Monthly Archives: April 2013

Invisible Singapore [03] Keep North – Yishun 义顺

Sometimes it’s amazing how a small island like Singapore could pack in so many things. i have been living in the northern side of the island ever since I know how to mumble my abc. Till today, i have yet to even explore a quarter of this segment in detail. Yishun is one of the towns in the northern side, alongside Sembawang and Woodlands, and nearby to Ang Mo Kio as well as the new towns of Sengkang and Punggol. It is also along the Upper Thomson Road which offers a myriad of scenic and gastronomic experiences.  Yishun used to be a sleepy old town that houses reserviors and natural lushes of greens. With the explosion in population,  the laid back style was replaced by more concrete landscaping. Yes, it’s harder to find natural formations to shoot but if we try, there are still some spots that offered an opportunity.

Bottle Tree Park

located at the entrance to Yishun is the Bottle Tree Park – a place for relaxation and for corporates to host cohesion or team building activities.  The owners tried to replicate a rural landscape witnin their premise which comes with a fishing pond, a RC car racing track, a handicraft area, a vegetation growing area and even a heritage area. while most of the things are man-made,  thee are still some nice scenic stuffs worth shooting. I shoot largely in base ISO 100 in the bright sunlight which the X20 performs very well.

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Black and White houses

Nearer to Sembawang, there exists a stretch of land where many colonial black and white houses stand. These are bound by roads with very foreign names such as Pakistan Road and Queens Road. Apparently, the houses are still inhabited but could still be felt as quite secluded from civilisation. The X20 is able to output a good level of contrast for the structures and highlight the beautiful tones of the b&w buildings.

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Pierce Reservoir

It is advisable to go with a partner, at least, if you intend to visit Pierce Reservoir.  Even at broad daylight, walking the covered tracks is an eerie experience. I decided against venturing in alone amidst the thick vegetation into the reservoir.  I was glad that I stood with that as the sky soon turned dark with threatening roars of thunder. Though I missed the landscape shots, I managed to take some shots of the monkeys that are abundant along the reservoir road. These rascals are totally unafraid of us humans and wanders into close proximity of my car. One stood just outside my car window allowing me to shoot it while it got drenched in rain. I was impressed by the capability of the X20 that despite its small sensor, it was able to deliver a high degree of sharpness and dynamic range that breathed character into the images. Great job Fuji!

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There are many more nice places in Yishun and the rest of the northern regions. Hopefully I will have the chance to cover more of them in the next few weeks.

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Just another Sunday

To be frank, I don’t like Sundays as much as I love Saturdays…as Sundays signal the end of the weekends. Moreover, Sundays in Singapore are often used for last minute preparations or to prepare for the hectic week ahead, so that literally means the end of rest time for most of us. But amongst all these work and much, some of us will still try to squeeze out time to do what they like. For me, I will use my errands or grocery/marketing to sneak some frames.

Near to Yishun where I lived is the Upper Seletar Reservoir Park. According to official records, the place was built in 1920 and was opened by Her Royal Highness, Princess Alexandra in 1969! It was later renamed as Upper Seletar Reservoir. Besides being a water catchment area, the Park is also surrounded by nature reserves. It is a nice place to laze and just stare at the blue waters or greenery, and a lot of causal fishing take place here too. Since I was out buying some teabreak for my wife and kids, I popped by the place to take a few shots – in pure B&W 🙂

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Just to show the X20 Super Macro mode

I was still in the process of exploring the Fujifilm X20 and one of the modes that I found interesting was its Super Macro Mode. Apparently, this mode allows you to take macros at only 1cm away. When I tried it on a USB cable, I was literally almost touching the cable itself. Loved it! Another plus side is the sharpness and clarity!

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When I cropped it to 100%. Look at the clarity…

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