Joss sticks are common in Chinese temples, which give off a distinct aroma, and any day you are in a Chinese temple, you will see joss sticks being burnt. These ones are the more traditional sticks, long and thin, colored either red or yellow (auspicious colors) and are lit and placed in large containers filled with sand so the sticks will stand upright. A devotee will light their joss sticks, make a pray request while bowing, and finally staking them into the sand. The burn times often exceed an hour.
The national icon of Singapore is the Merlion – part mermaid, part lion, all tourist magnet: the water spout starts up every morning at 06:30am and runs throughout the day. It’s an icon that draws tourists from across the world, and one was heard to comment that since the Marina Bay was now an enclosed water catchment area for Singapore, it was freshwater shooting from the mouth of the merlion: mythical mermaids, and one assumes related legends such as this Merlion, are strictly ocean-going sea water creatures…
The renovated Clarke Quay area saw an ingenious air-conditioning system that incorporated pillars with circular vents blowing cold air out while holding up a clear plastic canopy over the entire area, turning what was once a hot and sweaty location into a unique historic site with the comforts of a shopping mall. Visitors to Clarke Quay jumped 1000% after the renovation, and is now more popular than the adjacent Boat Quay.
Shallow Depth of Field shot of an old shop proprietor outside his wedding boutique one evening on Tanjong Pagar Road, near Chinatown in Singapore. How shallow? Try f1.2 with a 50mm lens.
The fragrant harbor of Hong Kong is probably the most photographed in the world thanks to its stunning skyline of financial district skycrapers with Victoria Peak rising up behind it. Poor air quality in recent years has made it hard to see as clearly as you could in years past, but the reason it’s called the Fragrant Harbor is the smell. Unmistakeable, unpleasant, but SO Hong Kong.
The postcard icon of the harbor are the Star Ferry boats that ply the short distance between Kowloon and Hong Kong; getting the distinct sound of the bow wash of one of these boats is pretty straight forward: hold microphone grip tightly, press REC, lean over, don’t fall in. Done.
Photo Credit – Pat Delbridge
Marina Bay in Singapore has undergone a radical transformation over the last 10 years. Before it was the mouth of the Singapore river as it flowed into the ocean, but since the Esplanade Theaters on the Bay opened in 2002, the area around the Marina Bay has been transformed to be the focal point of many celebrations (National Day) as well as the host to the Singapore Grand Prix since 2008. Due to fully open in September 2010 is the Marina Bay Sands Resort and Casino, a triple-towered hotel with a kilometer-long sky garden at the top, over 50 floors above the waters of the bay.
The Chinese temple in Chinatown oftens decorates its awnings with lights when commemorating a special festival. The lighting team still had the other side of the temple to do having just finished the north side of their building when this snap was taken.
Singapore’s Chinatown is a truly harmonious mix of religions, with a Muslim, Bhuddist and Hindu temple all within 100m of each other. This figure is from the Sri Mariamman Temple, a Hindu temple with a six tiered gopuram at its entrance which, built in 1925, was recently renovated for close to a year before presented to devotees and tourists again in April 2010.
The Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is an awesome Theatre and Concert Hall complex that is the heart of the arts scene here in Singapore. On the 2 glass domes that cover the theater and concert hall are aluminium sunshades, each uniquely shaped and intended for one exact location. It stops a greenhouse effect from heating up the 2 structures, but how do you clean these sunshades in a climate where daily showers will filter the air and deposit any airborne pollution onto these spiky coverings?
Easy – send up a 4-man team of certified rock climbers who tether themselves together to clean the domes on a regular basis. So if you’re lucky when you visit the Esplanade, you might see these guys cleaning their way over the 2 domes of the arts complex.
Old school meets new school – the Shure 55SH is a classic dynamic microphone that fans of Elvis will recognize as the microphone that the King used in the US stamp that was issued in 1992 to commemorate the Graceland legend. Behind the microphone is a ProTools HD interface, the pinnacle of digital audio workstations. Using a very shallow depth of field, the rectangular lights on the front panel of the ProTools HD interface become beautiful circles of light, a blurring effect that is known as bokeh: it’s the Japanese word for blur, which is correctly spelt ‘boke‘, but to get the right pronunciation, the extra ‘h’ was added to create ‘bokeh‘. For the camera buffs out there, this shot was a Canon 7D with a 50mm f1.2 lens, off-camera strobe.