Saturday, October 01, 2016

Not Quite Night series

In mid August, I started out this new night phonography series Not Quite Night, in which all photographs are taken with my iPhone 6 Plus during the dusk period. In my last blog, I posted my second photo and I couldn't get to title each shot I made and I really like the colors and sceneries during this dusk period. So I came up with this title which somehow deem fit.

There are some similarities in ambience lighting between dawn and dusk which you can't tell from the images unless the photographer states so. Suffice to say Not Quite Night covers two different timelines which explore and open up greater possibilities in the aspect of night photography.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Not Quite Night

This is just behind a bus-stop along a busy road in the late evening, and you know, there are times when something speaks to you and you couldn't tell why but you are compelled to make the move. I was in that moment which I captured it on my Apple iPhone 6+ with some post-process in Snapseed.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Night at a Fishing Village - Kukup, Malaysia 2016

In early July, I joined a group of friends for a short weekend trip to Kukup, Malaysia and it was my third visit since August 2015. Make the jump to view the latest night photographs of this rustic fishing village.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Urban Nocturne

Spotted this nice little corner in an industrial area and captured this beautiful urban night scene with my Apple iPhone 6 Plus on default mode. Post-processed in Adobe Lightroom Mobile on the colors and distortion correction in Snapseed.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Night at Dakota Crescent Serial - Week 6

Let Me In

After making the shots of the mail boxes, my URBEX sense was ignited and I went up the stairs to the second storey and discovered two flat units' main doors unlocked and wide opened. So I invited myself in to explore. More after the jump.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

A Night at Dakota Crescent Serial - Week 5

Mail Boxes
These mail boxes belong to Block 16, a 3-storey high HDB flat building, just right next to the Dove playground. All residents in this building have since moved out and some promo flyers can be found inside the unlocked ones. There are no elevators in this building but staircases. Though the building is vacant for months now, the lights are turned on at night. I made a few shots for HDR post-production in Nik Collection HDR Efex Pro and this is the result.

Next in the next blog, I'll be exploring one of the vacant units, so do subscribe for the new update.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

A Night at Dakota Crescent Serial - Week 4

It's always interesting to find these so-called backyards space where residents staying at the ground floor, took advantages of, having all sorts of stuff i.e. plants, bicycles, etc. Somehow it tells us something about each respective household's living style.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Night at Dakota Crescent Serial - Week 3

A Laughing Buddha was found standing under an old tree in the car park behind Block 4 and 6.
The Laughing Buddha is cherished all over the world. He is found in homes, restaurants, places of business and so on. The Laughing Buddha is the Buddha of abundance and happiness. He is also known as the “Buddha of Wealth”. It is believed he will bring wealth and prosperity to a home or business. 

I wonder why this one is left abandoned there. Well, it certainly serves as an interesting subject for my night photography, perhaps as surrealistic as it can get. Here I adapted a low angle perspective and exposed for 8 seconds. There's a street lamp behind camera right and I took advantage of its lighting position to fill in light with my FENIX flashlight, on the Laughing Buddha for a Rembrandt effect.

As the 8-second exposure was enough for the foreground subject, Block number 6 on the light box in the background, was over exposed and not legible. Hence I have to under-expose 5-stops just to get it right. Later in Photoshop I used the stacking and masking technique to show it through as natural looking and legible as possible.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Night at Dakota Crescent Serial - Week 2

Block 4 3rd Storey Lift Lobby
I came around Block 4 and decided to explore further by taking the old school elevator to 6th storey. FYI, there are only 3 lift lobbies on these old flats (Block 1 - 6), basically the ground level, 3rd storey and 6th storey. I walked down the stairs as I explored each household doorsteps just to find something interesting to make photographs of. I ended up here at 3rd storey lift lobby and took up camera position.

I made about 4 or 5 photographs for HDR post-production and somehow I couldn't get the desired result. Hence I resorted to use the stacking and masking technique in Photoshop. I got down to every details in this photograph in which I wanted to show the building block number 2 clearly and getting the right exposure for that light box is petty challenging but I managed to get it by under exposed 3 f-stops or more.

Next I went for the interior details through each household window and balcony as much as possible but to keep it as natural looking at the same time. Well just a little over exposed by 1 f-stop on Block 2, and just about right on Block 4. Of course all done on 2 separate masked layers. The shadow details on the tree is taken care of as well.

Finally, taking care of the exposure on the lift lobby and corridor is pretty straight forward. I'm pretty satisfied with the overall result compared to the HDR generated by Nik Collection HDR Efex Pro, which of course I would not show you.

Next week, an interesting Dakota nocturne will be posted so do stay tuned.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

A Night at Dakota Crescent Serial - Week 1
Words are added on this photograph in Adobe Spark Post app on my Apple iPhone 6 Plus.
Click on the photo to view the original version. 

Good evening fellow night dwellers! Tonight I'm kickstarting this short night photography serial on Dakota Crescent which I would be posting one night photograph of this unique and soon-to-be-gone oldest rental flats estate, on every Saturday night 10:10PM SGT. View the photo after the jump.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Night at Dakota Crescent - a trailer

New set of urban night photographs will be posted here on this blog site as well as on my website. Subscribe to my blog site for new updates.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Pekan Quarry

Pekan Quarry, Pulau Ubin

It was my third attempt on star trails and this time I made my way to one of the quarries in Pulau Ubin – Pekan Quarry. The whole place was illuminated by a waxing gibbous (96% full) moon hanging high up in the night sky. The night atmosphere was so mesmerising that I stood still for a few moments, to view and feel the atmosphere before I set up my tripod and camera.

I've always wanted to make star trails on this small island and so finally I got it made, of this 'DANGER' signboard by the wooden railings. Thirty long exposures of one minute were made and stacked in Photoshop using Dr. Brown's Stack-a-matic. A little fill-in light was added on the signboard, wooden railings and the surrounding foliages.

I'm pretty satisfied with the result and on my next attempt. I would try to make a longer star trails, say 60 exposures of 1 minute. Until then, I hope you enjoy viewing my work. More Ubin night photographs in the next blog same time at 10:10PM.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

What We Cannot Speak Of Must Be Passed Over In Silence

The setting sun is down and warm glowing light beautifully lit up in one of the old church rooms. A great twilight to capture this with my Apple iPhone 6 Plus on default mode and post-processed in Snapseed.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Only Moment We Were Alone

Stacks of bricks and concrete walls of buildings, hoarding boards and cargo containers, all came together under a warm summer night. Captured with my Apple iPhone 6 Plus in Slow Shutter app, vertical 9x16 aspect ratio, and post-processed in Snapseed.

Whampoa Dragon

Dragon fountain in Whampoa captured with my Apple iP6+ in Slow Shutter app and post processed in Snapseed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


Night phonography of a lady sitting quietly by the bench outside the National Library. Made possible with my Apple iPhone 6+ on default mode and post processed in Snapseed.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Ubin Land Rover

Ubin Land Rover
This abandoned vehicle was found parked outside a large empty wooden house, in central part of Pulau Ubin. Dirty stained windscreen, rusty body with peel-off paint, broke down engine and punctured tyres, it stationed in this open space with surrounding trees. The whole desolated place was illuminated beautifully by the moon light.

After a few trials on different color effects, this is the final result that I'm most happy with. I tried to keep things as simple and aesthetic as possible, keeping in mind on the color complementation. I've also managed to attained the same effect result for the second close-up photograph shown below.

Let me show you the rest of the color effects and you will know why I chose the red one. Well that's my personal taste. Which one do you personally like? Leave down your choice in the comment below. I would love to know. Thank you.

All nocturnes are long exposures under full moon and some light paintings on the surrounding trees and vehicle exterior with neutral white light. Colored light paintings on the vehicle headlights and interior with Cyan, Yellow, Red color gel respectively. All light paintings are manual work and definitely not created digitally in Photoshop. Photographs are made in RAW format and post-processed in Photoshop.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Take Right to Kelantan Road

Night phonography with Slow Shutter app in 16x9 aspect ratio on my Apple iPhone 6+. Post processed in Snapseed.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

A Night in Pulau Ubin

On the eve of Vesak Day 20th May 2016 Friday night, I made my way to a small island off the northeast coast of Singapore, where the annual Tua Pek Kong Festival was to be held in Pulau Ubin from 20th - 25th May. Each year thousands from the mainland travel to the island for this festival.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Anchored Sailboat

Anchored Sailboat
Two weeks ago I visited Changi Boardwalk and made a couple of night photographs and the above photograph is one of the them. I've always wanted to make night photographs of sailboats and fishing boats. Not the floating anchored types but I prefer those stationed along the seashore during low tide, be it in good conditions or in dilapidated states. They seem to draw my attention and I find them to be interesting subjects to make photographs of.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Satan Left His Icebox By The Beach

Satan Left His Icebox By The Beach
Last weekend I went to Changi Boardwalk to make some night photographs when I came across this deserted refrigerator lying by the beach right outside Changi Beach Club.

Well it's scarce to come by such interesting subject at such a location. So without any hesitation I went down during the low tidal period and walked around the icebox just to find the best vantage spot for good composition. In the end this is the perspective adapted with the sidewalk and shoreline forming 2 straight lines leading to the distant street lights. The icebox was positioned on the foreground with casted shadows of the sidewalk railings which gave more lines and forms.

I made 4 exposures of 1-stop difference and merged them for HDR during post production. I made one additional exposure of filling the fridge internals with red color light. Next I stacked the 2 photos to achieve the above result.

It was a fun and straight forward photography and I wanted to make more from other vantage spots, but in vain. Either the background has too many other lights from the boardwalk, which are way too distracting and messy, or the background is too mundane and uninteresting to justify for the foreground subject.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Empty Page

The Empty Page
It's been a long time since I last visited Changi Village and took a stroll along the Changi Boardwalk. I just did last night and rediscovered some little changes. NParks has had removed the rooftop covers of the resting sheds along the boardwalk, right outside the seafood restaurant by the beach.

I believe NParks wanted to prohibit members of public not to camp or stay there for a prolong time period. Most of the folks are there for their fishing hobby. If it rains they have to find their ways for covers.

I walked all the way to the end of the boardwalk for this pair of empty seats. I didn't make any night photos in the past so I thought I want to do it now. With that said, the above photo is the result of stacking 2 photos - one exposed for the foreground seats and the other for the cloudy night sky.

I exposed the first photo for 120 seconds at ISO 200 just enough to open up the shadow details and retaining highlight details. Next, I exposed for the night sky for another 120 seconds with higher ISO of 400.

Here's a little snippet - A 9-stops Variable ND filter was fit on my Tokina 11-16mm lens, stop down to 5 stops hence I was able to get good exposures.

The main reason why I made all my night photos in RAW just so I have even more controls during post-production. To make the stacked result more pleasing, I used Auto WB for the foreground seats for warmer color and Incandescent WB for the night sky, just to get that bluesy cool color. Based on art drawing/painting theories or color theories, place subjects with warmer color against cooler color background would make them more outstanding and POP!

No light painting needed. Take a closer look and study the shadows, you would know where the light sources came from i.e. one on camera left and one behind camera right. After much retouching on the wooden floor (some wet surface and minor stains) just to digitally clean up and make it more presentation. All except the large portion of stains on the far left. I kept it untouched just to keep things back to a natural state and not to over-do. In the end, I am very satisfied with the final result.