Thaipusam in Singapore 2014 (Actual)

Am glad to be able to wake up the early morning and make my way to Serangoon Road to document the festival.

This year i approach my subject in a more subtle way, i try to stay invisible so i can observe and capture the type of image i want. I try to be less graphic too. As most people will naturally be put off by the poking of sharp steel rods and hooks into the flesh. Still prefer my images in colors, it show the vibrance and good spirit of the festival, as if my viewers are there watching it. Black and white can be quite intrusive if the post-processing is done badly, people might interpret it wrongly if viewing in the least artistic point of view.

Pictures to share from the witness of Thaipusam festival in Singapore.

For more check out the gallery.

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Thaipusam in Singapore 2014

This year Thaipusam festival falls on 17 Jan. In case you are unclear what it is. It is a symbolic Hindu event celebrated by the Tamil community in Singapore. It is an annual procession by Hindu devotees seeking blessings, fulfilling vows and offering thanks. Public can witness the event starting at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple along Serangoon Road to Sri Thendayuthapani Temple on Tank Road. The festival is a visual spectacle and it often brings traffic in the city centre to a standstill, with a colourful procession full of chanting and dizzying rhythms of Indian drums.

I documented the Thaipusam Festival back in 2011. It was my first trip to witness the festival, and i would say it was amazing.

You can check out more of my mind blowing picture in this photo gallery

Asia travel photography stock galleries

Capture by Singapore travel photographer, which is of course myself. If you like travel images, or need some very neat images with high resolution of Asia’s images for print, editor’s usage for travel magazine. Check out my Asia travel photography stock galleries. Currently i have travel images from the various capital of Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Malaysia.

Currently estimated about 90% of images are captured in RAW files by 21 mega-pixel camera. Hence achieving the highest quality you can receive in details.

A panorama image from Lang Bian Mountains in Dalat.

Seafood restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City

Chua Tran Quoc is regarded as one of the oldest pagodas in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is located on a small peninsula on the eastern bank of Ho Tay, the West Lake of Hanoi.

One of the shrine outside Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya, Thailand.

A ship dock along the town of Ko Si Chang Island. Ko Sichang is a district of the province Chonburi, Thailand. It consists of the island of Ko Sichang and its adjoining islands. Ko Sichang is located in the Gulf of Thailand, 12 km away from the western shore of Si Racha district

Local trying to catch some fishes near the bay of Sri Racha.

Pattaya beach in Thailand, attract plenty of tourist to visit. Tourism is one of the main GDP growth for the country.

Man sleeping along the corridor of Buddhas statues in Bangkok.

Loy Krathong celebration in Bangkok.

Entrance of IFC mall on Hong Kong island.

Hong Kong Flower show 2010 in Victoria Park.

Wu Kai Sha, Hong Kong.

A walk through one of the many trails in Yangmingshan, Taipei. Many visitors get away front the busy city to indulge in nature. I was told by the local that this mountain area rain almost everyday. Amazing.

Portrait shot of a friendly old lady sitting in the park, Beijing.

Petronas Twin Towers in the night at Kuala Lumpur.

If time permits, i would love to travel to Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippine both Korea and Japan. Would love to delicate my time in Asia, i absolutely love it.

I am also available for travel assignment for editorial and documentary. If you like what you see, feel free to drop me an email for a chat.

Oh, if you want to share it, click on the my website social media button to share with your friends.

Vesak day with the Burmese community

The Burmese community in Singapore doesn’t make up a large portion as compare to other such as China, Philippines, Indonesia and India.

I understand Burmese main religion faith is Buddhism. I decide to spend my day at the Burmese Buddhist Temple to have a glimpse of the event on Vesak Day.

I was surprised by the number of people pouring into the temple for the prayer. Regardless of which temple it is.

There were plenty of Burmese volunteers offering drink, ice-cream and food for the public to feed on. Sharing is caring. I never see any of the volunteers have a feeling of hard work, it was smile all over the place. Am glad i came to the right place to do my photography.

The volunteer from Burmese were cooking non stop to share the delicious food with the devotees visiting the Burmese temple.

Inside the temple, the Burmese monks had their busiest day of their year. Chanting for everyone who wish to be bless. They “worked” relentless on behalf of the Buddha.

Buddha is our life teacher, even after he passed away for more than 2500 years. his teaching has been spread profusely all over the world. I kneeled before the great one in the hall, sense he is there for us, constantly teaching and reminding us about life.

Clash of assignments

This morning a travel editor ring me up, asking me if am available to fly tomorrow with the media team to document the Songkran event in Thailand. Of course i would love to go, but it clash with other job in the evening. Haiz.. wish i can split into 2. $*#&%$*&

Travel photography remains a strong passion. The exciting change of culture, weather, food, languages and environment is always something i look forward. Is more of embracement and enjoyment, the fatigue and difficulty are usually dump behind my mind.

Apologize i haven’t been updating any post, will get it done real soon. I will be sharing some images i did for the past 2 months commercially and personal. Do stick around.

Thaipusam Festival in Singapore – Part 2

The previous post mentioned about the date, what to see and some Thaipusam festival images i capture back in 2011.

There are questions from friends asking about what equipment to bring, is female allowed inside the temple, what to wear, what to shoot etc. Hence i would share my own personal experience with everyone.

Before i move on, this write-up is mainly for beginners and amateur photographers who are new to this arena. I hope through my experience it will able to give you some ideas what to expect.

1) Equipment – It depends what type of subject you are shooting, for a Thaipusam Festival i bring along a 24-70 to have a decent coverage from wide to medium. A 50mm F/1.4 lens to shoot during low light situation, a 90mm marco lens to shoot portrait and close-up. If you have the strength to carry 1 more, that would be a telephoto lens where most people use it to capture the moments.

A wide angle would come into good use when a “large-moving event” happen.This is a good color contrast of the, at the same time an event is happening. The yellow pedals thrown onto the air added an dynamic moment.

2) Female visitors are allowed in the temple, but all visitors are required to remove their footwear when roaming inside the temple. I suggest bring a plastic bag to put your shoes in and bring it along with you. You wouldn’t want your shoes to be bury underneath after deciding to leave the temple. Dressing should be respectful, no revealing clothing to cause any disrespect, applies to all religion.

Female devotees

3) What to shoot – This is the part where most people are interested. After you have your equipment gear up, the next step is to start taking interesting pictures. What you see is what you capture through your lens. Before that something must be able to catch your attention. What is the scene that instantly attracts your eye?

A successful photograph lie on various elements of design. The elements that bring order to photographic composition are line, form, shape, texture, pattern, and color. Whether a successful picture needs to contain at least one, or several of these elements, in regardless of the type of subject one is shooting. Keep practicing such techniques will eventually be a 2nd natural to your instinct. Hence building a more solid foundation before moving on to advance composition.

However am not going to touch on all the elements, i will use my Thaipusam festival images to relate my own style of photography during the documentation process, and what you are going to experience.

This was an intense moment to see various hooks pierce through the skin of the devotee. I waited for the moment to capture the expression and the process. Deliberately cropping the background through the lens to show the various legs, hiding the identities.

Here is one of the piercing process using a thin metal rod through the cheeks. The 2 men beside was chanting loudly to take away the devotee’s attention.

There are many opportunities of shooting portraiture. One only need to ask permission to get the devotee to look into your camera. Have an idea and composition in mind. Shoot it quickly, smile and say thank you before moving on.

This is a good example of patterns and lines. You can choose to either do a close up of the limes or a half length body image. Depending what you want to show.

If human nature is not one of your favorite subject to work with. There are still other photo opportunities for you to capture. Such as the detail of the items used for rituals, the design of the various kavadis.

Light is the most important, yet fundamental element of good photographs. The magic of light during the break of morning is not to be miss. The delightful orange glow creates a better picture chance. During the shooting process, the direction of light and the ongoing event is crucial.

See how the orange light gives a gentle lift on the capture subjects.

A beautiful light 45 degree from the rear lights up my portraiture

I hope the tips are helpful to achieve your result and improve your photography skill. If you are keen to meet up or guidance on that day do drop me a note here.

Venue: Starting from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple along Serangoon Road, there will be a 4.5km walk for the devotees to Sri Thendayuthapani Temple on Tank Road.

Thaipusam Festival in Singapore 2012 – Part 1

For the Singaporeans or tourists who are in Singapore. Check out the Thaipusam Festival at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple along Serangoon Road. This year the date falls on 7 Feb 2012. Thaipusam Festival is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (January/February).

It would be a visually enticing and a respect of religious event for people who never witness the piercing of sharp needles and rods through the flesh. This astounding event will takes you through the ritual ceremony, preparing of the kavadi, mental support from fellow friends, unbelievable amount of hooks hooked on the flesh and the grueling walk to the next temple.

In Singapore, Hindu devotees start their procession at the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in the early morning, carrying milk pots as offerings or attaching “kavadis” to their bodies. The procession/devotees travels for 4 kilometres before finishing at the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple on Tank Road.

Below are some images of Thaipusam Festival i captured in 2011

The next blog i will share some tips on what to look out for the first timers who wish to photograph this event. Drop hit the Like button below if you are interested.

Venue: Starting from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple along Serangoon Road, there will be a 4.5km walk for the devotees to Sri Thendayuthapani Temple on Tank Road.

The year of the Dragon 2012

Is the year of the Dragon in 2012! Capture Asia would like to wish everyone fantastic health, accumulate more wealth, many good luckiness and ample happiness in the Dragon year. ^^

So happen my archive have 2 pictures of the dragon capture in Hong Kong during my travel photography trip. I hope everyone like it.

A wall painting of a dragon at Stanley Bay, Hong Kong.

A dragon boat with dragon’s head carving right in the front.

A wall painting of auspicious greeting phase. It means wish you have a blooming business.

Images are available for purchase through Capture Asia site if you like it.

Singapore famous temple in Bugis

Singapore famous Guangyin temple locates at Waterloo street. 观音堂佛祖庙 (Kwan Im Tong Hood Cho Temple) is the most visited temple by fellow devotees locally. Also, many devotees would travel from Southeast Asia to visit this temple. Most people praying for good health, prosperity, blessing and good luck after praying to Kuang Yin Bodhisattva, the Goddess of Mercy.

Located in the heart of Bugis and downtown, the temple is surrounded by major shopping malls, hawker centre & coffee shops. Bugis is a place must visit for visitors.

Captured this shot 2 years ago, it was the birthday of Guang Yin. Attracting thousands of devotees attending the event. No later after i set my tripod it starts to drizzle. Crowds come and go quickly after prayer. My ideal was to achieve a blurry effect of the people moving in and out of the temple doors and entrance. The numbers of images capture was not satisfactory, persisting continuation for about an hour. The push cart stalls at the foreground slowly starts to clear up. Went back to choose the images for the final result as seen above.

Loy Krathong festival in Bangkok, Thailand

Asia travel photographer Ricky, travel to capital of Thailand, Bangkok. Documenting the Loy Krathong Festival in Southeast Asia.

Thailand’s Loy Krathong (or Loi Krathong) is one of the many traditional festivals of Thailand. It is an evening when Thais pay respect to the goddess of the waters by floating candlelit offerings on any and all waterways around the kingdom.

The word “Loy” literally means “to float” and “Krathong” means a raft. The raft is said to be about a hand span in diameter and is traditionally made from a section of a banana tree trunk. Throughout the years of evolution, the Loy Krathong raft has been developed to be made out of bread or Styrofoam as an alternative form.

Loy Krathong is celebrated during the full moon of the 12th month in the Thai lunar calendar and usually falls in November in western Gregorian calendar.

Thais will float their krathong on a river, canal or a pond lake. The festival is believed to originate in an ancient practice of paying respect to the spirit of the waters. Today it is simply a time to have fun.

Cutting through a home of squatters to Rama 8 bridge. Managed to capture a local cyclists with a bag of Krathong for making.

Local thais selling Krathong.

Thais and vistors gather at the foot of Rama 8 bridge.

This year the date of celebration is on 10th Nov 2011. Visitors can head to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Sukhothai.

I will share more of my bangkok pictures of Loy Krathong fesitval and shooting experience on my next blog, stay tune.