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Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Night at Dakota Crescent Serial - Week 3


A Laughing Buddha was found standing under an old tree in the car park behind Block 4 and 6.
The Laughing Buddha is cherished all over the world. He is found in homes, restaurants, places of business and so on. The Laughing Buddha is the Buddha of abundance and happiness. He is also known as the “Buddha of Wealth”. It is believed he will bring wealth and prosperity to a home or business. 

I wonder why this one is left abandoned there. Well, it certainly serves as an interesting subject for my night photography, perhaps as surrealistic as it can get. Here I adapted a low angle perspective and exposed for 8 seconds. There's a street lamp behind camera right and I took advantage of its lighting position to fill in light with my FENIX flashlight, on the Laughing Buddha for a Rembrandt effect.

As the 8-second exposure was enough for the foreground subject, Block number 6 on the light box in the background, was over exposed and not legible. Hence I have to under-expose 5-stops just to get it right. Later in Photoshop I used the stacking and masking technique to show it through as natural looking and legible as possible.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Night at Dakota Crescent Serial - Week 2

Block 4 3rd Storey Lift Lobby
I came around Block 4 and decided to explore further by taking the old school elevator to 6th storey. FYI, there are only 3 lift lobbies on these old flats (Block 1 - 6), basically the ground level, 3rd storey and 6th storey. I walked down the stairs as I explored each household doorsteps just to find something interesting to make photographs of. I ended up here at 3rd storey lift lobby and took up camera position.

I made about 4 or 5 photographs for HDR post-production and somehow I couldn't get the desired result. Hence I resorted to use the stacking and masking technique in Photoshop. I got down to every details in this photograph in which I wanted to show the building block number 2 clearly and getting the right exposure for that light box is petty challenging but I managed to get it by under exposed 3 f-stops or more.

Next I went for the interior details through each household window and balcony as much as possible but to keep it as natural looking at the same time. Well just a little over exposed by 1 f-stop on Block 2, and just about right on Block 4. Of course all done on 2 separate masked layers. The shadow details on the tree is taken care of as well.

Finally, taking care of the exposure on the lift lobby and corridor is pretty straight forward. I'm pretty satisfied with the overall result compared to the HDR generated by Nik Collection HDR Efex Pro, which of course I would not show you.

Next week, an interesting Dakota nocturne will be posted so do stay tuned.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

A Night at Dakota Crescent Serial - Week 1

http://martinliew.zenfolio.com/p576659268/e412cf827
Words are added on this photograph in Adobe Spark Post app on my Apple iPhone 6 Plus.
Click on the photo to view the original version. 


Good evening fellow night dwellers! Tonight I'm kickstarting this short night photography serial on Dakota Crescent which I would be posting one night photograph of this unique and soon-to-be-gone oldest rental flats estate, on every Saturday night 10:10PM SGT. View the photo after the jump.


Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Night at Dakota Crescent - a trailer



New set of urban night photographs will be posted here on this blog site as well as on my website. Subscribe to my blog site for new updates.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Pekan Quarry


Pekan Quarry, Pulau Ubin

It was my third attempt on star trails and this time I made my way to one of the quarries in Pulau Ubin – Pekan Quarry. The whole place was illuminated by a waxing gibbous (96% full) moon hanging high up in the night sky. The night atmosphere was so mesmerising that I stood still for a few moments, to view and feel the atmosphere before I set up my tripod and camera.

I've always wanted to make star trails on this small island and so finally I got it made, of this 'DANGER' signboard by the wooden railings. Thirty long exposures of one minute were made and stacked in Photoshop using Dr. Brown's Stack-a-matic. A little fill-in light was added on the signboard, wooden railings and the surrounding foliages.

I'm pretty satisfied with the result and on my next attempt. I would try to make a longer star trails, say 60 exposures of 1 minute. Until then, I hope you enjoy viewing my work. More Ubin night photographs in the next blog same time at 10:10PM.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

What We Cannot Speak Of Must Be Passed Over In Silence


The setting sun is down and warm glowing light beautifully lit up in one of the old church rooms. A great twilight to capture this with my Apple iPhone 6 Plus on default mode and post-processed in Snapseed.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Only Moment We Were Alone


Stacks of bricks and concrete walls of buildings, hoarding boards and cargo containers, all came together under a warm summer night. Captured with my Apple iPhone 6 Plus in Slow Shutter app, vertical 9x16 aspect ratio, and post-processed in Snapseed.

Whampoa Dragon


Dragon fountain in Whampoa captured with my Apple iP6+ in Slow Shutter app and post processed in Snapseed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Solitude



Night phonography of a lady sitting quietly by the bench outside the National Library. Made possible with my Apple iPhone 6+ on default mode and post processed in Snapseed.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Ubin Land Rover

Ubin Land Rover
This abandoned vehicle was found parked outside a large empty wooden house, in central part of Pulau Ubin. Dirty stained windscreen, rusty body with peel-off paint, broke down engine and punctured tyres, it stationed in this open space with surrounding trees. The whole desolated place was illuminated beautifully by the moon light.

After a few trials on different color effects, this is the final result that I'm most happy with. I tried to keep things as simple and aesthetic as possible, keeping in mind on the color complementation. I've also managed to attained the same effect result for the second close-up photograph shown below.



Let me show you the rest of the color effects and you will know why I chose the red one. Well that's my personal taste. Which one do you personally like? Leave down your choice in the comment below. I would love to know. Thank you.



All nocturnes are long exposures under full moon and some light paintings on the surrounding trees and vehicle exterior with neutral white light. Colored light paintings on the vehicle headlights and interior with Cyan, Yellow, Red color gel respectively. All light paintings are manual work and definitely not created digitally in Photoshop. Photographs are made in RAW format and post-processed in Photoshop.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Take Right to Kelantan Road


Night phonography with Slow Shutter app in 16x9 aspect ratio on my Apple iPhone 6+. Post processed in Snapseed.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

A Night in Pulau Ubin

On the eve of Vesak Day 20th May 2016 Friday night, I made my way to a small island off the northeast coast of Singapore, where the annual Tua Pek Kong Festival was to be held in Pulau Ubin from 20th - 25th May. Each year thousands from the mainland travel to the island for this festival.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Anchored Sailboat

Anchored Sailboat
Two weeks ago I visited Changi Boardwalk and made a couple of night photographs and the above photograph is one of the them. I've always wanted to make night photographs of sailboats and fishing boats. Not the floating anchored types but I prefer those stationed along the seashore during low tide, be it in good conditions or in dilapidated states. They seem to draw my attention and I find them to be interesting subjects to make photographs of.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Satan Left His Icebox By The Beach

Satan Left His Icebox By The Beach
Last weekend I went to Changi Boardwalk to make some night photographs when I came across this deserted refrigerator lying by the beach right outside Changi Beach Club.

Well it's scarce to come by such interesting subject at such a location. So without any hesitation I went down during the low tidal period and walked around the icebox just to find the best vantage spot for good composition. In the end this is the perspective adapted with the sidewalk and shoreline forming 2 straight lines leading to the distant street lights. The icebox was positioned on the foreground with casted shadows of the sidewalk railings which gave more lines and forms.

I made 4 exposures of 1-stop difference and merged them for HDR during post production. I made one additional exposure of filling the fridge internals with red color light. Next I stacked the 2 photos to achieve the above result.

It was a fun and straight forward photography and I wanted to make more from other vantage spots, but in vain. Either the background has too many other lights from the boardwalk, which are way too distracting and messy, or the background is too mundane and uninteresting to justify for the foreground subject.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Empty Page

The Empty Page
It's been a long time since I last visited Changi Village and took a stroll along the Changi Boardwalk. I just did last night and rediscovered some little changes. NParks has had removed the rooftop covers of the resting sheds along the boardwalk, right outside the seafood restaurant by the beach.

I believe NParks wanted to prohibit members of public not to camp or stay there for a prolong time period. Most of the folks are there for their fishing hobby. If it rains they have to find their ways for covers.

I walked all the way to the end of the boardwalk for this pair of empty seats. I didn't make any night photos in the past so I thought I want to do it now. With that said, the above photo is the result of stacking 2 photos - one exposed for the foreground seats and the other for the cloudy night sky.

I exposed the first photo for 120 seconds at ISO 200 just enough to open up the shadow details and retaining highlight details. Next, I exposed for the night sky for another 120 seconds with higher ISO of 400.

Here's a little snippet - A 9-stops Variable ND filter was fit on my Tokina 11-16mm lens, stop down to 5 stops hence I was able to get good exposures.

The main reason why I made all my night photos in RAW just so I have even more controls during post-production. To make the stacked result more pleasing, I used Auto WB for the foreground seats for warmer color and Incandescent WB for the night sky, just to get that bluesy cool color. Based on art drawing/painting theories or color theories, place subjects with warmer color against cooler color background would make them more outstanding and POP!

No light painting needed. Take a closer look and study the shadows, you would know where the light sources came from i.e. one on camera left and one behind camera right. After much retouching on the wooden floor (some wet surface and minor stains) just to digitally clean up and make it more presentation. All except the large portion of stains on the far left. I kept it untouched just to keep things back to a natural state and not to over-do. In the end, I am very satisfied with the final result.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Lines & Stripes

Lines of a sketch,
Moving across the paper,
Flowing smoothly like a river.

Stripes of a painting,
Gliding as though on ice,
Perhaps making us think twice.

Lines & Stripes,
Coming together in peace,
To form a masterpiece.

@WhisperedLullaby

Saturday, April 16, 2016

This Use To Be My Playground serial – Dragon playground (2016)



Tonight I want to take you to another old school playground in Singapore – The Dragon playground. Located in Toa Payoh Lorong 6 right opposite SAFRA Club, it's one of the most popular and iconic of two large Dragon playgrounds. Make the jump to view the photos.


Saturday, April 09, 2016

A Walk In The Garden

A Walk In The Garden
© 2011 Martin Liew Photography
The wavy form of the boardwalk in a garden that grabs your attention and leads your vision to the isolated light in the distant and beyond. In creating a strong composition to the minimal with stark contrast of one single light and heavy shadows, I want to create a strong sense of mystery and romance to the viewers. The night beauty in the garden.

One of the night photographs from my Dwell In The Night project which I'm still working on it. Announcement will be made here once all are ready for viewing on my website. Consider this as a teaser.

Photo info:
Shanghai TLR (aka Seagull) on Ilford HP5 Plus. Developed in 1:1 Kodak D76 for 10mins 24 seconds. Negatives scanned on EPSON V700 and further post in Photoshop.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Night Bridge in Retrospect



Good evening night dwellers!

Tonight I want to share with you an old night photograph I made twelve years in a park that I can't remember exactly. I can't even remember what gear I used. It could be Russian made LOMO Smena 8M point-&-shoot camera or Nikon FM10 on color negative film. No written record found.

What you see here are two B&W converted photos of the same wooden bridge in a park. The top photo is the original frame and the above one is cropped. Both are converted in Nik Collection – Silver Efex Pro 2. Personally I would prefer the crop version. What's your preference?

The main reason why I made this photograph is the light and cast shadows of the wooden railing on the wooden platform, that really caught my attention. The only mistake of my own negligence was the strong light flare on the top right frame. However distracting it was, I find it more appealing now and it somehow adds to the overall mood to the night scene.

I would love to visit this place again and look out for more prospective shots to made. By the way, do watch out for an upcoming blog post this coming Saturday night, in which I will be sharing another night garden photograph.

Good night and lights off!

Saturday, April 02, 2016

This Used To Be My Playground serial - Elephant playground

Elephant playground (2012)
In mid February 2016, I wrote a blog showcasing night photos I made of a Dinosaurs playground in Toa Payoh. In continual of my photography project, This Used To Be My Playground, I visited the Elephant playground last weekend for the second time since 2012. Make the jump to continue...

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Colorful Night Memento of Rochor Center


In 2011, Rochor Center along with its four colorful residential housing flats and shops, was announced for the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme, and has to make way for the construction of the new North-South Expressway (NSE).

Last weekend, I made a trip there to capture its "colorful" night sceneries. Make the jump for the night photographs.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Battleship Playground

Battleship playground @ Sembawang Park
This is one of the many modern playgrounds found in Singapore unlike those that are covered in my old school playgrounds serial. This is a huge "battleship" with interesting structures meant for active children to climb up chain ladder net, crawl through holes, slide down in the tubes and many other more climbings. Somehow adolescents and adults alike are drawn to this playground and couldn't help to try boarding the "battleship". It can be pretty tough and physically demanding.

I took the opportunity to do some light-paintings of this playground. There are 4 flood lights (2 shown in the picture above) around the playground and they are switched off at around 10:30PM which makes light-paintings more fun and easier. Below is one good example of playing around with the "bubbles" concept which I believe you readers have seen before in my past nocturnal work.



Instillation is a title I came up with after much experimentation with a new lighting technique a few years ago. In the context of Instillation, I want to enhance if not emphasize and insinuate more on the beauty of the night with involvement of human activities in different environmental conditions. The creation and juxtaposition of the "bubbles" requires the physical labor to create, as if the place is re-animated and being alive.

Here's another Instillation playground.



More on the Battleship playground.




Saturday, February 13, 2016

This Used To Be My Playground serial - Dinosaurs playground


It's been a long time since I started out this mini project on Singapore's old school playgrounds. Paid a little visit to one of 2 Dinosaurs playgrounds in Toa Payoh. Make the leap to meet the dinosaurs.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Mount Imbiah Battery (Part Two)


Good evening fellow night dwellers! This is the second and last installment of Mount Imbiah Battery nocturne serial. Make the jump to view.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Last Days of Commonwealth Drive Old Estate


In 2008, Block 74 – 80 in Commonwealth Drive in which the area is also known as Tanglin Halt, were announced for the Selective En Bloc Replacement Scheme. Residents and business occupants have since moved out of the estate to replacement flats and/or business units. Also referred to by most older generations/Pioneers, as Chap Lau Chu (10-storey houses in Hokkien dialect), the now vacant blocks will soon be demolished and all that will be left of them will be dust and some of former residents' memories.

I paid a short visit there last Saturday night and here are just 3 night photos I made. All flats are inaccessible where metal gates are installed at all the staircases and the old vintage elevators are all long gone.





For more detailed information on this place, you can visit the following websites.