There's no better way to experience today's global culture than a Singapore Street Photography session. For instance, in the "Lion City" you'll find a vibrant mix of tradition and activities...where the past and the present collide 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 undeniably impressive city skyline. This is just part of it, but you can see the spiked dome of the Esplanade Theatre on the right. These Chinese 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 Statue".
Without a doubt, the cheapest places to eat are the "hawker centres". For three or four U.S. dollars, you can find street food from all over Asia, and even some western options as well. Here I photographed 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. Of course, the Ricoh GR II handles contrast and black and white tones very well.
Ricoh GR II - The Perfect Candid Camera
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. Overall, I'm after something real. Getting raw, unfiltered, moments of truth out there on city streets. Nothing plastic or posed.
In other words, we live in an age of photographic deception - and I find street photography to be a breath of fresh air.
My passion for this genre 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, I like to shoot quite wide...I guess my landscape background shows. My style is a mix between the two.
More Downtown Singapore Street Photography
I love taking pictures of the diverse crowds around the iconic Merlion statue. This is ground zero for tourism in the country. 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. (By the way, this photo was published in National Geographic Magazine!)
I love city shots in the late afternoon, just before the sun dips below the buildings. This sleek corridor was a great place for contrast and long shadows. The natural lighting provided a lot of dynamic interest. If you are wondering, the title image on this page was also shot here.
Here's another shot of my favorite Korean 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. As you may have guessed, downtown is one of the most versatile locations for Singapore street photography.
Talk about vibrant! The streets of nearby Chinatown are also a rewarding place to take pictures. This shot is from 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)
This shot was taken at Thian Hock Keng temple.
If you like these last few, be sure to check out more in part 2 of my 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. For example, 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 alleys of "Little India" really does transport you to another world. Part 3 of my Singapore Street Photography series explores this colorful neighborhood and community. It was also shot with the Ricoh GR II.
This is one my favorite pictures, and one that shows why the Lion City is such a "cultural melting pot". Here you see the altar and pagodas of Tang Gah Beo temple...but with the contrast of a Catholic Church (St Teresa) in the distance.
In the next chapter of my Singapore street photography series, I explore the hustle and bustle of Chinatown in detail...
- Nathan Allen
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* Updated October 8, 2018