Thursday, December 4, 2008

Postcards from Singapore

Singapore was a frequent stop in my travels in the early 90s but not anymore. It took me almost 10 years to visit the island in August 2006. Like any modern metropolis, Singapore has changed tremendously- a new airport, a pair of "durian" theatres, denser urbanscape. With photography as a hobby this time, I began seeing Singapore in a new light. No more buying postcards to keep my memories. I made some for my own.

the Merlion

Definitely the one symbol Singapore is most known of. No better time to shoot it than that short period immediately after sunset, when the sky dims, discernibly but not completely. Not yet at least. Sometimes, the heavens would turn violet. Rarely, pink. That night it was just blue.

Canon EOS 350D Digital, 6s, f/16, 18mm, ISO 100

Faber Hill, Sentosa island

There is a legend of a princess named Radin Mas Ayu that is immortalized in Faber Hill. The stone statue rests in a beautiful pond full of koi or carps that are seriously fat. All those feed thrown by well-meaning tourists are turning them into blubbered giants. The sky was overcast that afternoon so I saw the opportunity to use the low light for a long exposure. Then it was up to the kois to do their choreography.

Radin Mas Ayu
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 4s, f/29, 46mm, ISO 100

the Esplanade

After the glorious blue hour in Merlion Park, sundown turned to night. Before having dinner with flickr friends, a good friend Gregory took us to a promontory above the Esplanade. What a breathtaking view of modern Singapore! No colorization here.

concert by the Esplanade
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 10s, f/5.6, 18mm, ISO 100, +2/3EV


In Chinatown, the sight and smell of food are distinctive. Open streetside stalls offer all the imaginable spices, condiments and medicine that one can expect from old China. Take the picture below. How could I identify everything here? I see pistachio nuts, mushroom varieties... and are those shriveled stems or roots at bottom right? Whatever they are, I bet that these are tasty delicious when fully cooked and served in a Chinese restaurant. If I were a cook – and I am not – I would have stopped and shopped. I photographed them instead.

brown choices
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/1250s, f/4, 27mm, ISO 1600

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