Tag Archives: Zeiss 35mm f/1.4

Just a “Starry Starry” Night

Went to the Star Concert held at Gardens By The Bay last Sunday. The event was organised by The Straits Times publishing house  & it marked the very 3rd time that I visited the Garden…Will be going there again tomorrow with colleagues…OMG…

Anyway, the concert was quite a star-studded event with an international lineup featuring artistes such as 4 Minute – a  five-member Korean girl group that was the current craze of the town, Boys Like Girls – the American rock band from Massachusetts, Tanya Chua – a popular Asian singer, Singapore idol winners –  Taufik Batisah & Hady Mirza, as well as a couple more acts. It was hard trying to cover a concert using only a 35mm, but I tried my best.

This was a endearing cute little girl who dressed up as Chun Li in the Street Fighter series. She’s so adorable that I could not resist posting 3 shots of her 🙂

Took some frames of the people waiting around…The lighting was great that day, so my lens was extra fast

When it reached the Boys Like Girls’s act, lighting was much worse. Had to rely on high ISO to get sharper shots

Even at 100% crop, the high ISO images are fantastic!

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 another look at Balestier – in B&W

Was out  with the photography gang today for some street photography. Destination was Balestier Road which I went some weeks ago to familiarise myself with the route. Set off with the focus of getting some B&W frames. Just nice that there’s a little drizzle today that gave me some reflections shots. I set my X-Pro1 to B&W Red filter throughout to achieve a more dramatic feel.

Took just a few frames today as the outing was primarily to meet up with friends. My X-Pro1 was happy to meet up with 2 of its X100 “brothers” there as well!

Was fortunate to witness a wedding ceremony held within a Burmese Buddhist Temple.  Bumped up the ISO quickly to take a few frames.

The outing may be a short one, but thanks to the cool weather & great company, it’s still a terrific experience 😉

Just in the mood for “culture” – a walk in Singapore’s Chinese Garden

The total number of times that I visited Singapore’s Chinese Garden in the last 30+ years can easily be shown with one hand…It’s not that the Chinese Garden is boring or stale, it’s just that it was too far a distance for me, and well the attractions ain’t really attractive then.  The last time that I went was to attend a workshop by Manny Libroro & I was still using my Canon with 15-85mm then. I did not took in much of the scenery as the focus was on shooting model portraits.  Yesterday, I had the urge to do some black and white – largely because I wanted to see how well the X-Pro1 holds up against the Leica Monochrome.  The results are clear. While I may not get the “Leica” look, I did managed to get some nice B&W frames that pleased me quite a bit. Most of these are shot in bright sunlight – that reminds me…time to get a ND filter.

If you happen to visit Singapore, don’t forget to drop by this beautiful place for some photos 🙂

Just Black & White in USS

Of all my frames from USS and RWS, my favourite is the B&W set.  The colors rendered by Fuji & the details offered by Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 are terrific & invokes much more emotions than the coloured ones

Just street shooting Universal Studios Singapore

More frames from Universal Studios. Love the characters especially Marilyn Monroe 🙂

Got some great shots from the Mummy Returns corner.  Those cravings makes fantastic pieces.

The details rendered by the Zeiss 35mm 1.4 is simply mind-blowing. It’s very sharp even when wide open

& who can forget about the Transformers! Shot this close up & at small apertures.

Shot this at a wide aperture, I think 2.8 to bring focus to the Chevy badge

& some other misc shots of USS all at small apertures to take in all the details.

Just more mother-&-kids-gone-wild photos at Universal Studios Singapore

Went to Universal Studio which is really a good place to take photos…if you use AF.  For manual focus, it’s slightly harder & needed more practice, at least for me, since everything just seems to move so fast.  However, BECAUSE it is manual & focusing is slower, you can get some interesting frames that are dreamy due to the OOF effect.

I like this because of the stark contrast offered by the Zeiss glass, plus the clarity is just drooling.

This is slightly overexposed, but the amount of details is there, & of course the subjects are too cute to dismiss.