Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Return of Singapore National Theater - Part 2 (Nocturnes)

National Theater Sculpture
This is a follow-up to the Part 1 blog posted on 27 February. I went back to take a few day shots because I couldn't see much in the low light condition during my first visit there, using my phone camera. With the naked eyes, it's still visually clear under that low light condition but I just wanted to make sure I can find the best angles and perspective to make night photos of this iconic structure.

Continue after the jump...

National Theater Sculpture
After pre-visualizing and evaluating on the surrounding street lights and passing by car lights, I have had chosen these two shots as the vantage spots. The following week I went there in full gear and stayed there for 4 hours, enjoying the night atmosphere and weather condition. It was a windy night with passing clouds. Yes passing clouds are great to create dramatic effects on long exposure night photographs. So I hereby proudly present to you the final results.

I used the same lens on the first photo i.e. Tamron 17-35mm, as well as for day shot. A different lens was used for the second photo - Tokina 11-16mm DX lens which allows me to get closer at a appropriate distance to the structure, at a low angle pointing upwards to show more of the night sky. Comparing the day and night photos, the day shot looks flat and by pre-visualizing it in night exposure, it just couldn't make it in that perspective composition. The ultra-wide angle lens that creates this slanted converging lines, especially shooting at a low angle, is pretty prominent. However, based on the uniquely designed structure, it's still acceptable and subtle.

Mother Nature was kind to me and I considered myself lucky that night. Flock of passing clouds coming in from the Northeast or East direction. Some were huge chunky clouds and a few are featherly light, and of course there were the average sizes that made perfect for the kind of photo shown here.

I have to say patience is certainly a virtue. I waited for many moments (4 hours of making night photos, standing, walking around and squatting is exhausting) and observed and anticipated as the wind changed the clouds directions. There were moments when flock of clouds moving in the same direction at the same part of the night sky and not scattered evenly overhead. Yeah a lot of waiting time, waiting for the right moments and YES!!! My patience and determination paid off well. I managed to capture a few great shots. What a great sense of achievement and satisfaction! No words can describe how I felt at that moment. I knew I have a few keepers. After some editing, these are the best two. 

Oh! Not to forget I made an additional shot, in hope to get the same clouds blur motion but instead I got this.

Well not too bad with that part of the moving clouds sticking out right in the middle of the cantilever roofs. I wish all the surrounding trees are out of the way, it would make a clean night photo, don't you agree? No photo manipulations, no Photoshop, no D.I. whatsoever. No amount of retouching would make this image a good or best image. It's good to show some Nature element in the frame.

I'm really proud to show you readers these three pictures. Though I spent 4 hours there making many night photos and only three make it. As always, I go for quality not quantity. It's worth while, making an effort with strong determination and good patience in achieving the desired results. Well with a little luck, too.

So I hope you enjoy reading and viewing my night photographs here. To view more of my nocturnal work, visit my website at Or subscribe to my blog by entering your email address on the right panel of this blog site, under a small panel that reads "Subscribe via email".

Until the next blog post, I'm signing off. Take care and have a great weekend.