Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

Orchard Road, ready for Christmas

Ah, again another late update. I reached home on Friday morning after a night bus from Singapore, and I must say that the feeling of sleeping on your own comfy bed is the best thing ever. Nothing beats the comfort of your own home. Because of that, I’ve been quite lazy for the past few days, lying on my bed reading monthy issues of Reader’s Digest that I’ve missed when I was away (I’ll blog about what I’ve read, promise!).

A few days before I returned home, I embarked on a night trip down to the bustling Orchard Road, located in the Central Business District area. Every year, Christmas decorations and extravagant lighting displays will be put up to celebrate Christmas and to make sure that toursits spend as much time (and money, cha-ching!) over there. Orchard Road was under a major facelift in these few years and tourists have been complaining about dust, traffic and the patched appearance of the place. Now the Christmas decor is to make people feel that Orchard Road is indeed a touristy place and not some random construction site ;)

The crossroads outside Orchard station is where the Christmas arch is located. I tried to get a good shot of it from the sidewalk but there were too many other eager photographers trying to get the same view. I took a few and gave up. I wanted something special. I spotted a temporary traffic island set up in the middle of the road an hour or so later, to facilitate repair works on the Christmas arch. That’s a Godsend chance! Pure gold! When the pedestrian signal turned green, I grabbed my tripod, hurried to the island and station myself there.

Whoops! It seems that my laptop LCD display is not calibrated to the normal standards of other computer displays, so the darker parts of the photos look a little too dark on your screen (and the contrast will look horrible). I’ll note that down and make sure that I don’t fumble in that sense next time :P

Here’s a look of the arch from the temporary traffic island. Without the traffic island, I wouldn’t have gotten the second photo because that’ll mean that I’ll be run over by a car when the light turns green :razz: hah!

The Christmas Arch - Green Light

The Christmas Arch - Green Light

The Christmas Arch - Red Light

The Christmas Arch - Red Light

There are still a handful of photos, and I’ve tucked them under the read more tag. More photos after the jump!

This is the not so nice photo of the Christmas Arch I’ve mentioned previously. I bet everyone with cameras (handphone or not) that passed by that junction would have this scene. Mine is just a little fancier with a little shutter speed trick:

CK Tang and the Christmas Arch

CK Tang and the Christmas Arch

After snapping photos of the Christmas arch, I turned my camera 180 degrees around. So now we’re facing the traffic that was initially behind me. See the traffic island? :) the photo below is a collage of three photos taken a few seconds apart – the first one was when the lights were still red, with a shutter speed of 1/3 of a second. The second one was when the lights turned green, with a shutter speed of 2 seconds. The final one was when the lights were still green, with a shutter speed of 5 seconds. I wanted to take more than that but I didn’t have a ND filter with me, meaning that long shutter speeds will overexpose my photos.

The original photos were a lot larger but I’ve cropped it to something like a widescreen mode (with a 9:4 ratio) to remove some distractions and to achieve the dramatic effect of the light trails.

As traffic flowed around me

As traffic flowed around me

I moved on to another junction outside Ngee Ann City. There wasn’t any traffic island around so I could only snap photos when the lights were red. I did drew a few stares now and then as I stood in the middle of the halted traffic with a tripod and a camera. Deep inside I give thanks to the orderliness of the nation where there is a low tendency for drivers to run red lights :) or I’ll be a piece of dead meat by now.

I observed the traffic light patterns before gathering enough courage to head to the center of the road. I kept checking the pedestrian lights as well as the countdown timer, just in case. I was a nervous wreck on my first attempt – the photo below was the result of a second attempt.

At the red light

At the red light.

I moved on to photographing the sidewalks. The photos aren’t really up to my expectations but I like it that the slow shutter speed had blurred the pedestrians.

Pedestrian crossing.

Pedestrian crossing.

Christmas lights and shoppers.

Christmas lights and shoppers.

I guess that’s all for this post ;) I hope you’re doing well with your Christmas shopping. Good luck!

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