OCBC Cycle Singapore 2014 – 28th March

OCBC Cycle Singapore 2014 kickstarted on Friday 28th March with the Masters’, Women’s Open and Men’s Open Criterium events. Benjamin Paul Arnott from the United Kingdom won the Masters’ Criterium. Sarah Jeanne Fraser won the Women’s Open Criterium. Tjarco Cuppens won the Men’s Open Criterium.

In addition, Team Osteo Health was crowned champion of the Corporate Category and Team Ben-Pete-Nick-Bevan was crowned champion of the Open Category of The Berocca Challenge after an exhilarating Final, and each team earned a trip to the Gold Coast Festival of Cycling in Australia in October. Team Ben-Pete-Nick-Bevan received help from Professional Criterium guest rider Bernard Sulzberger of Drapac Professional Cycling Team.

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OCBC Cycle Singapore continued with The Parade of Hope, a 20-minute ride around the F1 Pit Building aimed at raising awareness and funds for the official charities of OCBC Cycle Singapore 2014: Dover Park Hospice, Singapore Children’s Society, SingHealth Transplant TRUEfund and the SportCares Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Singapore Sports Council.  The Parade of Hope was open for public registration for the first time this year, and also joining the ride were Professional Criterium riders Ed Clancy (Rapha Condor-JLT), Aidis Kruopis (ORICA-GreenEDGE), Rico Rogers (OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team) and Shem Rodger (New Zealand national team), as well as Team Singapore cyclists Ho Jun Rong, Benedict Lee, Noel Teh and Travis Woodford and Team Singapore sprinter Gary Yeo.

The OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s Rico Rogers came within a split-second of giving the roaring home fans a victory to remember, as Drapac Professional Cycling Team’s Wouter Wippert edged Rogers by a fraction of a bicycle length to win the OCBC Cycle Singapore Professional Criterium on Friday at the F1 Pit Building.

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Still, the second-place finish was the OCBC Singapore Pro Cycling Team’s best-ever result at its home race. Cameron Bayly gave Singapore’s only professional cycling outfit further reason to cheer by capturing the Cycle Asia King of the Sprints crown, the second year in a row the team has captured the accolade. Rapha Condor-JLT’s Graeme Briggs, the 2011 British national road race champion, finished in third place.

Ho Jun Rong, the only Singaporean in the field, finished in 26th place, 18 seconds behind Wippert, to become the first local rider since 2010 to complete the challenging Professional Criterium. Terengganu Cycling Team’s Mohammad Saufi Mat Senan earned the Best Asian Rider title by crossing the line in 21st place.

* Information and details above Courtesy of OCBC Singapore and Black Dot Pte Ltd *

It was good to be back covering OCBC Cycle Singapore cycling event, Day 1 action is over, now for Day 2 – 29th March and Day 3 – 30th March for more fun and community cycling events! This is my third time covering OCBC Cycle Singapore and I covered OCBC Cycle Singapore 2011 and OCBC Cycle Singapore 2012! If you are participating and cycling, have fun and enjoy yourselves! Do come down to OCBC Cycle Singapore village for Attractions Off The Track and check out the Sports and Lifestyle Expo, there will also be fun and activities for the children!

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The Parade of Hope cycling event, an earlier event before the Professional Criterium race, showed the fun and community side of cycling, recreation and fun, from the different kind of bicycles to the little children pushing their bicycles instead of riding their bicycles, cycling along side with their parents. With such fun and interesting cyclists in action, the community rides on Sunday is going to gather more interesting cyclists, wondering how they will come to OCBC Cycle Singapore dressed up as? Maybe fictional cartoon characters like Spiderman, Captain Marvel or somebody else? Check out my photography coverage of OCBC Cycle Singapore 2014 here on Flickr! 

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Here are the key social media links and events information for OCBC Cycle Singapore

OCBC Cycle Singapore website

OCBC Cycle Singapore Instagram

OCBC Cycle Singapore Facebook Page

OCBC Cycle Singapore Twitter

Today, 29th March is Fun Time for the Kids and Family with the Tricycle Ride, Mighty Savers Kids Ride and The Junior Challenge, do drop by OCBC Cycle Singapore at F1 Pit Stop Building and catch the action! Have a fun sporting and cycling weekend at OCBC Cycle Singapore 2014 and see you there!


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Have You Visited i Light Marina Bay 2014?

The colourful, interesting and innovative sustainable light art festival, i Light Marina Bay 2014 is now in their final week, with the last day of the festival on 30th March 2014! This event, i Light Marina Bay had been a fun and interesting festival, that I saw from the visitors coming down to i Light Marina Bay, interacting and playing with the lighting artworks! There were a total of 28 art installations around the Marina Bay area and I managed to visit and photograph all 28 art installations over the past 2 weekends! My i Light Marina Bay 2014 photographs are uploaded to my Flickr and you can find out more about the 28 art installations!

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There are a few art installations that I really like a lot and I would recommend these few art installations at i Light Marina Bay for you all to visit! One of them is art installation B9 titled “Cloud”, with the Marina Bay and Raffles Place CBD skyline in her background, this makes an excellent photograph together with the art installation Cloud. During the evening, when the sun sets and the blue hour emerges, the art installation Cloud with the beautiful landscape background is one that dazzles visitors and photographers to wait for that moment!

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Visit i Light Marina Bay 2014 and discover your favourite art installations! The lighting projection display on the Art Science Museum, art installation B14 titled “Celebration of Life” is another of my favourite and you can see many visitors watching from the Helix Bridge, at the Float @ Marina Bay and below the Art Science Museum itself! I photographed the “Celebration of Life” artwork installation from three different locations over two weekends and one of my favourite location is the Helix Bridge whereby I can have a view of artwork projection on the Art Science Museum with the Raffles Place CBD and Marina Bay in the background!

Here are some key information on i Light Marina Bay 2014

– From: 7th March 2014 to 31st March 2014

– Location: Marina Bay Waterfront

– Website: i Light Marina Bay

– Opening Hours: 7:30pm to 11:00pm

If you haven’t visited i Light Marina Bay 2014, you still can drop by Marina Bay and visit them during this final week!


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

2014 Sony World Photography Award Winners

The winners for the Open, Youth and National Award competitions of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards were announced today by the World Photography Organisation.

Selected from over 70,000 entries from across the world, the achievement of each of the winners from across the three competitions is extraordinary – both in terms of the number of photographs they have been chosen from but also that the photographers themselves are not professionals, but individuals who are passionate about photography, enthusiasts and amateurs.

Under the Staircase

Winner: 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Architecture © Holger Schmidtke, Germany

Rodeo

Winner: 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Arts and Culture © Valerie Prudon, Australia

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Winner: 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Enhanced © Kylli Sparre, Estonia

All three competitions were judged on a single shot and prizes range from the latest Sony digital imaging equipment to trips to London to attend the Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony on 30 April.  The ten Open winners will also compete for a $5,000 (USD) prize and the Overall Open Photographer of the Year title.

First Snow

Winner: 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Low Light © Vlad Eftenie, Romania

The Cold Pony

Winner: 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Nature & Wildlife © Gert van den Bosch, Netherlands

 

Starry Lighthouse

Winner: 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Panoramic © Ivan Pedretti, Italy

All the winning photographers can also enjoy the international exposure and recognition brought to them and their image by the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards.

OPEN COMPETITION

Open to all photography enthusiasts, the jury, chaired by Nigel Atherton, Group Editor, IPC Photo, UK, selected ten category winners who are:

  • Architecture – Holger Schmidtke, Germany
  • Arts and Culture – Valerie Prudon, Australia
  • Enhanced – Kylli Sparre, Estonia
  • Low Light – Vlad Eftenie, Romania
  • Nature & Wildlife – Gert van den Bosch, Netherlands
  • Panoramic – Ivan Pedretti, Italy
  • People – Arup Ghosh, India
  • Smile – Alpay Erdem, Turkey
  • Split Second – Hairul Azizi Harun, Malaysia
  • Travel – Li Chen, China

Each of the ten category winners will receive a Sony 6000 camera.  In addition the photographers will have their work exhibited at Somerset House, London from 1-18 May and the images will be published in the 2014 edition of the annual Sony World Photography Awards book.

Poor God

Winner: 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, People © Arup Ghosh, India

 

Muddy Smile

Winner: 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Smile © Alpay Erdem, Turkey

 

Behind the Scene

Winner: 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Split Second © Hairul Azizi Harun, Malaysia

 

Rain in an Ancient Town

Winner: 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Travel © Li Chen, China

The ten winners will now compete for the Sony World Photography Awards Open Photographer of the Year title and $5,000 (USD) prize.  The overall winning Open photographer will be announced at a gala ceremony in London on 30 April and this photographer will be flown to London to collect his/her prize.

YOUTH COMPETITION

Open to photographers under the age of 20, the Youth competition uncovers emerging talent.  The category winners are:

  • Culture – Anastasia Zhetvina, Russia
  • Environment – Turjoy Chowdhury, Bangladesh
  • Portraits – Paulina Metzscher, Germany

Young Talents

Winner: Youth Award 2014 Sony World Photography Awards – Culture © Anastasia Zhetvina, Russia

Life and Line

Winner: Youth Award 2014 Sony World Photography Awards – Environment © Turjoy Chowdhury, Bangladesh

Untitled

Winner: Youth Award 2014 Sony World Photography Awards – Portraits © Paulina Metzscher, Germany

Each winner will receive a Sony 5000 camera and will have their work exhibited as part of the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition in London in May and published in the annual book.

From the three category winners, one overall Youth Photographer of the Year will be selected and will be flown to London to collect their award on 30 April.

NATIONAL AWARDS

38 countries, from Colombia to New Zealand, Kenya to the Nordics, took part in the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards’ National Award programme.

The National Awards uncover and honour the best single image taken by a local photographer and are judged by a local jury of photography experts.

The winners are given a range of prizes from a trip to London to attend the Sony World Photography Awards gala dinner on 30 April to the latest digital imaging equipment from Sony.

Singapore National Award Winners at 2014 Sony World Photography Awards 

Singaporean photographer Chin Boon Leng has been announced today as the winner of the Singapore National Award as part of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, one of the world’s leading photography competitions.

Open to photographers of all abilities, the Singapore National Award seeks to uncover and honour the single best image taken by a local photographer entered into any of the ten Open categories of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards.

What are you staring at !?

1st Place, Singapore National Award 2014 Sony World Photography Awards – © Chin Boon Leng

Untitled

2nd Place, Singapore National Award 2014 Sony World Photography Awards  – © Joyce Le Mesurier

Daniel Chia_Singapore National Award 3rd Place_2014

3rd Place Singapore National Award 2014 Sony World Photography Awards – © Daniel Chia

Chin Boon Leng, a children’s book illustrator, was chosen as the winner for a charming shot of a baby Orang-utan peeking out from its Mother’s embrace titled “What are you staring at?”  It was selected by a local panel of judges from over 1,300 entries by Singaporean photographers.

The local judges also awarded runner up positions to:

  • 2nd place – Joyce Le Mesurier
  • 3rd place – Daniel Chia

Talking about his success, Chin Boon Leng comments “I’m extremely honoured to be shortlisted as this is a global competition with so many talented photographers participating.  To deserve such great recognition is definitely overwhelming, and I hope this will ignite fellow Singaporeans’ interest in photography.”

As the Singapore National Award winner, Chin Boon Leng receives the latest Sony digital camera equipment and will be flown to London to attend the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony on 30 April.  The winning photograph will also be exhibited at Somerset House, London from 1-18 May as part of the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition and published on www.worldphoto.org.

* Information and Details Courtesy of Sony Singapore and Waggener Edstrom Worldwide *

* Award Winning Photographs Courtesy of respective Award Winning Photographers *

Reliving the Memories of Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa, affectionately known as Tiger Balm Garden to the older generation and to those who had the memory of remembering her maiden name, is located in the western part of Singapore. The charm, aura and significance of Haw Par Villa had kind of faded away in time during Singapore’s rise and expansion in the past few decades. Do you remember when was the last time you visited Haw Par Villa ? Or have you visited Haw Par Villa before ? I remembered visiting Haw Par Villa when I was a young boy during the early 1980s, it was pretty scary for a young boy when I visited Haw Par Villa because the statues and figurines were pretty frightening whom knew nothing at that time. For many years, I didn’t go back at all to Haw Par Villa and it went through a number of changes over the past two decades.

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Today, I will bring you through my eyes and stories, reliving the Memories of Haw Par Villa, adding on to my coverage and documentation of Old Places in Singapore. Haw Par Villa is a hidden gem in Singapore making a comeback in sharing her history, heritage and culture, that she thoroughly deserves for making and allowing the public to access the gardens owned by the Aw family in the 1930s. Haw Par Villa was built by Aw Boon Haw as a gift for his brother, Aw Boon Par, in 1937, to match his wealth and social status. The Aw family held strong Chinese values and wanted to share with the people, therefore, Boon Haw created a recreational space for the locals to come, enjoy and learn about strong Chinese values and beliefs. The gardens was opened to the public and they were able to be educated about strong traditional Chinese values and beliefs. There were many sculptures and dioramas teaching Chinese mythology, classic stories, traditional Chinese values, religion, philosophy, filial piety and beliefs, showcasing Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. Over the decades, Boon Haw added more interesting and informative exhibits and sculptures to Haw Par Villa before his passing in 1954. The Government acquired back the land in 1985 and was renamed Dragon World in 1990 as a theme park. The theme park wasn’t successful and Haw Par Villa was returned back to the Government in 2001.

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As part of Singapore Tourism Board – Tourism 50, we are reminiscing Singapore’s heritage attraction, Reliving the Memories of Haw Par Villa. When I went back to Haw Par Villa on 16th March 2014 to Relive the Memories of Haw Par Villa, I realised there were so much history, heritage and culture inside Haw Par Villa that eluded Singaporeans and international visitors. Haw Par Villa showcases beyond Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. It was full of history, story telling and folklore and sharing cultures from other countries. When you walked through the grand entrance of Haw Par Villa and walked uphill, you will be entering a realm of mystical wonders and discoveries.

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Have you heard of classic Chinese tales Journey to the West? How about Madam White Snake? Do you know what happens to you (for the traditional Chinese belief) when you die? What is life beyond death? Have you heard of the Ten Courts of Hell? Some of the teachings and sculptures can be pretty scary and frightening yet it’s a big eye-opener to learn more in-depth about our Chinese culture, Taoist, Buddhist and Confucianist principles. The writings and shadings can go and on here, lengthy in words at times, therefore, the most ideal way is to visit the Ten Courts of Hell at Haw Par Villa. Yes, you are “walking into and through Hell” at Haw Par Villa and the life lessons learned will be priceless.

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At the end of my “traveling, walking into and through the Ten Courts of Hell”, the final no. 10 Court of Hell was where “we were given a chance to reincarnate” and given another lifetime, another chance again. This was the time for some self-reflection and I “received” my enlightenment as I left the Ten Courts of Hell, awed and enlightened by the Aw family legacy and what they did for the public in the early days of Singapore’s history and development.

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Haw Par Villa, Singapore’s heritage attraction park, so rich and colourful in history, heritage and culture, imparting strong values, philosophy and teachings to all who visited Haw Par Villa. Looking back in time at Haw Par Villa, while she had changed and transformed a lot over the decades, her strengths, origins and values are still around today to pass on the knowledge, history, culture and values to the future generations of Singapore. I am  very happy that I am able to Relive the Memories of Haw Par Villa, with my thoughts and photographs here. I will go back again to photograph more in details and close up of the sculptures and dioramas inside Haw Par Villa and continue to share the beauty, richness and values of Haw Par Villa!

If you are keen to relive the Memories of Haw Par Villa, there are many exciting activities and organised tours on Saturday 22nd March 2014 and Sunday 23rd March 2014, check out Reliving Haw Par Villa for more details!


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Gardens By The Bay Update – Children’s Garden & Sun Pavilion

Gardens By The Bay has been an iconic landmark and destination since her days when she was first officially opened to the public. Having been to Gardens By The Bay a number of times, photographing and covering her growth and expansion in stages from her pre-opening days (sneak peak) to the official opening and visiting Gardens By The Bay along the way, she has added and opened more interesting themes to the overall Gardens By The Bay.

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In my most recent visit to Gardens By The Bay, hosted by the friendly staff, a group of social media enthusiasts were given a tour of the latest floral display inside the Flower Dome – Battle of the Roses. Mihkkaail Ng also brought us around for a special guided tour of the various gardens inside the Flower Dome, Succulent Garden, The BaoBabs, Australian Garden and Californian Garden (check out more information of the various gardens here!) Over the period when Gardens By The Bay first officially opened her doors to the public, the trees, floral and fauna inside Flower Dome slowly increases, transforming into a lush and beautiful gardens from around the different continents of the world.

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Sun Pavilion

We then proceed to the newly opened Sun Pavilion, not too far away from the Flower Dome. Sun Pavilion is the prickly garden, home to one of Southeast Asia’s largest cacti and succulent gardens. Sun Pavilion is home to over 1,000 desert plants comprising some 100 different species and varieties and with her opening on 28th February 2014, visitors to Gardens By The Bay has something special and unique to visit and learn more about the different floral and fauna around the world! We were given a guided tour by Anton Steven, an expert of the desert plants under his charge at the Sun Pavilion!

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When you are visiting Sun Pavilion, you will be able to spot the amazing Mexican columnar cacti, which bring to mind the desert landscapes reminiscent of those in olden-day cowboy films, and the large succulent Euphorbias, which while less spiny, are interesting as they produce latex to protect themselves against hungry predators. The Sun Pavilion also houses smaller succulents with eye-catching details such as the Brazilian species of Turk’s Cap, and the Brain Cactus.

The various and unique desert plants really make a walkthrough the Sun Pavilion very interesting and visitors can get to learn more about them and how countries with deserts look like with the desert plants. More information on the Sun Pavilion – at Gardens by the Bay is available here at –  http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/sunpavilion.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Far East Organization Children’s Garden

There is a star attraction now at Gardens By The Bay, the Far East Organization’s Children’s Garden, making Gardens By The Bay truly a park for the young and the old! The Children’s Garden was made possible with a SGD10-million contribution from Far East Organization. The Far East Organization Children’s Garden encourages playfulness by giving children the liberty to explore, imagine and create – in a way that no smartphone, tablet, or game console can offer – all within a garden setting that will spark the child’s imagination and appreciation for nature and the environment. The Far East Organization Children’s Garden is now open to the public and admission is free. The play area operates from 9am to 9pm, and closes for maintenance every Monday (or the next working day if a public holiday falls on a Monday of that week.

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Hanging around the Children’s Garden, the Water Play, Adventure Trails, Tree Houses and Forest Adventure, we can see that it is very popular with the children, running around and having a fun and leisure time either with the water or the playgrounds in the Forest Adventure. The adults accompanying their children, I am pretty sure they are also enjoying a bit of themselves too, remembering the days when they were young and carefree playing in the playgrounds.

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For more information on the Far East Organization Children’s Garden, as well as other features and programmes of Gardens by the Bay, is available at www.gardensbythebay.com.sg.

Gardens By The Bay has now transformed into a very nice and beautiful park, there is something for everybody from the young to the old where everybody can have fun, relax, enjoy the outdoors and sunshine, flora, fauna, the children’s playground, watching sunrise or sunset at the Marina Bay area, and there is also bird/wildlife spotting opportunities as well!

Have fun at Gardens By The Bay and see you there!


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Gardens By The Bay – War of the Roses

The season of beautiful and glorious roses are now in bloom at Gardens By The Bay, engaging in a War of the Roses floral display inside the Flower Dome from 26th February 2014 to 6th April 2014, that showcases one of the world’s most popular bloom.

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Titled “War of the Roses”, it is not about the roses fighting with each other. The floral display draws inspiration from an event of the same name that took place in 15th century England. The historical “War of the Roses” was a series of civil wars between the House of Lancaster and the House of York that were vying for the throne of England. Its name drew reference to the emblems associated with the two Houses – the Red Rose of Lancaster and the White Rose of York. (Source: Gardens By The Bay)

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Gardens By The Bay is transformed into medieval times and visitors are brought back in time. There are two armour-plated knights on horses, amidst in a battle of roses in different shapes, sizes and colours. The “War of the Roses” floral display, which features some 60 varieties of England’s national flower, is part of the Europe leg of the “Gardens by the Bay Goes around the World” series for 2014.

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During my recent visit to the Flower Dome for the War of the Roses, the floral display was really beautiful! The floral display of the various roses was bright and colourful and they will definitely catch your attention to the beautiful roses! Remember to bring your camera along and take many photographs and memories of the War of the Roses floral display! Check out my photographs on the War of the Roses at Gardens By The Bay on Flickr! 

For more details on “War of the Roses”, “A Tale of Roses”, and other programmes at Gardens by the Bay, please drop by and visit http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/waroftheroses.


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i Light Marina Bay 2014

i Light Marina Bay 2014 is back in Singapore, now in its 3rd edition! This is one of my favourite events to photograph and I love the various beautiful and colourful lightings and artworks displays by the various artists from around the world coming to i Light Marina Bay 2014!

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i Light Marina Bay is Asia’s only sustainable light art festival that showcases innovative content, the intelligent use of lighting as well as an international line-up of creative talents. Themed Light+heART, the festival this year features 28 innovative and environmentally sustainable light art installations from around the world.

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i Light Marina Bay 2014 is going to light up Marina Bay in a wide array of beautiful and colourful lighting displays and artworks, attracting many visitors from local and overseas to the Marina Bay area and getting into the i Light Marina Bay 2014 action!

Here are my memories from i Light Marina Bay in 2010 and 2012

Photo Memories from i Light Marina Bay 2010 & my coverage of i Light Marina Bay 2010 

Photo Memories from i Light Marina Bay 2012 & my coverage of i Light Marina Bay 2012

I started walking around the Marina Bay Waterfront, visiting the various artworks and lighting displays at i Light Marina Bay 2014 when it was officially opened on the 7th March 2014. The artworks and lighting displays were amazing and there were some particular lighting artworks that caught my eye and attention, they were my favourite lighting artworks displays.

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Let me share with you some of my favourite i Light Marina Bay 2014 artworks!

– A2 The Wishing Tree by The Living Project

– A3 iSwarm by Team from SUTD 

– B9 Cloud by Caitlind R.C. Brown & Wayne Garrett 

– B10 1.26 Singapore by Janet Echelman 

– B14 Celebration of Life by Justin Lee with Dorier Asia Pte Ltd

Do drop by Marina Bay Singapore and visit all of the lighting artworks and displays! Some of them are really interactive for you to participate and have an experiential experience with the lightings! Some of the artworks at i Light Marina Bay 2014 are very popular with the visitors and they can be identified by the visitors getting to be part of the action and taking photos with the lighting artworks!

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Take many photographs and memories from i Light Marina Bay 2014, tag them with #ilightmarinabay and #marinabaysg ! Have lots of fun and enjoy yourselves! I look forward to photographing and completing all the i Light Marina Bay 2o14 lighting artworks displays!

Here are some key information on i Light Marina Bay 2014

– From: 7th March 2014 to 31st March 2014

– Location: Marina Bay Waterfront

– Website: i Light Marina Bay

– Opening Hours: 7:30pm to 11:00pm


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

World Press Photo 13 – Singapore

The World Press Photo Exhibition 2013, the “Oscars” of photojournalism, is currently now in Singapore from 8th to 30th March 2014. They will showcase 154 prize-winning photos by 54 of the world’s top photographers and Singapore is the last stop in a world tour that took them across 95 different countries. Of the nearly 6,000 photographers from 124 countries who submitted entries for this 56th World Press Photo contest, 23 came from Singapore. There were four Southeast Asian winners among them.

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I always like to go and visit photography exhibitions by local or international photographers and World Press Photo is about inspiring understanding of the world through quality photojournalism. It was indeed very inspiring and definitely an eye-opener for fellow photographers whether you are an amateur or professional photographer. The photographs on display at World Press Photo 13 in Singapore tell many stories in other parts of the world, a photograph definitely speaks a thousand words.

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For me, I learned my photography through the eyes and words of National Geographic Magazine, where my style of photojournalism, coverage and writing was heavily influenced by them. As I walked through the World Press Photo 2013 Exhibition in Singapore, held at Raffles Hotel, maybe my photo stories someday can make a difference too and let the world knows and understand about themselves better. Viewing the exhibited photographs at World Press Photo 2013, it’s a good time to learn, view and feel from the eyes and hearts of the talented photojournalists around the world.

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The World Press Photo 2013 Exhibition in Singapore is definitely worth your time to visit and be mesmerised by the powerful photojournalism photographs that tell you stories far and beyond. If you a photographer, fan of photography or a photojournalist, this is definitely a Must Visit for you!

For more information here on World Press Photo 2013 in Singapore

World Press Photo website: http://www.worldpressphoto.org

World Press Photo Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/WorldPressPhoto

Download the free Exhibition Guide mobile app here:
http://www.worldpressphoto.org/content/2013-exhibition-guide-mobile-app

For the most up-to-date information, always refer to our event page:
http://www.worldpressphoto.org/exhibition/2013_Singapore

National Geographic Channel and Canon announce winners of Explore To Inspire Photo Contest

A few months ago, National Geographic Channel and Canon launched an Asia wide Explore To Inspire Photo Contest and after more than 16,200 entries received for the Explore To Inspire Photo Contest, Kazi Riasat Alve (from Bangladesh) has been announced as the winner.

1st Prize

First prize – “Playing in the muddy field” by Kazi Riasat Alve (Bangladesh)

Held in celebration of National Geographic’s 125th anniversary, the two-month-long contest in late 2013 was open to all aspiring young photographers, aged 18 and above, residing in 13 countries – Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand or Vietnam.

First prizewinner, Kazi Riasat Alve (Bangladesh) won judges over with an inspiring perspective of a young boy lying on his back in a muddy field, lifting one’s spirit with the quiet calm confidence of a smile, against all odds. Taken with a Canon EOS Kiss X3 and Canon 18-55mm, f/3.5-5.6 lens, Kazi captured the winning shot at Dhaka, in a school field where underprivileged children plays after school.

Second_Third

From left: First runner-up “Going home” by Asep Teguh Kantyana (Indonesia) and second runner-up “Journey to the past” by Marco Tjokrosantoso (Indonesia)

Asep Teguh Kantyana and Marco Tjokrosantoso, both from Indonesia, were awarded first and second runners-up respectively. They will receive a Canon EOS 6D (body) and a Canon EOS 70D (body). The top three photographs from the contest will also be featured in the March 2014 copy of National Geographic’s Asia Edition.

A summary of the winners and prizes as follows:

1st Place

Kazi Riasat Alve (Bangladesh)

– Canon EOS 5D Mark III (Body)

– Trip to National Geographic Weekend Photography Workshop in San Francisco

– Winning photo published in National Geographic magazine

1st Runner-up

Asep Teguh Kantyana (Indonesia)

– Canon EOS 6D (Body)

– Winning photo published in National Geographic magazine

2nd Runner-up 

Marco Tjokrosantoso (Indonesia)

– Canon EOS 70D (Body)

– Winning photo published in National Geographic

* Information and details Courtesy of National Geographic Channel, Canon Singapore and Full Circle PR * 

Yangon, Myanmar

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has been an intriguing country with a long history in Southeast Asia. With her doors closed to the outside world for many decades, Myanmar is slowly opening her doors to the world again, welcoming visitors back to the Golden Land. Their doors opened up a few years ago and many opportunities appear, slowly opening up to the world, with tourism and travel being one of the key industry sectors to benefit Myanmar in her quest for economic development and growth.

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I recently went for a short 4D3N trip to Yangon (with 2 nights in Yangon), Myanmar, my maiden trip to the Golden Land and I was really looking forward to it. Coming from different perspectives of a traveler, photojournalist and hospitality graduate, my 4 days of adventure was a fruitful and interesting travel photography adventure. Besides being a leisure trip, it was also an ideal timing to observe the business opportunities in the tourism, travel and hospitality sectors.

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The streets of Yangon left me a deep impression for a very different reason, left hand drive like the United States of America, vehicles of both right hand and left hand drive are allowed on their roads in Yangon. Different brands and types of cars are filling up the roads and it’s starting to get crowded. There aren’t any motorcycles allowed on the roads in Yangon (they only appear in the night). The public transport buses is going to be a challenge for the international visitors, the culture of riding public transport is kind of no rules yet you know how to board and ride the buses to your destinations. Taxis are your home sedan cars with a taxi sign pasted on top of their roof, operating without meters.

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Urban landscapes are slowly changing and more high-rise apartments are appearing in Yangon. The mixture of new and very old buildings together side by side is a common sight and this is probably going to change in the next 3-5 years. I can sense the change in the air, new building constructions, buildings and sub-urban hubs. The changes will take time and it’s happening right now in Yangon.

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The culture and lifestyle is like going back in time, where the pace of life is not that fast and furious yet (with the exception of the traffic on the roads). The markets and roadside stalls, give Yangon its distinctive sights and character. I had an interesting time walking down the roads and trying to discover some old photography treasures within them, although unsuccessful, I might just try again to find some treasures there! For street photography lovers, you would love Yangon for its roadside markets and stalls, and the night street scenes at their Chinatown.

One of my best travel photography memories there in Yangon was the Shwedagon Pagoda. It’s absolutely gorgeous, grand and amazing. No simple words can describe, just photographs and being there personally to soak in the stature and ambience of the Shwedagon Pagoda, will you feel the words that sometimes travelers can’t describe. I didn’t get to spend enough time there and I probably need at least a half-day trip to Shwedagon Pagoda when I visit Yangon again in the future. The colonial building in the heart of the Downtown area, where the Sule Pagoda is located, shows the roots and connections with the British Empire.

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What are the opportunities for Myanmar in their travel and tourism sectors? In my personal opinion, it’s primed for some big massive growth and expansion. There is a need for more accommodation and Yangon is going to be the springboard for travelers moving out of Yangon to other world famous areas such as Bagan and Mandalay. The coastal areas and many islands located at the Southern part of Myanmar are a really huge potential area for tourism and hospitality expansion, an area that I will cover about shortly in another post.

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Maybe we need to give them 5 to 10 years; maybe they can do it with a shorter time frame. Along with new infrastructure developments, relaxation of visas into Myanmar, we will probably see many changes and improvements. Let’s hope that the markets, lifestyle and roadside stalls are still a part of the new country in the future. Myanmar is definitely a photographer’s dream destination; check out my earlier post on 7 Days in Myanmar! I am planning a trip in the future to their famous destinations such as Inle Lake, Bagan, Mount Popa, U Bein Bridge in Mandalay and Kyaiktiyo Pagoda a.k.a. Golden Rock. I will love to produce my own personal 7 Days in Myanmar travel photography book in the future!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to the Golden Land!


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