Tag Archives: Empress Place

Outdoor Events Photography Tips

The art and beauty of photography, brought me many many beautiful and priceless moments, the journey was long and still continuing, learning the art and technical aspects of photography are never ending and there’s always something new for me to learn, irregardless of the expertise and experience level that I have currently attained. One aspect of learning photography comes from sharing and Pay-It-Forward, sharing with my readers and supporters, on photography tips that I learned from books, mentors, self-learning and experimentation. I learn and improve just as much as from sharing my photography tips to friends and readers.

Today, in a new series of Photography Tips, I would be covering on the topic of Outdoor Events Photography Tips. This field of photography is very wide, what does it encompasses ? The outdoor events that I would be covering would be my experiences from attending and covering the following Outdoor Events

 BayBeats Singapore 2011 (Outdoor Rock Concert Performances)

(Canon 1Dmk3 and EF 70-200mm f4 L USM lens at 200mm, 1/40 sec at f/4, ISO 3200)

Chingay Parade 2012 Media Preview (Outdoor Multi Art Discipline Troupes Performances)

(Canon 1Dmk3 and EF 70-200mm f4 L USM lens at 70mm, 1/40 sec at f/4, ISO 3200)

 Singapore Night Festival 2011 (Outdoor Arts Night Performances)

(Canon 1Dmk3 and EF 70-200mm f4 L USM lens at 70mm, 1/80 sec at f/4, ISO 3200)

Regenerating Communities at Empress Place ~ Sin Hoe Ping Puppet Troupe Performance (Outdoor Traditional Arts Performances)

(Canon 1Dmk3 and EF 70-200mm f4 L USM lens at 70mm, 1/250 sec at f/5.6, ISO 3200)

The art of writing long paragraphs might be too lengthy for readers trying to catch the points quickly and easily. Therefore, in order to facilitate my sharing, there are selected photographs displayed, they were captured from the different events with their EXIF data and I have written them down into tips in the form of simple and short sentences –

General photography tips
– ISO selection
~ During a night performance, shoot at highest ISO level possible.

– Shutter speed selection 
~ Do vary the shutter speed accordingly, to get the effects you like and taking into account the lightings & surroundings.

~ Try using different shutter speeds such as 1/60 to 1/125 to produce the different effects in different lighting conditions.

– Choice of lens 
~ A telephoto lens is ideal or a must (you will usually be some distance away from the performing areas) e.g. Canon EF 70-200mm L lens, in a outdoor night performance, the Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS USM Mk 2 lens is highly desirable and would be very powerful and useful. Other telephoto lens that can be considered too are the EF 24-70mm f2.8 L USM or the EF 24-105mm f4 L IS USM, both are great versatile lens, ideal for events photography!
~ Do bring along a prime lens e.g. 50mm f/1.8, it can be very useful & versatile in situations that you might never think about!

– AF (Auto Focus) type selection
~ Using AI Servo would be ideal, with lots of action & movement in arts/events performance.

– WB (White Balance) type selection
~ Depending on the lightings & surroundings, it might be tricky & for a start, using AWB is sufficient & it can be pretty accurate.

– Flash photography 
~ Flash photography is usually banned/not allowed at most outdoor performance events
~ Do take not that flash photography on the performers would hurt their eyes & may affect them in their performance, thus might be endangering their life too, especially if they are performing at high altitude or with pyrotechnics.
~ By shooting without flash, this allows you to capture it in its natural surroundings, lightings & ambience.

Other Key Photography Tips
– A tripod may not be ideal in certain events/situations, thus a monopod might be more useful and versatile.
– Be creative, think out of the box, don’t let it restrict your photography, let it flow and you would be surprised by what photography can bring out in you!

– Walk around & explore (if possible), this allows you to take many different photographs of the outdoor event, from different angles and perspectives.
– Be prepared for any changes & react accordingly e.g lighting changed from dark to bright, from bright to dim to dark and vice versa.
– If the situation allows & permission is granted by organisers, do visit the backstage scene & be up close & personal to the performers, their equipment & what actually goes on behind the scenes, the preparations, chat with the performers during rest time if it does not affect them in their preparation for their next performance or rest time.
– Capture the crowds watching the outdoor performance, it’s not just about the Outdoor Events Performance, the crowds and supporters play a key role too!

Key Non-Photography Tips
– Be courteous and considerate.
– Do research on the event & venue before attending, it helps you to be more prepared.
– Do arrive earlier at the event venue & have a “feel” of the surroundings, it helps you to get the “Feeling” that we photographers always seek/want to have before shooting the outdoor event.
– Do wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
– Do bring a water bottle & keep yourself hydrated.

The beauty and art of photography gives us a chance to capture many beautiful memories and moments, yet it can also be a medium in its purest photography arts form, to help champion/spread a noble cause such as heritage and cultural preservation and awareness. In my recent photojournalistic coverage and documentation of Sin Hoe Ping Puppet Troupe, at the Regenerating Communities at Empress Place, my photography and writing, along with the usage of social media channels and networks, it gave me a sense of happiness and achievement that my photographs and coverage were able to help Sin Hoe Ping Puppet Troupe in  a small part to gain more awareness and publicity.

(Canon 1Dmk3 and EF 70-200mm f4 L USM lens at 70mm, 1/100 sec at f/5.6, ISO 800)

(Canon 1Dmk3 and EF 70-200mm f4 L USM lens at 118mm, 1/100 sec at f/5.6, ISO 3200)

While you are out there today, taking photographs at different types of outdoor events, enjoy your photography, keep photographing, sharing and learning! You would never know how your photographs someday would make an impact in other’s life!

Regenerating Communities – Regenerating Puppetry in Singapore

Puppetry, a form of performing arts/theatre, involving the use and manipulation of puppets. This performing art dates back very long ago and it’s an ancient art form, originating 30,000 years (Source : Wikipedia). In modern times today, some performing arts are facing huge challenges, lesser people knows about puppetry, some even didn’t know about their existence, the younger generation today are influenced heavily by modern pop music, while the older generation that watches & enjoys puppetry, are slowly declining in numbers and probably didn’t pass the interest and passion of watching puppetry to their next generations.

For myself, I confessed that I didn’t know much about puppetry in Singapore, its origins and what it brings to the society. Therefore, it was a wonderful opportunity to be enlightened from watching, learning, photographing and documenting Sin Hoe Ping Puppet Troupe performing at Regenerating Communities at Empress Place on 17th February 2012. Regenerating Communities at Empress Place is a special 3 part arts and culture initiative featuring artists, art forms and programmes that draws Singapore’s rich heritage and culture, to bring it back to Empress Place, revitalise and reaffirm Empress Place as a heritage place. About the history of Sin Hoe Ping Puppet Troupe, although she was registered in 1981, her history dates back to before 1930s when it was known as De Yue Ban (德月班) in Putian, China.

First and foremost, I have to thank Belinda Tan, for organising and coordinating, without her liaison and leadership, the group of photographers, bloggers, social media enthusiasts and arts enthusiasts, would not be able to gather over 16th and 17th February 2012 at ACM Green to watch Sin Hoe Ping Puppet Troupe performing, going to the back stage, capturing artists preparing the puppets, performing, playing musical instruments and singing. On top of that, we had many opportunities with Mr Yang Lai Hao (the puppet troupe leader of Sin Hoe Ping Puppet Troupe) for interviews, photo taking and listening to his puppetry experiences.

During the 2 days of puppetry performances, the audience were entertained 3 awesome performances

6pm – Journey to the West

7pm – Monkey’s Wedding

8pm – Wu Song Fights the Tiger

Puppetry is not just abt movements & the puppets, the artists behind controls the puppet, sings and all of these give the puppetry a special aura of live performance, storytelling in her own unique ways, supported by Chinese musical instruments producing the music.

This was a very enriching and humbling experience for me, I never watched a puppetry performance in Singapore before. Therefore, it was a very rare opportunity to get so up close and personal to learn and watch something new to me, a performing arts that faces a very difficult future ahead in Singapore, due to succession for this form of puppetry arts performance and getting people of young and old to be interested in traditional arts performances.

Currently embarked and sailing onwards to my personal exploration journey, to seek, photograph and document, history, culture and heritage in my home land, Singapore, of disappearing Old Places, Old Trades, helping and supporting protection, conservation, preservation of heritage, history and culture, from Bukit Brown to The Green Corridor. I will do my part to document, photograph, write and share on puppetry in Singapore, with the coverage of Sin Hoe Ping Art Troupe performance during Regenerating Communities at Empress Place.

Mr Yang Lai Hao, the leader of Sin Hoe Ping Puppet Troupe, is currently searching for a successor to continue this beautiful ancient puppetry art performance, to continue the legacy of his forefathers and to keep this traditional art form alive into the future, for the future generations. I sincerely hope that his cousin from Putian, China, will be able to take over him and lead puppetry into the next few generations. Please kindly grant him the necessary paperwork and documentations to allow him to come over to Singapore and continue the legacy of puppetry. 

Check out more photos here on my Flickr! Let’s all do something to help keep our arts, traditions, cultures and heritage alive! Spread the word, support Sin Hoe Ping Puppet Troupe and we all can learn from them!

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.