Last call for entries: The Sony World Photography Awards

The 2014 Sony World Photography Awards that I wrote and shared about earlier in the year, is reaching the end of the competition. The submissions of entries for the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards will officially closed on on 6 January 2014 (for Open and Youth competition) and 9 January 2014 (for Professional competition). If you are still keen to submit and enter into the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, you can enter your best work and can do so for free on theWorld Photography Organisation (WPO) website. In the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards, there were 3 Singaporeans who were honoured for their works!

Organised by WPO, this annual contest is widely known as the leading global photographic awards programme, where talented photographers across many diverse fields are discovered and both professional and amateur photographers are invited to share their talents on a global stage.Locally, Singaporean amateur photographers who submit entries for any of the ten Open categories will also be automatically considered for the Singapore National Award, an award created specially to uncover and honour the top three best images shot by Singaporean photographers.

All category winners, including winners of the Singapore National Award, will receive the latest digital imaging equipment from Sony, while their photographs will be published in the 2014 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards book and exhibited at Somerset House, London from 1 -18 May 2014 as well as on the WPO website. The winner of the 2014 L’Iris d’Or/Photographer of the Year title will be presented with USD$25,000 and the Open Photographer of the Year will receive USD$5,000.

Go for it, enjoy your photography, shoot more and you might discover an outstanding work that you like a lot and submit them to the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards!

* Information above courtesy of Sony Singapore and Waggener Edstrom Worldwide *

A Fun and Interesting Visit to SingPost

I will always remember the Postman delivering mail to my maternal grandparents mailbox when I was a young boy staying over at their terrace house. The familiar sound of the scooter and horn always get us young kids excited to rush out and collect the mails from the mailman or from the mailbox. There were also times when the postman delivered mail to my mailbox below my block after parking his scooter. While my block has changed to pushing a trolley instead of riding over on a motorcycle, it’s always nice to see the friendly mail delivery person delivering our mail into our mailbox.

How far can you remember our Singapore Post (SingPost) and what they had done ? I remembered my postal code was 4 digits and I can remember my 4 digits postal code by heart! As times changed and advance in technology, it is now using 6 digits! Do you know that Singapore Post has served Singapore for more than 150 years? Singapore Post had been in such a long service and today, they have delivered to more than 1.6million households and businesses in Singapore everyday. There is a Singapore Post (Post Offices, SAM and POPStation) presence spread across the whole of Singapore with more than 1400 touch points for Singaporeans.

During a recent visit to SingPost, I had a better understanding of the traditional mail services provided by SingPost. Besides that, I was introduced to the various services that SingPost provide, transforming to more than just a post office. The society and economy has transformed so much over the centuries and every business has to evolve and change to meet the modern needs and changes. Here are the 4 main range of services provided by SingPost

1) Mail and Digital Services

2) Logistics

3) e-Commerce

4) Retail and Financial Services

Our kind and hospitable hosts SingPost organised some interesting games and visit to let us have a more in-depth understanding of postal services and how it works inside the Post Office! Before the era of internet and emails, do you remember writing your mails, putting inside envelopes, buying stamps and posting it? Do you know your envelope size, is it Standard Mail or Non-Standard Mail, how much does it cost for the postage for Local Mail? Even though I had experiences in sorting out mail and getting stamps for my part time job many years ago, I still couldn’t get it everything correct during our postal game!

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Photograph Courtesy of Joe Teh

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Photograph Courtesy of Joe Teh

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Photograph Courtesy of Joe Teh

The era of e-Commerce is upon us and this is something definitely that attracts everybody (from the young to the adults). SingPost has hassle-free shopping experiences online and let me introduce to you vPostOmigo and Sample Store!

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If you love buying stuff from overseas and shipping it over to Singapore, check out vPost! To all my readers, there is something special for you!

Voucher code: BLOG30 (Expires 15 Jan 2014) – $30 off and minimum spending of $50 is required.

**Kindly note that for discounts for vPOST are only applicable for  vPostUSA, vPostEUROPE, vPostJAPAN and vPostCHINA shipping services, excluding fuel surcharges.**

Omigo

Omigo is Singapore’s one-stop online solution widest range of products and top brands from all around the world, and deliver your desired items right to your doorstep. Check out their website for the various kinds of products that Omigo brings to you! To my readers, there is something special for you!

Voucher code: BLOG7 (Expires 31 Dec 2013) – 7% off and no minimum spending is required

** Kindly note that for discounts for Omigo are not applicable for Apple and Philatelic products, and is only valid for items less than $2500. ** 

Sample Store

Sample Store is the leading online try-vertising platform in Singapore and it has more than 100 different brands and up to 80,000 members! Check out Samplestore.com and check out how it works!

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Our next adventure was a visit to the Video Coding Room. With the postal machines inside SingPost reading the 6 digits postal code on our envelopes, sometimes the machines were not able to read the 6 digits postal code and manual human intervention will be required to read and key in the 6 digit codes. Visiting the Video Coding Room was very interesting, we had a hands on experience on what it’s like to read and key in the 6 digits postal code! We took a test after some practices and this is something unique and interesting that happens behind the scenes of our SingPost operations! We had a better understanding of the people that worked behind the scenes inside the Video Coding Room!

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Next up that interests me is the POPStation, this is going to revolutionise parcel delivery in Singapore! 24/7 and 365 Access, currently 15 POPStations across Singapore, it’s FREE and No Fee! It is extremely easy to use and we had a parcel collection experience from the POPStation.

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Photograph Courtesy of Joe Teh

Here are the Steps to have a great experience collection from the POPStation!

Step 1: Receive an SMS or email notifying you to collect their parcel at a POPStation.

Step 2: “Pop” over to the POPStation location.

Step 3: Scan a QR Code or key in a pin number to open the locker at the POPStation.

Step 4: Collect the parcel from the locker.

Step 5: Close the locker door.

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Photograph Courtesy of Joe Teh

It’s really useful and easy to use! I like this a lot and hope that my future parcel purchases can be delivered to the POPStation and I can just pop over to pick it up personally!

As our adventure visiting SingPost comes to an end on that evening, we left for home with a better understanding of SingPost and what they do, from the front and back scenes. I would like to thank SingPost and Ogilvy Public Relations for the invitation, their warm hospitality and SingPost for showing us around! I would also like to thank fellow photographer/techie Joe Teh for permission to use his photographs, check out his post on the visit to SingPost too!

Learning Studio Lighting Photography Part One

The fastest and ideal method of learning photography is to go hands on and go out shooting, whether it is a leisure photography or paid photography assignment, on-the-job training and learning allows photographers to learn as much within a short time frame. The art and field of photography is diverse and exciting when we keep on learning a new field of photography or improving on a specialised field of photography. I started reading, researching, learning and planning my lighting photography setup in the past few months, I finally got my basic lighting photography setup up and running!

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Recently, there was an opportunity to learn more advanced lighting photography, an area that I totally don’t have any experience in! The studio photography session was Weili’s Dance Photography Shoot and I was given the opportunity by the master photographer himself (who also owns this Poisonous online photography boutique store) to help out in his Dance  Photography Shoot. It was a golden opportunity to go hands on and learn studio lighting photography setup from an experienced photographer! I am looking forward to more of Weili’s studio lighting photography workshops in the future!

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The studio location was at The Studio Outfitters and we went there early to prepare and setup the lightings. Personally, this was a very good learning experience, to be a photography assistant to the photographer, although it’s not my first time being an assistant to a photographer, it was definitely my first photography assistant role in a studio photography shoot. During the first hour of setup, I listened to instructions from Weili on where and how he wanted to setup his lightings. He took the time to explain how his studio lighting setup would work, where the lights will hit/shine and affect the Dance Shoot. This was also the first time I had a hands on experience with the giant parabolic umbrella and the lighting device known as the beauty dish and why photographers swear by it. Along with 6 other strobe lights along the side to the end of the studio, this was a pretty ideal setup to get the studio lighted up evenly. To capture the desired lighting effect, all the lights might be used or a few of the lights will not be used/switched on, therefore, I was moving around during certain times of the shoot to switch on/off the strobe lights placed at the side/end of the studio, with instructions from photographer Weili directing the shoot. That is something that I will need to go hands on by being the photographer and directing my own studio shoot and I can learn it more from my own photography shoots in the future!

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Since my role was a photography assistant, I only took photographs of the studio lighting for my own learning and notes taking and some snap shots of the photographer in action. This Dance Photography Shoot was an invaluable learning experience for me and I am grateful to Weili for giving me the chance to assist in his Dance Photography Shoot! Moving ahead in the future, I am planning and making arrangements for indoor studio shoots and outdoor shoots as well! There is still a lot more to learn on different lighting setups to capture certain desired effects and outcomes, this indoor and outdoor lighting photography journey ahead for me is going to be a fun and interesting adventure!

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This is just Part One of my Learning Studio Lighting Photography journey, hopefully in Part Two, I will be able to learn from being in the role of the photographer calling/directing the shoot. Now is the time to start planning and making my arrangements with friends whom I asked and  are willing to be my volunteer models!

Canon Announces the new Canon EOS M2

Canon Inc and Canon Japan recently announced the new Canon EOS M2 to the Japanese market, featuring significantly improved AF performance. The Canon EOS M2 inherits from her predecessor, the Canon EOS M that was released in September 2012. Compared with its predecessor,1 the new EOS M2 realizes dramatically improved autofocusing performance and newly incorporates built-in Wi-Fi while achieving a body that is approximately 8% smaller in volume.

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Photograph Source: Canon Japan 

Employing Hybrid CMOS AF II, the M2 combines high-precision contrast AF and high-speed phase-detection AF for high-performance autofocusing across approximately 80% of the width and height of the sensor’s imaging surface. Compared with the EOS M, the technology makes possible AF across a wider imaging area than that offered by the earlier EOS M and is approximately 2.3 times2 faster, letting users realize improved focusing performance and compose shots with greater flexibility while enabling improved tracking response when shooting a moving subject.

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Photograph Source: Canon Japan 

 Equipped with an approximately 18-megapixel APS-C-size CMOS sensor and Canon’s DIGIC 5 image processor, the EOS M2 achieves a high level of image quality that only a large sensor can make possible while delivering a maximum continuous shooting speed of 4.6 frames per second. Additionally, offering a maximum standard ISO of 12800 (expandable to ISO 25600), the camera lets users capture images with reduced noise even in low-light conditions.

* Information Courtesy of Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide *

The Canon EOS M2 is not available in the North America, Europe and Asia markets. Let’s wait and see if they will announce their availability in other markets at a later stage in time!

7 Days in Myanmar – Pictorial Book

7 Days in Myanmar, a large format 276 page pictorial book containing some of the most beautiful photography works of the diverse people, cultures and landscapes of Myanmar, by 30 of the most famous and leading photographers. In conjunction with the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games that will be held from 11 to 22 December 2013 in Myanmar, Sony has participated in the production of ‘7 Days in Myanmar’. This pictorial book features some of the biggest names in photography – Abbas, Michael Yamashita, Melisa Teo, Steve McCurry, Michael Freeman, Bruno Barbey, Raghu Rai and many more. The 30 photographers traveled throughout Myanmar from 27th April to 4th May, capturing many beautiful images of Myanmar, from all the different corners of Myanmar, the urban cities to the countryside.

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Book Cover: 7 Days in Myanmar by 30 Great Photographers

Sony recognises the importance of capturing the many different facets of Burmese life which had been unknown to the world for decades. Therefore, the company supports this initiative by being a major sponsor, contributing to the production of the photo book. The book, which will be distributed worldwide, also comes with a DVD documentary film that depicts the journey of the photographers throughout that whole week. Locally, it will be available at all leading bookstores for SGD70.09 + GST.

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7 Days in Myanmar – Temple spires silhouetted in sepia light point skyward in Bagan

Photographer: Michael Yamashita

The photographs are very beautiful and inspiring, especially with some of my favourite photographers Michael Yamashita and Steve McCurry featured inside this wonderful pictorial book! On a personal note, I am planning to photograph and document the diverse cultures, people and landscapes of Myanmar in 2014 and I want to do it as a personal travel project portfolio!

For travel and photography buffs, you will love this pictorial book! Do check out the details of the book below!

About The Book

ISBN 978-981-4385-74-9

Title: 7 Days in Myanmar

Subtitle: By 30 Great Photographers

Price: SGD 70.09 + GST / MYR 185.00 / USD 60.00 / GBP 35.00

Extent: 276 pages

Size: 352 mm by 280 mm

Binding: Hardback

Publication Date: December 2013

For more information, check out the links below!

~ 7 Days in Myanmar website –  http://7daysinmyanmar.com/

~ Official Facebook Page –  https://www.facebook.com/7DaysInMyanmar

* Information and Photographs Courtesy of Edition Didier Millet, Sony Singapore and Waggener Edstrom Worldwide * 

iFly Singapore – Flying High Since 2011

iFly Singapore, this is one of the world’s largest indoor skydiving simulators, at a height of 56.5ft and width of 16.5ft, located at Siloso Beach on the sunny island of Sentosa. Founded in 2011, iFly Singapore had come a long way since her founding and she had been making good growth and expansion in their business along with their record breaking achievements and outreach programs to the schools and general public. I was recently invited to iFly Singapore media Christmas Party 2013, it was a fun event with lots of skydiving performances by the children and adults! Mr Lawrence Koh, Founder and Managing Director of iFly Singapore was sharing with us about iFly Singapore’s milestones, achievements and results during the past 3 years.

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This was my first visit to iFly Singapore, even though I passed by this place a few times when I was in Sentosa. It was a pretty impressive indoor skydiving simulator and I hope to try out indoor skydiving next time when I visit again! At the iFly Singapore Christmas Party event, the skydivers were taking turns to fly/skydive inside the skydiving simulator! There were quite a number of young children too who were absolutely great in skydiving, somersaulting inside the wind tunnel, wonderful performances and breaking Guinness World of Records along with their adult counterparts!

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iFly Singapore has big expansion and promotional plans for 2014 and one of their plans is to start expanding into Singapore’s education and sports sectors for the young ones with their Sports Education Programme. I personally find it very meaningful and a great idea to combine science with sporting activities and outdoor recreation for the young children. Not only can the young children learn about science, physics and aerodynamics, the young children can also pick up the sport and lead an active meaningful healthy lifestyle through skydiving! Learning a science subject by participating in a sports that teach you all of that and still having fun and being active sounds like a great combination to me! I hope to see more young children to be part of iFly Sports Education Programme!

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iFly Singapore is also planning to launch their membership programme early next year 2014, providing a more attractive package for regular flyers who are considering taking up indoor skydiving more seriously. They are offering the proFLYER Basic and proFLYER Premium Membership Packages and do check out their website for more details and updates! If you are keen to start indoor skydiving with iFly Singapore, do check out their iFly Singapore Membership Packages!

iFly Singapore Membership Packages proFLYER Basic proFLYER Premium
Published Rate SGD $999/- SGD $7800/-
Early Bird (valid till 31st March 2014) SGD $899/- (Usual Price SGD $1,375/-) SGD $7500/- (Usual Price SGD $10,600/-)
Total Skydives Entitlement 20 Skydives – 90s per skydive, Off Peak timing only. 200 Skydives – 90s per skydive, Off peak timing only.
Top Up Rate Subsequent purchase of every block of skydives: SGD $700/-

For upgrade of usage to normal timing, for every block of 20 skydives plus SGD $250/-

Subsequent purchase of every block of skydives: SGD $575/-

For upgrade of usage to normal timing, for every block of 20 skydives plus SGD $200/-

Validity of Membership 12 Months 12 Months

For more information on iFly Singapore, here are their links

iFly Singapore

iFly Singapore Facebook Page

I would like to thank iFly Singapore and Cohn & Wolfe XPR for the invitation to iFly Singapore Christmas Party event!

*Information above courtesy of iFly Singapore and Cohn & Wolfe XPR* 

A Visit to N.E.mation! 8 – The Making of Adventures

The Final Top 10 teams, in their final 3 weeks of intense preparation to produce their animation clip for N.E.mation! 8 theme – “Because You Played A Part”. The N.Emation! Competition is an annual inter-school competition animation competition for students from secondary schools, junior colleges and centralized institute(s) to express their thoughts on Total Defence. The theme this year is “30 Years of Total Defence: Because You Played A Part”, Singapore today, we enjoyed stability, security, peace and prosperity. All these will not be possible without everyone’s effort that played a part in building up our nation, Singapore, our home today! We went through bad times and good times and every one of us played a part to overcome challenges and celebrate our success together with every one of us here.

 The N.E.mation! Journey starts from the Top 100 teams that were shortlisted for 1-week selection, followed by the 1st cut in a 1 week selection, down to the Top 40 teams, thereafter a 2nd cut in a 1 week selection, down to the Top 20 teams and finally, the final cut to the Top 10 teams. The Top 10 teams will go through a 3 weeks production to produce their animations.

I was invited down to visit the Top 10 teams of N.E.mation! 8 during their 2nd week to have a look behind the scenes of the Top 10 teams in their making of adventures! It was a very fun time that I spent there chatting with the young students from the various schools, learning more about their animation themes, what techniques they were using, their progress so far in their 3 weeks production. All the Teams are special and unique in their own ways and ideas; you can spot their creativity, talents and teamwork inside them, mentored by the instructors of Animagine. The N.E.mation! 8 this time promises to be 10 different unique animation productions and I am looking forward to viewing the animation productions of the Top 10 teams when they finally complete and submit it!

When I was chatting to the young boys and girls from the Top 10 teams of N.E.mation! 8, they don’t have prior knowledge or experience in animation or using animation production software. You will be amazed when you see how much they can produce and showcase from their 3 weeks of animation production. Having been involved and being part of N.E.mation! for the past 2 series, I am confident they N.E.mation! 8 is going to bring the level of animation production to greater heights! Each team has a unique storyline to share and tell, I encourage every one of you to Play A Part too! Visit each Team from the Top 10 teams of N.E.mation! 8, read their stories and adventures, encourage them to keep on preserving and get ready to view their animation productions! Remember to share about the N.E.mation! 8 Top 10 teams happenings, news and adventures with your family, loved ones and friends too!

Let me introduce to you the Top 10 teams of N.E.mation! 8

Team Alpacalypse – CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School

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Theme: Greater Heights

Synopsis: Everyone has to do their part to achieve greater heights. Story shows how Singaporeans played a part in die rent Singapore campaigns and events (e.g., baby bonus, haze, clean & green Singapore, curry incident, National Day Parade) through a song “To a greater height”.

You can follow Team Alpacalypse updates here –

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Hash tag: #NE8C01

Team Dairy Products – School of the Arts

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Theme: Reframe, Don’t Refrain

Synopsis: This clip uses frames to show how Singaporeans can step out of their comfort zones to play their part in ghting dengue and help one another.

You can follow Team Dairy Products updates here –

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Hash tag: #NE8C02

Team Delta-Gaytors – CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School

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Theme: Prison “Break”

Synopsis: This clip shows the life story of a business man who was succumbed to bribery. But he was caught and imprisoned soon after. He repented and managed to pick himself up with the help of the Yellow Ribbon Project and became successful with a new business setup. He then pays it forward to help others.

You can follow Team Delta-Gaytors updates here –

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Hash tag: #NE8C03

Team Hashtag – School of Science and Technology Singapore

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Theme: Every Man’s Journey

Synopsis: This clip features the journey of a National Serviceman and how other people in his life have played a part in his journey and contributed to the 30 years of total defence.

You can follow Team Hashtag updates here –

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Hash tag: #NE8C04

Team Momento Mori – CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School

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Theme: Keeping Watch

Synopsis: Uses parts of a watch as metaphor to show that every part are like Singaporeans, which are all important, no matter how small they may seem.

You can follow Team Momento Mori updates here –

Facebook

Twitter

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Hash tag: #NE8C05

Team Partta Kappa – School of the Arts

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Theme: It Takes More …

Synopsis: This clip uses silhouette play to bring attention to the less acknowledged roles which have been signicant in establishing the successful nation we have today.

You can follow Team Partta Kappa updates here –

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Hash tag: #NE8C06

Team Synch – Kent Ridge Secondary School

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Theme: Because “I” Play A Part

Synopsis: This clip uses typography to illustrate and highlight the importance of “I” and its role in playing a part in many die rent Singapore campaigns and events like racial riots, yellow ribbon project, SARS and haze. 

You can follow Team Synch updates here –

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Hash tag: #NE8C07

Team The 4 Of Us II – Tanglin Secondary School

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Theme: Unsung Heroes

Synopsis: True life accounts of three Singaporeans who have played a part in contributing to TD (i.e., Chinese student relating her story on how her family gave food to a Malay neighbour who lost his job before Hari Raya, Josiah from “While it was hazy” giving out liang teh and free masks, NSF 2LT Kamalasivam relating how he saved his recruit from a grenade incident).

You can follow Team The 4 of Us II updates here –

Facebook

Hash tag: #NE8C08

Team Unicorns and Rainbows;) – Orchid Park Secondary School

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Theme: Enlightenment

Synopsis: This clip shows that one can inuence others to do their part and anyone can contribute to society, regardless of age. It uses colour/grayscale to highlight nice small actions done by Singaporeans in dierent situations (e.g., SARS, donations, giving up seat on train).

You can follow Team Unicorns and Rainbows;) updates here –

Facebook

Hash tag: #NE8C09

Team WAYNE STARK CO – Methodist Girls’ School

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Theme: Quilted Together

Synopsis: This clip uses quilt patches as a metaphor to show how Singaporeans come together and play their part for Singapore based on their dierent talents and passion. By adding their “patches to the quilt, they are strengthening it, just like how Singapore’s social fabric becomes stronger as more people play their part.

You can follow Team WAYNE STARK CO updates here –

Facebook

Twitter

Hash tag: #NE8C10

It has been a fun time following, supporting and being a part of N.E.mation!, from the 6th edition to the current 8th edition. Over the years, I had seen some great artistic and creative talents showcased by our younger generations. I wish all the Top 10 teams of N.E.mation! 8 – Good Luck and All The Best! Great job and Well Done!

For more details and information on N.E.mation! Check out the links below –

 https://www.nemation.sg

Facebook  – https://www.facebook.com/nemation

Instagram (@nemation)  – http://instagram.com/nemation8

Youtube  – http://youtube.com/nemators

Flickr  – http://www.ickr.com/photos/nemation

Twitter  – http://twitter.com/nemation

* Top 10 Teams information and details courtesy of N.E.mation! *