavy camera. Capturing this garden view rooftop scene from the link bridge between the residential block. This is the most amazing rooftop garden I ever seen in Singapore. There is a community park and garden for residents to get together and have the pleasure to do farming work. Having activities keep old age out of boundary. #architecture_hunter #facade #architecture #woha #archilovers #huaweimate9 #huawei #modernarchitecture #icu_architecture #passionpassport #tv_leadinglines #visitsingapore #archifeatures #tv_buildings #tv_pointofview #sky_high_architecture #facadelovers #igmasters #excellent_structure #igasia #wanderlust #buildingstyles_gf #ig_excellence #instadaily #jj_architecture #lookingup_architecture #archi_features #neverstopexploring #master_shot #gardenview

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Check out the entire facade (below). Is not the most complicated design yet very pleasing to my eyes.

Amazing design by @woha_architects. I would never have thought this is possible. Look at how beautiful this architecture is. Breaking off from the traditional town planning. Kampung Admiratly is a 11 levels complex – integrating housing, medical and surgical services, childcare and eldercare centres and shops. Less than 5 mins walk and a train station is just right ahead. #architecture_hunter #facade #architecture #archilovers #huaweimate9 #huawei #modernarchitecture #icu_architecture #passionpassport #tv_leadinglines #visitsingapore #archifeatures #tv_buildings #tv_pointofview #sky_high_architecture #facadelovers #igmasters #excellent_structure #igasia #wanderlust #buildingstyles_gf #ig_excellence #instadaily #jj_architecture #lookingup_architecture #archi_features #neverstopexploring #master_shot #architecture_greatshots

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It was a really fun experience moving around here. I spoke with a few people and they were really friendly with me. Somehow that kampung spirit is there to illuminate further. People retire here should continue having an active lifestyle, enjoy their life, and continue to contribute to the best of their ability. #architecture_hunter #facade #architecture #woha #archilovers #huaweimate9 #huawei #modernarchitecture #icu_architecture #passionpassport #tv_leadinglines #visitsingapore #archifeatures #tv_buildings #tv_pointofview #sky_high_architecture #facadelovers #igmasters #excellent_structure #igasia #wanderlust #buildingstyles_gf #ig_excellence #instadaily #jj_architecture #lookingup_architecture #archi_features #neverstopexploring #master_shot #geometrictattoo

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Check out the time-lapse of the community garden and farm below

Checking out the community farm at Kampung Admiralty. #woha #timelapse #singapore #singaporeig #huwaei #huaweimate9 @woha_architects

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All the pictures were captured with my Huawei Mate 9 mobile phone, the image quality is so incredibly good. I don’t need to do heaps of editing on the Snapseed app in my mobile too. All the pictures were uploaded to my Instagram account. Do check it out and show me your love there as well.

If you like this post support me with a ‘like’, please share my post to people who love taking pictures. Please leave a comment as well as i would love to interact with you. Do follow my blog too!


 

Photo Walk at National Gallery Singapore

The local weather has gradually turned hot after weeks of cloudy day and occasionally rainfall in the afternoon. I feel absolute rejuvenation to have the sunshine. Getting a good sweat out with much walking and exploring. It seems like a really long time. But I had a very enjoyable feeling to be able to bring my camera out for a good daylight street shoot on architectural and anything in general that caught my eye.

I have been browsing a book that wrote about architectural photography. The book compiles some very well established architecture photographers from the 19 century till today. I was blown away by their work of portraying architecture pictures. In term of composition, i learned a lot from the picture.

I wanted to observe a few scenes that offer many layers of an element from the foreground to the depth, how do i compose it in the best way. How do i balance the scene when there are many different elements in the picture? Where is the limitation i am facing from what gear i have? Then, visualizing it, before using the camera to capture it. Is part of a self-training to keep improving, learn to see a slightly more complicated scene on a deeper level.

My photo walks took place at National Gallery Singapore. My equipment for the day is the Canon 5D Mk III, a 16-35mm and a 70-200 f/4.

I was taking pictures in color, especially the sky was blue in hue, makes me more excited. The light and shadow can be clearly defined through proper observation. As i was browsing through all the pictures in Lightroom. I decided to covert the colors images to monochrome effect to share with everybody.  Then perhaps you can understand why i decided to convert into black and white?

Enjoy the pictures.

 

Interior architecture in black and white

When taking pictures in this low light condition. I don’t have a tripod, and usually such public place no tripod is allowed. I had to use a slightly higher ISO to compensate for the slow shutter speed. The second picture i was not afraid to rest my camera on the available space. It straight away corrected the perspective because it is straight. I would advise that don’t be afraid to make use of anything available to get the picture unless the security came up to say so. If not, the result will be so much better.


Maximum depth of field

Using a wide-angle lens requires a very good eye to compose the scene. Because everything will look small and far distance, or there are too many things in the picture. But wide-angle is usually the preferred choice for landscape or cityscape photography. I really like the dome architectural element to be fuse among the tall buildings.


Reflection in Photography 

Reflection is one of the most fun things to play in photography. That said, not many people will have a detail observation of the surrounding. For my case in the 3 pictures below. It would a huge mistake not to even notice it. The pictures provide a marvelous effect – some may think is a double exposure. In fact is a reflection from the glass and still water.

 


Composition

Earlier on when i took the picture of Swissôtel The Stamford. The lighting was decent to take pictures, the sky was in a blue hue, however before i leave the musuem. I saw the light was in even better condition than earlier. I make the effort to go up the roof garden again to check it out, the golden light was reflecting on one column of the building. I compose the circular building in the center, trying to fill up the frame empty space as much as possible, or “getting it close” in other words.

Photographers are battling with composition every day: Should i use a wide-angle or telephoto? Should i compose it in a rule of third or be in the center? Should i go for a high angle or low angle? Should i move back for a wider view or move forward? So many questions, yet the light won’t wait for you to get an answer.

The second picture (above) am using the rule of third technique. But anybody can easily do this kind of framing with the gears i have. I need to quickly find another way to make this scene a bit more special. Because the right side has an empty space, it would make a difference if i include another element in it. That’s why i included the plant that was planted on the roof. Rather than saying i want to create a balance. I would say is the co-share between nature and architecture design.


Light and Shadow in Architecture

Light and shadow in architecture work perfectly in black and white. It clearly defines the lines, shapes, patterns, and structural design. The play of light and shadow can evoke emotion to a certain extent. Offering a quality of aesthetic in a still form. The light is a concentrated source of focus. While the shadow shows a mystify, quiet and hidden potential.

Hope you like the mini gallery tour in this post.

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Architectural Photography of Marina Bay Suites in Singapore

Marina Bay Suites

Today i am going to share pictures of the Marina Bay Suites that was developed by Keppel Land, Cheung Kong Holdings and Hongkong Land. Singapore is simply filled up with plenty of luxury condominiums.

This architecture has a height of 227 meters and 66 floors. Making this one of the highest building in the republic. This is a rare residential located in a prime area. I can’t think of another better words to describe except this building gives the ultra-luxury visual!

The architect is by Kohn Pedersen Fox firm.

 

Photography

I was able to circle around Marina Bay Suites easily while taking the photos. I always try to do it when the sky is in saturated blue and the lighting is in the right direction i need to show the best side of the facade properly.

There was a challenge in case you wonder? The first two pictures were quite difficult to capture the entire height into the camera even using the widest 17mm tilt-shift lens available in the market. I was standing at a far distance than i normally would, but the scale of the building is simply massive and amazing! On the ground, requires me to make a lot of micro adjustment in my position to get the picture correctly. The tip of the building was so narrowly almost cut off from my framing.

The last picture was captured in the morning. It looks a bit desaturated due to the weather condition. I would have given this scene a miss, but somehow i like the feel of it, is not giving out a very powerful, massive aura. But the scene was softer and relax which is why i decided to keep this picture.

You can click on this link to see the high res of Marina Bay Suites or feel free to check out my photo site for more pictures!

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Architectural Photography of One Shenton Way

One Shenton Way

A 99-years leasehold real estate redevelopment project. Located along Shenton way in the Tanjong Pagar area. This architecture consists of dual towers luxury residence that consists of 341 apartments, the tallest of which reaches up 50 stories! Completed in 2011, it is notable for its two-tower construction. Two sides of each tower are clad in gold and two sides in blue glass panels. The first floor is retail space and includes bar, cafe, and restaurants.

The two exquisite towers rise 50 and 43 floors above an elegant podium. Atop the towers stand magnificent glass and metal sculptures – a dramatic addition to the city skyline. Wish i can go up to check out that magnificent cityscape view.

Photography

Due to the congestion of the space in the surrounding. It is challenging to capturing this building from various angles which i normally do. Another difficulty is not having an access point to the nearby taller commercial buildings for the picture. Hence is always 2 feet on the low ground and finding the possible angles available. The first and third picture was in a similar angle but in the different distance, the environment can be seen in a different point of view too. But the focus point must be the One Shenton Way architectural.

If you are interested to try on architecture photography, take your time to observe the building. ‘Communicate’ with the building to build a connection. The good thing about taking pictures nowadays is a very simple task, with a click on your camera or mobile phone. An auto mode setting – the aperture, shutter speed and ISO will make a good exposure for you. The key is to “visualize” how you like your picture to be. Photography is a pretty much self-expressive art. Is not necessary to be a commercial aspect for client’s demand.

You can click on this link to see the high res of One Shenton Way, and please help me to check out my photography website for more pictures!

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Architecture Photography of Ng Teng Fong General Hospital In Singapore

Singapore is becoming a nation of an aging population, with the insane amount of people crammed in this island. It is not surprising that medical needs are on the high – a bigger hospital and more beds are required. Various hospital in different parts of the country to serve the rising medical demand and assisting urgent medical cases as soon as possible is decisive.

(Click on all the images to see high res)

Ng Teng Fong General Hospital is named after a man’s name. Mr. Ng Teng Fong was a real estate tycoon. He had a major business presence in Singapore and Hong Kong. He was reported to be the richest man in the country in 2010 in the same year he passed away. His family donated $125 million in 2011 to a build a hospital in the western part of Singapore, the very first.


Best light when the sun was in the eastern direction

The hospital is designed by an Australia architect company, Studio 505. This was their first Southeast Asia project. Honestly, i am very impressed by the design. During one of the construction phase in 2014, most people including myself thought it was another typical luxury condominium in the area. But later, when the architecture was better developed, i realized it was actually a hospital!


This was the view when i first saw during the construction phase, with the protruding shape like a balcony, is no wonder even i was misled. 

In early 2016, i decided to make an architecture series of Ng Teng Fong General Hospital after its completion months later. Singapore has been well-known as a green city, i observed the overall environment was incorporated with greenery around the facility.


Looks like an urban forest hospital

Studio 505 aim was to implement an improved typical ward layout and create a radical new design, enhancing the hospital experience for patients and staff, with ‘patient-centeredness’ at the very heart of the design.


The hospital is easily accessible from the nearest MRT station, through the malls and link bridges are sheltered throughout

My personal thoughts regarding this “aim”. The design for a hospital is not the most important factor. From a business perspective to the firm. The aim is also a submission to the government or whoever to buy their design idea and ultimately engaging the service. Nothing wrong with that. We all have to respect that effort.

In my next perspective, a hospital primarily must have an excellent team of highly qualified doctors and nurses is utmost important. The design and technology of the facilities then follow. In real life i guess is the other way round?

I also wonder has any architect firm gather feedback from professionals such as doctors, nurses, IT support personnel of how an ideal hospital should be like? Because these are the people who are always on the ground managing emergency situation, caring for patients for 24hrs, 365 days.


A statue of Mr. Ng Teng Fong in the interior. I like the bright orange color and how it was designed. But, to have seats protruding up is it even necessary to seat on inside a hospital? Considering people who go to the hospital are patients and old folk, i think this design is not meant to be there.

Overall i did enjoy myself capturing these set of images. Unfortunately is not for work, if not would be better. I hope you like the images, do check out my Ng Teng Fong General Hospital photo gallery for more pictures. Do help me to click on the Facebook button on the right side of my gallery and picture if you wish to share.

In case you are wondering what am i using? I am using a Canon 5D Mk III and a fix 17mm tilt-shift lens for perspective control. I also had to spend additional time walking around the hospital to have a better understanding of the architecture design, the possible angles, how the lighting was at various timings and practicing pre-visualization. I waited for the best day to catch the blue sky at its almost perfect blue hue. Overall, it may seem like a very tedious and prolong time to do it, but i only wanted the best in my creation.

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“Doors of Kathmandu”

I bump into “Doors of Kathmandu” while i was surfing on Archdaily website.

Mr Nipun is an architect and photographer from Delhi, India. Both of us have a similar taste of documenting doors, but each sees it differently because of the local culture, region, and approach towards our series.

Doors of Kathmandu” i would say is lively as there are a few pictures of a person inside his gallery. Not only that, one picture i like is a scene of family chores that happen right in front of the doorstep. Others pictures were more focus on the local design, detail, and colors of each door. I also especially love bright colors doors, it gives a sharp contrast between the door and the surrounding environment. Making it a ‘must take a picture’ scene for tourist.

Nipun mentioned: “I started taking pictures of the doors in and around my workplace from my phone,” says Prabhakar. “These unique doors reflected the culture of Kathmandu and it was also pleasing to simply look at them,” Very well said i thought. An architect does appreciate it on a deeper level. 

You can check out Nipun’s work on his blog and follow him on his Instagram to see new work. There is also an in-depth interview with him about his project.

This is also the first time am sharing another photographer’s work on my blog. Hope you like it and let me know what you think? 

 


 

I have been to Kathmandu, Nepal a few years back. A direct 6hrs flight from Singapore to the country. A very charming travel destination for me that still makes me think of returning in the future. People in Nepal are very friendly and helpful, the local food was great as well. Also easy to travel anywhere by local taxi. i totally enjoy each day there.

 

A Photography Project – Wonder Full

I finally feel ready to share my latest personal project, Wonder Full. Which started 2 years ago.

Let me run a little background
Wonder Full is a laser show at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. The show makes its debut in 2011, a free 13-minute light and water show, on the platform at Marina Bay Sands, visitors got the chance to see the water fountain, a visual projection against water-screens and lasers to create an awesome effect. The best part was (which i just found out), on top of a building was installed with a six high-powered lasers that can be seen up to 55 km away. That explains why i can see it from my living area.

Story
Back in 2015, i was surprised to discover the green laser emits out from Marina Bay Sands can reach such a far distance to my house area in the western part of Singapore.

The sight of the green laser jump-start a new idea. I wanted to document the beauty of the laser ‘dancing’ from various locations in the western part of Singapore. I started my usual scouting process to find accessible high-rise building near my home. Checking out where is the potential spot i can capture the laser scene. Once i had confirmed the position that allowed to place a tripod. I would return the next night with my gears to capture the scene.

 

The discovery turns out to be an adventurous photographic project that leads me to explore new places. I try to make quality pictures when i have the time, i wanted to see how the laser light perform from a different point of view. In total, i have created 13 images in different locations. I was eagerly waiting for some new high-rise building to be completed, waiting for the right opportunity to capture a new scene. Unfortunately, good things never last long. While i was still exploring new location in mid-2017, i learned that a new light and water show titled Spectra took over. I was saddened not to see the laser light dancing in the night.

Check out Wonder Full in my gallery. I hope you like it from the various point of view.

If you like this post support me with a ‘like’, feel free to share my post to people who love taking pictures. Please leave a comment as well as i would love to interact with you. 

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Architecture Photography of DUO in Singapore

For many years i have been witnessing this DUO building working it way up to the skyline in Singapore. One particular sight i can clearly remember was seeing the construction workers assembling the tower crane in mid air on a scorching day, i was feeling the sweat and intense heat with them even i was standing under the shelter.

DUO consists of DUO Residences and DUO Tower. The entire building is like a partially commercial bee hive – with the individual honeycomb shape facade in place. The architecture design looks unconventional to me.

Hope you enjoy the pictures below.

When the night fall, the entire building is lighted up, glamouring itself with a glazing effect. It gives a different feel to the surrounding but i wouldn’t say is outstanding or attractive either. Over time it will simply blend in with other nearby high rises buildings.

Before the construction of DUO on 2012. This space used to be an empty spacious green field. Sometimes on the weekend, i can see a small group of people playing football. I enjoy walking past there when i was taking pictures of the street. Singapore’s land is considered extremely scarce. Every inch of land is just waiting to be redeveloped for either commercial or public purpose.

On the side note, i feel there is a lack of rooftop accessibility for the public. I got no idea for whatever reason why there are not many in Singapore despite so many high rises buildings. Personally, i love going up to skyscraper to enjoy the city view in other countries, i would pay money for it despite the high entrance fee, skyscraper i have visited like the Taipei 101 and Shanghai Tower offer a very generous view of the city surrounding. In Singapore, Marina Bay Sands and 1-Altitude is the only place i know in the city that offers an aerial view – both require an entrance fee. Another place is Orchard ION but the place is currently under construction till Oct 2017, although is free but is open for certain hours.

If you are interested to read more about DUO, check out Archdaily for a more technical explanation. You can also head over to my gallery too.

If you like this post do support me with a ‘like’, feel free to share my post to people who love taking pictures. Please leave a comment as well as i would love to interact with you. 

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Architecture Photography of Audi Centre in Singapore

Audi Centre Singapore architecture is designed by architect firm ONG & ONG.

This is the largest Audi car showroom in Southeast Asia. I love how Singapore keep breaking the record for something big for a long time before being overtaken.

I waited for a day when the sky is blue, and when heaven answer my call. I am ready to go at it.

Every architecture building has its own different challenges to capture. Even though these architecture pictures i took is a non-commission base. I am always preparing, training and increase experience.

HARD WORK AND DEDICATION

6 pictures below

As you can see in the pictures, is a mixture of vertical and horizontal images. Capturing the building from the closest possible distance and far away. This requires scouting in order to see the hidden potential.

If you like this post do support me with a ‘like’, feel free to share my post to people who love taking pictures. Would appreciate if you leave a comment as i would love to interact with you. 

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