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.

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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.

Drafting pictures of Gardens by the Bay

My goal is to capture beautiful cityscape picture of Gardens by the Bay. Is not aim to take part in future photo competition or show everyone how good i am. Is more important to share my image experience of what i see. Is also very important to polish my visionary, pushing my creative level.

Landscape photography require a lot of time and patience. Am not an utmost expert in this field. Anyone can easily shoot a decent landscape picture if the weather is welcoming. But the respect must be given to photographer who spend an enormous amount of time to capture that final captivating image. So i put myself in the shoe of a landscape photographer, visiting the place several times, or years to get that final shot. Patience and passion plays a big part of success.

Below is a series of images i capture over several days during evening time. I particularly choose this timing is because i wanted to capture the magic hour moment, where the transformation is almost magical and amazing. It only happens for a few minutes, hence, such moment is very precious.

The above images are some of my favorite, but is not the final picture representation.

For more pictures you can check out my Facebook page to see more.

Hope you like it.

Christmas period in Saigon, Vietnam 2012

One of the reason i jetted to Saigon is because i want to have a sunny Christmas celebration with my local friends. Singapore has been raining for the past 2 months due to monsoon season. The feeling of dull and wet every afternoon is not a pleasurable feeling. Christmas has always a slow period for me in the past years. Staying at home watching tv, i don’t need to go church either. Is rather unimaginative.

My friend in Saigon tempted me with the best Cơm tấm (broken rice) in the city, this is also one of the reason i decided to fly over to eat. Is the most expensive broken rice i ever eaten, if your know what i mean. But it was all well worth it in the end. The rice was easy to chew on with a nice fragrance over it, the grilled pork was cooked with their speciality sauce to enhance the overall taste of the meet, the smell of the grilling was simply luring. Overall it was a very well balance meal with the necessary local kimchi style vegetable that goes with it, not forgetting the soup that goes along without fail. Perfectlicious~

The crazy traffic in Saigon was beyond my imagination, i lived there before and i thought i had seen it all. But not during the festive season. The evening traffic during Christmas eve at the round about in Ben Thanh Market is too congested. The humility was exhausting with all the carbon monoxide from the hundreds to the thousands lingered in the air of Christmas’s spirit. The usual of giving and going way on the road is something i got used to it. The horning from trucks and buses gave me some annoying moment as usual.

In my Capture Asia’s Facebook page, feel free to check out the short clips of me stuck on the road and the crazy traffic in Ben Thanh Market round-about road.

Hello 01102012 – Hello Beijing 2009

A really fresh Monday on the first day of Oct 2012, first blog of the month. Earlier on i was browsing through the Facebook newsfeed and saw a nice image of trees with reddish leaves against the beautiful blue sky, indicating a sign of Autumn is here. The image immediately stirs thoughts of my Beijing travel photography journey in 2009. The fallen essence of time brings back an unforgettable memory.

I was lucky enough to couch in 2 different friend’s house in my entire duration. I can’t be grateful enough to them to host a city boy from Singapore. Been able to witness and directly experience the local culture atmospheric. The best way to blend in as local is to hang out with the Beijinger. This is my personal style of self-environmental adaption in a new city.

It’s been exactly 3 years now. As i planned on an affordable and good comfort tickets price. I was transiting from Hong Kong to Beijing. In all about 7-8 hrs in total. Upon landing, due to the engine heat from the plane. It wasn’t that cold once i step foot on the airport runway. I was quickly ushered into a lengthy bus, which will ferry passengers to the immigration counter. The rest was history.

I took the designated bus out from Beijing capital international airport. Following the direction instructed by my friend previously, taking the bus in overseas was no easy experience for most first time visitors. Luckily the bus had an electronic signboard to inform passenger what is the name of the next bus-stop, this makes my life easier and relax.

Alighted at the designated stop. I was welcomed by a chill of coldness. The weather in Oct was ranging from 5-15 degree Celsius, it was relatively a very comfortable temperature. Minutes later, i realized i was in middle of nowhere at all! The traffic kept flowing along the road, the long and narrow shelter bus stop was too cramped for me to squeeze in. I pulled my luggage to walk for a short 10 meter to get myself orientated in this city. It was about 8 pm, the sky was dark. I quickly called my host am here, she did not pick up. Unzipped my luggage to take out my jacket to keep me warm. Coldness and loneliness quickly creep in, my host’s mobile phone was able to get through. I looked at my paper map, thinking that if my host did not show up, i would head to the nearest hotel to check in. About 20 mins of waiting, it seems like an hour. My host finally appears, with a welcome arm and big smile, i knew the trip has just begun.

Here are some highlights of the places i visited.

A Chinese military police standing guard in Tian An Man Square with a big portrait of Mao Zedong behind him.

An art installation of a man standing on a small jeep in Beijing 798 art zone

Local tourist taking inside Temple of Heaven at Danbi Bridge

An architecture image of the National Centre for the Performing Arts during sunset.

Beautiful architecture of Bird Nest stadium in Beijing

A local visitor observing the panda sleeping on the tall tree.

The original state of Great Wall of China. Simply historical.

Lastly, i would like to wish everyone enjoy this season autumn. Stay warm and cool. *winks*

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.

Hong Kong Flower Show 2012

Is the annual Hong Kong Flower show once again. This year the date is from 16 – 25 March 2012. Venue is at Hong Kong Island Victoria Park. The theme for this year is Floral Delights. Theme flower is Hyacinth.

Back in 2010, my first visit to the Flower Show.

The Hong Kong Flower Show is a major event organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to promote horticulture and the awareness of greening. Every year, it provides a good opportunity for hundreds of thousands of local citizens and horticulture lovers all over the world to appreciate the beauty of flowers and share their experiences in the cultivation of flowers. Hong Kong Flower Show 2012 will be held from 16 to 25 March 2012 at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay. Featuring “Hyacinth” as its theme flower, the event will showcase this exquisite plant and a rich profusion of exquisite potted plants, beautiful floral arrangements and gorgeous landscape displays by organisations from local, the Mainland and overseas. There will also be commercial stalls selling flowers and other horticultural products.

The Prince and Princess

During the show period, a rich diversity of educational and recreational fringe activities will also be organised for the enjoyment of visitors of all ages. They include student drawing competition, photo competition, exhibit competition, music and cultural performances, floral art demonstrations, cookery demostrations, plant maintenance workshops, green stalls, guided visits, recreation programmes and fun games.

Beautiful colors of floral.

For more information check out the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

Enjoy some of the pictures i posted below, for more check Capture Asia Hong Kong Flower Show 2010 gallery

New hobby other than photography, still photography?

Photography is one of those many passions or hobbies that are able to turn it into a money generator. In another word creating a business. Setting up a business to do what you love. One must be highly self-motivated, massive drive and passion in this industry, to stay competitive at least. Welcome to the real world peers, perhaps no different from other jobs. Is like a stock market graphs, the lines went up, went flat, or during unpredictable times. It starts to get a little bit crumble. Is all parts and parcels of the business.

So after turning your PASSION into a career, what’s next? I mean what is your next hobby. There must be something new in your interest after shooting for such a long time. I know photographer who is interested in airplane models. So during free time he would be flying his proudly assembled plane around the open field. Another one was into fish, get a huge fish tank, throw in some fishes, deco it up nicely. That’s hobby am talking about.

For me i enjoy cooking, for sure am NOT a fantastic cooker, i know nuts about it. Cooking helps me to distress. It gives me a form of peacefulness in my mind. Handling a knife with respect is a must, i wouldn’t want to cut my own finger while chopping carrots into thin slices. I love to make my own korean soup. Popped into Japan and Korea supermarket to purchase the necessary items to dish up a decent meal, after some trials and errors of course. Luckily i got a very strong stomach.

Until recently, i purchased 2 filters that cost me more than a S$100. Is freaking crazy i know, photography is never a cheap hobby, remember that! Screwed it up to my lens, carry my tripod and started walking around to shoot some pictures. Surprisedly i like the result. Am not exactly a great fan of landscape images. I flip pages of all time landscape master, father of landscape, Ansel Adam’s work, i never closely study it. Look at Singapore, the island doesn’t have any mountain, only got Bukit Timah Hill! For goodness sake, i can only call it a knoll. Basically is a concrete jungle. There’s no classical landscape to shoot.

Eventually shooters use words such as Cityscape or Seascape. Anyway i come up with my own name call SingaporeScape, if anyone is using such name. Is all by coincident! Don’t start sending me hate or copycat email! SingaporeScape is one of the hobby that isolate away from the commercial photography work i usually do. I find solitary and peace being alone. Capturing what is pertaining to my interest, and what i always wanted visually. Am a massive fan of Michael Kenna photography work. Is simply breathtaking, simplicity and ambience.

Anyway here is one of the shot i created near Clark Quay. One of Singapore night life spot for tourists and locals.

I nearly gave up after walking for so many kilometers to search for interesting composition. The weather does play a part if is weak. Gloomy and shady, the funny feeling of pouring soon but kept holding back. It makes me thing twice should i release my tripod stands. I wanted to catch my ride home as i was tired. Looking at my watch is nearly towards magic hour timing. The weather was really not in my favor. I decided to persist a bit longer, started studying a potential composition then decide on a decent spot to release the three-legs. I choose to have a background, middle ground and foreground for the final composition. I exposed this shot for more than 2 mins. Very minimum adjustment in Photoshop.

I got hooked by what i have capture on my camera. I guess another new hobby for me to chase during my free time, however it is still photography. Something which i passionate about in life.

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.

Photos shared on other website.

Is fun to have some of my picture selected to use in some website. Of course the hosts did dropped me an email to ask for permission. Am more than happy to share it with the rest, that’s whoever reading it.

First picture is the oil spill in Singapore back in recent 2010. I took an aerial shot of the worker cleaning up the canal in East Coast Park. Recently someone found the picture in my Flickr account and requested to use it in their university website, regarding environment protection clean up method. You can read more of it if you want.

Here’s the picture used.

Second picture was also found through Flickr, yes i know is Flickr, again. Another aerial shot i captured in Beijing, China. Near the CCTV tower where there is a bed of river flowing.

This website name is photo.tutplus. They writing an article about 100 awesome aerial photographs on their site. The image was selected and asked with permission for usage. And later compile with the rest. How could i reject it, as long there is no bad infringement.

Till today am so glad non of my images land in any bad hands, meaning no permission was asked and just “tear” your hard work off the net, some even proudly saying is their picture. Don’t disgust me with your pitiful action. Photographers spent a lot of time waiting to capture the right picture, is not just go to the location and snap it. Sometimes is an empty trip in return, but perseverance push us on to get a good image to share with everyone.