By Katie Baines
Staying occupied during the ‘circuit breaker’ may well have been a challenge, with the freedom of trips around town that we took for granted before the pandemic being restricted. June 1 marks the first steps in a return to normality, and although guidelines are still in place, there is plenty to explore and admire while out for a walk. So why not take your camera and give yourself a project next time you're taking a stroll?
As a garden city, Singapore really packs a punch when it comes to subject matter for a photographer. It offers a staggering amount of variety in terms of neighborhoods, parks and architectural wonders to keep anyone occupied from the avid amateur to the professional bolstering their portfolio. Here are some of the best places on the island to point and shoot.
CBD and Marina Bay
The photographic appeal of Marina Bay is undeniable. Here, you will find the impressive skyscrapers that make up Singapore’s beautiful skyline. The scenery grows especially dramatic during the evening hours when the sun sets directly behind the CBD. Consider taking your camera and tripod to the Marina Bay Sands side of the bay at around 6:30pm for ‘golden hour’ (so called because the quality of light at this time produces particularly beautiful images). Visit www.golden-hour.com to calculate exact timings anywhere in the world.
The Fullerton Heritage Precinct
The Fullerton Heritage precinct preens with photogenic galleries, sculptures and historic buildings, showing off old meeting new in the best possible way. The Fullerton Building, the Exchange Room and the Victoria Theatre are all beautiful examples of historical conservation and photographers can indulge in shooting an array of interesting architecture.
The geometrics and leading lines in the Art Deco architecture of Tiong Bahru makes this district of Singapore a great place to exercise your creative composition. As well as setting up your shot with the buildings face-on, think about approaching your subjects from different angles.
Given the monochrome external décor of each edifice and how tightly each sits to the next to the other, there is also lots to experiment with in terms of contrast and shadows. This means that the district also lends itself particularly well to black and white photography.
Everton Road and Spottiswoode Park Road
A walk away from Everton Road is the peaceful Spottiswoode Park Road, which is lined with gorgeous shophouses. There is a whole host of subject matter to shoot here, whether it’s the intricate Peranakan tiles and the pretty pastel shophouse facades for symmetry purists, or the murals for a little Instagram fun.
The Henderson Wave Bridge near the southern peaks, close to Vivo City, and the Keppel Bay condo are architecturally interesting subjects to photograph, particularly juxtaposed next their leafy backdrops. The bridge also doubles as a great place to shoot from, with views over Sentosa and the sea from one angle and the city from another.
Arab Street and Haji Lane
Haji Lane is a narrow, colorful street that nestles in Singapore’s Muslim enclave, Kampong Glam. The street oozes character with colorful shophouses and is punctuated with street art along its walls. Haji Lane ordinarily bustles on a Saturday, so when restrictions have been lifted further and the shops open, bringing life back to the district, and if street photography is your medium, then grab your 50mm lens on a Saturday and get involved. Take advantage of quieter days and use the murals as interesting backdrops for portraits.
Just around the corner is Arab Street leading up to the Masjid Sultan. The palm trees that line this street frame the exotic backdrop of the mosque well if shooting from a distance, but it’s up close where the building comes into its own with intricately detailed trim and golden dome which looks fabulous shot against a blue sky.