Tag Archives: Photography tips

Canon EOS 1DX Mark II Review

The Canon EOS 1 series, the flagship Canon DSLR camera, the most powerful and fastest Canon DSLR camera, a must have workhorse lens for journalists, sports and wildlife photographers. Once you used the EOS 1 series, that’s no turning back.

My love affair with the EOS 1 series started when I playing with my friends Canon EOS 1D Mark I and Mark IIN, I was totally awed by its high frames per second and the sound of the high speed shutter. In time to come, I found myself owning a used Canon EOS 1D Mark III that I faithfully used for a few years before I upgraded to another EOS 1 series, the Canon EOS 1DX, also a used camera when the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II was announced and the price of a used EOS 1DX started to drop.

During a media event in February 2016, I got my hands on experience with the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II and inside my heart said, “I know you want it, buy it!”. However, my brain said, “It’s out of your current budget at the moment, even though you have a use for it on a professional basis” Therefore, I opted for a used Canon EOS 1DX, that I still love it and it’s now my current workhorse DSLR camera, as much as I badly wanted the EOS 1DX Mark II.

I did have an opportunity to review the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II recently, I was very excited because I am a huge fan of the EOS 1 series, not just on and from a professional basis, also from a photography enthusiast perspective.

During the review period, I had the opportunities to test the EOS 1DX Mark II over different situations, themes and events, from Singapore Motorshow 2017, Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail CNY 2017, River Hongbao 2017, Battle for Singapore Tour media preview, Chinese New Year gathering, Jaybird Freedom Wireless earphones product theme shoot and walking around Marina Bay area in the blue hour and night sceneries walkabout shoot. The experiences were really good and I was secretly lusting for a Canon EOS 1DX Mark II for my professional photography work along with a Canon EOS 1DX as a back up / second camera setup!

Through the various types of photographs that I took with the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II, I have the following observations, views and opinions of this powerful and awesome Canon flagship DSLR camera, written down in this review article.

However, before I begin, first and foremost, let me highlight the key differences between the technical specifications between the Canon EOS 1DX and EOS 1DX Mark II, the information that I extracted from Canon Singapore website by comparing these two Canon DSLR cameras side by side –

DSLR Specifications Canon EOS 1DX Canon EOS 1DX Mark II
Continuous Shooting Speed (shots per sec) (Up to) 14 16
Custom Functions (Total) 31 34
Dimensions (Excl. Protrusions) (mm) (Approximately) 158 x 163.6 x 82.7 158 x 167.6 x 82.6
Effective ISO 50 to 20,4800 (expandable to L (ISO50), H1 (ISO 102,400), H2 (ISO 204,800) 100 to 51,200 (expandable to L (ISO50), H1 (ISO 102,400), H2 (ISO 204,800), H3 (ISO 409,600)
Effective Pixels (Megapixels) (Approximately) 18.1 20.2
File numbering Consecutive numbering, Auto reset, Manual reset Continuous, Auto reset, Manual reset
Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 (L)
4608 x 3072 (M1)
3456 x 2304 (M2)
2592 x 1728 (S)
5184 x 3456 (RAW)
3888 x 2592 (M-RAW)
2592 x 1728 (S-RAW) 
5472 x 3648 (L)
4368 x 2912 (M1)
3648 x 2432 (M2)
2736 x 1824 (S)
5472 x 3648 (RAW)
4104 x 2736 (M-RAW)
2736 x 1824 (S-RAW) 
LCD Monitor Resolutions (dots) 1,040,000 Approx 1,620,000
Max. Resolution (Pixel) (Still images) 5184 x 3156 5472 x 3648
Memory Card Type CF Card (Type I or II) CF cards (Type 1, UDMA 7 supported)

Cfast card (Cfast 2.0 supported)

Metering Mode 252-zone TTL Evaluative, Partial Spot, Centre-weighted Approx. 360,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor and 216-zone TTL open-aperture metering, EOS iSA (Intelligent Subject Analysis) system, Evaluative metering, Partial metering, Spot metering, Center-weighted average metering

 

Metering Range (Measured at at 23°C or 73°F with EF50mm f1.4 USM lens, ISO 100)

 

EV 0 – 20 EV 0 – 20
Mirror Quick-return half mirror Quick-return type
Movie Format MOV MOV, MP4
Peripheral Connections Hi-Speed USB, Video Output, HDMI, LAN SuperSpeed USB, Video Output, HDMI, LAN
Playback Zoom (Approximately) 1.5x – 10x 1.5 – 10x
Processor Type Dual DIGIC 5+ Dual Digic 6+
Red Eye Reduction Yes
Standard Power Supply Battery Pack LP-E4N Battery Pack LP-E19 / LP-E4N / LP-E4
Video Resolution (HD) (Pixel) (Approximately) 1280 x 720
Video Resolution (SD) (Pixel) (Approximately) 640 x 480
Viewfinder Information AF information, metering and exposure information, flash information, white balance correction, JPEG Type / RAW Type recording, maximum burst, number of shots remaining, battery check, recording media information, highlight tone priority (D+), composition information, grid, electronic level

 

Image type: JPEG/RAW, Shooting mode, Metering mode, White balance, Drive mode, AF operation, Flicker detection, Warning ! indicator, AF operation indicator

 

White Balance Auto, daylight, shade, cloudy, tungsten light, white fluorescent light, flash, custom, colour temperature setting, personal white balance (Total 5 settings)

 

Auto (Ambience priority), Auto (White priority), Preset (Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten light, White fluorescent light, Flash), Custom (5 settings), Color temperature setting (approx. 2500-10000 K), Personal white balance (5 settings)

 

Based on the comparisons of technical specifications only, the key differences may not seem by many users as a big jump from the EOS 1DX to EOS 1DX Mark II. From my sharing of my Canon EOS 1DX Mark II review, I would share some of the key improvements that makes professional photographers to make their upgrade from EOS 1DX to EOS 1DX Mark II.

Colours

The Dual Digic 6+ processors inside the EOS 1DX Mark II make a key difference and impact to the quality and output of the photographs. They were richer and more accurate in colours, making it even easier and faster for jpeg photographs straight out from the EOS 1DX Mark II to be used quickly for your work requirements.

Dynamic Range

From my observations of the photographs shot with the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II review camera, on various subjects and themes during the review period, the dynamic range of the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II has improved. Therefore, the EOS 1DX Mark II is able to capture and retain more details and information. With this significant improvement, the shadows/dark tone areas of the photograph are lifted.

Anti-Flicker Technology

The Anti-Flicker technology that was first introduced to the Canon EOS 7D Mark II is now available inside the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II. The flickering of the indoor lights always pose an issue to photographers and they can give some photographers many problems/challenges to handle when shooting indoors. With the Anti-Flicker technology, indoor sports or events photography with the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II is so much more easier and pleasant, without the hassles of the flickering lights.

Auto Focus

The Canon EOS 1DX Mark II is the current flagship DSLR camera, it’s a monster machine as I always love (and usually) call it. Their Auto Focus system has improved significantly over the past few models since I started off (still owning it at this current juncture) with the EOS 1D Mark III and I am currrently using the EOS 1DX.

What make this Canon flagship DSLR camera so powerful, highly trusted and widely adopted by professionals around the world, from photojournalists, sports and wildlife photographers, are the AF technology packed inside this camera.

The technical specifications on paper shows how good and powerful this Canon EOS 1DX Mark II is. I recommend photographers who are keen in this camera to try it out and have a go at this flagship DSLR camera, you will then know why it is so highly trusted and widely adopted by the professioanls in photojournalism, sports and wildlife.

Here are the key improvements that are built inside the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II

  • 170 RAW images with CFast 2.0 card
  • Live View RAW – 16fps
  • New AF algorithm and AI Servo AF III+
  • EOS iTR
  • Large Zone AF
  • Newly developed 61-point AF sensor
  • AF shooting is possible on most lenses using all AF points with a maximum aperture value of f/8
  • Intelligent viewfinder II

During my review and research that I done previously for the Canon EOS 1DX, I discovered Canon USA produced a guide book on Canon EOS 1DX AF Setting Guidebook for users to fully utilise and customise the full AF capabilites. This book is now helping me to fine tune my AF settings in my EOS 1DX.

For this review article, I went back to Canon USA website and discovered that they have produced a new book titled Canon EOS 1DX Mark II AF Setting Guidebook. I strongly encourage photographers (whether professionals or serious enthusiasts) to download this handy guide book for their Canon EOS 1DX Mark II DSLR camera. This is a very handy and useful guide book to have for the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II.

Thoughts and views

The Canon EOS 1DX Mark II is the flagship Canon DSLR camera, this camera is highly regarded and used by professional photographers in the fields of journalism, sports and wildlife.

Owning a EOS 1DX is a huge upfront investment, the cost is pretty substantial. Therefore, this camera model is not something that all photographers would choose to purchase, considering their shooting requirements and budget. Moreover, Canon has a series of different professional DSLR camera models for professional as well as photography enthusiasts to choose from, such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 5DS, EOS 5DS R and not to forget the semi-professional camera models such as the EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 6D, EOS 80D etc.

Key factors that make photographers upgrade from EOS 1DX to 1DX Mark II

While the differences between the EOS 1DX and EOS 1DX Mark II may not be that big of a difference on paper, professional photographers who view the photos and read about the key differences in performances, they would choose to let go of their EOS 1DX and go for the EOS 1DX Mark II.

During the period when I reviewed the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II, these key factors (in my personal opinion) are why some photographers are letting go of their Canon EOS 1DX for the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II

  • Improved dynamic range
  • Shadows/Dark tone areas improvements
  • Anti-flickr shooting capabilities
  • Smarter and faster auto focusing with the new AF algorithm and AI Servo AF III+
  • 170 RAW images with CFast 2.0 card

On a personal note, I would really love to own the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II when my budget and finances allow. The Canon EOS 1DX is still a very capable camera, that is still doing its job well for me. Therefore when the opportunity arises, I hope that I can upgrade to the EOS 1DX Mark II in the near future.

I would like to thank Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations for the opportunity to review the Canon EOS 1DX Mark II.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Canon celebrates 14th consecutive year of No. 1 share

Canon Inc recently announced that their company’s interchangeable lens digital cameras have maintained the number 1 share of the global market for 14 consecutive years from 2003 to 2016.

I was one of those that used the Canon EOS 300D, the DSLR camera that made the breakthrough and changes to the DSLR market in 2003. This particular DSLR camera was the start of a very eventful and exciting photography journey for me, starting from 2004 (and still ongoing) when I started using my first DSLR, the Canon EOS 300D for taking photographs and also for my holiday trips to Tokyo, Japan and Penang, Malaysia in 2004.

While I started entering into the world of photography way back in the analogue film SLR days, starting from my primary school days when I played and damaged my father’s SLR camera. I only got into more serious photography starting from 2004. From then on, I never look back, my relationship with Canon DSLRs blossomed with the upgrades from the maiden DSLR, the EOS 300D, followed by -> EOS 30D -> EOS 1D Mark III -> EOS 70D -> EOS 1DX, over the years from 2004 to 2017 (and still counting).

Beside owning the various Canon DSLRs that I wrote down, I also had the honour to be given many opportunities to test and review other Canon DSLR models, sharing the photographs, my reviews, thoughts, views and experiences with them right here on my photography and travel site. There is a particular Canon DSLR model that I really like, yet I didn’t own it, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. This Canon EOS 5D Mark III allowed me to produce some photography works that were instrumental and significant during my photography adventures.

Over all these years for me, partnering with the various Canon DSLR models, I had learned a lot, grown and improved my photography together with them. At this stage in time, I am now in a new phase of my photography adventure, the start of a new era, striving even higher benchmarks, goals and objectives for myself, in both a personal and professional capacity in my photography.

This is my personal (rather lengthy) Canon DSLRs story, now let me share with you, the Canon Inc story –

Canon Inc. announced that the Company’s interchangeable-lens digital cameras (digital SLR and compact-system cameras) have maintained the No. 1 share of the global market for 14 consecutive years from 2003 to 2016*.

Canon develops the key components featured in its interchangeable-lens cameras— CMOS image sensors, image processors and interchangeable lenses— in the pursuit of “Speed, Comfort and High Image Quality, the core concept of the EOS series.” The Company employs these cutting-edge technologies across its entire lineup, from entry-level models that achieve high image quality with easy operation to flagship cameras trusted by professionals, effectively responding to the needs of a wide range of users.

In 2003, the dawn of digital SLR cameras, Canon introduced its breakthrough EOS 300D Digital (EOS Digital Rebel or EOS Kiss Digital in other regions). This groundbreaking camera, which was competitively priced and featured a compact, lightweight design, captured the top share of the global market and set the stage for growth in the digital SLR market.

Since that time, Canon has continued to launch a range of epoch-making products, including the professional-model EOS-1D series and the EOS 5D series which paved the way for digital SLR video recording.

In 2016, Canon introduced an impressive lineup of interchangeable-lens camera products that supported the Company’s achievement of a 14th consecutive year at the top of the global market. In the first quarter of 2016, the Company unveiled the flagship model, the EOS-1D X Mark II, which wields significant clout in the sports photography world thanks to its 14 frame-per-second continuous shooting. This was followed by the EOS 80D for advanced-amateur users, which features excellent still image quality and superb operability when shooting videos. The EOS 5D Mark IV, capable of 4K video, was released in second half of the year. Additionally, the Company’s interchangeable-lens camera lineup was further expanded with the introduction of the high-end EOS M5 compact-system camera in September.

Canon will continue to respond to the needs of its wide range of customers by further bolstering its lineup in 2017. Earlier this February, Canon announced the introduction of n three cameras equipped with the cutting-edge and highly accurate autofocus technology, Dual Pixel CMOS AF: the EOS M6 compact-system camera and the EOS 77D (EOS 9000D in other regions) and EOS 800D (EOS Rebel T7i or EOS Kiss X9i in other regions) digital SLR cameras.

Through the further refining of its diverse imaging technologies based on the Company’s core optical technologies, Canon will further strengthen and expand the EOS lineup through the integration of still image, video and network functionality. Canon will continue striving to create attractive and reliable products aimed at contributing to expanding the culture of photographic and video imaging.

*Based on a Canon survey

 ** Information and picture courtesy of Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations ** 

Hokkaido 2016 Photography Adventure Day 1

21st October 2016 – Day 1

A good night of sleep and rest, I woke up to a cold, wet and overcast Otaru weather. That didn’t deter my plans to explore Sapporo and Otaru today on my Day 1 in Hokkaido. First and foremost, I went down for my morning onsen, refresh myself before heading out for my photography adventure. The weather in Otaru was pretty cold for the autumn season and the winds were a little bit gusty when I stepped out of the hotel as I walked towards the JR Otaru train station.

I had to exchange for my JR Hokkaido pass at JR Sapporo station and I hopped onto the local JR Hokkaido train towards Sapporo. It’s been quite some time back since I last sat on the JR local train and I happened to choose the train that made a stop at every JR station along the route from Otaru to Sapporo (I had forgotten about the semi-rapid JR train service!). The journey was beautiful, part of it was along the coastline.

JR Sapporo station is a pretty huge place, not just the central train station, it’s also a huge hub for the offices and shopping malls, all linked and connected together. My first stop was to visit the JR office and exchanged my JR Hokkaido pass, the procedure wasn’t too difficult. I gave them the exchange voucher, filled in a form, showed my passport and the friendly staff there processed my JR Hokkaido pass on the spot and I am ready to go riding on the trains.

Now to start on my Hokkaido 2016 photography adventure! First stop was Hokkaido University / Gingko Avenue.

Hokkaido University / Gingko Avenue

A short walk away from JR Sapporo station, about 15-20mins walk (slow walk due to ice/snow on the ground). I entered into Hokkaido University campus ground, it’s a nice and quiet campus, they reminded me of my St Lucia campus of The University of Queensland. Once I stepped inside the campus ground, I spotted the colourful autumn colours on the trees with snow on the ground, a gorgeous mix of both autumn and winter together.

The sceneries were really beautiful, even though the sky was overcast and gloomy, I didn’t let the weather affected me in my photography. I slowly walked, taking photos along with both local and international tourists visiting Hokkaido University.

Gingko Avenue is a very well known road inside Hokkaido University, very popular with both local and international tourists. Once I reached there, I was able to fully understand why they loved it so much. Two rows of trees, lining up Gingko Avenue, in the midst of the vehicles, cyclists and people along Gingko Avenue, this road gave a sense of aura of nature, peace and tranquility. I really had a good time along Gingko Avenue, taking photographs from different perspectives and angles.

Former Hokkaido Government Office

The city area of Sapporo is pretty well planned out, it’s not too difficult to walk around. I walked back to JR Sapporo station before walking down towards Odori Park, making a stop at the former Hokkaido Government Office first.

This is a historical building of importance and significance to Hokkaido. You can’t miss it, it’s a distinct red brick colour building and are you able to spot the red star? Due to time constraint, I didn’t visit the interior and exhibits inside the former Hokkaido Government Office.

I strolled around the compound, enjoying the peace and tranquility at the pond with beautiful trees. This place would look great during the spring and summer season with the flowers and greenery.

Before reaching Odori Park, I stopped by a convenience store at a junction facing a segment of Odori Park. Visiting a convenience store in Japan is always very interesting for me, there are so many different types of food, drinks, tidbits, magazines, daily neccessities that you can find inside a Japanese convenience store! Lunch was a simple sushi set with a bottle of green tea, at the corner of the convenience store where they have bar stools and bar table.

Odori Park

Odori Park is a pretty long stretch of green open space lined up with trees in the middle of tall concrete buildings in Sapporo. This beautiful green space gives people living/working there a nice area to take walks, relax, have their lunch etc. It’s a great place to visit major events held in Sapporo every season e.g. Sapporo Snow Festival.

I walked from one end of Odori Park to the other end where the iconic Sapporo TV tower stood. There wasn’t too many people at Odori Park during my time there, I saw some young children playing with snow and trying to build a snowman! I hope that maybe in the future, I can return to Sapporo again during a time whereby a major event/festival is held there and I am able to enjoy Odori Park.

The bright, colourful and beautiful autumn colours lined up the sides of Odori Park. I felt the aura of the autumn colours even though it was a bit cold with the winds blowing. It was a quiet and tranquil time for me when I was walking down Odori Park, I can’t explain how soothing it was for me, for my mind.

Sapporo Clock Tower

I began to head back up to JR Sapporo station, planning to take the JR train back to Otaru and explore the area in the night. While walking back, I stopped at the Sapporo Clock Tower, another iconic and cultural landmark of Hokkaido, it was built in 1878. The bell rings every hour to announce the time to the city of Hokkaido.

I would love to visit and know more about Sapporo Clock Tower history and culture inside the building. However, I had a number of places that I wanted to cover, therefore I didn’t manage to go in and visit.

Walking back to JR Sapporo station, I checked the timetable and caught the rapid express train to Otaru for a evening/night walk. The weather was overcast and there wasn’t much of a sunset scene as I reached the port area of Otaru. I felt the cold wind blowing coupled with the cold autumn season. I decided to head back to my hotel and rest for a few hours before coming out later in the night for night walkabout of Otaru.

Otaru former Temiya railway line / The Bank of Japan Otaru Museum (Ministry of Finance)

I like to explore railway lines especially those that were no longer in operation and remained behind as tourist/historical landmarks/monuments. I saw photos of the former Temiya railway line and wanted to check them out. Using the Otaru city tourist map, I found my way to a junction along Nichigindori Street. The former Temiya railway tracks and landmarks are still around, the platform and train waiting area.

I would love to return back to Otaru again and explore the former Temiya railway line again, in the daytime instead of going there in the night. There are still a number of places in Otaru that I wanted to go but wasn’t able to complete it due to time constraints and trying to cover as many locations as possible.

Not too far away from the former Temiya railway line junction, I saw The Bank of Japan Otaru Museum building. It looked pretty grand at night with the lights shining on the building façade.

Otaru Canal

The Otaru Canal is an iconic and cultural area of Otaru. A beautiful area in the night to walk along the canal, enjoying the night lights of the nearby buildings and former warehouses along Otaru Canal. Walking down from Nichigindori Street, I reached Asakusa Bridge of Otaru Canal, a good spot for taking photos of Otaru Canal.

A quiet stroll along the canal, towards Chuo Bridge, another good spot for taking photos of Otaru Canal and surroundings. This is really nice for a romantic couple walk along the Otaru Canal in the night where it is quiet, peaceful and tranquil. It’s always great to view history being preserved, the warehouses along Otaru Canal played a central role as part of the city’s busy port in the early 20th century.

I would love to explore Otaru Canal again if possible during different seasons such as winter and summer.

Night Singing Noodles of Dormy Inn Premium Otaru

The Dormy Inn Premium Otaru was highly recommended by my friend/Hokkaido Photo Guide Kato san. Not only was the location awesome, they have onsen, room rates are reasonable for a comfortable hotel room. There was also something special, they provided delicious, hot and heart warming singing noodles to the guests of the hotel during the chilly season.

The night singing noodles is known as Yonaki Soba, it might look like a small simple bowl of soba noodles. However, it was cooked with so much passion and care for their hotel guests to keep warm with a hot bowl of Yonaki Soba in the night from 2130 hrs to 2300 hrs.

After a heart warming, delicious and hot bowl of Yonaki Soba, I went for my daily onsen, to relax my aching muscles from a whole day of walking around Sapporo and Otaru. While it was a cold and overcast Day 1 in Sapporo and Otaru, I am very happy to be out there exploring, enjoying myself away from Singapore and taking photographs.

Hokkaido Autumn 2016 Day 1


Created with flickr slideshow.



Hokkaido Autumn 2016


Created with flickr slideshow.

Hokkaido 2016 photography adventure introduction and overview

I visited Hokkaido in November 2014 for a Central/Eastern Hokkaido familiarisation trip and I fell in love with Hokkaido. This gorgeous destination is a photographers haven with the great outdoors and the natural environment. As a fan of the great outdoors, landscapes and love of photography, Hokkaido has a very special place in my heart.

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I made a promise that I wanted to return and visit Hokkaido again, I fulfilled my own promise when I visited Hokkaido from 20th to 27th October 2016 on my own personal photography trip. A personal photography trip that rejuvenated me from the difficult period in 2016. My airfares were booked in April for October, flying Scoot airlines, on their new 787 Dreamliner to New Chitose via Taipei.

For the first 3 days of my photography adventure, I was on my own, based in Otaru and traveling out using the JR Hokkaido train service. From the 4th to the 7th day, my Hokkaido Photo Guide, Tsuyoshi Kato, a friend that I got to know during our November 2014 trip to Hokkaido when he was our photo guide.

I engaged the professional services of my Hokkaido Photo Guide Kato-san. He planned my photography adventures exploring different parts of Hokkaido, not only is he very experienced, he’s also very knowledgable, also a fellow photographer that understands what photographers want and where to take photographs. Kato-san is highly recommended if you are thinking of a photography theme trip to Hokkaido.

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This Hokkaido trip was very special, I was very lucky to enjoy both autumn and winter seasons together in Hokkaido during the period that I am there. Such is the beauty and charm of Hokkaido, simply amazing! Not just did I enjoyed two seasons in one week, there were a few simply mind blowing memories that I managed to capture down not just with my camera, also with my eyes, heart and soul.

What was my schedule like? Here’s a quick introduction

Day 0/20th October – Singapore -> Taipei -> Hokkaido (New Chitose) -> Otaru

Day 1 /21st October – Otaru and Sapporo

Day 2 /22nd October – Otaru and Sapporo

Day 3/23rd October – Otaru, Yoichi and Sapporo

Day 4/24th October – Otaru -> Mikasa -> Ashibetsu -> Furano -> Biei

Day 5/25th October – Furano –> Biei -> Lake Toya

Day 6/26th October – Lake Toya -> Sobetsu -> Date -> Muroran -> Lake Toya

Day 7/27th October – Lake Toya -> Date -> Noboribetsu -> Shiraoi -> New Chitose Airport

I am currently preparing my photographs and stories for each day from Day 1 to Day 7. Do stay tuned for my travel photography stories coming soon!

It’s been 10 years!

In the past few months, I was pretty engrossed in business planning for the future and I am also taking a break (physically, mentally and emotionally) from my recent issues that I faced at my previous work place. A milestone in my life took place that I kind of completely forgotten about it, with the help of LinkedIn, I realised that it’s been 10 years! Wait, what is this 10 years all about?

First and foremost, I have been taking photographs for more than 10 years, probably 30 years (Not Out and still counting) since I played with a film SLR camera when I was in primary school. The 10 years is for my photography site – http://www.photojournalist-tgh.tv. My ‪photography website/blog was born on 10th April 2006 when I started off using blogspot. As my photography site grew and expanded, it was time to have my own domain and hosting, officially migrating and starting on 7th October 2008.

Fast forward and in the blink of an eye, my photography journeys and adventures there had took a span of 10 years (not out and still counting!!) An amazing journey, full of ups and downs, good times and bad times. I had grown, learned and improved over these 10 years. Years 2014 (Hokkaido) and 2015 (Straits Times newspaper feature) were two important events in my photography adventures that were very key significant milestones in my photography.

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What does the future holds for my photography website/blog? I am still learning, growing, exploring my photography. This country road in Hokkaido reflects a lot of my thoughts and feelings, the road beyond the bend, cannot be seen from where I took this photograph. Some of my goals are like the beautiful mountain landscapes behind, the various number of mountain peaks are like the different goals that I set for myself. I have to travel past the bend and find my way up to the mountain peaks. The journeys ahead are never easy, the excitement, growth, learning and achievements will be priceless when I conquer the mountain peaks!

This will keep growing and be up to date, an avenue where I share a lot of my personal photography adventures, coverage, news and industry updates. In an upcoming post, I would share about my personal photography projects that I am going to document and photograph in the next few months. In the aspects of my photography business, when the time is ripe and appropriate, I would make the announcement.

I am very thankful and grateful for all my family,relatives, friends and supporters that had played an integral and important part of my photography adventures here. These 10 years had been a very humbling experience, from both a personal and photographer perspectives. I met many different kinds of photographers and people from many different walks of life. Over these 10 years, I had made, grown and established some great friendships and partnerships with photographers, friends and institutions, all in the name of photography, documentation and sharing. Although I had some small success and achievements, I will always remind myself to stay grounded, be humble, keep learning and improving as a person, as a photographer.

Thank you everybody once again from the bottom of my heart!

You’ll Never Walk Alone!

i Light Marina Bay 2016

The i light festival is back at Marina Bay Singapore! This bright, colourful, interesting and unique light artwork displays festival is back for their 4th edition in Singapore, starting on 4th March 2016 to 27th March 2016. Looking back into my photography archives on Flickr, the inaugural i light marina bay festival was held in 2010, followed by 2012 and 2014. Over the previous three editions, we were able to witness many unique, interesting and colourful light artwork displays at Marina Bay Singapore. With many light artwork installations over the three editions and now 4th edition, I am always amazed by the lights, designs and ideas.

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i Light Marina Bay is Asia’s leading sustainable light art festival, this year’s 2016 theme is “In Praise of Shadows” with 25 innovative and environmentally friendly light artwork installations installed and showcased around the Marina Bay area. For i Light Marina Bay 2016, the event has become bigger with more programs and festivities happening in the vincinity of Marina Bay, outdoor performances, workshops and outdoor dining options.

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I started my i Light Marina Bay 2016 adventure from the Esplanade, walking down towards The Float @ Marina Bay, crossing the Helix Bridge to Art Science Museum, continuing towards Waterfront Promenade and Marina Bay City Gallery. Thereafter, I continued towards the Promontory @ Marina Bay before ending my adventure outside Fullerton Bay Hotel. It was a bit of a fast walk for me, to document, cover and photograph all 25 light artwork installations at i Light Marina Bay 2016 within a night from around 8pm to 11pm. However, I am still planning to go back and revisit some of the light artwork installations again, especially those that I want to photograph more in-depth, from a few different perspectives and angles. After that, I would share and upload them into my i Light Marina Bay 2016 photo collection on Flickr.

Allow me to bring you back in time to the first three editions of i Light Marina Bay before experiencing the 4th edition! Here’s my i Light Marina Bay photography collection on Flickr

From the 25 light artwork installations, there are a few of them that caught my eye and attention. Personally, here are some of my favourite light artwork installations from i Light Marina Bay 2016 –

– What A Loving Beautiful World – Art Science Museum by teamLab (Japan)

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– Lightscape Pavilion by MisoSoupDesign (Taiwan)

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– Marine Constellations by Laughing Stars (Japan) and Lumen Artistry (Singapore)

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Each and everyone of the 25 artists and their light artwork installations deserve recognition and special mention for their showcase at i Light Marina Bay 2016. Do check out the 25 artists bio and light artwork installations description on the website! This would be helpful to learn more about the respective artist and their inspiration, ideas and design behind their light artwork!

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I had always been amazed, fascinated and attracted by the colourful bright lights from i Light Marina Bay festivals. Each edition brings out something different and special to me, that I can visit, enjoy the lightings and artworks. Through the different artists unique artworks, they do give me inspiration for my photography too! Let there be light and my photography flows along with it!

More information on i Light Marina Bay can be found on their website, do remember to download their festival guide into your smartphone or tablet, this would come in very handy and useful when you start your i Light Marina Bay 2016 adventure! Gather your family, loved ones and friends, head on down to Marina Bay Singapore and enjoy i Light Marina Bay 2016!

Useful information for i Light Marina Bay 2016

From: 4th March to 27th March

Opening Hours: 7:30pm to 11:00pm (extended to 12mn on Friday and Saturday night)

Location: Marina Bay Singapore

Website: i Light Marina Bay


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Kranji Marshes – A Freshwater Marshland

The Kranji Marshes, Singapore’s largest freshwater marshland was recently declared opened to the public on 1st February 2016. With a size of 56.8 hectares, the Kranji Marshes is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, with more than 170 species of birds, 54 species of butterflies and 33 species of dragonflies making Kranji Marshes their home. For a small country like Singapore, we have green and nature areas, such as the newly opened Kranji Marshes, that the locals and international visitors can get away from the hectic city life to visit and enjoy the lush greenery, peace, quietness and tranquility!

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There are two areas inside the Kranji Marshes, the public area and a restricted area that is accessible through guided tours. The restricted area is the core conservation area and this would allow this ecologically sensitive site to grow back the vegetation and the wildlife to come back there.

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Map of Kranji Marshes (Source: NParks website)

I remembered walking along Neo Tiew Lane 2 a few years ago, visiting Kranji Marshes when it wasn’t developed at all, I was there to look for the Blue-Eared Kingfisher that resides in the Kranji Marshes (I did not manage to find it though). While there were some physical changes, with the addition of the raptor tower and bird hides at the public access area, most of the Kranji Marshes remained untouched and not spoilt by the structural developments to convert Kranji Marshes into a beautiful nature park, Singapore’s largest freshwater marshland.

When you are walking in from the park entrance towards the Marsh Station, the Neo Tiew Woods is on your right, keep a lookout at the tall trees and greenery and you spot some wildlife high up in the trees!

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The Kranji Marshes is a beautiful destination, lush greenery, quiet and peaceful, accompanied by the sounds of many different species of birds residing/visiting Kranji Marshes. During my recent two trips to Kranji Marshes after her official opening, I was able to spot and photograph a small number of different species of birds residing/visiting Kranji Marshes, do take a look at my Kranji Marshes (Avian) collection here on Flickr! With over 170 species of birds recorded at Kranji Marshes, I hope that I am able to photograph each different species of over 170 birds recorded at Kranji Marshes into my Flickr collection.

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The Raptor Tower is ideal to catch the sunrise across Kranji Reservoir, it also gives a bird’s eye panoramic view of the Kranji Reservoir and the Kranji Marshes. At the top of the Raptor Tower, you might be on the same eye level with the birds on the trees nearby the tower! There are two bird hides there, the Moorhen Blind and Swamphen Hide. They are great to sit down, wait, observe and look out for the different species of birds that visit the marshland.

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If you love the outdoors, nature and wildlife, Kranji Marshes is a very nice destination to visit. Bird photographers would love the Kranji Marshes, they would be able to photograph the bird species that visit/reside in Kranji Marshes. I might go back again to document/photograph more bird/wildlife species at Kranji Marshes before the end of the migratory season in March 2016.

Key Information for visitors to Kranji Marshes

Location

Kranji Gate

11 Neo Tiew Lane 2

Singapore 718814

Opening Hours

7am to 7pm daily

 Tel: 67941401
Fax: 67937271
Email: nparks_sbwr@nparks.gov.sg

More information can be found here on the NParks website.


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Jubilee Walk – A History and Heritage Walkabout in Singapore

Going for a walkabout in any city, town or country is one of the best (interesting and fun too!) ways to enjoy the views of the city, to learn the history, heritage and culture of the country and its people. A walkabout is suitable for both locals and international visitors alike, a meaningful and experiential experience for all.

Singapore celebrated her Golden Jubilee year in 2015, with lots of festivities and celebrations throughout the year. During the year 2015, Singaporeans started to learn and know more about her rich history, heritage, culture and society that goes further back and beyond the first 50 years of independence in 1965, to the days when she was a thriving port and trading hub during her Colonial days.

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While Singapore’s history may not be as long as compared to others, she does have her own unique stories to tell and share that she went through to reach her status today. By embarking on the Jubilee Walk, you can walk and go through the flow of time to learn, experience and see Singapore’s heritage from her Temasek era to Colonial era, nationhood, modernisation and metamorphosis into the modern urban city today. Over a distance of 8km, the Jubilee Walkers would be able to see and feel the experiences of history, heritage, culture and society of Singapore. It’s like walking through a warp time zone, from the past to the present and into the future, starting from the National Museum of Singapore, ending at the Marina Barrage.

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I went for a Jubilee Walk Guided Tour (5km distance) with fellow photographer, social media and heritage friends recently. The starting/meeting point is the National Museum of Singapore and the end point is Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Our guide, Marcus Ng, is very experienced and friendly, sharing a lot about the various history and heritage stories during the Jubilee Walk Guided Tour.

Here’s a short summary of the locations that we walked to during the Guided Tour ~

National Museum of Singapore -> Fort Canning Park -> Peranakan Museum -> Singapore Philatelic Museum and National Archives of Singapore -> Armenian Apostolic Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator -> Central Fire Station -> Old Hill Street Police Station -> The Singapore River -> Asian Civilisations Museum.

Along the Jubilee Walk route, you are able to find interesting artefacts, artworks, historical monuments, landmarks etc. Here are some of the photographs that I took during the Jubilee Walk Guided Tour, keep a lookout for them! Due to our eager and enthusaistic participation and interaction with our guide Marcus, our walking pace slowed down and we had to end the Guided Tour at Asian Civilisations Musuem due to time constraints. Thank you National Heritage Board for organising the Jubilee Walk Guided Tour!

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Nevertheless, I am planning to continue from where we left off from the Guided Tour and do my own second half Jubilee Walk walkabout on my own or with my fellow photographer and heritage friends.

The Jubilee Walk is suitable for both locals and international visitors, you can also download the maps and app into your smartphone or tablet and you are good to go ahead with your Jubilee Walk walkabout! I have prepared some tips (with some help from the friendly folks at National Heritage Board) for the Jubilee Walkers who would like to go on their own Jubilee Walk walkabout.

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Tips for Jubilee Walkers

  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes
  • Bring water along the Jubilee Walk
  • Bring along an umbrella or raincoat (just a precaution)
  • Bring along your hat and wear it
  • Start your walk from the late afternoon (e.g. 4pm) when it is not too hot and you can reach Marina Bay/Gardens By The Bay/Marina Barrage around 7pm (depending on your walking pace) to enjoy the Singapore sunset view
  • Get hold of the Jubilee Walk booklet or download the Time Walk app and maps into your smartphone or tablet
  • Don’t carry too heavy and too many things during the walk
  • Keep a lookout for the SG50 markers along the Jubilee Walk route
  • Enjoy and have fun! Take more photographs and share them on social media with the following hashtags #JubileewalkSG, #Funwithheritage, #jubileewalkSGguidedtours
  • If you can’t finish the walk in one sesssion (due to time constraints or bad weather), don’t fret, you can always come back on another day to continue with your Jubilee Walk from the last point where you left off

Useful links

If you like to join a Jubilee Walk Guided Tour, check out this link on the Guided Tour dates and availability.

Have a good walkabout on the Jubilee Walk in Singapore! Enjoy and have fun walkabout into Singapore’s history and heritage from the past, to the present and into the future!


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World Press Photo 2015 Exhibition Singapore

The Oscars of photojournalism is back in Singapore, World Press Photo 2015 exhibition will showcase 145 prize winning photographs that captured the most powerful, expressive and at times provocative press images from around the world that tell many stories to the rest of the world. The 145 photographs were shortlisted and selected from 97,912 entries submitted by 5,692 photographers from 131 countries for the annual World Press Photo contest.

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World Press Photo 2015, the Singapore Exhibition is held for the first time at the National Museum of Singapore from 29th January to 21st February. The photographs are exhibited at The Concourse (Level 1) and The Canyon (Basement 1).

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I wasn’t able to attend the official opening event of the World Press Photo 2015 Singapore Exhibition due to a clash of schedule. However, I am always keen on the works of the various talented photojournalists in their respective fields of coverage, I went down to visit the World Press Photo 2015 Singapore Exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore. This is the fifth year that the World Press Photo Exhibition is held in Singapore, previous ones were held in the years 2002, 2006, 2014 and 2015. I visited and covered World Press Photo Singapore Exhibitions in the years 2014 and 2015. It had always been an eye-opener for me and my craft of photography. While I am not a news agency photojournalist, the photojournalism works from the Oscars of photojournalism, the World Press Photo Exhibition always inspire me to pursue my own field of photojournalism, in the fields of long term photography projects.

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There is also a exhibition by the Straits Times, held in conjunction with World Press Photo exhibition. The Straits Times exhibition pays tribute to the power of the visual image through its showcase of their best photojournalism works of 2015.

When I visited World Press Photo 2015 Singapore Exhibition, I walked and viewed the photographs slowly, absorbing and understanding what was going through the thoughts, mind, heart and eyes of the different photojournalists when they are pursuing their projects, topics, themes and the images that they managed to produce. Through my own photography observations and viewing of the photographs, I am also learning and improving my own photography proficiency level.

The World Press Photo 2015 Singapore Exhibition, held at the National Museum of Singapore, is definitely worth a visit. Through the 145 photographs on display, we are able to see and know more about the things happening around in our world today, from the nice and beautiful daily life stories, to nature photography and sometimes provocative stories, the visitors can reflect, learn and know more about the world today.

The World Press Photo 2015 Singapore Exhibition is held from from 29th January to 21st February, do drop by and visit it!

Singkarpor – A Photography Exhibition by ABC

Singkarpor? What kind of word is that? Is ABC a photographer?

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Master photographer Aik Beng Chia a.k.a ABC, a fellow photographer friend that I had the honour to work with in a few photography assignments together. His photography artworks are widely recognised and well known, not just in Singapore! Aik Beng is one of the friendliest, a down to earth and humble photographer that I know.

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I followed his works a lot on his Instagram, Aik Beng’s eye for things, details and photography are very powerful and sharp, he truly stands out along with the masters of photography. My photography style is a journalistic and story telling approach, I can relate to Aik Beng’s photography artworks.

Singkarpor, is a photography exhibition by Aik Beng. Singkarpor is about our home, Singapore. Through the eyes, heart and soul of Aik Beng, you can see and feel the life of everyday ordinary heartlander Singaporeans. Singkarpor is now held at K+, Scotts Square #03-14/15, till 4th October 2015.

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Come on down, to take a look at the amazing and heartwarming photographs of everyday ordinary Singaporeans, their lifestyle, the hearts, stories and souls that tell what Singkarpor really is.

Congrats Aik Beng on a wonderful and amazing photography exhibition, an inspiration to us all! Here’s Aik Beng and myself, with me holding an autographed Singkarpor photo book!

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If you like to follow/stalk Aik Beng’s photography, here are the URL links –