Wednesday, 29 October 2008

School's Out... NOT!

Timetable for the non-existant holidays...

  • 30th October - Chinese A Level Papers @ 8am (Don't remind me why I didn't take my Higher MT paper in Sec 4... DON'T, I'M WARNING YOU!)
  • 3rd November - OP practice in school @ 8am... (8am... T_T)
  • 5th November - Actual OP @ 8am...
  • 6th and 7th November - Possibility of getting called up by MOE to present... AGAIN! (They just love to see us suffer...)
  • 10th - 13th November - Leadership Congress and SLC
So technically, I'm not free till after the 13th of November... Then again with the amount of holiday homework:
  • GP: 2 Comprehension Practices and 6 AssEssay Outlines
  • Econs: Marketisation CSQ and Reasearch-cum-Essay-cum-Presentation
  • Lit: Read P&P, Tempest
  • History: UN Research, SEA questions/answer plans
  • Math: A whole lot of Math questions...
The bold ones are the real killers... 2 research papers is no joke, even though it's done in a group (points at the cursed PW)...

And by end November, I would know if NUS would approve my H3 research paper... If it's approved, I gotta start doing research as well...

I'm kinda thankful to God for enabling me not to attend the Temasek Internship Programme. With the amount of crap homework I have to do, I think if I went for the internship, I wouldn't be able to do any of my work.

Well, at least there's class chalet (I'll be the unofficial official photographer =D) on the 26th and 27th November. And there's church camp to look forward too, 1st to 6th December! (Yeah, I'd be uncontactable then, so don't miss me or anything!) Rest assured that I will come back with photos, a lot of them. =D

No wonder my Civics Tutor said that your holidays are only when you're 6 feet under...

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Solus Christus!

Solus Christus
Originally uploaded by zeta_gundam

"Solus Christus!" means "Christ Alone!"

This was one of the 5 reformation slogans during the 16th Century Reformation movement. It began on the 31st of October, 1517, when Martin Luther pinned his 95 Theses onto the doors of the Roman Catholic church in Wittenburg, Germany. Luther's 95 Theses pointed out the heresies and errors of the Roman Catholic practices, and this sparked off a wave a reformist movements in the 16th Century.

Now, every last Sunday of October, Lutheran churches will celebrate the Reformation movement, and this day has come to be known as Reformation Sunday.

This year, my church (Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church) celebrated Reformation Sunday with a Reformation Cantata, entitled "Solus Christus".

The 5 Slogans:
- Sola Scriptura: Scripture Alone
- Sola Gratia: Grace Alone
- Sola Fide: Faith Alone
- Solus Christus: Christ Alone
- Soli Deo Gloria: Glory to God Alone

Monday, 27 October 2008

Why I got into Night Photography

Why I got into Night Photography

To begin, let me just define ‘night photography’. Basically, the general consensus to night photography is that the photographs are taken between dusk and dawn. Basically it means that when people are asleep, you’re awake like some weird nocturnal creature. I dare say that night photography is probably one of the least ventured into areas of photography. Often you hear people claim that they are ‘nature photographers’, ‘wedding photographers’ or ‘street photographers’, but it’s hard to find someone who actually claims to be a ‘night photographer’ (by the way, ‘hard to find’ does not equate to ‘zero’). People often pack their camera gear after sunset and head home for dinner, in turn neglecting what the night can offer.

Nonetheless, there is growing attention given to night photography lately, and many are beginning to venture into night photography. The reason for this growing trend? The birth of the modern day Digital Single Lens Reflex (aka DSLR) cameras; going digital means you can afford to keep retaking your shots without wasting film, and deleting all your ‘failed’ attempts on the spot. Thank God for modernisation! It seems that going digital makes people more willing to try new stuff out, so modernisation is good! (Stop being a Luddite!)

I believe that the perception of people towards night photography is that night photography requires much skill and is very difficult. As in any form of photography, skill is a necessity, unless you’re just a ‘point-and-shoot’ kind of person, but that is beside the point. Nonetheless, I dare claim that night photography is in fact one of the easiest form of photography, that is after you get the hang of it. Usually, your subject would have the same amount of light (i.e. the lighting conditions for your subject does not vary greatly). This basically means that when you don’t like the photographs from one of your shoots, you could always head back down to that same location, and chances are that the lighting conditions would be the same. Having that same amount of lighting for your subject would thus allow you to keep re-shooting the subject.

If you’re shooting in the city, chances are that the lights will make the place look like day, but your lighting conditions would remain somewhat similar. For example, if you’re shooting a skyscraper, and you’re unhappy with the shot, you could always take your time and change your camera settings to get your ideal shot. When you’re at home doing post processing, and you still can’t find any photographs that you like, you can still head down to the same skyscraper and take it again. I mean it’s almost impossible for the entire skyscraper to be relit in a different colour, unless the government seeks to like remodel and relight the whole city or something.

However, lighting conditions do change when you consider shooting nature photographs in the middle of the night. Nature photography at night is dependent on the brightness of the moon, or whether the moon is present at all in the first place, the presence of clouds, the weather conditions etc. I mean the sky at 8pm is very different at 1am. Don’t believe me? Stay up late one night and take pictures of the sky at that time. Don’t want to stay up at night? Then you can’t be a night photographer. (It’s obvious why you can’t be a night photographer if you are not willing to stay up late right?)

Now on to the real stuff, what really got me into night photography? I think night photography is the most interesting form of photography; at least it is true in my reality. (I wouldn’t really care about other people’s reality would I?) Night photography offers one key effect: seeing things in a different light, literally. Often, if not always, things that you see in the morning or in the afternoon, would turn out drastically different than when you see them at night. It is the night that brings out the true nature of creatures, revealing the werewolves amongst the humans. (Wait, this doesn’t make sense here.) What I mean is that in night photography, the contrast between ‘dark’ and ‘light’, ‘dull’ and ‘bright’, ‘evil’ and ‘good’ (wait, not this one either) is strongly presented. The brighter areas are emphasized in night photography, but the shadows are also much stronger in night photographs as well. What night photography does is that it effectively brings out obvious contrasts, which are less obvious in most other forms of photography. (Note again that I’m not discounting the contrast that other forms of photography entail, but what I’m saying is that contrast is brought out most strongly in night photographs. Then again, this is my opinion, that’s why the title is ‘Why I got into Night Photography’ and not ‘Why Other People got into Night Photography’.)

Besides seeing things in a different light, night photography enables the photographer to play god. Then again, other forms of photography also allow the photographer to play god, so what is so special and unique about night photography? Simple, artificial lighting. This would be the only form of photography where the photographer has control over all sorts of weird lighting and effects. What I mean here, is that the photographer has the ability to create (literally) different effects with lights. Ever heard of light painting? Basically the photographer ‘paints’ light for the photograph, and creates certain effects that can only be captured in the dark. (Of course, you can establish similar effects with a studio, turn off all the lights and ALAKAZAM, you have a dark room. But that isn’t really fun isn’t it?)

I think a most beautiful thing about night photography is the beauty that the night offers. The night is often associated with images of coldness, emptiness, and lifelessness. Those are extreme words in my opinion. What the night offers is serenity and calmness, very much different from the hustle and bustle of the afternoon. What night photography does, is that it captures this stillness in a succinct manner, and makes the ‘lifeless’ night become very much alive. (This is with respect to nature photography in the night.) Of course, if you’re doing photography in the city, that’s a different scenario, cause ‘the city never sleeps’. Like seriously, it’s all bright at night in the city, so it’s not really still. So what’s there to shoot in the city at night? Like I mentioned above, night photography in the city is to capture the pretty neon lights and artificial lights.

But like any form of photography, there are night photographs that have been ‘shot to death’. So, what to do when the scene has been ‘shot to death’? I think this is where all hardcore photographers will know what I’m going to say, find a different angle, a different perspective to shoot your subject. Focus on the minute details, such as the weird looking gate, the crack in the wall a corner of the window etc. Don’t always go for THAT wide angle shot whereby every single other photographer on earth has probably taken that picture as well. Like in any form of photography, night photography is about art and expression. What the photographer seeks to do, is to record a mere story of the scene.

As a closing note, here’s an article by Steve Harper with regards to night photography ( After reading this essay, if you feel like grabbing your tripod and camera and going out at 2am to photograph the night life by all means go and explore the night! People often say ‘seeing is believing’; so similarly, you got to go experience shooting in the night to understand what joy it gives!

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Zion Nights

Well, this place was named Zion by Samuel. We (Sam, Sonia and myself) went to shoot yesterday afternoon/evening. I'm not a big-time fan of nature photography, but I really needed to destress from school crap. Shooting always helps to destress. =D

This was taken about 15 mins after the sun set if my memory doesn't fail me.

Thursday, 23 October 2008


Well well well, since I have no photos, I shall just say how stuff in life is coming along...

1. PW sucks. Well, it sucked then, and it still sucks now. So no difference actually.
2. Waiting for H3 appeal results. ALL WILL BE REVEALED TOMORROW! (I hope?)
3. I'm having fun with my camera *as usual*, so not much difference here either.
4. I have a headache for 2 straight days. ARGH! Yes, it's still hurting.
5. Chinese A Levels are around the corner, 1 week! 1 more week, and Chinese would be like the dinosaurs, burried 10,000 ft under the ground! Do note that I don't take geography, and the value of '10,000 ft' is completely made up. So don't quote me. Yes, DON'T QUOTE ME!

LASTLY, I'm typing an essay on 'Why I got into Night Photography,' so stay tuned for that. Yes, I'll blog it here. No, I'm not gonna publish a book. No, it's not tips on night photography, it's what made me interested in night photography. Look, stop asking and just wait patiently for me to complete my writing! Sheesh, people these days, no patience at all!

Friday, 17 October 2008

Night Photography Checklist

Checklist... (i.e. my plans for the holidays, if they ever exist...)

1. CBD Area

  • Esplanade
  • Old Supreme Court
  • Singapore River
2. Bedok Reservoir
3. Changi Boardwalk
4. Singapore EXPO carpark
5. Botanic Gardens
6. Fort Canning Park... maybe?
7. Pulau Ubin... maybe?

Of course, there are some places near my home which I plan to shoot.

EDIT: Yeah, added Singapore EXPO Carpark. If you're wondering why that carpark, it's because I want an empty and open carpark to shoot at night. The carparks near my home are ALWAYS filled, but I want a shot with an empty feel. Whereas the one at EXPO is always... empty...

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

On an MRT

While the title seems to suggest that something really cool happened on an MRT (you know, those kind of crappy stuff like not giving way to pregnant women that goes onto STOMP!), it's a totally fake title. It's just me and another of my poems again.

Broken Chords
For me, today was sad,
The experiences that I had,
But I know that tomorrow I would be glad.

The thing I most dread
Has occured and I've gone mad,
For me, today was sad.

The life which I once had
Was suddenly in lack.
But I know that tomorrow I would be glad.

I talk to the dead
Thinking it's life instead
For me, today was sad.

Though dejected and oppressed
And feeling unduly stressed
But I know that tomorrow I would be glad.

Relations are like broken chords, disrupted;
But they need to be mended,
For me, today was sad,
But I know that tomorrow I would be glad.

National Museum

National Museum
Originally uploaded by zeta_gundam

Flickr updated! Another night outing I went for.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Ah-ah Ultra Hero!

Believe ~Don't Give Up!~
The light of hope from the ends of the galaxy,
Searches for the yet unseen future,
And it's always beside you.

Stronger and stronger, Let's Go Fight!
Let us higher and higher fly!
To not give in to opposing winds,
That is our vow.

The present is not all there is,
The pain will transform into the power of love.

Let us believe without feeling lost,
That our courage will fulfill our wishes;
Continuing without end,
Searching for the yet unseen future
Ah-ah Ultra Hero!

Kinder and kinder, so kind;
More and more, the blue sky;
Who do you want to be with
In this new era?

You are not alone,
The sadness will transform into the power of love.

Open the doors of our hearts in the face of approaching fear
For we have friends;
Continuing endlessly,
We aim for a distant future
Ah-ah Ultra Hero!

The present is not all there is,
The pain will transform into the power of love.

Let us believe without feeling lost,
That our courage will fulfill our wishes;
Continuing without end,
Searching for the yet unseen future
Ah-ah Ultra Hero!

Open the doors of our hearts in the face of approaching fear
For we have friends;
Continuing endlessly,
We aim for a distant future
Ah-ah Ultra Hero!

*This was the ending theme for the Ultraman Mebius movie in 2006.

Sunday, 5 October 2008


It's the thing that I need most at the moment...

1. Money for Photography books...
2. Money to pay my parents for the tripod and cable release...
3. Money for 50mm f/1.8 lens...
4. Money to get a Sigma 24-70mm lens... (next year that is...)

Anyone who would like to make a kind donation? Please? =D

Wednesday, 1 October 2008


Originally uploaded by zeta_gundam

Well, I got bored. So I grabbed my tripod and camera and went down for a walk...

Took a few photos, but didn't really like some of them. So that's why this is the only upload.

Plan to go down to CBD area at night some time soon. And maybe Bedok Reservoir and Boardwalk (Changi).

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