Exploring Downtown Line 3 in Singapore

15 Oct 2017 was the opening of the new 16 Downtown Line 3 stations. Like many people, i took this wonderful opportunity to check out the stations. I actually spent about 7 hours to explore all the 16 stations, i think Downtown Line 3 stations are running a combined of 21km in total.

What strikes me most, in particular, was the Bencoolen station. Because i had been going to a nearby venue for photography job for many years, i had witnessed the development of its changes. I also learnt that this is the deepest station in Singapore, surpassing Promenade MRT station at 42 metres deep. When i saw the number of escalators needed to go out or enter, i knew this must be really way below. What a fascinating engineering work.

My objectives were to make nice pictures of the station interior to share with your, enjoy what i love to do, and get to know each new place a bit better. What was even better was there were games booths at each station for the public to enjoy. Each station has a checkpoint for you to chop a stamp on a sheet of paper, collecting all 16 chops will be entitled to a free gift as well.

Each station is giving out a unique postcard relating to the station to the visiting public, i thought the postcard was beautiful and i wanted to collect all of it, but i only managed to get 2 postcards out of the 16 (i post 2 pictures here later on the next edit). There were two bomb shelters were open to the public as well, i had a glimpse of what’s inside and learn about what is ‘dry toilet’. There was also various SCDF personnel spread across the various train station to teach the public how to do CPR and attend to open wound. This is a very educational knowledge regardless of age. Thank you SCDF for imparting such valuable knowledge.

There were two public shelters opened to the public as well, this is a very rare opportunity and i had a tour to understand what is a public shelter look like. I learnt about what is a ‘dry toilet’ through the detail explanation from the SCDF personnel. There was also various SCDF personnel spread across the various train station to teach the public how to perform a CPR and attend to open wound when an emergency situation occurs. A valuable educational knowledge regardless of age. Thank you SCDF for your valuable knowledge. Do check out the list of the public shelter.

Each station has its own unique design, history and art display. The individual station is designed in a way that is related to the neighbourhood. From a photographer’s point of view, there are so many things for me to capture. But there were huge numbers of people moving in and out. Hence it is very challenging to get the best picture i had in mind.

 

Check out all the latest pictures of the Downtown Line 3 Stations

Fort Canning Station


Bencoolen Station


Jalan Besar Station


Bendemeer Station


Geylang Bahru Station

 


Mattar Station


MacPherson Station

 


 

Ubi Station


Kaki Bukit Station


Bedok North Station

 


Bedok Reservoir Station 


Tampines West Station


Tampines Station


Tampines East Station


 Upper Changi Station


Expo Station


From a technical point of view. The lighting condition doesn’t allow me to apply a fast shutter speed in the interior of all the stations. Carrying a tripod in a crowded place is kinda of troublesome, and am not even sure if a tripod is allowed until i saw a few using it? I am setting my camera to ISO3200 for 99% of the images. Honestly, the image quality is only average. People are always talking about shooting high ISO, but i dislike it because i want to preserve the colours and details. Unless my intention is turning the pictures into monochrome. Still, i will need to opt for high ISO setting depending on the situation, got to act flexibly.

I know many people had missed out the open house, the good news is there will be free rides between these new 16 stations on the 21 and 22 Oct 2017. Make sure you take this opportunity to travel with your family and friends.

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!


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Top 50 Architecture Photography Blog Selected By Feedspot

I received an email from the founder of Feedspot.

Feedspot is a Modern RSS Reader. If you’re trying to keep up with news and content on multiple websites, you’re faced with the never ending task of visiting those sites to check for new content. Feedspot allows you to put all of your reading in one location.

Anyway, the founder mentioned my blog was selected by their panelist to be the “Top 50 Architecture Photography Blogs” on the internet. At least i know my blog is searchable. Feedspot even offers a gold color digital badge to honor the selected ones. Big thanks!

Art Gallery Interior Photography – Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow

Dear readers,

I was fascinated by the avant-garde art display by Yayoi KusamaYayoi Kusama. So i decided to do a personal series of interior pictures at the National Gallery Singapore. This is the first time i am capturing an avant-garde interior photography picture. Very rarely do our local gallery display and market such art work on a massive scale, and successfully reaching out to the public with the help of media.

Yayoi Kusama is one of the world’s most influential artists and has played a crucial role in key art movements of the 20th and 21st centuries. This is her first major work in Southeast Asia. I am proud to say our local gallery did a fantastic job by bringing in her visionary practice into Singapore.

Enough said, is time for some visual treat!

I was blown away by the huge set up in the hall interior.

My idea was to document each section of the huge display room without any people involved. I want to clearly focus on her art display, and i love a clean and sleeky presentation. However, this is a paid venue for the public to come visit and enjoy art work collection. The biggest hurdle to document this art gallery is to wait for the crowd or a single person to leave the installation room. Plus i don’t have any work relation with the National Gallery as well. I thought this will be a waiting game.

During my first visit, observing the huge number of people coming in. I knew it was not going to be easy. Many people were staying pretty long in the display to take pictures to post on their social media, the more serious ones were quietly enjoying the art work.

With all my love for the tulips

I honestly wish i can put up a tripod and take the pictures with the lowest ISO and the smallest aperture. Well, we know mission impossible. I have to set my ISO over thousands and use at least f/8 and a bearable shutter speed to get a good exposure.

The Spirits of Pumpkins Descended into the Heavens

This is my most sought after interior installation room to document. This room is always filled with people queuing to take pictures. I returned 3 times to get an empty room but it was really tough even after a long wait. And finally, on the fourth try, i got what i have visualized. Lots of patient in the making for this picture.

I truly loved my last picture captured in a low angle yet able to showcase the entire room. Lots of personal satisfaction in it.

Infiniti Mirror Room

Do take note all these individual installation rooms have a long line to it. Be prepared to queue, but it will be totally worth your visual experience.

Do check out my photography website for more, i will also be uploading more pictures in a few days time.


If you like today’s blog, please support me with a “like” and share my page on your social media channels. If you have a comment or suggestion, i would love your input too.

How i started Architecture Photography

Dear readers,

This is a short story how i fall in love about architecture photography.

Many years ago, an architecture photographer shared with me about his thoughts of taking architecture pictures. He said, “You must feel for the building, talk with the building.” At that point, i thought he was mad. How do i even talk to a building that was built with concrete and steel? The interest for architecture was not in my biggest interest at that point in time. However, those words turned out to become a golden advice. I have to apologize inside my heart thinking he was mad.

How did architecture embark into my life? About 4 years ago, i was required to visit several places in Singapore for a German start-up company. This company sent me a long list of the brief of the Do’s and Don’t for their picture requirement. That was how i truly understand about capturing interior and exterior photography, i also further study it through books and online to increase my knowledge, go out to the field to practice, and finally the editing.

On a personal note. I left my good career as a soldier to pursue photography 11 years ago. Only recently, i start to understand what i want to achieve. Visualize my career goal is ultimately an established commercial photographer (architecture, interior, corporate, industrial), jetting all over the world to take pictures for many top companies, providing them with great pictures for their marketing materials, let the world see my pictures. Commercial photography jobs have developed into the​ main stream for me. I truly love visiting​ various type of companies to capture a ​different set of photo requirement or a visual telling story requirement for clients. I never hate the traveling part, is always a very refreshing experience. I loved the challenges that were thrown onto me. My company always aims​ to provide a picture solution for all my client.

I have recently reshuffled my photography website. I have categorized​ all my photos of architecture by the name. Rather than putting various architecture pictures all on​ a single page, which can look​ so shambles. It was a lot of hard work to do it, but i think it is really worth the pain to look more organized, and professionally presentable. I had a clearer picture what i can do to make the picture better.


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I know i am not a great writer, I believe there is​ always room for improvement, i may not realize​​ what is still needed in order to be better. If you have any suggestion please feel free to leave a comment below. However, ​i wish to share this useful information​ as much i can through my own experience, and i hope you may absorb​ something from my writing. If you like today’s blog, please support me with a “like” and share my page on your social media channels. If you have a comment or suggestion, i would love your input too.

Featuring Singapore ‘Hidden Door’

Singapore ‘Hidden Door’ is featured once again, this time in India. An editor of Colour Quotient from Asian Paints wanted an interview of my personal work and feature some of the ‘Hidden Doors‘ series. I was more than happy to grant his request and assist whatever is needed to support.

Featured articles

– Singapore ‘Hidden Door’ in 畅游行, Singapore first Mandarin travel magazine
– Singapore ‘Hidden Door’ in ArchDaily, with more than 10 million viewers internationally
– Singapore ‘Hidden Door’ in Lonely Planet Travel News
– Singapore ‘Hidden Door’ in 42 magazin, an online magazine in Siberia
– Singapore ‘Hidden Door’ in Metro daily newspaper at Russia with 1.9 million readers
– Singapore ‘Hidden Door’ in Nine Australia
– Singapore ‘Hidden Door’ in Asian Paints, Colour Quotient

Instagram is the Worst App for Young People’s Mental Health

Copy this article from Petapixel news.

Instagram is the most likely social media platform to cause teenagers to feel depressed, anxious, lonely, and with low body confidence. That’s according to a newly published study by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) in the UK.

The report, titled #StatusOfMind, surveyed 1,500 young people includes some troubling statistics on social media and mental health among people aged 14-24. In the survey, the participants were asked to rank to what extent different social media platforms impacted certain health-related factors, from -2 (a lot worse) to +2 (a lot better).

Of the 5 platforms included in the survey, Instagram fared the worst. From most positive impact to most negative, the platforms are:

  1. YouTube
  2. Twitter
  3. Facebook
  4. Snapchat
  5. Instagram

It should be noted that all social media platforms except for YouTube were reported as having a net negative impact on mental health.

Instagram users reported a high negative impact on Sleep, Body Image, FoMo, Bullying, and Anxiety.

“Instagram easily makes girls and women feel as if their bodies aren’t good enough as people add filters and edit their pictures in order for them to look ‘perfect’,” says one female participant in the report.

The results were not all negative though –– the report notes that social media can improve young people’s access to other people’s experiences of health and expert health information, and those surveyed reported feeling more emotionally supported through their contacts than those who do not use social media.

The RSPH is calling for action to help mitigate the negative aspects of social media use. From their report, these recommendations include:

  • Social media platforms to highlight when photos of people have been digitally manipulated.
  • Introduction of a pop-up heavy usage warning on social media – include the support from young people for each of these recommendations.
  • Social media platforms to identify users who could be suffering from mental health problems by their posts, and discretely signpost to support.

Social media has revolutionised how we all connect with one another, but has impacted none more so than our youth. According to the report, 91% of 16-24 year olds use the internet for social networking, so studies like these are vital to understanding and discussing how these platforms impact our lives.

If you are interested in learning more, the full report is available in PDF format from the RSPH website.

Personally i noticed it in my daily commute that a lot of youngsters were browsing on Instagram. I hardly see anyone reading a book or newspaper anymore, as e-book and e-news is available at the touch on your smart phone. We have totally moved into a realm of digital technology. Truly a 21st century.

 

I haven’t been updating new pictures on my Instagram.  Over the few years i was eager to be acknowledge for my post, the more “Like” i have, it means my pictures served their recognition. Recently i realised, OMG i am actually wasting time browsing on Instagram. I would have used the spare time for a good book, a good workout, do something i like that keeps me away from over bombardment of digital information/digital pictures on my smart phone.

Is naive to totally cut off from social media. I feel it is important to stay relevant. I  occasionally browse through some of my favourite photographers on Instagram to stay inspirational and informative. Only spending about 10 mins (maximum) of my day to look through update. Now, i got more time to blog – reflect and express my thoughts, improve my sucky writing, and share my experience in photography to help others.

Purging in progress on Facebook

Photography Art

Photography Art

When i told people my occupation. They said:”Oh you are an artist, that’s nice.” I was always dumbfounded by their replied, felt kinda of unnatural each time. Because i never thought myself as an artist. For some time, i can’t clearly define what does Art mean. I usually see myself as a commercial photographer or a business person, wanting to  provide unique value picture solution for companies around the globe.

In my personal opinion. Art has various form of interpretation. Let’s just focus on photography practice. If you asked me what is photography art. I think it like a visual absorption feast. Is about individual pair of eye get to notice the scene at that point of time or moment, using photography medium to capture it.

Everyone sees things differently, have different way of analysing information. That is why i think the topic of Art is always subjective. The debate/discussion of photography art is not necessary about technical aspect of the execution; aesthetic plays a major role as well. How Art is perceived also depends on the human’s emotion in that moment of connection.

Now as i write, i reflect. I think Art cannot please everyone. But if my photography Art work able to evoke someone’s emotion and interest. I think that is consider a successful piece of Art work (photograph), even if only take a person to admire it.

We all may see a same visual but each mind has a different perception/opinion. For example, put a group of photographers to shoot a vase in a decorated room, each photographer will produce different beautiful picture through their own interpretation. No two pictures will be the same.

How i think now may not be the way i reflect about Art in future. Is still a learning process for me, as i continue to grow, i believe i will find more deeper meaning in Art.

Purging in progress on Facebook

What am i purging?

I am currently removing most of my pictures albums from my personal Facebook account. Why am i doing this, am i crazy or depress?

Why am i purging? 

You see the thing is, i don’t enjoy that eager feeling of waiting for someone to click that magical “Like” button for my photographs. I just realised i hate instant gratification. Honestly, a tremendous waste of time (i hate wasting time). If there are no “Likes” – what happen is self doubt creeps in, the feeling can be degrading and losing a bit of confident at time. Everyone loses confident at some point of time because of doubt or fear. Perfectly human being to say.

Posting so many pictures on social media may not truly reflect your life. That depends the type of pictures you are sharing. I used to see how people only portray the glamorous side of their lifestyle. Luckily, i barely can envied about that type of life, we all know how reality work.

Next, purging doesn’t mean i don’t like the pictures, but is less meaningful for me as i matured more. The perspective thinking between age 25 and 35, and so on, can be a lot of different.

Should i purge?

Is like cleansing; practicing a long meditation makes one more focus. Similarly, going to the spa to ease muscle tension accumulate on the weary body. Purging pictures off social media is a very personally decision for me. If you don’t want to purge doesn’t mean you are wrong because the pictures must be holding much memory for you. If you dare to purge, it means two things. First you got the guts, yes i got guts because i don’t really care if the old picture are there or not. Secondly and most importantly i see, is that there will still be much room for me as a person to grow.

Conclusion

As a photographer, the picture i took can reflect my style and personality. I want to start this journey of sharing pictures that are more meaningful to me, it would also be great if the pictures i share is able to resonate with someone else. Hope you feel release after doing it.

Eric Kim said:”Don’t care about the likes, care about the photos you like.”

Patience is reward

Life work in a funny way. Before success, you will constantly faced rejection, disappointment, agony, frustration, and maybe give up in the end. You think nobody give you a chance. Another hard truth is, this is a destined path to struggle in order to reached the peak. There is no short cut except very very hard work, fighting your way through all the difficulties.

Forget about admiring other’s people success. Don’t ever think they are lucky. Luck comes with a lot of hard work that most people don’t get to see behind the curtain. Rather, study how did they fail and become successful in their own way, ask yourself what can you learn from failure as well?

The picture above, condos at Tanjong Rhu. I went up to the spot so many times and always get much disappointment of the scene. Somehow i persists and was finally rewarded with the best weather i could possibly imagine. I would say is a personal triumph and learn how determine i was to get the picture at all effort.

Such determination will also be applicable into my commercial jobs for clients that require photography service. I want to offer valuable pictures that goes a long way.

Bless all

Travel Collection – 2 in Bangkok

Not sure had you read my Travel Collection – 1 in BeijingTravel Collection – 1 in Beijing

Now here goes another one of my picture story telling of why do i make this particular image and how do i approach towards the subject during travel in other countries.

As many of the pictures were taken years back. I may not remember all the small details anymore, but the scene still linger in my mind.

Portrait of a Monk

I was like a street hunter, with an eagle’s eye looking for picture opportunities in Bangkok. I can’t remember which temple i was at, there are so many temples everywhere in busy Bangkok. A Buddhism’s country that much devoted to the belief.

I wandered into this temple where i can see a row of golden Buddhas in line. I took the opportunity to rest myself from the heat of wave. While i was cooling down under the shelter, my eyes was scanning for my ‘prey’, not many visitors at that moment, kids were running around, a few monks making their way to the exit.  I capture some still life street photograph and that was about it. Something was lacking. But i don’t know what is that hollow point at that moment.

Often when i search hard for picture opportunity, that situation never appear. The moment i stopped seeking, the chance is presented and is up to you to grab it. Why do i say this? Is because much patience had already dry up while waiting or expecting for something to happen. If nothing occur as you visualise,  you may end up being frustrated, disappointed and even a waste of time.

What is the disparity between Waiting and Expecting?

Waiting – Not knowing what is going to happen next, unable to control the situation. (negative)

Expecting –  A desire to see a situation that is going to unfold. (positive)

Back to the temple. As i as was about to leave, i noticed a monk by himself standing in-front of the Buddha statue. Somehow that particular moment caught my attention. I  boosted up my confident, approached the religion man. Is a do or die moment, i don’t want to moan later why i did not even asked about it and regret for the rest of my life.

I can’t speak Thai, except for the basic “Sawadee kap”, palm together. I spoke in the most simplistic English and hand gesture to ask for a picture. Hoping he will understand. I was not nervous, but neither will i be disappointed if he rejects me.

The monk smiled, nob his head *throw fist on air*

I recalled having some difficulty in the composition, whether should he be standing at the side or the centre. I quickly made a few frames and concluded that standing in the centre would be better. Everything is all centralised from the background to the key subject. Is the the student being humble in-front of the Buddha’s teaching.

He did not smiled throughout, neither i want to control his expression. For street/environmental portrait. I decided to let the monk to be himself, and be respectful to him is important.

Personally i like this picture so much that i printed out 12 x 8 inch and hang it up on the wall.

Hope you enjoy this article, drop me a comment if you like it or how to further improve it.