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.

Actually I wasn't there for the festival but rather I was looking out to make some interesting night photographs of this rustic village before it will be gone as news broke out that new redevelopment will be commenced in 2017. Most of the island residents or as I like to call them the villagers, have had moved out. So this year's Tua Pek Kong Festival might be the last.

I wasn't keen in making photographs of the opera singers, opera performances and ritual ceremonies. My main focus on that night was to capture the essence of the island where most people wouldn't be too keen to see or to know how the village looks like at night. The so-called mundane things and objects which most people would ignore and even care less about. Thousands of visitors have had taken thousands of photographs of the island's natural landscape, seascape, sunrise, sunset etc, but no one has ever made good artistic night photographs on the island. If you do find them, please let me know.

The island's old Kampong lifestyle is simple and by night there are no other activities but to stay indoors and rest early. Hence I want to capture that calmness and peacefulness as if time stands still and all we can hear is the wave sounds hitting the shore and village dogs wandering around and sometimes barking and even chasing moving vehicle drove by villagers. I can ensure you that the village dogs are harmless and friendly.

Click to enlarge
Here's a cinemagraph of a village house on stilts by the seashore. Though it was low tide at the time of making a few still photos but somehow there was sea water movement and I thought it would be a good idea to create a "living photo" in Photoshop. Below is a still photo on the other side of the house, which I made prior to the setting moon.

Village House on Stilts

Taxi Service Stand @ Pulau Ubin
The above photo shows the island taxi service stand, which I believe those of you who have been to the island would have known or seen before, otherwise most island visitors just walked past unnoticed. The 2 flags mounted as part of decoration along with Chinese red lanterns, to mark the festival. The walkway from the jetty towards the temple was well lit with assorted colored light bulbs hung overhead. Therefore making this photograph with mixed lightings was effortless.

With Incandescent WB set, I used a half-stop CTO gel on my FENIX PD35 LED flashlight to light paint the framed area briefly on both sides of the camera for a minute, just enough to fill in so as to bring out some shadow details.

I hope viewers or locals who have been to the island would remember this landmark when they see this night photograph, in a different perspective. Here's another wider view.

More Ubin night photographs.

In the next blog, I will be sharing interesting night photographs of an object found in Pulau Ubin. Do subscribe for the new updates. Good night and lights off!

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