Raise from the East, Set in the West

The weather in Singapore has not been the friendliest for many weeks since mid-Sept 2017. I am dreading to have a good day of blue sky weather. Unfortunately, each morning is almost a full cloudy condition. The afternoon duration was basically showered with light drizzle or thunderstorm for a few hours (At least our reservoir had a good supply of water).  Then came evening, the cloud was moving very slowly, covering a large portion of the skyline. The magic hour seemed less magnificent.

4th Oct 2017

This mark the day of Mid-Autumn Festival, in the lunar calendar, is Aug 15. The moon was in perfect circular shape, the light reflected from the sun is making the moon shining ever so brightly. As time ticks, the moon made its journey to raise from the thick cloud without trouble, it was a gorgeous sight, it seems so near to me – almost touching it, yet knowing how far it can be.

I witness some families bring their kids out to have a walk – kids carrying paper lanterns, father and his kid lighting up the candles to appreciate the light moment. Is nice evening for to nibble on mooncakes or have a sip of tea. Honestly, it was less rowdy and fun as compared to the old days.

I even came across the entrance of a house was beautifully decorated, but no one was at home.

5th Oct 2017

The sky was clearer, some stubborn cloud remains. Is been a more than a week since i made a night scene image. Despite knowing the weather is going to be cloudy. I knew the moon is going to be clear once it raises high above the cloud. I made a gamble to travel up to the northern part of Singapore to take some pictures in the evening. The previous night i already did my scouting and i thought the view was a stunner.

6.25pm

I reached my first location after a quick dinner. Hastily made my way up to the first location. There was no cloudy above my head, but from far there was cloud hovering. I was surprised to see the sunset setting down in the west without any obstructive view. I quickly took out my 70-200mm to make a few frames, then decide to set up the tripod for a more consistent composition.

The sun quickly disappeared into the thick cloud that was caught in-between my framing. I thought, “if only that cloud was not there.” But hey, this situation was expected, not much of disappointment. Well, this is the fun of photography, there is a hiccup in the process – is about trying to make it happen or have a go again. The picture title, “A Dark City” came up to my mind when i was capturing it. The feel was kinda of dark because everything is backlighted. An industrial factory nearby was omitting combustion gases from the industrial chimney, for a moment i felt living in an over-polluted city for a moment. The buildings below is a development from Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

6.45pm

I need to make a decision, should i stay or should i go? Because on the other block i will need time to prepare. The type of nervous moment to make an immediate answer. My final answer is to leave immediately because that sunset view is not my priority.

I quickly wrapped it up. Dashed from one block to another. Popped out of the lift to see this amazing sight, the sun finally emerged from the thick layers of clouds, blended with a mixture of red and orange colors. The mist in the foreground continues to build up in the surrounding.

 

 

 

 

Just so good………..

 

 

 

7pm

I had set up my tripod, this is the first time setting up this position as you see in the picture (right). The purpose is to have the camera extend out a little more than the usual. I was worried that it would drop, is normal to have such feeling. I double check to ensure everything is in the right order – tighten the knob, check the whole set up is very stable before i mounted up the little black digital box.

After the camera is mounted up, i did the necessary micro adjustment for the composition. I was more eager to see how the exposure turned out, this picture (left) was the first image capture.

You can see the moon in the sky is shining so brightly. It seems like the cloud is moving towards the moon’s position. You can try doing a long exposure for a min or two to get the motion effect of the moving cloud, that also depends on how fast the cloud is moving, ND filter is recommended if you want to expose a longer period.

715pm – 725pm

The sky is beginning to turn deep blue as the sun set, i wish the cloud wasn’t a hinder that evening, not complaining as it was expected. As i said earlier i went to this location is because of the full moon. The picture (below) is my selected picture among 10 frames. Honestly, this is not my favorite picture because of the big patch of cloud in the center portion of the framing. But i may never know, this may be the best picture because if i return in future the weather may be even worse.

 Exposure: F/14, ISO400, 30 seconds

730pm

I usually stayed put after the magic hour ended. From my experience, photographers usually started to pack up. There was this once i stayed back longer and i was rewarded with a great picture beyond my expectation.

I decided to wait for the moon to surface out from the cloud again. My patience yield result. I was greeted by an even brighter moon in the sky. The surrounding clouds were very soft, many areas of the night sky were visible. I love the good balance between the foreground and background from my exposure. This was the picture (below) that i like!

The entire photo shoot ended after 830pm. Landscape/cityscape photography can be rather busy because of the fun finding a good balance of exposure and micro adjustment, the 2 hours may seem like a very long time, but it was a whizzed to me.

7th Oct 2017

The sun never seems to shine lately. If i did not wake up at 4.30am for an intense workout. I may not have seen this glorious view.

Morning light passing through the foliage, if not for the low temperature and the dew in the air, this would have never been seen.

You can check out my Instagram account too! Drop me a comment or say Hi. I don’t bite at all.

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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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A Taxi Driver’s Life In San Francisco Before Uber — Discover

“‘With app-based transportation,’ he explains, ‘the pick up and drop off points, along with the route, are recorded. You know the passenger’s name before they get in the car. They know yours.’” Pete Brook talks with cab driver Kelly Dessaint on Bill Washburn’s vivid taxi images from the 1980s.

via A Taxi Driver’s Life In San Francisco Before Uber — Discover

Pictures of BigLift Shipping vessel in Singapore

I can’t help to notice BigLift vessel on Singapore water back in 2016. The bright yellow paint wraps around the vessel giving it a distinctive look from the rest of the fleet nearby. On-board the vessel usually have 2 giant cranes for lifting capabilities purpose. Depending on the type of vessel model, it can load up containers, heavy equipment and other small ships for transportation.  Is really amaze me to see an industrial vessel is so powerful.

For the photography part, i have observed that the vessel is on Singapore’s water for a period of time. I decided to make a trip soonest to go create an image of the vessel. As the vessel is far away from my nearest location. I brought a 70-200 f/4 telephoto lens and a tripod for this trip.

As you can see in the picture, i placed my tripod and use a 70mm to take this picture. The sky happened to have a bright moon on top of the vessel, it will be a waste not to include the moon in my composition. I choose to photograph this image during the magic hour as i wanted a saturated blue colour and in contrast to the deep yellow colour BigLift vessel. I also deliberately include a man in the foreground who was standing down there, you can see a little man’s silhouette just below the vessel. Thanks to the reflection from the moon, the area was well-lighted up!

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Soon the sky turned dark, i went further down to the further end of the shore to make the above picture. I zoom into 200mm to capture the entire length of the vessel.  I was shooting is a very small aperture like f/16 to create a starburst effect. The shutter speed was 30 seconds, and when i check the picture it was actually sharp despite been floating on the sea.

I have been wanting to share these 2 pictures for a very long time, somehow the picture was ‘lost’ in my sea of digital files. I finally found it and share these 2 images i really like with all of you. As this is a personal shoot, i can work on my creative juices.

If any shipping company happens to have your vessel dock in Singapore and requires photography service in the shortest possible time, do drop me an email. Feel free to check out my industrial marine gallery

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Corporate Storytelling Pictures

I almost forgot to share an industrial corporate environment i did a few months ago.

I was tasked by an overseas company to create images for a company based in Singapore. From my understanding, the local company was bought over by an overseas company, so the designated agency requires me to create some new pictures. Spare you the boring business details. Am going ahead sharing the images and explain each in detail.


Is quite rare to see an orange colour wall in the background. I like how the poster was neatly placed. I decided to place a staff right there to show her using the phone while looking into my camera. Also taking note the overall colour scheme is quite pleasing to the eye when you look at this picture, the focus point is straight on the staff. I deliberately include the corner of the laptop as a foreground to add in more depth.

 


Using a 16-35mm lens, the focus was the people in a positive discussion about the products. Items such as catalogue,, writing materials, pen, notebook were placed on the table to reflect how an actual meeting looks like, but i try not to make it clutter as well on the table. The background has a nice shelf that is placed with some company products, i had swapped some items to make it look better.

 


During a photo session. I will always give clear and specific instruction to the staff what to do. Normally, the selected staff got zero experience of being a ‘model’. With the proper guidance and instruction for my inexperience subjects. It is my job to make all of them looks naturally good on camera.

 


Another angle to use, i am capturing this scene from outside the office lobby through the window. Is like a passerby caught the scene of people inside a meeting room in the meeting. I deliberately include the sticker in the foreground as well so the focus point will be the people inside.

 

 
Arranged two staffs to stand at the office entrance to act a scene between customer and salesman talking about the product. i deliberately compose this way as i find it a very good balance. First, on the left are two persons presenting a product introduction, the background also has a nice shelf to house all the products. Next, on the right is the company logo with their tagline and corporate colour scheme in orange.

 


I did another close up of the 2 persons in conversation, with the shelf directly in the background. I just realised even the helmet right on the top of the shelf is so neatly placed.

 


Gather 3 staffs to do a group discussion looking at the computer. In the final picture, i personally like to see the three staffs smiling looking into the camera. The office staffs had previously kept the office neat for the photo shoot on the next day. This will actually accelerate the process instead of doing the arrangement on the shoot day. Because much time will be wasted too.

 


I like the row of the red cabinet that was placed at the corner of the office. There was a board on the wall that was pin-up with images of the company event.  This picture may look like a candid shot, but after taking a few pictures of both men standing there looking at the magazine, u decided to make some position adjustment to see their faces.

 

The client’s brief wanted the overall feel to look as natural as possible. So my method was to hook up the flashlight on the camera, adjust the head of the flashlight in various position to bounce the light onto the ceiling or other direction, depends on the type of effect i want, Another way is to make use of the ambient light with a slightly higher ISO.

The whole shoot i did it without any assistant because i think is manageable after having a very detail discussion with the director of the company. The entire photo session was a very positive experience for the client and myself. The agency that engaged me was satisfied with the pictures too.

Hope you like what i wrote today. Feel free to check out more of my Corporate Storytelling images.


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Architecture Photography of Ng Teng Fong General Hospital In Singapore

Singapore is becoming a nation of an aging population, with the insane amount of people crammed in this island. It is not surprising that medical needs are on the high – a bigger hospital and more beds are required. Various hospital in different parts of the country to serve the rising medical demand and assisting urgent medical cases as soon as possible is decisive.

(Click on all the images to see high res)

Ng Teng Fong General Hospital is named after a man’s name. Mr. Ng Teng Fong was a real estate tycoon. He had a major business presence in Singapore and Hong Kong. He was reported to be the richest man in the country in 2010 in the same year he passed away. His family donated $125 million in 2011 to a build a hospital in the western part of Singapore, the very first.


Best light when the sun was in the eastern direction

The hospital is designed by an Australia architect company, Studio 505. This was their first Southeast Asia project. Honestly, i am very impressed by the design. During one of the construction phase in 2014, most people including myself thought it was another typical luxury condominium in the area. But later, when the architecture was better developed, i realized it was actually a hospital!


This was the view when i first saw during the construction phase, with the protruding shape like a balcony, is no wonder even i was misled. 

In early 2016, i decided to make an architecture series of Ng Teng Fong General Hospital after its completion months later. Singapore has been well-known as a green city, i observed the overall environment was incorporated with greenery around the facility.


Looks like an urban forest hospital

Studio 505 aim was to implement an improved typical ward layout and create a radical new design, enhancing the hospital experience for patients and staff, with ‘patient-centeredness’ at the very heart of the design.


The hospital is easily accessible from the nearest MRT station, through the malls and link bridges are sheltered throughout

My personal thoughts regarding this “aim”. The design for a hospital is not the most important factor. From a business perspective to the firm. The aim is also a submission to the government or whoever to buy their design idea and ultimately engaging the service. Nothing wrong with that. We all have to respect that effort.

In my next perspective, a hospital primarily must have an excellent team of highly qualified doctors and nurses is utmost important. The design and technology of the facilities then follow. In real life i guess is the other way round?

I also wonder has any architect firm gather feedback from professionals such as doctors, nurses, IT support personnel of how an ideal hospital should be like? Because these are the people who are always on the ground managing emergency situation, caring for patients for 24hrs, 365 days.


A statue of Mr. Ng Teng Fong in the interior. I like the bright orange color and how it was designed. But, to have seats protruding up is it even necessary to seat on inside a hospital? Considering people who go to the hospital are patients and old folk, i think this design is not meant to be there.

Overall i did enjoy myself capturing these set of images. Unfortunately is not for work, if not would be better. I hope you like the images, do check out my Ng Teng Fong General Hospital photo gallery for more pictures. Do help me to click on the Facebook button on the right side of my gallery and picture if you wish to share.

In case you are wondering what am i using? I am using a Canon 5D Mk III and a fix 17mm tilt-shift lens for perspective control. I also had to spend additional time walking around the hospital to have a better understanding of the architecture design, the possible angles, how the lighting was at various timings and practicing pre-visualization. I waited for the best day to catch the blue sky at its almost perfect blue hue. Overall, it may seem like a very tedious and prolong time to do it, but i only wanted the best in my creation.

If you like this post 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. Please follow my blog if you like!


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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!

“Doors of Kathmandu”

I bump into “Doors of Kathmandu” while i was surfing on Archdaily website.

Mr Nipun is an architect and photographer from Delhi, India. Both of us have a similar taste of documenting doors, but each sees it differently because of the local culture, region, and approach towards our series.

Doors of Kathmandu” i would say is lively as there are a few pictures of a person inside his gallery. Not only that, one picture i like is a scene of family chores that happen right in front of the doorstep. Others pictures were more focus on the local design, detail, and colors of each door. I also especially love bright colors doors, it gives a sharp contrast between the door and the surrounding environment. Making it a ‘must take a picture’ scene for tourist.

Nipun mentioned: “I started taking pictures of the doors in and around my workplace from my phone,” says Prabhakar. “These unique doors reflected the culture of Kathmandu and it was also pleasing to simply look at them,” Very well said i thought. An architect does appreciate it on a deeper level. 

You can check out Nipun’s work on his blog and follow him on his Instagram to see new work. There is also an in-depth interview with him about his project.

This is also the first time am sharing another photographer’s work on my blog. Hope you like it and let me know what you think? 

 


 

I have been to Kathmandu, Nepal a few years back. A direct 6hrs flight from Singapore to the country. A very charming travel destination for me that still makes me think of returning in the future. People in Nepal are very friendly and helpful, the local food was great as well. Also easy to travel anywhere by local taxi. i totally enjoy each day there.

 

A Photography Project – Wonder Full

I finally feel ready to share my latest personal project, Wonder Full. Which started 2 years ago.

Let me run a little background
Wonder Full is a laser show at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. The show makes its debut in 2011, a free 13-minute light and water show, on the platform at Marina Bay Sands, visitors got the chance to see the water fountain, a visual projection against water-screens and lasers to create an awesome effect. The best part was (which i just found out), on top of a building was installed with a six high-powered lasers that can be seen up to 55 km away. That explains why i can see it from my living area.

Story
Back in 2015, i was surprised to discover the green laser emits out from Marina Bay Sands can reach such a far distance to my house area in the western part of Singapore.

The sight of the green laser jump-start a new idea. I wanted to document the beauty of the laser ‘dancing’ from various locations in the western part of Singapore. I started my usual scouting process to find accessible high-rise building near my home. Checking out where is the potential spot i can capture the laser scene. Once i had confirmed the position that allowed to place a tripod. I would return the next night with my gears to capture the scene.

 

The discovery turns out to be an adventurous photographic project that leads me to explore new places. I try to make quality pictures when i have the time, i wanted to see how the laser light perform from a different point of view. In total, i have created 13 images in different locations. I was eagerly waiting for some new high-rise building to be completed, waiting for the right opportunity to capture a new scene. Unfortunately, good things never last long. While i was still exploring new location in mid-2017, i learned that a new light and water show titled Spectra took over. I was saddened not to see the laser light dancing in the night.

Check out Wonder Full in my gallery. I hope you like it from the various point of view.

If you like this post 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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