Reflections in the night light
Photography by Jin @Visualdivision, Written by Adam Lo.
I see myself as both a photographer and an explorer. I like to find peculiar locations all over the city in my search for that unique shot. In a small city-state roughly 2/3 the size of New York and with a population of 5.5 million, Singapore manages to strike a balance between development and preservation of nature sites. Furthermore, recent efforts have been funnelled into projects that harmonises modern living with fauna. Therefore, sites like the Punggol Waterway litter all over Singapore, providing me with opportunities for unique shots.
Opened in 2011, the Punggol Waterway functions as a waterfront and a leisure park for residents of various ages. Cyclist and joggers are a common sight, however, in dusk the park can be strangely quiet. This serenity incubates the perfect condition for long-exposure shots, a technique I am still trying to perfect.
There is only so much our modern eyes can perceive. Conditioned in highly lit city environments, we sometimes fail to pick up details in a low light. However, aided by a trusty DSLR, one can bring out the underlying beauty; surreal landscapes in spectrums of light we can never imagine.
My general interest is architecture and hence, I always had an eye out for geometry and structure. As I threaded along the waterway, I came across a bridge crossing, with light adornments lined along the red struts, providing me with a perfect balance of contrast, as well as a sense of structure imposed on a ceiling-less sky. The bridge also gave me access to a commanding view of the waterway.
The dusky scenery, coupled with the loneliness, gave me a sense of melancholy I have never felt before. In fact it felt nothing close to eerie, but it was like I was happy to be alone. Being an extroverted person, I enjoy the company of others. However, when I take photographs, I believe in solitude as I like to keep my relationship with the subject a strictly visual affair. No verbal contact whatsoever. The bridge was one of such cases.
As stated previously, I keep an eye out for architectural beauty. However, I see value in buildings that are under construction. In some cases, they convey a sense of progress. Even In a highly-developed city state, scenes of construction are common in Singapore. As strange as it sounds, scenes of construction and cranes reflects the general attitude of the people; Good is never enough. This is in our blood. We never settle for enough, we try to build ourselves in any way possible. We embark on new projects and challenges given the opportunity.
The waterway was brightly-lit all through the night. In the absence of joggers and pedestrians, it was as if the lights wanted to show off the park. Singaporeans are indeed industrious and hardworking people, and in a Chinese influenced society, we never liked subtlety. We never cut corners when it comes to showing off, an act of which I champion.
The waterway path has led me to places i have never seen, and has brought me experiences I had never had. In a way it was an opportunity to reflect and a learning experience. In terms of technicalities, this experience has taught me new skills and a whole new way of seeing things.