Singapore Panoramas

I’ve returned from a business trip to Singapore. There’s always something new to explore every time I visit. On this trip it was Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay right next door. Marina Bay Sands (pano)  has been open for some time now but this was my first visit to the complex. It is an impressive are with lots of interesting shapes and sights. I was not able to have a look into the main attraction which is the casino, but I prefer to spend my money on photography rather than gambling.

Next door is Gardens by the Bay, a newly opened botanical garden. The most noticeable landmarks are the so-called Super Trees, artificial constructs which house plants on its sides and serve a host of functions. When the sun descends, they are lit up with a son et lumiere show.

The weather in Singapore is humid and often with cloud cover. This makes landscape shots during the day often flat and uninspiring. A reconnaissance visit during the did not lead to anything worth showing but as evening approaches, interesting colours start to appear in the sky. The time around sunset is known as the Golden Hour. In Singapore one degree North of the Equator, the period where the sky is evenly balanced (pano) against the ground is considerable less than hour (during the summer in Scotland, it can be several hours long, that is if it isn’t cloudy or raining). I had to be quick to catch the light, starting to take photos just as the sun was setting and continuing into the dark.

Since the light is often mixed and tinted, there’s no “right” white balance so you are free to choose an overall tint which complements the subject matter. When all natural light has gone from the sky, you are often left with city glow, at least in urban areas. This can be mix of sodium lamps, fluorescent lighting, and HID. It can reflect off clouds which in some cases lends some interest to otherwise featureless sky (unless you are blessed with minimal light pollution and can pick out the Milky Way). Here (pano) you can see the change in the tint of the sky. clouds came in and gave some texture to the sky. There is considerable city glow, not surprising in a built-up urbanised area light Singapore.

Another place I was able to explore a bit was the Sentosa Boardwalk which connects mainland Singapore to Sentosa Island to the South. This nice stroll has botanical displays along its length but also has several establishments in the middle and a lookout point from which you can see the cable car from Mt Faber to Sentosa. Here (pano), I’ve taken a pano from the stairs leading from the top path down to the lower deck. It was fairly dark, exposures being 30s at f/8 ISO100. The NEX-7 has tremendous dynamic range allowing me to pull out a lot of shadow detail. The shot below (pano) is the view from the deck showing the cable car, Resorts World Sentosa, and the city in the distance. There were a few other tourist soaking up the view.