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Just a little visit by the Little People

I am now left with a little camera for all my works – the Nikon V1. Little as the camera may be, it is still sufficient to shoot delightful pictures. The series of images below follows the visit by Little People, the blog project which had inspired me so much,  to the island of Singapore.

For those who have been to Singapore, make a guess on the places of interest visited by the Little People 🙂

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Hanging out with the guys

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Painting by the river

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Sunning in the garden

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Resting by the sidewalk

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Art by the reservoir

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Painting the roses

Besides visiting, the Little People did what they do best – work!

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Cleaning out the keys

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Clearing the trash

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Paintjob

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Whitewashing

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Window cleaning

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Quarry

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Over the drain

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Cleaning the safety equipment

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Did I forget something?

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Stones…stones…everywhere

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I remembered I dropped it somewhere…

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Finally…a rest and a view to kill for

Just a journey to the edge of Yishun

It was like century ages since I last posted. Work and family simply doesn’t allow some quiet moments to myself. Today however, I managed to sneak out for an hour to do whatever I want – and that = photography quickie.

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As I was near Yishun town, I decided to take a walk to the edge or rather the entrance of the town as there is a spot which have always arouses my curiosity for a photoshoot. The spot is near the intersection of Yishun and the Central Expressway and it features a short river of sorts which seems pretty serene.

The walk was long…almost 4 or 5 km in total to and fro. I took my trusty Nikon V1 and a tripod along in case I need a long exposure. The road leading to the spot is along the tracks of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT). The massive structures of the rail tracks are good subjects for some frames, and so I took some. Then you get the regular train passings which again got me instinctively lifting up the V1 for some shots.

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Though it might just be a 1″ sensor with a 10mm lens, the V1 gave some extraordinary sharp photos and colour rendering. The pop in the colour was quite exceptional and this really increases my desire for the Sony A7R or any other miniature-sized full frame cameras that might be out. Imagine how the  quality of the photos will be like if I have one in my hand 🙂

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By the time I got near to the spot, I got around 30 frames. Then misery struck! For there is no road leading to the spot from where I was walking. The spot was located within the satellite stations that could only be accessed from another area, and with security checks too. And so I had to retract my steps and forget about ever taking this spot.

But I did take another number of photos on my way back and I felt better.

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I like this picture best as there’s motion to the photo. Taken at f/8, the speed of the autofocus and nailing the shot was relatively easy.

 

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These creepers was all over the under-bottom of the rail tracks and is really nature’s art form .

 

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The only issue that I have with the V1 and the 10mm is that the short focal length simply decreases bokeh to a minimal. You have to depend pretty much on lines to get the perspective effect.

 

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More than halfway back, I realised that it could be a blessing in disguise as the skies suddenly darken and a thunderstorm was apparently brewing. If I have somehow gotten to the spot, I would be trapped in this heavy storm. Thank heavens!

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Invisible Singapore |02| A Taste Of The 70s

Hidden in a corner near an army camp is a rundown kopitiam (coffee house) that’s simply called Canteen 398. This place is totally like a relic from the 70s, when Singapore still housed a number of kampungs (rural villages). In this age of urban Singapore, this is a rarest sight that not many have seen, especially the younger generations.

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The place has the typical kampung look and smell. I lived in a kampung once, and this visit brought about a gush of memories long forgotten. On the exterior, the kopitiam was clad in zinc sheets that has browned over time with rust. Grass was allowed freedom to grow and that adds to the nostalgia in the air. You can’t find a signboard anywhere – and there was no need to. The name of the place was written big and bold across the front of the metallic wall – graffiti-styled.

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At the side of the kopitiam, seats are abundant and you can just get your food and drinks and dined out alfresco. The kopitiam gets its business from the workers around the vicinity, as well as the army camp located beside it. With the development ongoing, including the demolitions of the nearby colonial houses, and the constructions of the aviation industrial buildings, business seems to be quite good.

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Stepping into the kopitiam, you are greeted by a sense of tranquility and time seems to move at half the pace. Canteen 398 was helmed by an middle-age high-spirited man. There are a couple of stalls in the kopitiam, but most of them seem unmanned, or perhaps they only start operations at a later time.  Despite the unforgiving hot weather outside, the kopitiam is amazingly cool on the inside. Given the time, I do not mind to just sit around, read a paper or watch the old shows on the old CRT TV.

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Previously, there were rumors that the kopitiam was going to be closed down to make way for the new developments, but a few words with the owner who was so ever complying (for photos or conversations) confirmed that there was no intention to move at this juncture. I guess his cat agrees too.

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Just to capture a memory of yet another disappearing landscape – Seletar West Farmway

Singapore is a very urbanised country with very little natural landscape left.  Do not get me wrong. I am proud of our nation’s development, but I am much saddened by the sacrifice by mother nature. One of my favourite places that still has a bit of nature in it is Seletar West Farmway. But when I arrive at the place, I was astonished that there isn’t much left. Trucks and lorries were everywhere, transporting dirt and sand to make way for new buildings and structures such as dormitories for foreign workers. Nonetheless, I swiped out my trusty Fuji X-Pro1 and start shooting away. I set the filter to B&W(R Channel) – one of my fav.

There’s a couple of worker quarters within the Farmway Road.  I did not went close to the quarters as I think it required a permit to do so. Besides, there were some guards & police patrol cars nearby. I chanced upon an open pathway, with a small road leading up to some place. Due to time limitation, I can only take some shoots near the entrance where it seems to be some storage are.

Saw this solitary tree that just sprouted out of no where. Loved the interplay of light & shadow, in conjunction with the X-Pro1’s built-in B&W R Channel filter.

Just discovering everyday patterns

I have been gazing lovingly at my cam for the past 1 month, not being able to use it because of my hectic schedule. Today, I had the luxury of 30 minutes to shoot as I had to go somewhere for an assignment & that assignment was postponed 🙂 Due to the limited time that I had, I gave myself the challenge of shooting at the most mundane of places – at the void deck of a flat. The void deck is just like its name – a void…except for a resting corner. To bring out the void-ness, I chose to shoot in B&W and at varying ISO400 – 800.

Just something different for the Gardens By The Bay

The Gardens By The Bay is THE new place in town for the locals & tourists alike. If you scan Singapore’s photographers websites or Facebook pages, you are likely to see a photo of the Supertrees or the 2 dome conservatories.  The Gardens is part of our government’s vision in creating a 21st Century City in a Garden. It is supposed to be a leading example of environmental sustainability & the highlight of the Gardens is none other than the Supertrees – 16 storeys tall metal marvels with photovoltaic cells on their canopies to harvest solar energy or provide air exhaust receptacles for the Conservatories.

To be frank, I am not a fan of this Gardens By The Bay. Given a choice, I would go for the natural gardens e.g. Botanic Garden, Chinese Garden etc where every trip is different depending on the mood of nature on that day. But that being said, the Gardens was still a great place to go & get a feel of the modernity & cutting edge environmental conservation! I decided, at least for the next few rounds, to try a different look for my photos – cinematic. I wanted something  different, not the usual strong colors or B&W photos that plagued the Garden By The Bay. It was coincidental that I was greatly inspired by an Italian photographer that I chanced upon on Facebook. His name is Stefano Santucci. One of his series are based on achieving cinema-like looks. The moment I saw it, I knew that I have to try it – it had such a incredibly undying film feel to it.  It is not easy to get that look. Post processing is easy, just a simple 2 step process. But to make it seems as if it was a movie still meant that you have to imagine the “movie” playing in your head & how a frame from that movie will look like if freezes. You also have to think harder about framing as the crop ratio is about 16:6.9 – so it’s either an ultra-wide lens or very careful framing.

From a distance, the Supertrees look amazing. Close-up, it was a monstrous piece of metal art. It was a bright & sunny day. I had to bring along a CPL filter as there are a lot of glass structures around. The CPL will come in handy to reduce reduce the light + cut down the glare.

You can see the 2 famed glass conservatories in their splendour just standing from outside.

There are other exhibits at the open-air areas, including stalactites planted gardens. I purposely underexpose this shot to get a more distinct light vs dark frame

Stepping into the conservatories was like stepping into a lost world, just that it’s all plants & water, & no roaming creatures except for the occasional flies. There are 2 domed conservatories – the Cloud Forest which houses the tallest indoor waterfall with planted walls around it. Upon entering, you would be greeted with a cool mist. I braved my non-weather-sealed X-Pro1 just to see what I could get. It’s a pity that I have no ND filter at hand & no tripod at my disposal. That would have given me a different take on the Waterfall.

I have seen most of the plants & flowers in the conservatories & they are not really that unique. Hence I did not take much nature shots here. I did take some close ups though as some of the colors are really quite enticing. 


I will post more shots of Gardens By The Bay – not of the “Gardens” but the Star Concert that was held tonight.  That’s all for tonight 🙂

Just more word of thanks to my readers :-)

Thanks to teensurge for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger award.

Thanks to Food Stories for nominating me for the Illuminating Blogger Award as well.  Such awards are really a boost to us in pushing our passion forward.

I will do my part to encourage quality blogging in this blogosphere.  The following are my nominations for both the VBA & the IBA (*sorry. didn’t keep to the 5 bloggers limit cos there’s just so many good blogs out there ;-))

1. http://denydesigns.wordpress.com/

2. http://www.f8photography.com.hk/blog/

3. http://www.benjaminheine.blogspot.sg/

4. http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/

5. http://welovetypography.com/

6. http://www.graphicmania.net/

7. http://www.iphoneography.com/

8. http://justcreative.com/

9. http://citywagon.wordpress.com/

10. http://www.petapixel.com/

11. http://terencesjones.wordpress.com/

12. http://dearphotograph.com/

13. http://the99percent.com/

14. http://www.thisiscolossal.com/

15. http://datavis.tumblr.com/