Stephen Wiltshire the Savant

For the past few days i have been documenting Stephen Wiltshire drawing another of his amazing art work of Singapore cityscape in a panoramic format. Personally am an amateurish drawer. I hardly use pen and pencil unless i need to write. Drawing is a form of skill that not everyone can proficient. Everyone excel differently in their life. But i think one shouldn’t be compare with Stephen exceptional geniuses.

What is Savant? Savant syndrome is a condition in which a person with a mental disability, such as autism, demonstrates profound and prodigious capacities or abilities far in excess of what would a normal human being can perform. Many said god is fair, took away something, but return you something. Is an equilibrium.

Few things i learn from Stephen during my few days observation.

– He is an artist that is very passionate in his drawing. Passion is one of the key to success in life, in regardless what we are doing. Passion will drives one to keep moving on in life.

– He have great momentum and been focus of his task. Drawing a 4m X 1m is not a child’s play. He was in an upright sitting position drawing non stop to keep his momentum going, he is not distracted unless he must break for meal or a quick drink. Being totally focus is necessary to keep him moving towards completion.

Do check out the selected images i have posted on my personal Facebook page.

Lastly, portrait of Stephen Wiltshire.

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National Geographic: The Obama White House Through The Lens

Extraordinary documentation photography by Pete Souza, he is the Chief Official White House Photographer of United States President Obama. Pete basically give his best each day for years to document the importance of history. Every important moment never slip past him.

I thought this is one really good documentary photography show that i wish to show with fellow peers, enjoy.

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

Earth Hour 2013

Earth Hour is here once again. A meaningful world wide started by World Wide Federation, currently an international event to raise social awareness of climate change since 2006 that kick started from Sydney, Australia. Everyone plays a part in making the world a better place, the ability to change the world we’re currently live in. Is encouraging to see business around the globe turned off their lights for an hour to save an abundance of energy. Long term commitment is the crucial key for a desirable future sustainability.

This year Earth Hour on 23rd March 2013 is located at The Floated @ Marina Bay. Feel free to join in the event to educate yourself of energy saving and what individual can do to make it happen. It will be a good picture opportunity for people who are into photography of such event in the public. Last year i documented the outdoor event for WWF Singapore, images was later put up on the website for archival purposes. Below is a series of pictures i capture, print screen from their website for your viewing.

Feel free to visit Capture Asia Earth Hour gallery for the full series.

Do encourage your friends and relatives to switch off the light for 1 hour, maybe light up a candle to slightly brighten up your surrounding. Have a thought about the importance of energy conservation. Is really not so bad after all. Hope to see many supporters at The Floating platform then.

Have a great weekend!

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.

Happy International Women’s Day in Vietnam

International Women’s Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day, is marked on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements. Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries, primarily Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet bloc. In many regions, the day lost its political flavour, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother’s Day and St Valentine’s Day. In other regions, however, the original political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.

I’ll learn about International Women’s Day when living in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam 1 year ago. I have never, ever hear about such special occasion. Learning from my friend that there is such celebration. I understand women or company female co workers would buy flowers, arrange it nicely to present it as a lovely gift. Well most women love flowers, aren’t they?

Abundance of flowers in the Flower Market.

7th March 2011, i followed my friends to the Flower Street in Saigon in the early evening. Soaking into the atmosphere of this warming celebration in Vietnam. Muscling my way carefully through the hard-pressed streets. Witnessing my Vietnamese’s friend deeply involved in buying beautiful and fresh flowers at the Flower Street in Saigon. Making sure she got the best price and the freshest flowers she wanted. Hence i took this opportunity to capture the vibrant street images there.

Congested road at flower street in Saigon, too many motorcycles going in 2 different directions.

A busy florist

Probably is one of those days where business are blooming for most of the florist vendors. Doing all their best to pull in more sales from the visiting customers. Of course not every stalls will be flood with customers. Some stalls are extremely crowded, maybe is the quality of flowers or the competitive pricing they are offering. Some stalls were were rather quiet, maybe is the location or visitors yet to venture deep inside the market.

The 2 flower sellers happen to be biting their fingers, or eating something. But looks like a nerve wrecking moment to me.

A vietnamese flower vendor trimming the flowers for customer.

A vietnamese lady doing her flowers shopping in the Flower Market.

Night scene of Flower Street market. Can witness many vietnamese women buying flowers to prepare for International Woman’s Day.

Lastly, wish all my female friends a very Happy International Women’s Day. *MUACKS*

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.

Portraits of motorbike taxi driver in Saigon, Vietnam

Browsing through my hard disk, found some pictures of motorbike taxi driver’s portrait i capture during my walk in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City. Motorbike taxi driver known as xe om, are prevalent everywhere in Vietnam. Everywhere i visited or bypassed, it was a fascinating sight to see motorbike taxi driver sitting on their motorcycle practically for an extensive period. Eating, resting or even sleeping while awaiting for customer for their service, especially targeting the vacationers.

Discovering such interesting sights. I need to capture the portraits of these drivers on the street. With no idea of basic vietnamese language, no fixer with me. I boldly approached the more friendly looking motorcycle driver to ask for a picture. Luckily, they were pretty receptive of my presence. My approach in photography style remains the same, ask for permission than sneaking around with a long lens to capture the unsighted moment.

Armed with a 24mm prime lens to walk about, is kinda of difficult to shoot portrait with such wide angle lens. No matter what i got to make something out of it. During the process i realized most of them are sitting in different positions to make themselves comfortable. Check it out.

A smiling motorbike taxi driver sitting down at the side of his motorcycle.

This man can actually rest his entire body on the motorcycle to stretch one leg to relax.

The champion pose, i call it. He can turn side way to rest on his motorbike. Carry an air of proudness when i capture him.

This motorbike driver was more busy with his cigarette than looking into my camera, he allows me to shoot but not in the nicest way of presentation. :p

I guess when these drivers encounter terrible weather. They won’t have a single fare for the day. Waiting and watching to do ride their business in the competitive arena.

For other stories about Vietnam:
Illegal cigarettes in Hanoi , Vietnam
Houses in Saigon, Vietnam.
Road experience in Saigon, Vietnam
My first impression of Ho Chin Minh City
Capture Asia travel galleries of Ho Chi Minh and Saigon by Asia travel photographer Ricky Gui.

Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Saturday 24 Sept 2011

Am not really a big fan being a sports photographer, until i met Formula 1. I was doing plenty of panning shots throughout the race night. Never have i expect a very special moment i capture on my camera.

Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi was driving his Sabuer C30 on the qualifying day. He crashes at the turn 10 chicane in Forumla One World Championship at Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore. The only fastest and most entertaining night race in the world.

I was like WOW, what the hell just happened? A F1 car just lifted 3 feet off the ground, and went crashing onto the side wall. Luckily Kamui Kobayashi was not hurt, but not the unlucky vehicle he driving.

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.