There may be no better place than Singapore to explore one's love of street photography. Here you'll find a vibrant mix of culture, tradition, and activity...where the past and the present have collided in spectacular fashion. I hit the streets to see what I can capture with my little Ricoh GR II...
Words & Photos By Nathan Allen
Singapore has an impressive, futuristic skyline. This is just part of it, but you can see the spiked dome of the Esplanade Theatre on the right. These tourists are taking refuge from the hot, tropical sun... I thought their pink umbrella matched the flowers on the left nicely.
Tourists come here from all over the world, and cross this bridge on the way to the famous "Merlion".
The cheapest place to eat in an expensive city like Singapore are the "hawker centres". For three or four U.S. dollars, you can find street food from all over Asia, and even some western option as well. Here are some international students having lunch @ Maxwell Food Centre.
Most of the building is blanketed by shade, but a skylight perfectly illuminated their table, and provided the opportunity for a dramatic photo. The Ricoh GR handles black and white tones and contrast very well.
Most of Asia can be challenging for landscape photographers like me, because you'll often wish people were out of the frame. As densely populated as Asia is, that's just not going to happen. My passion for street photography actually began when I stopped viewing people as "in the way"...and instead, challenged myself to start making them the focus of my work!
To be fair, though, Singapore is the least crowded of anywhere I've been in Asia. Plenty of wide open streets and sidewalks. As you can see, my brand of street photography is shot pretty wide...I guess my landscape background shows. My style is a mix between the two.
I love photographing the diverse crowds around the iconic Merlion statue. This is ground zero for Singapore tourism, and it's a lot of fun capturing the joy on everybody's faces.
Here I snapped a quick photo of a tour group posing as I walked by. These ladies looked like so much fun. They really seemed to have a zest for life.
I love shooting in the late afternoon, just before the sun dips below the buildings. This sleek corridor was a great place for contrast. The natural lighting provided a lot of dynamic interest. If you are wondering, the title image on this page was also shot here.
Travel & Street Photography Go Well Together
With its genius "snap focus" mode, my Ricoh camera is lightning fast. I can shoot candid photos with ease...and this is great to truly capture the soul of the country I'm visiting. I'm getting raw, unfiltered, moments of truth out there on the streets. Nothing plastic...posed...or premeditated.
In the age of photographic deception we're living in, I find street photography to be a breath of fresh air.
Here's another shot of my favorite Chinese ladies. I caught them mid-conversation–with a nice cityscape backdrop...just before they disappeared into the shadows underneath Anderson Bridge.
(continued below, but I do hope you'll consider following along with me...)
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It was nice to find the contours of the bridge perfectly framing the skyline and tourists below it.
Talk about vibrant! The streets of Chinatown are a very rewarding place to take pictures. This was shot near the entrance to "Buddha Tooth Relic Museum". The name is quite a mouthful, isn't it?
FYI, you can click the image below to learn more about my camera on Amazon...
...or use this link to the Ricoh GR II on Lazada (Asia)
Nearby is Thian Hock Keng temple, where I took the shot below.
Be sure to check out more photos from the streets of Chinatown in part 2 of this series....you'll see the link when you get to the end of this page.
"Native" Singaporeans have roots stretching back to many different countries...most are Chinese, Malaysian and Indian. There are a fair share from Britain, Australia, and even the U.S. as well!
Exploring the streets and alleyways of "Little India" really does transport you to another world. Part 3 of this series, also shot with the Ricoh GR II, explores this colorful neighborhood and community.
This is one my favorite pictures, and one that personifies Singapore's rich multiculturalism. Here you'll see the altar and pagodas of Tang Gah Beo temple...but with the juxtaposition of the Church of St Teresa, a Catholic denomination, in the distance.
In the next chapter of this 3-part series, I explore the streets of Singapore's bustling Chinatown...
- Nathan Allen
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