A short holiday in Ho Chi Minh City

My partner was very generous to give me a free air ticket to Ho Chi Minh City as my birthday present. Thank you dear!

I haven’t visited Vietnam since 2015 i think. This is the first time we are traveling to this Ho Chi Minh City. Much has changed in the city, the familiar walkway i used to travel is going to be removed soon, the Japanese restaurant i often patronize was gone, many shops were starting to close down, all these are due to the development of underground train.  Is kinda of sad, but the country needs to continue to develop to improve the life of the local.

I bought a DSLR camera and a tilt shift lens with me on the trip, nothing more. I was more interested in the local architecture since i took more interest in architecture after my last VN trip. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t the best throughout the trip, i didn’t bring my camera out most of the time. I only managed to make less than 15 pictures on this entire trip, and only a few pictures barely can make it.

My mindset from the start was the outcome of the picture was least important, i already knew the weather was going to be less friendly. But i want to see the local popular architecture through my camera using a tilt shift lens, i want to have a feel of it in overseas. Other than that, it was mainly bonding time, my partner and i were tasting lots of very delicious local dishes, gosh this is another food heaven country.

Only 4 pictures of architecture from Ho Chi Minh City to share and one night scene from my hotel swimming pool

A very interesting building that is filled with cafe and living space, can be seen along the street of Nguyen Hue

Palace Saigon hotel along the street of Nguyen Hue

The very famous local landmark must visit is Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon

The Myst Dong Khoi is an upscale hotel with a rooftop bar and swimming pool. I love how the building is embracing greenery all over it.

From my hotel, Liberty Central Saigon Centre Hotel. I placed my camera on the ledge to capture this night scene, probably the most difficult thing i ever did because there is no auto focus on my lens, no cable release, no tripod. Extremely hard to compose as the live view from my 5D MK II old camera is spoilt.

There are lots of hotels and budget hotels in Saigon, depending which area you wish to stay. If you are not really on a low budget, want to stay in a mid price but a good hotel. I would like to recommend you to stay at Liberty Central Saigon Centre Hotel. Is only less than a min walk to Ben Thanh Market. Lots of delicious food around the streets, In my opinion, this hotel is very centralized for me as i can head to many places easily. In the past, i was staying in backpacker street and i have to walk a pretty far distance to Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica and so on. This was also my first time swimming in a hotel pool on the roof, the view is really scenic in the night.

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Check out my Ho Chi Minh City travel pictures too.

    

 

 

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Monochrome pictures at Pandan Reservoir

I decided to convert some color pictures into basic monochrome effect (black and white) which i had pre-visualize during my photo walk at Pandan Reservoir in Singapore.

A monochrome photograph is usually seen in an old tradition picture that tells a story of the past. However taking pictures without colors force you to think and see a subject differently.  Black and white scene changes the way you look at lighting and contrast, changes the way how you compose a picture differently, changes the way to portray a story in the picture. Black and white often offer a timeless and classic feeling that evokes emotion.

7 pictures will be shown below

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Stunning Sunset in Singapore

This beautiful blast of sunset happens on 22 Aug 2017.

Is been a while since i make pictures in the evening, i told myself i got to do this once a week. But i was busy with other important matter. Anyway, i went up to one of the high blocks i know of on the 38th storey. I wanted to create more pictures facing south, from the corner of the block before it is covered off by a metal shade to block the specular view of the city. I already knew the sky is heavily cloudy, but this is the last chance to do it and i got to give it a go without having regrets later. Unfortunately, i did not get a single image i like due to the construction of the shade, and also the bad weather. But..

Earlier on as i was preparing my tripod, the western part of Singapore caught my eye from a limited sight of view. The sky, seems to be in burning in flame. It was an absolute stunner (reminds me of Stone Cold Steve Austin). The sky hue is deeply saturated as the sunset was in progress. I knew i can get a full view of the sunset on the other block down the road. but that would be another 8-10 mins walk and preparation, that magical moment would be long gone by then. I know i can’t take that risk to rush out and head to another block. I think hard what can i do? I recalled the corner of this block i may see more of the landscape. I quickly charged down to the other end, pushed opened the door, double steps down the stairs and set up everything in a fumble.

*Click*

Quick chimp

Adjust composition

*Click*

And so on…

I think i got the most stunning view of the sunset in Singapore. 

I thought, “while the Americans were thrilled over the recent eclipse. I am in another part of the world to witness another miracle.” I still wish i was on the other block, but i can’t complain. It is meant to happen this way.


This was the spot i placed my tripod, the block in the center of the picture was the better location, but i can’t risk it because i am sure i won’t be able to make it in time. Unless i am a Spider-man.

Coincidentally 22nd Aug 2017 marks the beginning of the seventh month in the lunar calendar. In Chinese tradition, the beginning of the Ghost Festival for a month, the hell gate is open, ghosts or spirits came out from the lower realm to visit the living. This is a traditional Buddhist and Taoist festival held in Asian countries.

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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Check out my other sunset posts and pictures as well

 

Photo Walk at Pandan Reservoir

Took the chance with my partner on the weekend to go for a hike at Pandan Reservoir. This reservoir is located in the western region of Singapore. I think this is the only vast place on this island that i can feel more relaxed and to generate ideas.

Pandan Reservoir has a length of 6km. You can either walk, jog or cycle around the reservoir. Recommend you to bring a bottle of water to quench your thirst, as there is only one water station.

I brought along my 5D Mark III camera, mounted with a 70-200mm lens for the walk. I know i will be zooming in a lot rather than doing a wide-angle picture. The weather was great but hot as usual. I was ok with it, but my partner finds it a bit torturing. Thumbs up for her to complete it under the hot weather.

If you like taking pictures using your DSLR camera, and is your first trip to Pandan Reservoir. I will suggest you to bring a wide-angle and telephoto lens. There are many different viewing points as you trek along the mild sandy path.

14 pictures will be shown below


View of an industrial architecture picture, behind it is Clementi neighborhood


There is few dedicated area for the public to enjoy fishing


Another view of Fusionpolis building (center) i always wanted to capture from afar


Singapore produces the world’s largest builder of oil rig for global demand


An architecture view of the industrial logistic building


Zoom in to enjoy the colors


I always wanted to capture CWT logistic building in it best light form. The lighting was fantastic on that day. Blessed!



Industrial architecture that caught my eye


In the background is Singapore first offshore power station

If you are a traveler visiting Singapore, and your purpose is to visit some of the parks or a good hike. I would recommend you to go Pandan Reservoir. Make sure you have your sunblock applied because it is an opened area, there is small pocket of shelters for you to rest. It takes about an hour plus to complete the entire reservoir.

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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View from the window plane

I was given a seat at the aisle inside the plane. It didn’t bother me much because it was only an hour and 40 minutes to reach Ho Chi Minh City. What bothers me was seated in the last row, behind me are 2 toilets. Where unnecessary smell is not required in this journey. Luckily the row in front of me was empty, i quickly hopped over to the front with my partner.

The sky was gloomy through the flight, i look at the window, nothing interests me to visually from an aerial perspective. I read just a few paragraphs of Jack Ma book before dozing off.

The pilot informed us that we are 30 mins away from Ho Chi Minh City.

I went to the middle seat and try to look out the window. I can see the river in Vietnam. I have seen this sight many times, never fail to awe me. The sky continues to be in bad mood, a few minutes later i saw a ray of light shining through the dark and heavy cloud.

I quickly exchange seat with my partner. Whipped out my Huawei Mate 9 mobile phone. I set it in monochrome mode, increase contrast to +1. Excitedly started to snap picture after picture. Decreasing the exposure value as i quickly warmed up my creative juice.

My best picture ever made from a plane using a phone.

 

Skyville at Dawson

Skyville@Dawson is another one of the more interesting public estate in Singapore. Designed by WOHA, a Singapore award winning architecture firm.

This estate caught my eye for several reasons. First, I love the zig-zag looking design which is different from the typical estates for many decades in Singapore. Second, this is 46-storey testate that connects laterally with sky bridges, offering a continuous “luxury” panoramic view as i stroll around. I love heights, the higher it is, the more breathtaking the view is.

Check out these set of pictures series i have taken in 2016. I also took part in a photo competition organized by WOHA on Instagram and managed to win some of the categories.

Each picture has a meaning and also focus on the design and functionality. Hope you are able to see the meaning in my picture.

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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EXPERIENCE IN PHOTOGRAPHY

Dear reader,

This is what I think now. Experience in photography doesn’t sell at all.

I believe am the best in creating commercially valued photographs. Today and the future, i only want to make picture with all my heart and soul in it. I want to provide the best photographs for my entire client, nothing less. Telling potential client I have more than 10 years of experience. Some people will still doubt my credibility.

Honestly, i think I am the best photographer in this business. If not I am wasting precious time, passion and commitment in the wrong business.

Today. All photographers are very good; many photographers are competing for one job. I looked at Instagram, I know student photographers are very talented, i can’t compete against them because they do jobs for free to get a portfolio. These kids are probably more creative than you and I.

This is what i think, the number of years taking pictures does not matter anymore. Someone will always be better. This doesn’t mean you should lose faith.

The journey to be a successful photographer is to know how to brand your business, market your name, hustle really hard for what you want to specialize in. Aim to be the number ONE in the field you are strongly passionate about.

Get your new client to write a business testimonials after a job is completed. Make sure you did well, give them more than they asked for if possible.

Offer picture solution, not creating problem

Clients won’t like a photographer to give problem when they got other problems on hand. A professional photographer is hired to give the client picture solution.

Be super proactive

When there is a doubt; check back, clarify, ask a question. Never assume anything.

Unleash your photography skill

You have spent several years practicing photography, sharpening your visual. Unlease all the skill you have mastered, no need to hide secret photography skill. Because the internet leaks all secret.

Be your own self

I am always friendly with people. I make sure people are comfortable in front of my camera. I am very easy to chat with. I always want to be cheerful and a fun person when am working. Because i am doing what i love and passionate about.

Care for your client’s job

By doing a fantastic photography job, not only your client will like your service. Your client can also impress his boss because your client did his job well. Is a win win for everyone.

By having testimonials will squash all doubters. I don’t want to waste time to do much explanation of what i can do. My outstanding portfolio and testimonial say it all about me and my business.

Wish everyone a great weekend.

If you like this post do support me with a “like”, share my post to people who love taking pictures of cats. Feel free to leave a comment below as well. I would love to interact with you. Or ya subscribe to my blog too!

Singapore Corporate Photographer

A quick share. This is one of the latest corporate photography work in Singapore. Capture Asia Photography was commissioned to capture pictures of a local employee on location. The pictures were to be used in their company Sustainability Report months later.

Although three pictures were used in the report which is really wonderful! Like any other photo shoot, i put in lots of energy and heart into it. The client herself flew in personally from Thailand office to be involved in the process. I only managed to meet up with her on the photo session day. We quickly got into the business because time schedule was tight, their employee i am working with only got half a day instead of a whole day due to his hectic work commitment. An unexpected twist of an event.

Panic button was not required. One week before, i already did a recce trip at the company to have a better visual understanding of their corporate office environment. Even much earlier, there was​ already discussion about the photo shoot through email and phone discussion. Hence the change of situation was calmly, yet only to be focusing on working out the various scenes i needed. I also constantly checking back with the client to confirm several spots and art direction. While my fantastic assistant was busy preparing the lightings and gears for me, a good assistant rocks!

I somehow always took interest how the final pictures I’ve​ captured will turn out to be in use. Because of the way how the designer will crop the pictures to use it.

Writing a photography blog

Dear reader,

After blogging a bit more consistently for a few months. I realize blogging is not an easy work when getting serious about it. I need to spend at least 2-3 hours to finish a post, usually with less than 1000 words. My blog is mainly about my Singapore company photography service, sharing the process of the commercial photography aspect, my personal thoughts on photography, storytelling of pictures, travel photography in Asia etc.

We blog for a various reason. Sharing useful contents, updating information, documenting a personal diary or posting visual art for the cyber world readers. The positive thing about blogging is we are not restricted to write a whole range of topic of anything in this world, there is no limit at all. As long the blog post is useful and helpful to anyone who is searching for any specific blog to read and discover.

I realize one of the benefits of blogging allows me to develop my sentence structure and grammar, develop my own style of writing. I also rather write the key points than going about a long boring story. I am pretty bad at writing all these years. Rather than seeing it as an obstacle, i see blogging as an opportunity to improve my language skill. Is important to put me constantly in the learning process. If we stop growing, life would be dull.

Good news! Blogging makes me think a bit smarter, write with a purpose in mind. I aim to be the most searchable commercial photographer on the internet. I got no idea when can that happen, but i know if i keep blogging good contents. I can achieve my goal one day. If you have any advice about improving my blogging skill and ranking, please let me know.

In the long run through blogging. Not only i want to achieve my ranking goal on the internet. I also want to empower more hobbyist to improve their interest in photography – such as offering photography tips and advice to improve their skill. Photography is a skill that requires many years of experience to be really good at it, constant feedback is needed for improvement. I would encourage you to drop me a message to check out your work.

Thanks for reading!

 

Photographing a modern office interior in Singapore

I was recommended by a friend back in 2016 to help her friend new office for some work. Throughout the work later, the client and i were discussing interior photography for this newly set-up company based in Singapore. The executive director of the company has the passion for photography as well in another genre. So he more or less understands how photography work. I was happy he decided to hire me for their interior photography pictures.

I was tasked to capture the entire modern office interior – from the working area to the pantry and the reception area. Even though i had been to the office once for other work. I went back for a scouting trip in the office to better understand the design structure and lighting condition in a different timing. This allows me to pre-visualize the scene better when i am doing the photo shoot on an actual day in the given time.

I went into the office really early at 8 am, before the daily operation work begins. The first scene we had discussed via email was to capture the main office area before the working personnel starts to come in. The objective was to portray a clean look without anyone inside the picture.

For the first scene shot. The modern office area was naturally quite bright because the office window was huge. The window has sticker of small dots converge to big dots. Sorts of like generating a small idea to a big dream. There is also a row of small greenery plants to rest the fatigue eye, another wonderful design element to include into my composition. I like how the overhead light is flushed in on the top – the light brightness is fairly soft, perfect for the eyes for productive work. Overall this presents a great interior office picture for my client.

Next i proceed to the conference or meeting room to create some pictures. This is one of the most important places in the company where lots of decision making was made. The meeting room has a really fantastic view of the outside from the very top floor. The challenge is to balance the ambiance light from the outside scene and artificial light for the indoor, all together. My camera won’t be able to perfectly expose the scene i wanted in mind, there is the 2nd part of work to be done in the editing part to make it even better. This was the best scene i like, capturing it in a symmetrical format to show a form a line of discipline

The pantry here is totally different from what i have seen. This company invests well in pantry design. This area looks absolutely cozy to relax a busy mind, can do light chatting about work, or even generating exciting ideas! I totally love the pocket of red popping out from various location. I did various scenes in this pantry as well, and this picture was one of my favorites. Oh ya it even has a television as well, which i seldom see it in office pantry.

Finally is the reception, waiting area. In this picture, i made use of the vertical line as the leading line to view the rest of the design space. I did the editing of the logo as it was reflective of the outside light.

For all the pictures, i hide everything i could in all the scenes. I have already informed them to keep the place clean, keep individual desk super neat. On the day of the photo shoot, i will rearrange the desk, chairs, computers, hide the cables, and reposition or remove a certain object that is obstructive. I love challenging new scene that i never encountered before, it simply pushes my visual skill to the next level. I also take note of various small details that make a full picture more complete. Lastly, i always want to justify the design and space of the office to its best design.

You can view these set of pictures in my interior photography gallery as well