Singapore F1 GP 2012

In the year 2008, Formula 1 came to Singapore, lighting up the Marina Bay cityscape skyline in the night with the maiden world’s first and only Night Race. In her 5th edition year, the Singtel Formula One Singapore GP 2012 grew over the past 5 years and we would be having the Night Race in our beautiful Marina Bay cityscape for another 5 years!

Looking back in time from Singapore F1 GP that I attended from 2008 to 2010, it brought back many memories since I was an Formula One fan and I loved watching Formula One cars in action at the Marina Bay circuit, a city street road race in the night! Here are my posts and memories –

2008 ~ 300th post – Reporting on Singapore F1 GP – Night Race Practice

2009 ~ Friday Practice @ Singapore F1 GP 2009 

2010 ~ Singapore GP 2010 – Practice Session

2011 ~ Singapore F1 GP 2011

With my strong passion and interest in sports photography and watching Formula One action, I wrote a post on F1 Photography tips, from my experiences, trials and errors during the time I was at Singapore F1 GP photographing the F1 cars in action.

For Singapore GP 2012, I went for two days, Friday and Saturday. It was great fun for me photographing the F1 cars, at my favourite Turns 11, 12 and 13, whereby the F1 cars were at a much slower speed and this allowed me to capture (freeze) them in action a lot easier. Photographing F1 cars in fast high octane action is very difficult, it’s not just about skills and experiences, it’s also about the quality of my photography gear, especially the lens and DSLR body! My cousin and niece were there too on Friday night practice and we all watched the action from Turn 13 viewing platform. There were entertainment too at the Padang, whereby Jay Chou was performing after the second practice session on Friday night. However, I didn’t stay back and watch his Jay Chou’s performance and headed home to rest.

On Saturday, I was back again at the Singapore GP, courtesy of Singtel, with a bunch of social media community friends to enjoy and have fun at the Singapore GP. While they enjoyed it from the Padang Grandstand, I walked around to  Turn 11, 12 and 13 again to capture the F1 cars in action, trying to capture different angles and views from my favourite Turns 11, 12 and 13. After the qualifying session was over, I joined back bunch of friends for Maroon 5 concert at the Padang and they rocked the house down! The concert was awesome and you can see the whole of Padang filled up with many people! Check out my Singapore GP 2012 photos on Flickr! 

The 2012 Singapore GP had to be one of my most exciting and fun years that I attended (as compared to the other 4 years), reasons were I went for 2 days instead of 1 day, a bunch of friends to stay back and enjoy the concert that were part of the entertainment. On the photography aspect, my F1 photography experiences over the past 4 years and the addition of a mint 2nd hand Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L USM powerful lens helped me a lot in my F1 sports photography for 2012 Singapore GP!! Check out my Formula One Singapore GP photography collection over the years on Flickr! 

The unique and iconic F1 Night Race in a city landscape, it’s beautiful and special, making the Singapore GP a great carnival atmosphere with F1 sports photography action. This is indeed an awesome branding, publicity and marketing for Singapore to the whole world. With the renewal of the Singapore GP for the next 5 years, I am looking forward to 2013 Singapore GP !!

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Motoring Heritage Weekend 2012

The Motoring Heritage Weekend 2012 was held on 8th and 9th September 2012 at the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. In lieu of the heritage and history of Singapore’s various transport networks and systems, it was a perfect fit for all parties involved. The Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, the Grand Old Dame, was reopened to the public once again for two days, showcasing many heritage cars, well kept and preserved by their owners. There were also food and drink stalls catering to the event and nostalgic food/snacks/games can be found there too! Visitors to the Motoring Heritage Weekend 2012 were treated to vintage car rides on the classic VW Mini-Bus Combi!

The Motoring Heritage Weekend was official opened by National Heritage Board Chairman Mr Ong Yew Huat and Zinkie brought him a tour of the community photography exhibition. She did a great job sharing on the various photographs on display. Zinkie introduced me to Mr Ong when he saw my photograph on display at the board and I shared my story behind the photograph that I took of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.

At the main hall, there was a community exhibition showcasing photographs and memories of the former Tanjong Pagar Raliway Station, titled “First Journeys, Last Goodbyes”, led by Jerome Lim, liaising and coordinating with National Heritage Board and a few other contributors namely, Zinkie Aw, Francis Siew, Loke Man Kai and myself. After Mr Ong finish touring the community photography exhibition, Zinkie, Francis and myself toured Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, taking photographs of the vintage cars on display, exploring corners and unexplored locations inside Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, taking photographs and keeping more memories to keep for the future. The visitors to the Motoring Heritage Event, took the opportunity to explore Tanjong Pagar Railway Station once more, walking on the remaining railway tracks, the platforms and exploring around the building/rooms/stores too.

Even though I only submitted one photograph for the community exhibition, I was glad to be part of this small community effort to continue the preservation and conservation of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and the Green Corridor/Rail Corridor heritage and history. I sincerely hope that the community exhibition of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and the KTM Railway history, will still be able to continue on.

I hope that more people will step forward and contribute towards the history, heritage, conservation and preservation of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, the Green Corridor and Rail Corridor. Everyone of us can make a difference/effort, to how we want our future generations to remember our railway transport history, heritage and the stories of the people that used the trains. With an ongoing engagement between heritage interest groups, supporters and government bodies, we can make it a better inclusive society for all in the future that cares about our heritage and history, to preserve and conserve and share our stories to our future generations. Here’s my photography collection on Flickr, consisting of the Green Corridor that includes the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and coverage of the railway tracks and her greenery.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Happy 40th Birthday to Merlion !

The Merlion, an iconic landmark for both locals and international visitors, celebrated her 40th Birthday on 15th September 2012! The Merlion that is now in her current location at Merlion Park, was first built as an eight-metre tall sculpture in 1972 at the mouth of the Singapore River to “welcome all visitors to Singapore”. Growing up, I would remember the Merlion standing proudly at the Singapore River mouth overlooking the Marina Bay.

On 15 September 2002, the Merlion was moved to its current location at Merlion Park next to One Fullerton, and now overlooks the beautiful scenic Marina Bay area. The Merlion iconic landmark stands out even further with the transformation of Marina Bay into a vibrant and exciting hub for leisure and business. The Merlion although 40 years old, is still well loved by many and easily recognised by visitors from abroad.

As part of her 40th birthday celebrations, the Merlion went through a careful restoration and reopened to welcome her friends during her birthday month. Visitors and friends to The Merlion were treated to a beautiful light up consisting of a 7-minute display of dazzling light projections, sound, and pyrotechnics, showcasing how the Merlion touches the lives of Singaporeans and visitors growing up over the years and visiting The Merlion.

During the display performances at various timings, there were many people there to celebrate The Merlion’s birthday, both locals and visitors alike. We even sang a birthday song for The Merlion too and it was really nice to see The Merlion blushing! I was there for the 830pm and 915pm light show timings, capturing The Merlion’s birthday celebrations from two different locations to get a few perspectives and beautiful landscapes of The Merlion, Merlion Park and Marina Bay. I spotted Darryl and Nelson at The Merlion’s birthday celebration too! Do check out more photographs of The Merlion’s birthday at my Flickr collection!

Here’s wishing to our iconic Merlion ~ Happy 40th Birthday !!

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

UQ Open Day 2012 and Alumni Events

In the month of September 2012, it was a pretty fun time for our University of Queensland Alumni Association of Singapore (UQAAS) with interesting activities and events.

UQ Open Day 2012

There was an University of Queensland (UQ) Open Day 2012 held at the Ritz Carlton Millenia on 1st September 2012 for potential students and their parents to pose questions for the staff and academia regarding courses and admissions. The UQAAS Ex-Co and fellow alumnus from the UQAAS community were there to show support and assistance for the Open Day 2012. The alumnus and UQAAS Ex-Co chaired an alumni discussion and sharing panel for the potential students and their parents to hear first hand stories and experiences on studying at University of Queensland and living in Brisbane. It was a very enriching sharing by our panel of 4 UQ graduates, their stories and experiences bringing back memories of our uni days in UQ and living in Brisbane.

I was only there for the last 2 hours of the Open Day to capture some of the action and the alumni panel discussion and sharing session due to commitments elsewhere before the UQ Open Day 2012. It was great to see the UQAAS Ex-Co very active and engaging and this promises to be more exciting and fun for future UQAAS events.

UQ 2012 Celebration of Giving Reception Singapore 

On the 12th September 2012, there was an alumni event where the University of Queensland celebrated the power and impact of philanthropy and volunteering. The University of Queensland also honoured a very distinguished alumnus, Dr Lee Boon Yang, a former Member of Parliament in Singapore, with an Honorary Doctorate for his distinguished and highest contributions to public service in Singapore during the Celebration of Giving Reception. Dr Lee shared with the guests at the Celebration of Giving Reception on his university experiences, how it helped him during his civil service and contribution to the people of Singapore when he was a Member of Parliament. Dr Lee’s rich sharing, experiences and wisdom left with us great respect and admiration on what we can do above and beyond for people and community.

UQ Global Leadership Series – Leading Innovation: Strategies of Sustainable Entrepreneurs

On the 13th September 2012, The University of Queensland held a Global Leadership Series – Leading Innovation : Strategies for Sustainable Entrepreneurs in Singapore with a distinguished panel of speakers. It was a lively program, sharing, discussion, engagement and networking with the speakers and audience. The speakers were –

Edwin Khew
Chairman & CEO, Waztec Pty Ltd.
2011 UQ International Alumnus of the Year

Kumaran Pillai
Chief Editor, The Online Citizen; Advisory Council Member, Tampines Junior College

Nigel Hembrow
Corporate Sustainability, ESD & Energy Efficiency – Asia, Amida Recruitment; Founding Member, The Hub Singapore

Professor José L. Torero (Moderator)
Head of School, Civil Engineering,
The University of Queensland

The topic was “As an innovation hub for clean technologies, Singapore is leading the way to encourage sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation and highlight the relationship between these fields. But how can corporations contribute to sustainable development? And is the role of the entrepreneur the key to their success? Hear three distinguished speakers provide their key insights on the topic, exploring both opportunities and obstacles for sustainable entrepreneurs in the region.”

The sharing by the distinguished speakers were awesome, I am planning to share more on the topics and discussions in a later write up, especially in the area of entrepreneurship and being an entrepreneur (something that I can relate to closely to my heart). It was enriching and engaging, from different perspectives and viewpoints, from different generations (of the speakers). The Global Leadership Series will definitely be better with more interesting and diverse global matters, topics and discussions when they travel around the world to places where UQ Graduates are. I am looking forward to their return back to Singapore!

Do check out UQAAS Facebook Page and Facebook Group for more updates on UQ events and activities! See you soon, fellow UQ Alumnus!

Canon EOS 1D X Photography Adventure

On the 18th October 2011, at 1300hrs Singapore Local Time, I was first introduced to a very powerful DSLR that sets the benchmark for professional level series DSLR, “it’s a monster” something like what we called the Nissan Skyline GT-R 34, the same equivalent of a very powerful DSLR. This was the Canon EOS-1D X and I still recall my first hands on experience with the Canon EOS-1D X, it’s so beautiful and so powerful.

I am a current EOS-1D Mk III user and my experiences with the 1D series DSLR bodies helped me a lot in using the Canon EOS-1D X when I had a hands-on 1 week photography adventure with the 1D X with the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 pan cake lens, courtesy of the special arrangement by Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.Thank you very much for this wonderful arrangement that gave me an opportunity to test and try it out during the one week stint. Oh yes, if you are keen on the Canon EOS-5D Mark III, do check out my earlier post! While the Canon EOS-1D X wasn’t available to enter any photography competition during my one week stint, I am very happy to have this beautiful and powerful DSLR for a test run and it just reinforces something in me –

My belief and trust in the Canon EOS-1D series especially the Canon EOS-1D X, the strengths, reliability and high speed capabilities for photojournalism, events and high speed sports action photography

Let me share with all of you, some of the key technical specifications for the Canon EOS-1D X

Canon EOS-1D X Specifications Summary

  • Dimensions : 158 x 163.6 x 82.7mm
  • Image Sensor : 18.1 mega-pixel 35mm full frame DUAL Digic 5+
  • ISO Speeds : 100 – 51200 with (L: 50) and (H1:102400, H2:204800)
  • Multiple Exposures : Yes
  • Continuous Shooting Speed : 12 fps (Max) / 14 fps (Super High Speed Continuous Shooting)
  • Shutter Durability : 400,000 cycles
  • Recording Media : CF Cards x 2
  • AF System : 61 point high-density reticular AF (41 cross-type points)
  • Very fast and powerful DSLR
  • Full Frame
  • The ability to shoot at 14fps will be most welcome by sports and fast action photography (e.g Formula One, football matches)
  • 61 point high-density reticular AF (41 cross-type points)
  • Autofocus is very fast and responsive
  • Selection of AF Area to suit your needs – Single-point Spot AF (Manual Selection), Single-point AF (Manual Selection), AF Point Expansion (Manual Selection), AF Point Expansion (Manual Selection, Surrounding Points), Zone AF (Manual Selection of Zone) and 61-point Automatic Selection AF
  • Grid and Electronic Level display is very useful and handy
  • Advanced EOS Movie capabilities
  • The ISO Speed range up to 51200 will be very handy if you ever need to use it (e.g. inside an arts performance theatre)
  • In fast action photography especially in sports, I will prefer to use high speed CF cards over high speed SD cards (this is my personal opinion).  Therefore 2 x CF card slots will be more ideal and suitable for fast action photography.
  • Monochrome Picture Style can be activated if you decide to shoot black-and-white photographs straight out from the Canon EOS-1D X (it’s pretty awesome!)
  • AI Servo AF Characteristics – latest state of the art technology, very smart, powerful and useful. There are 6 cases and you can fine tune to suit your shooting needs.
  • A robust magnesium alloy body, the EOS-1D X features a dust-proof and drip-proof design to meet the high demands presented by the most grueling of shooting conditions.
  • New shutter unit featuring carbon fibre shutter blades that are lightweight and more rigid.
  • Shutter lifespan of 400,000 cycles !
  • Canon EOS-1D X is a very ideal DSLR (A MUST HAVE!) for the semi-professional and full time professional, events, photojournalists and sports photographers.
  • You can only use 2 x CF cards and not like the previous 1D series models whereby you can use SD and CF storage cards.
  • The ISO speed at 51,200 is grainy. Sometimes it might work for you, sometimes it might not. Another factor is a photographer’s tolerance of grain.
  • With the number of controls, dials, buttons, complexity, it might be a huge and steep learning curve for the beginners.
  • The Canon EOS-1D X is a very intelligent, state of the art, fast action and powerful DSLR, sometimes it’s just too good and intelligent that the user (like myself) took a while to get used to it.
  • No more crop-factor and you might be hindered by it (if you are too used to 1.6x or 1.3x crop factor)
  • The price is high and for many people, it’s out of their budget. Therefore, the Canon EOS-1D X suits a niche group of photographers.

There is a key characteristics of the Canon EOS-1D X that I really like it a lot during my one week stint. I didn’t really have the time to learn more of the AI Servo AF Characteristics that have 6 cases that you can fine tune. This marvelous capability will help sports and fast action events photography to capture their images faster and sharper without missing out on the first one or two photos that might be blurred due to the AI Servo focusing the object in action. Canon USA has a pocket guide on the Canon EOS-1D X AF Setting Guide, do download the pocket guide, read it and tune the 6 cases of the AI Servo AF Characteristics.

Do check out my photographs taken with the Canon EOS-1D X here –

Flickr ~ EOS-1D X Review 

500px ~ EOS-1D X Review

The Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 pan cake lens is a value for money lens, lightweight, very portable. It’s sharp at full open f/2.8 and the bokeh is pretty smooth and silky for aperture size at f/2.8. The pan cake lens is an ideal walkabout lens, it will suit the entry level Canon DSLRs e.g. 650D, 1100D and semi-pro level DSLRs e.g. 60D, 5D, 7D. When the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 lens is mounted on the Canon EOS-1D X, it just look a bit different since it’s a small lens on a big DSLR body! However, it’s really handy and useful lens! I believe that (in my personal humble opinion) the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 lens will soon become a MUST HAVE lens (along with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8) among Canon photographers.

From my sharing above, I will not hide away that I am a very big fan of the Canon EOS-1D X and I will love to own it someday, hopefully in the next one to two years. My photography evolves around events and fast action sports photography, the Canon EOS-1D X definitely suits my needs and usage. Since I am not a full time professional photographer, it’s not easy to set aside the amount of investment into the Canon EOS-1D X, with that amount of investment can also be put into Canon EF L prime telephoto lenses investment.

The Canon EOS-1D X is such a beautiful and powerful DSLR, if you are into events, photojournalism and sports action photography, you will go and invest into the Canon EOS-1D X without any distractions and hesitations. If you own a Canon EOS-1D X, you make a most awesome decision in such an investment! Happy shooting and share your photographs!

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Australian Alumni Singapore 57th Anniversary Dinner

The Australian Alumni Singapore (AAS) celebrated her 57th Anniversary Dinner recently at Orchard Hotel on the 24th August 2012. The AAS 57th Anniversary Dinner was a great time my alumni mata, the University of Queensland Association of Singapore (UQAAS) to meet with new and old friends from the University of Queensland community. Besides, it was a great networking and catching up with fellow alumnus from fellow graduates from other universities from Australia, through AAS events and activities organised for their members. This was my 3rd AAS Anniversary Dinner and I had been covering them for the past 3 years from 2010 (55th Anniversary) t0 2012 (57th Anniversary). Here’s my write up and photos from the Australian Alumni Singapore 56th Anniversary Dinner.

The AAS 57th Anniversary Dinner was graced by the two Guest-of-Honour and VIPs, His Excellency Mr Doug Chester, Australia High Commissioner and Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Minister for National Development, a graduate from one of the universities in Australia. His Excellency Mr Doug Chester had served finished his tour of duty and would be returning back to Australia soon, therefore the 57th AAS Anniversary Dinner was a farewell dinner and gathering for him too! During the dinner, in the company of nice food, speech by His Excellency Mr Doug Chester, we had entertainment, performances and lucky draw too!

I was the official photographer for this year’s 57th Anniversary Dinner (and actually covered 55th and 56th Anniversary Dinner too) therefore, I would always gather and round up my alumni mata UQAAS friends to take more fun and group photos too! We had fun when I dropped by their tables, chatted with them and take candid photos! UQAAS had 2 tables at the 57th Anniversary Dinner and that’s a pretty good turnout! We had quite a few fun photos of the UQAAS community!

If you are a graduate from one of the universities in Australia, do join and connect with AAS here on Facebook! If you are a University of Queensland graduate, do connect with fellow alumnus of UQ with the UQAAS community here on Facebook – UQ Graduates in Singapore and University of Queensland Alumni Association of Singapore (UQAAS)! Check out our UQAAS events photographs here on my Flickr collection!

Happy 40th Birthday to Sentosa !

On 1st September 2012, Sentosa celebrated her 40th birthday with many interesting and exciting activities on the sunny adventure island Sentosa. Visitors to Sentosa were given free access for one day on 1st September 2012 and many visitors flocked over to Sentosa for the fun and festivities.

There is a Sentosa history exhibition/showcase at Vivo City, on the third floor where Sentosa Station is located, near to the entrance for Sentosa Express. It was going back in time for many of us, who had very vivid memories of Sentosa in the past such as the Sentosa Monorail. It was a good time to look back in time, the changes and transformations that Sentosa went through. The 40th Anniversary Exhibition ends on 30th September 2012, do check them out before you cross over to Sentosa!

There was a special feature that happened on 1st September 2012, first-ever outdoor ice slide by the beach in Asia, located at Palawan Beach. There were two slides, one was 5m and the other was 8m. The ice slide was popular especially with the young children. At Palawan Beach, there were many more fun activities for the children and there were performers to entertain them! Flea for Good was held at the Sentosa Boardwalk on 1st September 2012 too! Part of the proceeds from the flea market goes to an adopted beneficiary.

The Sentosa Buskers Festival was back again in conjunction with the 40th birthday celebrations too! They would be in action from 1st to 8th September 2012, do visit Sentosa and catch them in action! More information on the Buskers Festival can be found here! There are many more activities and events happening during Sentosa’s birthday month.  Do drop by their website and check out more on their events schedule and what’s happening on Sentosa! 

Happy 40th Birthday Sentosa!! Have a great celebration!! 

Singapore Night Festival 2012 / Night Lights 2012

The 5th Singapore Night Festival 2012 came to a close on 1st September 2012, bringing it to an end of a successful and exciting 5 years of Singapore Night Festival since her maiden start in 2008.  This was my 5th year covering, photographing and writing about Singapore Night Festival. They have never fail to amaze me, with more arts performances, displays and international outdoor arts performances. I shared about my reflections and thoughts covering Singapore Night Festival from 2008 to 2012, you can find my story here!

The Night Lights 2012 was also held in conjunction with Singapore Night Festival 2012, the Night Lights was in her 2nd year and they added a lot of lightings and displays to the Singapore Night Festival. They were fun and challenging to capture them on photographs, lighting up the façades of Singapore Arts Museum and National Museum of Singapore. 

I truly loved the Night Lights, they always fascinate me with their lighting projections and artworks, the Mimoid II from France that projected different displays of lightings on the Singapore Arts Museum was one of the highlights of Night Lights 2012. At 8Q SAM, it transformed into an eye opener with many “eyes” and a big fish tank! Art works were also on display on the various floors at 8Q SAM, visitors to Singapore Night Festival 2012 and Night Lights 2012 were allowed to participate in the artwork making. That segment was called “The Art of Imagination” and the visitors were invited to put their “Imagination into Progress” by drawing and writing on brown boxes of different shapes and sizes.

The Singapore Night Festival is not just about visiting museums in the night, the local artworks and talents on display. Along with musical performances from modern hip-hop to drumming, there would be something interesting for visitors to explore and enjoy the arts scene in Singapore for the young and old, locals and visitors alike. For the 2012 Singapore Night Festival, there was a greater emphasis on local talents and performances, who were given the opportunities to showcase their artistic and musical talents.

A main draw for Singapore Night Festival 2012 is the international outdoor arts performance. For the Singapore Night Festival 2012, they came from the other side of the world, Argentina. Ozono Producciones presented Fuerzabruta Mylar, La Argentina Feat and Corredoras. They mesmerized the crowds with their aerial performances, hanging on to cables and “running” in the air, or elevated above the ground at SMU Campus Green, with a translucent canvas filled with water. La Argentina Feat was at Armenian Street whereby the road was closed for them to rock the crowds like how they did it back home, with drumming and music accompanying the entourage performers. How special were their performances? I have dedicated each of their awesome performance into an individual set on my Flickr collection and check each of them out to be mesmerized –

Looking back at Singapore Night Festival 2012, I am very happy to be covering and photographing in her 5th year! With the great crowd participation and attendance, I am confident that they will be back for the 6th edition in 2013. Here’s a collection of my photojournalistic coverage of Singapore Night Festival 2012 on Flickr. Goodbye to Singapore Night Festival 2012, great job, great atmosphere, awesome events over two weekends! Looking forward to Singapore Night Festival 2013, the 6th edition!

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.