I took this one night when heading to Brickfields in KL for dinner with my colleagues. I was drawn to the peeling paint and torn paper that was hanging off the phone booth. It was pretty late, and I had almost no light so you see a loss of detail to the right. Thankfully, this is pretty abstract, so it works well. I’d preferred to have a better transition from the sharp foreground (on the left) to the blurred background, especially since I’ve rendered the entire image so that everything looks flat- you can’t really tell which is the foreground. But I still think it works.
On my second day in the Philippines, my colleagues brought me to eat mixed rice. Turns out I picked the right dishes- one of the pork dishes (mildly spicy) I chose is apparently like one of their national dishes. It’s made from Pork Cheek, and tastes awesome. I also had an entire fried fish. Total damage? Less than SGD$5. Yumm!
I’m quickly realising that a major advantage of shooting in the day is that you can get really sharp pictures at small aperture sizes. This was taken at F9, out of the office window. Burned in the picture a bit to get more blue in the sky, but it was really sunny- hence the golden cast in the picture. With a view like that, it’s not a wonder that our Philippine office is doing so well!
Haw Par Villa (now Tiger Balm Gardens) was one of my favourite childhood haunts. It was Singapore’s only theme park for a long time, and I really loved the water ride there, and the strange fantastic world that the park brought me to. These days, the park is almost completely dead. I saw an article in the newspapers the other day, that a (not-free) museum on Chinese heritage in the park was now closed down. So I decided it was time to pay HPV a visit before it closed for good…
Getting there: Turns out the park is literally 10 seconds from the Circle Line stop, “Haw Par Villa”.
PS, in Marymount’s circle line station, there was an advertisement of the ‘attractions on the circle line’. Among the ‘greatest hits’ were, ‘Shunfu Mart’ (Marymount), ‘NEX’ (Sembawang), ‘Junction 8’ (Bishan), ‘Old Airport Road Hawker Center’ (Dakota), and… No Haw Par Villa. This park is really doomed, if malls and hawker centers are deemed as better attractions.
The park: As I entered, I heard loud Hokkien music blasting from the caretaker’s office. It really fit the ambience, actually. It felt like some of the right generation was in charge here. (Although when I left, I heard Tamil music…. Erm, don’t ask me why. Maybe the caretaker is multilingual?) The rides are all gone. The museum is closed. All that’s left is (very) old statues, many looking like they need restoration and repainting, and looking like they really shouldn’t be outdoors.
It was raining lightly when I got there, so I was surprised to find that I wasn’t alone. Together with me were some Japanese tourists; some other Caucasians; and a smattering of visitors from elsewhere in the world. Basically, no other Singaporeans. Sad, right? I guess that’s why this place is closing.
The statues themselves: Just as I remembered, many statues were straight out of Chinese mythology. There were many, many Buddhist statues, and many stories of chinese Myths and ghosts being depicted. But there were also a few strange ones, like the Statue of Liberty… two Sumo wrestlers… some baby seals and mermaids…
Anyway, I would have taken more pictures, but it was raining. Good thing W was around to help shelter the camera with an umbrella. 🙂 Anyway, I leave you with these four shots… Enjoy! Be sure to check out HPV before it’s gone!
I travel a lot for work, and decided one fine day that I should take pictures of where I do it. After all, good architecture all around. Only have two now, but may have more to come…
Malaysia- View from Office
Malaysia- View from Hotel
So over the weekend I went to Punggol Park. It’s really interesting. It’s quite new (and super far away), so people don’t seem to have caught on to it as an interesting destination yet. So it was relatively empty. But lots was going on there- the weather was perfect, having just rained, and the sun was setting. I took a few pictures, but is my style, I don’t really care for realism. Hey, I want nice pictures. I’m not a journalist.
Sunset at Punggol Park
White Oysters on Black Rocks
I got to the newly built Punggol Park this last weekend and really enjoyed taking pictures that day. Among all the fantastic shots I got, one particular bridge- on the flyover above the park- really captivated me.
Above: This is the first picture of the bridge that I took as I got to Punggol Park. I love the strong curvature in the structure, and the single lamp-post balances out the emptiness of the landscape. I was lucky- the drama in the clouds made the background look exciting. In fact, the clouds at the bottom of the picture make the whole structure look like it’s at a very high altitude- which it’s not. And leading the viewer down exciting, ‘impossible’ paths is something I always enjoy.
Above: One thing I always try to do is to get different angles of a subject. This involves more legwork, but there are times when the subject is just worth it. In this case, the bridge had a vertical arc extending upwards, but also a horizontal one where people could stand and look out at the park. You can see the shadow of a rail on the left hand side of the picture- this adds a bit of drama to the monotony of the shot, so I left it in. This rail is part of the flyover above the park.
Above: This is a view of the horizontal arc where you can see what it was meant for- sight-seeing. It was a beautiful day out, and there were lots of people walking about enjoying the view. Ironically, I spent so much time walking around and taking photos of the bridge that I never actually went on it. But that’s what you gotta do when you only have a short window of time to take pictures with (I got there late afternoon, and the light was starting to fade).
Above: One good thing of getting there in the late afternoon is that if you’re lucky, you get to take a picture of the sunset. I took several pictures of the bridge at this time- some with people, and some without. Ultimately, I chose this one. I think the Punggol Park is a place of community, for families and friends to gather, and having people in the shot emphasises this more. I was lucky with this shot: a boy on the right can be distinctly seen pointing towards the sun. This adds dynamism and motion to the picture, and also (together with the two lamp-posts in the centre-right) provides a leading visual line into the center of the frame.