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Posts Tagged ‘Singapore’

The rain has finally returned to some parts of our little island today, after an unusually long dry spell that started in mid-January this year.

Felt particularly sorry for the grasses and shrubs that are exposed in our tropical sun. The once-verdant field near our home now reminds me of a parched savannah, sans tall grasses and wild cats. In some places, the blades of grass are now so sun-bleached and lifeless that they look almost unreal.

Can’t do much for the flora but decided that I could at least try to conserve more water. Like leaving a plastic basin in the sink to collect the used water when I rinse my utensils or wash my hands, then transferring the water into a pail for other uses.

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Never gave the simple act of turning on the faucet much thought before. But this plastic basin has helped me realise how much clean running water goes down the drain each time I turn on the tap. Modern life can be quite wasteful, really.

Takes a drought to remind us of the fragility of life. And to be thankful for what we have, and waste not.

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Grow, grow, grow

Time to break my long silence, and give this barren blog some tender loving care.

Let it grow, let it grow.

Happy birthday. And happy growing.

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I didn’t fly any kite, to be precise.

Instead, I had a Nikon D200 hanging awkwardly around my neck as I wove my way through the crowd at the Kite Festival Singapore 2010.

It was kite-flying day and there were people everywhere on the grass field at the Promontory. Families and romancing couples, young and old, professional kite flyers and amateurs. And there were the camera-totting ones like me, who were trying to make sense of the haphazard visual scape while trying to steer clear of the kite flyers’ paths.

The sky was dotted with zig-zagging kites of all shapes and sizes. Children were running around in circles on the grass, screeching in delight as they tried to give their colourful kites some lift to rise above their little heads. There were countless kites tumbling from the sky, and as many kite flyers running to rescue their fallen polyester toys.

Finding a focus in this lively mess was definitely not easy.

At least now, as a viewer, I can better appreciate photographers who are able to distill scenes like these into simple, captivating images.

Happy faces at the Kite Festival Singapore 2010. (cc-nc-nd)

Entangled kite lines were a common sight. (cc-nc-nd)

Father and child. (cc-nc-nd)

A tired toddler fell asleep in his mother's arms. (cc-nc-nd)

Kite Festival Singapore 2010. (cc-nc-nd)

Hoisting a giant kite. (cc-nc-nd)

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A peek at the Singapore Flyer and The Helix through a barricade on the Marina Bay Floating platform. (cc-nc-nd)

Armed with a Nikon FM2 – which I was attempting to learn to use, and a SONY DSC-T200 as my trusty backup, we set off on an evening outing of outdoor photography.

Unfortunately, the skies were overcast.

Definitely not the best lighting condition for someone who has barely started learning to use an SLR camera, not to mention a film camera that requires manual focusing as well as manual setting of both the shutter speed and aperture.

Skyline of Singapore. (cc-nc-nd)

So I decided not to waste any precious film, and turned to my SONY DSC-T200 instead. Somehow the images turned out with a cheerless blue hue.

At nightfall, the air was still heavy-laden with moisture. And the endless clouds couldn’t make up their minds whether to come down to earth for good or disperse and call it a day.

Our shirts were sticking to our backs even before we stepped into the fiery quarters along the Singapore River, lit by rows of flames along the pavements, balls of flaming sculptures, and flickering flames hanging from the tree branches. These were all part of the Singapore Arts Festival’s opening act by a French arts group, Compagnie Carabosse.

Invitation to Dream - A Fire Garden Installation, by Compagnie Carabosse (France). Empress Place Precinct, Singapore. (cc-nc-nd)

But we realised that the wavering flames set against the darkness in the park – the street lamps in the area were switched off – were equally difficult to capture on camera.

So much for a photography outing.

At least we had each other’s good company to be thankful for. And the cool pint of beer to end the sweltering night.

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