Nostalgic Photography Walk @ Sembawang Park

A beautiful park and beach tucked away in the northern part of Singapore; brought back many memories for me when I joined fellow photography and heritage friends Jerome, Juria, Kamal and Francis for a photography walkabout at the Sembawang Park and Sembawang Beach area. Jerome had organized a few different photography walkabouts of different heritage interests. I was happy to join him for a few walks to explore more of Singapore’s heritage, history and culture together with like-minded people.

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Walking at Sembawang Park, down the beach and walking along it. Enjoying the sea breeze while it was low tide, the call of the wildlife nearby the green lush forest. Listening to the waves coming in towards the shore, the peace and tranquility that make the Sembawang Beach something special. Sembawang Park and its beach is a popular spot for families to go fishing and catching crabs. Besides, it’s also a fun place for family outings and picnics too. This location was very nostalgic for me too, when I was a Boy Scout 20+ years ago, this was where we stopped for a exploration/hike test. I remembered that time there were three of us and I was there to be a companion to my friend who was taking his Advanced Scout Standard exploration test that lasted 2D1N.  The memories were priceless and I missed those days!

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Jerome and Kamal had many experiences and stories about the Sembawang Park/Beach and Kampung Wak Hassan beach area since they grew up in the neighbourhood. Listening to their stories was really amazing and intriguing. They have so much to share their stories with the future generations about the lifestyle and culture in the early days of Singapore’s independence. With modernization taking place around Sembawang Park/Beach and Kampung Wak Hassan area, more private housing units coming up, things would never be the same again.

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Walking up towards the green lush forest in the Kampung Wak Hassan area, Kamal showed us an old gateway and told us about passing by this gateway when he was in Primary School. We saw the old gateway and were amazed, it was still standing there, yet there were no signs or indications that would help us find who was the owner that stayed there. After taking photos, we walked towards the mosque Masjid Petempatan Melayu Sembawang, a historical landmark dating back to the 1960s, it’s probably “the last kampong mosque in Singapore” and let’s keep it this way, preserve the greenery and surroundings. There were two swings tied to the tall trees nearby the mosque and we were like a bunch of kids again, playing on the swing. Jerome, Kamal, Juria and myself couldn’t resist not playing on the swing. It was so fun, my childhood memories flooding back to me, I missed my old childhood playgrounds a lot, that’s why one of my personal projects was discovering and photographing old playgrounds in Singapore.

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Hiking along the road towards Sungei Simpang, the river/canal, there is a park connector nicely built there. Watching the people at the river/canal bed during low tide and digging clams/mussels (I used to do it with my fellow Venture Scouts!), there are still people enjoying the activities that I seen less nowadays. I still remember camping with my fellow Venture Scouts at the mangrove swamp near Jalan Mempurong, where the current Simpang Kiri Park Connector lies.  We used to play at the canal during low tide and it was great fun, carefree and without the stress and pressure of today’s society.

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As we walked back along the road towards the main road and Sembawang Park, we passed by one of the few remaining street name signboards with 4-digit postal code in Singapore. That’s priceless, considering the modern street name signboards don’t have the postal code on it anymore. Reaching Sembawang Park, Jerome and Kamal led us to discovering the roots of Sembawang Park being part of the British Naval Base during her early days.

Do check out Jerome’s posts on Sembawang Park and Kampung Wak Hassan, he has great knowledge and stories about these areas –

Moonscapes – Kampung Wak Hassan Beach

A Final Frontier

Sembawang beyond the slumber 

While we can see some changes happening to Sembawang Park, let’s hope they still can keep most of its original aura and uniqueness, along with her lush greenery and kampong feel. Let’s keep it this way, status quo and preserve something uniquely Singaporean, culturally and historically. We will have our own unique strong heritage and stories to pass on to out future generations of Singaporeans.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Aberdeen Extreme Sailing Series 2013 – Singapore

Extreme sailing right in the heart of Singapore’s spectacular city Marina Bay area, close to the sides of the Bay whereby the spectators can get a close up feel of the high octane sporting action in the beautiful sunshine and winds. This is the Aberdeen Extreme Sailing Series 2013, Act 2; location is Singapore, with the action-taking place from 11th to 14th April 2013.

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What is Extreme Sailing all about?

“The Extreme Sailing Series™ is a unique concept, pitting some of the best professional sailing teams in the world against each other on identical Extreme 40 catamarans, on close to shore, challenging and tactical courses, to provide spectacular, stadium-style entertainment for the public. The Stadium Sailing format created and developed by the Series has been revolutionary for the sport. It has brought the boats and action to the public like never before, putting guests at the heart of the battle with the unique ‘Guest Sailor’ spot and dramatically increasing the pace on the water.”

** Information above provided by Full Circle Public Relations **

Indeed, right in heart of the Marina Bay area, the Marina Reservoir is definitely the perfect location for the Extreme Sailing Series and I was there to watch, enjoy, photograph and write about the Aberdeen Extreme Sailing Series in Singapore. Guests and spectators were treated to 3 days of extreme sailing sporting action around the Marina Bay, with some vantage views from Marina Bay Sands, Merlion Park and the best location would probably be the Marina Promontory whereby the Extreme Sailing boats would sail as close to the side as possible, where the events village and VIP hospitality are located. I took the opportunity to walk around the Marina Bay area, took photographs from One Fullerton, Esplanade Bridge, Marina Bay Sands and Marina Promontory for my Extreme Sailing Series collection. You can find them here on my Flickr collection!

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The hosts/commentators on the ground were awesome in sharing their knowledge of the Extreme Sailing Series, the rules, tactics employed by the various captains, sailing routes taken by the Extreme Sailing boats. This was especially helpful for the spectators who were there to watch the Extreme Sailing Series whom were not too sure on the rules and regulations of the Extreme Sailing Series. At various locations, I would try to capture different boats in action when they are turning into the wind and getting a good sail towards the finishing line. The tricky wind conditions around the Marina Bay posed a challenge to all the various boats captains to plan the right tactics and make the right call in each round of sailing. It’s a test of the captain’s nerve of steel, patience and a cool head to make the right call in Singapore’s tropical heat and humidity.

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With Singapore’s Marina Bay hosting the Extreme Sailing Series, this would definitely help and boost Singapore’s sailing in many ways and getting more people interested in sailing activities. This was also helped by fringe events happening in Marina Bay before the Extreme Sailing Series competition from 1500hrs to 1800hrs from Friday to Sunday. It was great to see kids involved and participating in sailing activities at Marina Bay. More sailing opportunities would be available at Marina Bay in the future with regular sailing opportunities/lessons in the Marina Bay (do check out the website Marina Bay Sailing for more details)

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Extreme Sailing Series coming to Singapore definitely puts us on the world map as a sporting hub with different sporting events coming over here.  Looking ahead, we hope to see more international sporting events making a stopover in Singapore and we hoped to welcome back Extreme Sailing Series again to Singapore in the heart of Marina Bay!

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With Act 2 completed, Alinghi sailing to victory in Singapore, the Singapore leg of the Aberdeen Extreme Sailing Series is over and they are moving up next to Qingdao, China’s Olympic Sailing City from 2nd May to 5th May 2013. Do check out the final results here  –

Extreme Sailing Series 2013 Act 2, Singapore standings after Day 4, 23 races (14.04.13)

Position / Team / Points

1st Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei,Yves Detrey 198 points.

2nd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Pierre Le Clainche, Graeme Spence 163 points.

3rd SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Kostner, Pete Cumming, Mikkel Røssberg, Nicolai Sehested 161 points.

4th Realteam (SUI) Jérome Clerc, Bruno Barbarin, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Cédric Schmidt, Bryan Mettraux 159 points.

5th The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Musab Al Hadi, Hashim Al Rashdi 153 points.

6th Team Korea (KOR) Peter Burling, Blair Tuke, Mark Bulkeley, Sungwok Kim, Sung Ahn Jung 144 points.

7th GAC Pindar (NZL) Will Tiller, Brad Farrand, Stewart Dodson, Harry Thurston,Matt Steven 143 points.

8th Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN) Scott Glen Sydney, Robert Greenhalgh, Andrew Walsh, Justin Wong, Rick Peacock 127 points.

Extreme Sailing Series 2013 overall standings after Act 2, Singapore

Position / Team / Points

1st Alinghi (SUI) 18 points.

2nd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 18 points.

3rd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 16 points.

4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 12 points.

5th Team Korea (KOR) 11 points.

6th Team X Invitational 10 points.

7th Realteam (SUI) 10 points.

8th GAC Pindar (NZL) 9 points.

For complete results, please visit: http://www.extremesailingseries.com

** Details of competition results courtesy of Full Circle Public Relations **  

Do check out the daily highlight videos of the Aberdeen Extreme Sailing Series in Sin gapore, it’s a good recap of the sporting event!

Day 1 Highlights – Aberdeen in Extreme Sailing Series – Singapore 2013

Day 2 Highlights – Aberdeen in Extreme Sailing Series – Singapore 2013

Day 3 Highlights – Aberdeen in Extreme Sailing Series – Singapore 2013

Day 4 Highlights – Aberdeen in Extreme Sailing Series – Singapore 2013

I would like to thank Marina Bay Division for giving me the opportunity to photograph and cover Aberdeen Extreme Sailing Series and being able to share my photos and stories with all my readers.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Canon PowerShot N – My Initial Impression

A day before attending Canon Singapore media launch event, I received a nice brown box, consisting of a press release and a wooden hand. My first reaction, what had that wooden hand got to do with a Canon compact digital camera? That got me interested, I was like “being hooked” and decided to look closer to examine the wooden hand. There was a nice little booklet on the wooden hand grip, almost exactly the size of the Canon PowerShot N that I touched the very next day during Canon Singapore media launch event. The press release information and details can be found here if you like to read more about it!

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The tagline is “GETaGRIP” and it fits perfectly for the Canon PowerShot N. When I held the Canon PowerShot N during the media launch with other Canon camera products, I was looking forward to touching and playing with Canon PowerShot N. It’s fit perfectly into the size of my palm, just take a look at the photo below!

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What’s my initial impression of Canon PowerShot N ? Here are some of my initial impressions, thoughts and views of the Canon PowerShot N –

  • Very lightweight and portable
  • Very fun to play with
  • Wireless connectivity that allows you to take and share your photographs easily and quickly
  • 10 Reasons Why You Need The Hand (check out the photo below)
  • Small enough to hide it away while taking photographs
  • An alternative street photography camera from the rangefinders
  • 6 creative shots
  • 25 randomised filters in their Creative Shot mode
  • First dual-ring lens design which includes a zoom ring and shutter ring
  • Flipping up the LCD screen at 90 degrees angle allowing you to shoot from the hip level like a Twin Lens Reflex (TLR)
  • A fun toy camera yet it comes with a sturdy body and built

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Which type/group of users would suit and love the Canon PowerShot N ?

  • Children/Kids
  • Photographers looking for a fun loving toy digital compact camera
  • Parents looking for a fun toy camera for their children to start learning photography (where the fun element of photography is the key)
  • Travel photographers (sometimes you need to use a small digital compact camera)
  • Social Media enthusiasts / bloggers attending media / blogging events
  • Photography enthusiasts that carry a camera out everyday inside their bag
  • Looking for a birthday gift for your friends/loved ones

These are my personal thoughts, impressions and views from my short hands on experience during Canon’s media launch event. Overall, I am impressed and I would love to test and review  this fun loving toy compact digital camera, for all my readers here to know and make a decision if they would like to purchase this Canon PowerShot N!

Canon EOS 100D – My Initial Impression

The Canon EOS 100D and 700D, announced a short time back on DPReview website, I was pretty amazed by the EOS 100D especially and I was looking forward to get a feel of this World’s Smallest and Lightest DSLR, not just by reading off the technical specifications from the websites. When I was invited to the Canon Singapore media launch event for the various Canon cameras announced, I was looking forward to get a short hands on experience with the Canon EOS 100D. For more detailed technical information of the Canon EOS 100D and 700D, you can drop by here and take a look!

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During the media event, I had a short hands on experience with the various Canon cameras that were launched. The Canon EOS 100D was my “main target” and these were my initial impressions, views and thoughts of the Canon EOS 100D from my short hands on experience with the Canon EOS 100D –

  • Lightweight
  • Good sturdy material and camera built
  • Nice and firm grip on a small DSLR
  • Small and handy, great for travel photography
  • A new age street photography camera (using DSLR) with pancake lens (EF 40mm) instead of the favourite film rangefinder or digital rangefinder
  • Powerful specifications and performance packed inside a small DSLR body
  • Fun and easy to learn/use
  • Creative Functions Mode – Family-oriented scene modes – Kids, Food and Candlelight + HDR Backlight Control, Night Portrait and Handheld Night Scene
  • An everyday camera that you can put inside the bag and carry it around
  • Movie recording functions and capabilities
  • Touch Screen
  • High ISO performance up to 12,800
  • 9 Point Auto Focus (AF) System

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Which type/group of users would suit and love the Canon EOS 100D ?

  • Users upgrading from digital compact cameras to their first DSLR
  • Travel photographers
  • Parents giving their children a head start in DSLR photography training (lightweight and easy to learn/use)
  • A backup DSLR camera (for semi-professional and professional photographers) to complement existing setup
  • Social Media enthusiasts / bloggers attending media / blogging events
  • Photography enthusiasts that carry a camera out everyday inside their bag

These are my personal thoughts, impressions and views from my short hands on experience during Canon’s media launch event. Overall, I am impressed and I would love to test and review  this World’s Smallest and Lightest DSLR camera, for all my readers here to know and make a decision if they would like to purchase this Canon EOS 100D!

** Photographs Courtesy of Canon Singapore ** 

Outdoor and Bird Photography Adventure @ Satay By The Bay

The Gardens By The Bay South, Singapore’s latest iconic landmark and destination, attracted many local and international visitors. It was officially opened on 28/06/2012 and I was there to be part of the official opening event.  Prior to that, I was also given the opportunity to visit and photograph parts of the Gardens By The Bay South when she was in the final phase of her construction and one of my photographs was selected for the official opening and roving photography exhibition around Singapore.

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I had been back there a few times and it was great to see the second phase of the Gardens By The Bay South completion finishing soon, making the connectivity to Marina Barrage and Gardens By The Bay East fully connected. Take a look at the map of Gardens By The Bay South here; you can see that there is a lake called the Kingfisher Lake and the eating area known as Satay By The Bay. The Kingfisher lake area is nearing completion while Satay By The Bay is already opened and receiving visitors to their food haven.

This area recently became a new and popular spot for birding photographers, partly due to the arrival of a single female Daurian Redstart that is neither a resident bird nor a migrant bird into Singapore. This is a first time that the Daurian Redstart is being sighted and reported in Singapore! It’s pretty amazing that a bird that is native to temperate countries such as Taiwan and Japan flew down to Singapore and chose to reside at Gardens By The Bay South, right in the area of Satay By The Bay and Kingfisher Lake area.  The Daurian Redstart was a “star attraction” and attracted a number of bird photographers flocking down to Satay By The Bay to photograph her presence in Singapore. The number of photographs and mentions about this star attraction bird and her location helped to rally more bird photographers down to Gardens By The Bay area for bird photography. Thus, this made Gardens By The Bay a new place for bird photographers in Singapore.

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Besides this special star bird, the Daurian Redstart, there were other bird species spotted in the area of Satay By The Bay and Kingfisher Lake. Some of the bird species spotted are –

  • Whistling Duck
  • Collared Kingfisher
  • Yellow Bittern
  • White-Breasted Waterhen and her young chicks
  • Olive-Backed Sunbird
  • Pink-Necked Green Pigeon
  • Black-Headed Munia
  • Brahminy Kite (it’s the unofficial resident bird of Marina Bay, quite easily spotted flying above the Bay area)

Considering that Gardens By The Bay South was first and foremost never a natural land/nature park area, the Marina South area whereby the Gardens By The Bay is located is built on reclaimed land. She received her fair share of both praises and criticisms. Personally, I would like to give credit where it is due and highlight that Gardens By The Bay South had transformed into a new nature sector with her trees, flora and fauna, thus attracting different bird species to reside in the area. While the numbers may not be many and plentiful yet, the arrival of different bird species is a testimonial to how an artificial location can be transformed and attracts wildlife (different species of birds into the area).

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I would love to go back again and photograph the area around Satay By The Bay and Kingfisher Lake, hoping to discover more bird species residing around Gardens By The Bay South and Gardens By The Bay East. Some raptors in the sky above Gardens By The Bay and Marina Bay area had been spotted and photographed, I would love to capture them in action and share which of the raptors were there in flying action.

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Besides being a great place for photography (wildlife, landscape), it’s a great place to relax by the Marina Bay, enjoying the breeze, peace and tranquility. It’s definitely an ideal venue for running, walking, picnic and family activities time there.  I like to hang out by the water body with the trees, flora and fauna around it such as Marina Bay and Gardens By The Bay. The Marina Bay area does have her leisure and outdoor recreational sectors that complements the business, offices and retail sectors, with the Gardens By The Bay South.

Do check out Marina Bay Singapore and Gardens By The Bay for more information and updates!


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.