Monday, November 4, 2019

Street Photography Photowalk by SSPC

I can't remember when was the last time I joined a photography outing/photowalk. I have been doing photography all alone by myself, for way too long period of time. Personally I enjoy it very very much, spending time for myself and for my photography project. Well, from time to time, a couple of friends would join me for night photography. Otherwise it’s just me, myself and I. Moreover, doing photography alone, requires good discipline and persistence, which in turn makes you more focused on what you love doing. Well, at least for me, and this is the way I do photography. At the end of the day, all you gained is a great sense of accomplishment, achievement and satisfaction.

So for the first time since my last outing, I joined a photowalk organized by a local group, namely Singapura Street Photographer Community. Their initial goal is to gather many street photographers with different unique shooting style, and working their way to get their work showcase globally, I suppose. 

For this 2-3 hours photowalk, I took my Seagull 205RF out as there is still a roll of CineStill film inside since December 2018, and I wanted to complete it. Of course, I took along my favorite RICOH GR2 with me. However, I made a couple of exposures on film but none on GR2. My iPhone 6 Plus was in use too, just for panorama shots which are shown below.

Let me share with you about this place. Thian Hock Keng (天福宫, ‘Palace of Heavenly Happiness’) is one of Singapore’s oldest Hokkien temples. It is located near Al-Abrar Mosque, Former Nagore Dargah, and Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church, standing on what used to be the shoreline of Telok Ayer Basin. In addition to its religious function, Thian Hock Keng is also a standing monument to the community spirit of Chinese pioneers in Singapore. For more history of this old temple, click here.

This huge wall mural was drawn right on the back outer wall of the temple, along Amoy Street. Many people especially tourists, would stop by for photo-taking. It was a hot afternoon at around 3 o'clock and the lighting was good. Without hesitation, I took out my iPhone 6+ and started panning from left to right. Later on, I post-processed the image in Snapseed app and converted it to black and white. I like the monochrome effect as it makes this image timeless.

Next, I walked to Chinatown along Smith Street and saw this colorful row of kiosk stalls with its huge signage that says REDIFFUSION.

Rediffusion was Singapore's first cable-transmitted, commercial radio station. It started broadcasting in Singapore in 1949. In the 1960s and ’70s, the station's Chinese dialect programmes enjoyed a strong following, and many coffee shops and households were fitted with Rediffusion sets.

However, due to declining popularity in this 21st century, the company ceased operation at the end of April 2012. Two months later, it was bought by a former Rediffusion DJ, Eva Chang Mei Hsiang, with plans to revive the station. For more details on Rediffusion, click here.

My guess on this row of kiosk stalls is that it serves as Rediffusion's outdoor radio station, where they are promoting their radio programmes as well as to create awareness of their comeback. Hopefully they are able to get their popularity back, especially with the old folks, and even better with younger listeners.

So that's it! I didn't make many street photos, not as many as the other photowalk participants. Guess as a film shooter, I've always observe and keep a constant look out for interesting unique characters, people with funny if not, interesting gestures, etc etc, before I would lift up my camera to snap. It's a film photography habit where I see, observe, think, observe and think again, then camera up, compose and snap. I'm trying to stay away from mediocre and meaningless shots. I want my street photos to tell its own story to viewers.