Fireworks Photography Tips

Fireworks, one of the most beautiful and brightest performances that never fails to brighten up the dark skies, bringing a big smile to many people watching the fireworks display. Fireworks photography is one of my favourite fields of photography, that I loved to capture and share with my friends and fans.

Therefore, I am hereby going to share my experiences and knowledge in taking fireworks photography, preparation, research and fireworks photography tips with all my readers here !

Research

– Where is the fireworks going to be fired ?

– When is the fireworks going to start ?

– Where are the potential locations that you can position yourself to capture fireworks ?

Equipment Preparation

– Tripod ~ Sturdy and stable

– Remote control

– Wide angle lens

– Black card

– Spare batteries

– Small torch light

Once you prepared your equipment and select your position to capture the fireworks,  proceed there early, usually the case is many photographers will also be there early too, hoping to get a good location just like you ! Getting there late and there might be more photographers and crowds joining in to enjoy and watch the fireworks too!

Camera Settings (on a DSLR)

– ISO 100

– Turn yr dial to Manual Mode

– Aperture ~ Suggest that you keep to either one of these 3 apertures f/8, f/11 or f/16 , for a start, go with f/11

– Shutter ~ Turn to Bulb Mode

– Lens ~ At its widest angle

– AF Mode ~ One Shot

– AF Drive ~ One Shot

With the stable and sturdy tripod and your DSLR fixed in nicely and safely, adjust the settings as above,

– Compose the frame (just like taking a wide landscape scene photo) and if possible get some nice background behind (e.g. buildings).

– Focus to infinity by turning the focus ring on your lens until you see the infinity symbol.

– Using the auto-focus on your DSLR, focus on the background, once it’s in focus, lock the focus and switch from AF to MF on your lens.

Once all is done, relax and wait for the fireworks to start ! Alright, when the fireworks display start, the first few shots, take it as test shots and see if you need to adjust your DSLR angle (Whether you need to tilt your  DSLR higher or lower). If you are happy with your framing, continue firing away !

During the fireworks display, how do you capture the fireworks display ?

– Wait for the fireworks to fire and fly upwards into the sky first, let it burst and once it start to spread out, press the shutter and it will start to capture, release the shutter and the fireworks display image will be captured.

How long do I need to hold/press  the shutter ?

– Depending on the different fireworks display within the entire display, release the shutter in between different sets/lengths of fireworks.

– Keep to 3 seconds to 5 seconds

OR

– Using a Black Card, cover the front of the lens when you do not wish to have unwanted lights / images captured (in between fireworks display), release the Black Card again when the fireworks display start again.

Last but not least, fireworks photography is all about practice and practice, therefore, when there are fireworks events, go join in and shoot ! Happy capturing fireworks display ! Hope my fireworks photography tips help you !


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

A Christmas Gathering & Feasting

Christmas, the festive season, a time for many gatherings and feasting. Organised by Amanda, a few of us came down and had dinner at Tonkichi, Orchard Central. The food there was pretty good especially for their Tonkatsu and if I am going back to eat again, it will be Tonkatsu meal with rice.

Within these group of friends at this dinner, it’s their first time seeing and knowing each other, since they might only be chatting and interacting on the twitter, facebook or blogging arenas, while some of us had met before quite a number of times. There were Clayton, Christopher, Leon, Jerrick, Amanda, Sue and Daphne.

Introduction to those who haven’t met before, chatting away and sharing their professional work experiences, who they are on the twitterverse and blogging arena. With many of us being photographers, there was quite a lot of topics on photography and playing with each other DSLRs and lens, shooting away freely. It was also my first revelation of my Canon 1D Mk 3 to some of them and it became a toy to test the power of 10 fps 🙂

Finishing off the dinner there with a chocolate log cake, the meal was filling and feeling quite full on the tummy. A short walk to find an ice cream place proved Mission Impossible due to the massive crowds at  Orchard Road and we settled for Hereen Basement for McDonald drinks and continued chatting away, with Renhao, coming in to join us for the drinks.

A fun night of eating, chatting, relaxing and playing with toys. Oh yeah, maybe we should take group photos next time !


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Day Trip to Batam

For quite a long time, I haven’t really have a proper break and travel overseas. Going to Batam, Indonesia on a day trip with my team colleagues, it was a great time to head overseas, bond together, relax and have fun eating and shopping. Meeting early at 0745 hrs at Harbourfront McDonald, had a quick breakfast with some colleagues before meeting up with the rest of them at the cruise centre.

Soon, we were boarding Penguin fast craft and heading towards Batam for our day trip of eating, shopping and some sightseeing ! Batam is quite near to Singapore, about 1 hour by fast craft and on our way there, we passed by Sentosa Island, with a good view of Sentosa Cove and also the Marina Bay district too. Upon arrival, we were met by our friendly and pretty tour guide, sorted out the return tickets arrangement and timing. Once completed, we were off for our sightseeing and shopping, stopping at Polo shop, Kueh Lapis Home Factory and Tidbits store at Bengkong Dry Market. A short “pit stop” at all 3 locations before heading to our seafood lunch at Golden Prawn 555 Seafood Restaurant.

Since we went on a weekday, there wasn’t much people at the restaurant, my colleague mentioned to us that, on the weekends, Golden Prawn 555 Seafood Restaurant is very packed with guests. Before having our lunch, we were mesmerised by their fish tank of giant cuttlefish, shark, tortoises, crabs, crayfish and mussels, taking photographs and viewing them since it is not a common sight in Singapore. Soon after, we commenced out seafood lunch and had a fun time eating, relaxing, chatting and getting to know more of our colleagues better. Check out our seafood lunch photos !

After a hearty and wonderful lunch, we proceed to Nagoya Hill Shopping Centre, whereby we split up into different groups, some went massage, while some went shopping. For me, I chose shopping and eating, slowly shopped for tidbits, factory outlet clothes and shoes, and of course, not forgetting, A&W Root Beer Float and waffle !

With the rest of the colleagues joining us back, we hopped back into our tour bus, collected our kueh lapis that we ordered earlier and for me, in big and small bags (For once), we returned back to Batam centre for our ferry back to Singapore !


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Merry Christmas !

Wishing all my readers and followers here

Merry Christmas !

Thank you all for your support and following !

May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.
~Author Unknown

UQAAS Christmas Brunch at Artichoke Cafe & Bar

With the year 2010 coming close to an end, in the festive month of December, with all the year end celebrations, Christmas and gatherings, the friendly folks of University of Queensland Alumni Association of Singapore (UQAAS) organised a Christmas Brunch, a warm, fun and relaxed event at Artichoke Cafe & Bar, opened by a fellow University of Queensland graduate too! Do check out their facebook page too !

The brunch was great, the folks there were lovely, relaxed and chatty, having fun with my camera for my friends. A nice time to get together for the UQAAS Ex-Co members to discuss ideas, plans and activities for the year 2011. Moving forward in 2011, UQAAS will be planning more interesting activities and events for the graduates/members of University of Queensland.

On a personal note, there has been an increase in enquiries for my photography sharing/teaching and walkabout trips, looking at the response and camera playing from the UQAAS Ex-Co and during my networking sessions. Therefore, I am looking forward to plan such sharing and walkabout trips for the graduates/members of UQAAS.

As 2010 draws to a close, I would like to wish all my readers/followers and fellow Graduates of UQAAS, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year ! Stay tuned for more UQAAS events & activities !


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Will Kampung Lorong Buangkok still be around ?

In a country’s quest for economic growth and prosperity, there will definitely be scarifice, when trying to strike a balance between economic growth and development versus other matters. Every country will inevitably face this issue and they will have their own unique situations and issues. In the context of Singapore, land scarce and the only resource is the population, the growth and prosperity of Singapore has gone from leaps and bounds since her independence in 1965.

During this journey from 1965, Singapore had transformed into a cosmopolitan city with tall high rise buildings, offices and public housing estates, nicely designed and layout, structured and systematic with a good transport network of trains and buses. However, what gave way to all these were the traditional farms, poultry rearing, vegetable growing, rubber plantations, prawn and fish ponds, that was an integral part of early Singapore history. A lot were gone, disappeared from the landscape of Singapore, only appearing in history and photography books, libraries, national archives, old collections and our own vivid memories.

When I brought Nellie , Daphne, Amanda and Renhao to Kampung Lorong Buangkok, this was their first visit there (my 2nd trip there, check out my 1st visit post !) It was also another good time to go back and capture Kampung Lorong Buangkok again, the last remaining Kampung on mainland Singapore. Before entering the entrance to Kampung Lorong Buangkok, I found out that the grass land beside the monsoon canal and the Kampung, it was gone and transformed into a cycling and walking/running track, known as our Park Connector Network.

From 2 perspectives, it’s good to have Park Connector Networks to link up the various parks and rivers together for the people to keep fit and healthy, encouraging them to lead a active and sporting lifestyle by running, walking or cycling along the greenery. However, from another perspective, it was disappointing that the wildness and tranquility of the area is being “cut out” to make the man-made paths. Nevertheless, while we were hiking up to Sengkang Riverside Park using the Park Connector Network from Kampung Lorong Buangkok, there were still signs of wildlife around and that is a blessing.

Although Kampung Lorong Buangkok is small in size, we had a good time exploring the rural lifestyle that once defined Singapore, different wooden houses that form the neighbourhood, the open areas and gardens. The simplicity and greenery, away from the hustling and hectic city lifestyle, Kampung Lorong Buangkok still retains its charms and beauty, attracting city dwellers to visit her during the weekends, tourists too, are attracted by her charm, beauty and tranquility.

1 year difference between my visits, most of her beauty has been retained and much unchanged, comparing to her nearby regions and Singapore overall, you might/will find a lot more changes to the physical environment. This is a great blessing, however, the golden question in a lot of our minds

Will Kampung Lorong Buangkok still be around in the future ? Would it stand the test of time in Singapore’s history ? How would land scarce Singapore look at Kampung Lorong Buangkok for its population expansion and thirst for more land to build high rise public housing or private estate ?

Nobody knows how long more Kampung Lorong Buangkok will still be around, while the golden question remains, let’s all enjoy the beauty, charms and tranquility of Kampung Lorong Buangkok in cosmopolitan Singapore.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Must Try Food : Char Siew Bao (Tanjong Rhu)

Char Siew Bao of Tanjong Rhu, sometimes known as the char siew bao from Kampung Arang. This is definitely (in my humble opinion), one of Singapore’s best Char Siew Bao and it’s a hidden gem, tucked away in an old housing estate in Singapore. During lunch time, there would be a queue for buying their Tim Sum, especially their Char Siew Bao !

Introducing Chin Sin Huan Eating House Tim Sum & Pau, more affectionately known as the Tanjong Rhu bao, I recalled my first trip years ago in 2001, when the coffee shop wasn’t renovated, still pretty much in its authentic retro fittings and furnishings, I had a taste of their very famous Char Siew Bao and today, almost 10 years later, the standards have maintained and it is still as delicious, tasty and wonderful.

This Char Siew Bao is small in size, however, don’t look down on their size ! Inside the Char Siew Bao, it’s packed and filled with rich portions of char siew meat ! Take a look below ! Don’t you want to try them ?

Look no further, Chin Sin Huan Eating House Tim Sum & Pau is located at Kallang area (Kampung Arang/Kampung Kayu)

Address : 7 Jalan Batu, #01-113

Visit to Marina Bay Sands & Sky Park

A visit to Marina Bay Sands & Sky Park, one of Singapore’s newest icons and landmarks, a beautiful and modern design hotel, convention centre, shopping, entertainment and casino all rolled into one location. I was invited by Nellie a.k.a Wild Junket, a well known travel blogger and writer, who was back home in Singapore for holidays, to visit, explore and “research” Marina Bay Sands (Nellie was on assignment).

It was an eye-opener visiting Marina Bay Sands, however, I would only be sharing my photographs and experiences on Sky Park, something that I wanted to visit since it was open. Simply, the view from the Sky Park is so beautiful especially in the evening and in the night. The Marina Bay Front is building up as a new cosmopolitan business and entertainment hub of Singapore and once the nearby surrounding areas are fully completed, the wide panoramic view would even be greater.

High up in the skyline of Singapore, awesome magnificent views, great place to catch the fireworks and Singapore F1 GP, I would love to go back up there again someday for more photos taking and capture a beautiful sunset !


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Jamboree 100 & 3rd ASEAN Jamboree Open House

The Singapore Scout Association is celebrating 100 years of Scouting in Singapore, 1910 to 2010 and there were many major scouting events lined up for this year. One of the major events was the Jamboree 100 and 3rd ASEAN Jamboree currently being held from 4th December to 9th December 2010 at Sarimbun Scout Camp.

The Open House was held on Sunday 5th December 2010, whereby the Chief Scout of Singapore, His Excellency, President SR Nathan, officially declared Open the Jamboree 100 & 3rd ASEAN Jamboree. I was there to help out for a while with the Opening Ceremony with my Dragon scouting seniors from the Dragon Chapter and Ventures from the Dragon Scout Group, my alumni mata.

After the Opening Ceremony was over, we the bunch of old boys and ventures went around the Jamboree compounds, met with the boys and girls of Dragon Scout Group, chatted with our Hawaiian Scout Troop 42 leaders who were here in Singapore to visit the Jamboree 100 Open House.

Looking at the numbers, from different countries and nationalities, it was a great and fun time for them. These brought back many memories of Scouting for me too and relieving the good old days when I was a young boy scout and enjoying the fun and outdoors without too much worries. Looking at the Dragon Scout Group, I am pretty sure they would be having a good time there too! Making new scouting friends from different parts of the world ! Do check out my other photos here on Flickr !