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Singapore Street Photography: Little India w/ Ricoh GR II

Little India Street Photography, Singapore - Candid Photos w/ Ricoh GR II © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Updated October 10, 2018
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Taking photos in India was one of the highlights of my career. However, I was shocked to find some of the same scenes right in the city of Singapore - during my Little India Street Photography shoot! Indeed, with my Ricoh GR II in tow, I once again discovered the colorful sights, sounds, and exotic tastes of rich and spicy Indian curries.


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  Words & Photos By Nathan Allen


Little India is quite vibrant and diverse - with people and cultures from all over India. Although not a morning person, for the sake of good lighting, I went on a few early photo walks with my Ricoh GR II.

 

Namaste symbol near shree lakshmi narayan temple - Little India Street Photography, Singapore - Candid Photos © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Man & Namaste symbol on temple gate, with colorful Kerbau Rd backdrop

This is the entrance to a temple which serves the northern Indian community. Also shown are the colorful buildings near "Kerbau Rd". Kerbau means buffalo in Malay. This was a cattle trading hub years ago. Hard to imagine that, when you consider what a sleek and modern city Singapore is today.

 

Indian men in yellow sitting along Hastings Rd - Little India Street Photography, Singapore - Candid Photos w/ Ricoh GR II © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Indian Men along Hastings Road, across the street from Tekka market

The buildings on the streets of Little India certainly win the award for "most colorful" in Singapore...but this love of color also includes the clothes that locals wear. Never seeming to be content with a bland, white shirt, I think Indians have a great sense of style. The scene above has a bit of a yellow / orange theme.

 

Crowds in Tekka Food Center, Singapore

The shot below was taken on the way into Tekka Food Center, where I found my favorite Punjabi food. Perhaps I will let you know the name of the stall at a later date... In other words, you must follow along to find out!

 

Smiling Hindu women in Tekka Market crowd - Little India Street Photography, Singapore - Candid Photos w/ Ricoh GR II © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Smiling women in crowded Tekka Food Centre

Anyhow, the Ricoh kicked up the ISO quite high in the challenging light here, and I had to work to clean up the file a bit. Converting the photo to black and white helped.

 

By the way, it's not just the market called Tekka. For instance, locals here call all of Little India "Tekka". I was surprised to learn the name actually comes from the Hokkien Chinese word Tek Kia Kha, which means base of the bamboo. It was named after the plants found growing at nearby Rochor canal.

 

Apparently some Chinese stall owners in Tekka Centre even speak Tamil, and some Indians, Hokkien!

 

Vintage motorcycle & sidecar on Race Course Rd - Little India Street Photography, Singapore - Candid Photos w/ Ricoh GR II © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
This photo along Race Course Rd is like a throwback to another era

Here you see an old man riding his classic motorcycle with sidecar. Little India MRT is in the distance.

 

The People - Little India Street Photography

 

Next to Kerbau Rd is Buffalo Rd, and I find that a bit funny...though I guess it makes sense when you consider the Malay & British both lived in Singapore early on. Buffalo Rd attracts many shoppers looking to buy fruits, vegetables, as well as the hand woven flower garlands that are used by temple worshipers.

 

Hindu women shopping on buffalo rd - Little India Street Photography, Singapore - Candid Photos w/ Ricoh GR II © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Woman shopping for colorful garlands

Along a side street, I also came across these workers unloading a truck. I was struck by the color blue everywhere, and wondered if it was done on purpose.

 

Worker men unloading truck - Blue color scheme - Little India Street Photography, Singapore - Candid Photos w/ Ricoh GR II © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Men unloading a truck - feeling a bit blue?

Just another striking splash of color...this time in red.

 

Woman in red scarf on Race course Rd - Little India Street Photography, Singapore - Candid Photos w/ Ricoh GR II © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
In this vibrant neighborhood, this woman fits right in
As I have shown, hitting the streets of Little India is perfect for making photo albums with a certain theme!

Most people shoot street in black and white with the Ricoh GR II. For me, it would be a shame to photograph a dazzling place like Little India in B & W. However, with its striking contrast, the scene below was just begging for it.
Men Smoking Near Tekka Hawker Centre - B & W Little India Street Photography, Singapore - Candid Photos w/ Ricoh GR II © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Smoking men on break @ Tekka Hawker entrance

There are always a lot of people walking near Tekka Centre. The community hosts many bazaars and holy festivals here. In the distance you can see "Campbell Lane", which reminds me of a street where I grew up in California. It's basically as close as I can get to home right now, being on the other side of the world.

 

Muslim family walking on Serangoon Road - Little India Street Photography, Singapore - Candid Photos w/ Ricoh GR II © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Like India, Little India is home to many Muslims as well

Below you'll see more colorful shops and houses along Serangoon Rd. These streets seem to get more traffic than other places else in Singapore, though it's still nothing compared to other Asian countries.

 

Traffic & men and women on the streets - Little India Street Photography, Singapore - Candid Photos w/ Ricoh GR II © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Intersection traffic & crowd of people @ Buffalo & Serangoon Roads

MRT Murals & Kerbau Rd

 

The Little India MRT is quite a busy station. Tourists come here from all over the world, because of the area's cheap hostels. That, and the neighborhood's vibrant tourist draws, of course!

 

 

(continued below, but please consider following along with me below...)

 


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Don't miss the giant murals painted on the walls near here.

People commuting near Little India MRT station - Diverse Little India Street Photography, Singapore - Candid Photos w/ Ricoh GR II © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Diverse crowd of people walking to MRT station

It seems I mostly find south Indian food around the neighborhood, but from what I read, Punjabis, Tamils, and Bengalis all live and share their cultures here.

 

37 Kerbau Rd - A Vibrant, Iconic Neighborhood Landmark

Pedestrian Man & Tan Teng Niah Residence - Little India Street Photography, Singapore - Candid Photos w/ Ricoh GR II © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
37 Kerbau Rd, Singapore

Colorful buildings like this are hard to miss. Say hello to the Tan Teng Niah Residence, and although it's Chinese, the colors seem to be quite Indian to me. This is certainly one of the most popular locations for Little India Street Photography.

 

Chinese man on bicycle - Little India Street Photography, Singapore - Candid Photos w/ Ricoh GR II © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Man riding bike along Serangoon Rd bus station

Later, snapped this photo of a man riding his bike past the bus station. Thanks to the Ricoh GR II's "snap focus" mode, obviously I never miss a shot.

 


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)


Stairway in Tekka Center - B & W Little India Street Photography, Singapore - Candid Photos w/ Ricoh GR II © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Man sitting in stairway shadows @ Tekka Centre

Here's one last black and white shot to keep you "street tog" purists happy...

 

I really enjoyed this bright and cheery community. I always eat at Tekka when I stay in Singapore, and have made some good friends in the neighborhood there. This neighborhood is surely worth exploring!

 

In closing, I hope you enjoyed my Little India Street Photography series (other Singapore locations below). I'd love to hear your feedback...

 

Cheers.

 

  1. Downtown (main page)
  2. Chinatown
  3. Little India

 

- Nathan Allen

www.idreamedofthis.com

 

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