AXA Tower

More pictures of AXA Tower i recently captured. Am i not too tired of making pictures of the same architecture? My answer is never, there is always many angles opportunity for a single subject, depending on the space and location. Various type of lighting in different time of the day plays a part. Or if you are an expert in photoshop, you can even alter the images as creative as you want.

Accordingly to Wiki, this is the tallest cylindrical building in the world. Three architects firm were involved – The Stubbins Asssociate, Architects 61, Architects Team 3. AXA building is the 6th tallest skyscraper in this country with a height of 234.7m

If you ever come to Singapore and love exploring architecture, do check out the building at Shenton Way.

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Jin Mao Tower Architectural Photography in Shanghai

I had a brief chance to witness Jin Mao Tower by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in Shanghai. Located at 88 Century Boulevard, Pudong, Shanghai, completed in 1998. The Jin Mao Tower is a 278,800 square-metre, 88-storey and a height of 420.5 metres. The skyscraper is used for incorporating offices, Grand Hayatt Shanghai hotel, retails, service amenities.

The tower recalls the traditional Chinese pagoda forms, the design is created in a rhythmic effect. Its​ metal and glass curtain wall reflects the constant change of sky. A very significant​ addition to the Shanghai skyline in the late 90’s. It was the tallest building in China and a masterpiece​ of Shanghai development and architecture.

Below are my 2 best pictures. Also, that was the only day with a vast of blue sky. As my time is limited in this trip, i only can make the best out of it from wherever i am in the area. But remember that certain type of photography is a patient game, such as landscape and architecture for example, requires a good lighting moment.


Jin Mao Tower is in the center


A close up of the facade, can clearly half of the moon from a whopping distance of 38,440km

When i first looked up, my jaw was opened. I mean, i don’t know which part of the world can you see three skyscrapers side by side. China is indeed exciting! Dump the bad mindset about China or complaining about the product quality. The new China’s city we see in future will continue to be so beautiful and stunning!

Pudong International Finance Building 2000

Interestingly, the Bank of China Tower in Shanghai used to have other names – Pudong International Finance Building and Zhong Yin Building.

 

The structure took 5 years to complete in the year 2000. Design by Nikken Sekkei. The architect collaborated with Shanghai Architectural Design and Research Institute to build a powerful element within the skyline of Lujianzui in the 90s.

The 53-storey tower provides​ an additional 70,000 square meters​ of office space to the financial district, the beginning of many skyscrapers later. The building is in​ a highly visible position. Located just near the timeless presence of the Orient Pearl TV Tower.

Today, the structure of Bank of China Tower is visible from The Bund, but with the progress of urban planning, the building somehow has been “scale down” by the surrounding extravagant neighbours​. More cluster of skyscrapers creates and ever-increasing anxiety along the Century Boulevard. there is a great competition for a unique identity on the skyline of the new America Wall Street.

The lower element appears as a monolithic square column, a massive base cut diagonally at about 1/3 of the height, which showcase a brightly polished slender oval tube that soars to more than 250m in height. At the crown, ​this polished sleeve pulls back to form an elegant arcaded corona.

The Best Picture is from your Backyard

Believe it or not is true.

Many photographers are always chasing for the next best pictures. Like me as well.  Photographers thought the next big picture must be somewhere special that requires to jet out from their country, the place must be super popular or, never been to. But that is more of a traveling and exploring new places experience than getting the next best picture.

The best picture i can personally think of is from my own backyard – the familiar neighborhood, the streets that i usually frequent, the hill that i always visited. These familiar places make my brain and body to be able to resonate with the surrounding.

For example

(1) Below picture used to be an old railway track is in-between Upper Bukit Timah Road and Hillview Ave, now is called the ‘The Green Corridor‘ after the rail track was removed years ago. Grasses started to grow across the path, joggers frequently ran here because of the greenery. Over time, the grasses formed into a trek in the center. I love how the trees were bending in an arch shape providing canopy. Each time when i jogged past here, i can’t help to notice the beauty nature has to offer. I know this scenic place must be captured by the camera. I don’t even need to go France or Korea for such a beautiful view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(2) Every time i took a direct bus to Johor Bahru, i can’t help to notice this HDB block at Senja Gateway has layers of a walkway that resembles a wave. Because i had bypassed it so many times, the sight becomes so utterly familiar. I even know what is the timing of the best picture.

But that’s only the exterior i am interested in. Initially, i thought it was a super long walkway for the handicap that is meant for wheelchair. Until i explore deeper.

This walkway acts as a recreation park for the local resident to hang out. It has a beautiful greenery corner, seats for a family to rest their legs and enjoy the greenery opposite. Behind is a multi-storey carpark which connects back to the residential blocks.

           

 

 

(3) This architectural abstract picture was taken from my home kitchen. A depict of how daily life is in an HDB estate. The long streak of shadow showing the clothes was hanging out with a bamboo stick on the right. And the kitchen window on the left. This picture was also through daily observation to achieve this result, the best part is i don’t even need to step out from my house.

The best picture is all along in your backyard. In another way of putting, by knowing your places in depth, then you will be able to make the best picture for yourself.

To start it off, you don’t even need a camera at all. Go take a walk or jog in your area at various timing whenever you are free, exercise is good for your health anyway. Spend some quality time with yourself, you will unknowingly be practicing your observation skill. Slowly you begin to understand the scene or places a bit better – start to visualize or think how would you compose the picture, repeat the process. Over time, you will bound to find something worthwhile for a great picture.

Do share with me pictures and story in your neighborhood. Don’t restrict yourself, let your mind roam free, find or discover the hidden beauty in your backyard.

If you have any question feel free to drop me a message.

Hope you like it.


Scaling Down

Scaling down is not a bad thing. Scaling down at this moment is a huge relief for me.

“What are you talking about if i may ask?”

Capture Asia Photography is going to focus on 2 key services in 2018 onwards. Mainly focusing on Architecture Interior and Industrial Photography.

The previous business service in 2016-17 consists of corporate, portraits and event. In the earlier years before 2016 i was also presenting food portfolio as well. Here my thought that time, I have so many portfolios to showcase, i am going to be good with the various skillset, i am so talented because i can do so many things and am going to earn big bucks from different clients. I am going to cover the market with the various skillset i have. So basically, i was firing my “missiles” on everyone in the market! And now i realize, is wrong of me to think this way. I can’t get most of the client. Is painful.

Read on

The funny thing is I had this vision “To be the best architecture and industrial photographer in the world.” But in reality, i was power slamming conflict on myself, because i was offering corporate, portrait, architecture, interior, industrial, covering event service. And why i am offering these services is because of the money. Because of the money, i am providing services that conflict with my vision i had created “To be the best architecture and industrial photographer in the world.” Because of the money, i am providing a service but not to the point of extremely well. Somehow down the months i totally forgot about my vision and it stretches another year. I stop fulfilling my intention to be the best. I miss out the chance to focus on architecture and industrial photography because i was busy with other services that came along.

When i was called upon to do a corporate session. I was nervous. Why i was nervous is because i keep questioning myself whether my lighting will break down, will my lighting set up good enough, is my assistant available, will the client ask for a backdrop to be set up. I was creating these self-doubts and worry. Of course, i still did the job well and the client was happy about it from the feedback I’ve received.

Whereas, if a client wanted me to do an industrial photo shoot, for example, let’s say a logistic company needs pictures. I am happy and excited to go to the meeting with confident, that is lots of positive energy from the start. I know what to say, sharing expertise view, what are the things required from them. I am able to stamp my experience, expertise, and knowledge. I am in full control of the situation and that feels like giving a world-class service. During the photo shoot whatever hurdle that comes along the way i was more interested to solve it and gain that experience. So i am in a way solving their problem, giving a great service – which i call it a “Picture Solution for your business”.

It’s extremely hard to be the best in the world in various genres of photography. I absolutely love taking pictures. However not being an expert but jack of all trades is a waste of my time on this planet. To be good at just what you love, you got to focus your energy and time on it. Be a specialist and expert in it.

You may be thinking, “Ricky, you got 2 skillsets instead of one, you have architecture and industrial, isn’t that conflicting again?”

I did think about it, but my passion for this two genre is almost similar.

  • I am required to work outdoor regardless how hot the weather is.
  • I have the passion to explore and outdoor photography which requires a lot of walking.
  • I enjoy working by myself to have that peaceful moment when i am capturing the scene – the need to feel and interact with the subject is one of the keys to having captivating pictures.
  • I can crisscross my skill set between architecture interior and industrial photography to offer a unique perspective.
  • Both jobs are available for travel, i can easily bring my gears and laptop to work anywhere on this planet.
  • Both are capturing the building, except one is completed, another is in progress.

If you are targetting everyone on the market, you can’t get anything right. You can’t get the problem fix, there will be more problems instead of a problem. Look, I don’t want to be seeing a corporate client on Monday, food client on Tuesday, event client on Wednesday and editing on Thursday, Friday Saturday and Sunday busy with events.

Go think about it, i know my 11 years of photography is somehow wasted in a way. But hey, we pick up and learn rather than giving up. Is quite scary to hear how business fails after 1 year, 5 years and 10 years. And am going into 12 next year.

I refuse to be victimized again.

Good luck.

 

 Let the spark within you to ignite

Architecture Exploration in Shanghai

I was in Shanghai in 2016 during the Aug period. This has always been a dream trip for me. This was mainly a couple trip to celebrate our 1 year anniversary together. Our plan was to arrive in Shanghai, immediately head to Hangzhou for sightseeing and back to Shanghai for the remaining days. Am not diving too deep into the details for now.

Shanghai is a city with a population of more than 24 million. About 24 times more than Singapore, absolutely crazy i know. I just read that Shanghai is China biggest city and a financial hub, i thought Beijing was the biggest. Browse a few pages of the travel guide where to visit in Shanghai and you will discover there are so many places to visit! How many days should you stay if you asked me? Well, you need to take at least 5-6 days of leave, stay least 5 nights to explore this populous city in general.

If you have been following my blog closely, i have been sharing tips on how i work on my architecture photography. This time is a different ball game. First, this is an overseas holiday, not the plan to explore and wander to make pictures. Second, i got no time to do any location scouting for any architecture picture taking – the focus of this trip was more on bonding as a couple, spending time together. I did my research of the city but it is quite hard to visualize or imagine how does it feel to be on the ground. Basically, i explore like any tourists do. Move around the city and capturing nice pictures that caught my sight, immersed into the local culture and atmosphere.

The architecture set am sharing is Bank of China Tower, Shanghai (simplified Chinese: 上海中银大厦) No particular reason why i choose to capture this building. Built by Nikken Sekkei Ltd, a Japanese firm. I ponder, “why is it a Japanese firm that designed it? Very interesting.” Another reason i want to take pictures of this building is that of the weather – the lighting is acting in my flavor. I took the opportunity, at the right place and time. More importantly, the entire structure stands out from the rest of the neighbor. This makes me more attracted to it. Guess i have some good luck which i often doesn’t have.

Bank of China Tower is located in Pudong, a district of Shanghai located east of the Huangpu River across from the historic city center of Shanghai in Puxi. The elevated, magnificent architecture in China is more modernized than it seems to be, i immediately felt how China has quickly expanded in the last 2 decades into a very powerful country today.

Bank of China Tower is a 53-storey modernism skyscraper, exterior mainly tinted in blue color. Mainly is used as a commercial building. Completed in the year 2000. The structure remains in harmony with the surrounding for many years till today.

Close up of the curtain wall and facade

During the process. I try to keep sight of Bank of China Tower even from far. I wanted to capture a different perspective, together with the surrounding environment. Another problem i am facing is not having any local knowledge – where are the spots to go, where is the high ground i can find etc. That is why pre-scouting is included in the quotation for overseas job. Is very important to be familiar on the ground.

Lenses i am using that time were the 17mm tilt-shift and a 70-200 F/4.

Found a great view (pic below) to see most of the large-scale buildings lining up in Lujiazui.

Mission Impossible III was filmed there as well. Tom Cruise made a bungee jump and landed on the steep slope of the facade. What a stunt it was!

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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 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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