Tag Archives: Sembawang

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 some monochromes from Fuji X20

After getting some low light yesterday, decided to push the cam harder and go real low in light. As expected, the performance was not exactly good, but the Fuji B&W has its own character.

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The above shot of a person imposed against the backdrop of the wharf, with an angled shoreline attracted me as it gave very strong dissection of the entire image.

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While the jetty was fenced off for construction, there were still a number of people pitching tents and enjoying a night out.

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The above image and the subsequent ones were taken in better light and hence much sharper and cleaner.

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Just to capture a memory of yet another disappearing landscape – Jalan Mempurong, Sembawang

The last Malay Kampong was next on my list of places to shoot after Vincent told me about it.  I only know about the one kampong in Buangkok Bahru, but was clueless on the  existence of this place.  Did some research on it. While there are some articles on the history of the place, most of the other articles are on the suspected paranormal activities around there. Nevertheless, the lure of the place was too great and I decided to pay a visit to the place before it disappear like many of those before it. Of course, I visited the place during daytime…

I realised that I visited Jalan Mempurong in Sembawang before – to dine at the now defunct Bottle Tree Village. If only I venture slightly further, I would have bump into the spot for shooting. I thought nobody will be there in the afternoon, especially when the weather was not exactly welcoming. I was proven wrong. There were a number of our Malay friends there fishing. Some were decked in Courts sales attire, I think they were there to take a break, enjoy the sea breeze and trying their luck at fishing.

I also went to take a few frames of the Masjid Petempatan Melayu Sembawang. This is the last kampung mosque in Singapore.

Though I did not really fulfil my aim of photographing the kampong, I did chanced upon a huge cluster of Black & White colonial houses nearby at the King’s Avenue & Queen’s Avenue. That will likely be next on my list 🙂