Celebration of Chrysanthemums Garden Trail at the Gardens by the Bay

I will like to thank Gardens by the Bay for giving me the media pass for the Celebration of Chrysanthemums Floral Display at the Flower Dome.

The moment one enters the flower dome, he’ll be greeted with the strong fragance of so many Chrysanthemum flowers.

And there were actually many interesting varieties of Chrysanthemums

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… and other flowers too of course.

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Besides the flower dome, the media pass actually also allow me to go to the cloud forest.

There were nice waterfalls here.

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And I’m pretty surprised to find lego exhibits here as well!

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Orchids at Singapore Botantic Gardens

Thanks to all those who put in the hard work to get our Botanic Gardens into the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites!

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After savouring the Peking duck, I brought my parents to the Botanic Gardens because my mom love orchids and when she got to know of the event, Botanical Inspirations Orchids of Singapore Botanic Gardens & Their Heritage, she asked to see them and here we are!

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Doubt I knew how to appreciate orchids like my mom… and at least I love the variety and colours!

Taken with Sony Alpha a5100 with Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS lens

Tulipmania 2014

I missed the Tulipmania last year at the Gardens by the bay and heard it was good. So I made a trip down today to take a look.

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The Tulips only occupy a small portion of the Flower Dome, i.e. the Flower field.

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But the tulips were really nice.

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Efforts were made to create a Dutch landscape, including this miniature exhibit.

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And I’m pretty happy with the misleading photographic opportunities.

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After having enough of tulips, I came across some nice dutch clogs…

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Before leaving, I had another round of flower macros.

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Nice tulips, I’ll definitely be back next year!

Short trip to Berlayer Creek

One of the most suitable occasion to do landscape photography is when there is great contrast in the scene. This occurs when the weather is hot and sunny, with some white clouds to break the monotony of an otherwise clear blue sky. But when the sky is very cloudy but not gloomy, it is a great chance to do macro photography. This is because the clouds act like a diffuser for the sun as a source of light and eliminates the strong highlights on a flower or insect if the weather is hot and sunny.

Thus I made a trip to Berlayer Creek just to look for insects.

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If one were to jog along the walkway, it would be easy to missed the elusive and little creatures around us.

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It is not hard to notice these buzzing fly as it stop for a rest.

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This is a very tiny creature and I have no idea what is this. 

One just have to walk slow enough and scan the greenery to look for the rare break in continuous green leaves or grass to spot potential fauna.

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This is the second time I chance upon a wild praying mantis and twice, they have their back towards me. I can’t move myself to take the shot from the front because of the bush location.

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I originally spotted a butterfly resting on a flower. But strangely, it did not fly away when I approach it. On closer look, I found it was not only dead, but being taken for lunch by a nicely camouflaged yellow spider.

It is not just insects, flowers make good subjects for macro photography too.

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Another flower near the one I found the spider.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEver so often, the hectic pace of life made us oblivious to many interesting things happening around us. It is only when we slow down, will we start to notice them.

Gardens by the Bay walkabout

I remember seeing a gigantic baby sculpture at the Gardens by the Bay, south and always wanted to take picture of it but couldn’t find the time. Finally, I was able to find time today. I had 1/2 the morning and sometime in the afternoon to myself, so I decided to cover the Meadow, the Dragonfly island and the Flower Dome. I had already been to both domes but decided on the flower dome again because of the prevailing theme, Flight of Fancy, a colourful display of hot air balloons and other exhibits.

Equipment

Thus this time, I brought with me not two, but four lenses:

  1. Zuiko 12-60mm SWD to cover typical scenary
  2. Zuiko 8mm Fisheye for ultra wide landscape
  3. Zuiko 35mm macro for the flowers or insects close ups
  4. Sigma 105mm macro for longer working range on insects

Baby hunting

First I head to the Meadow and look for my ‘baby’.

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Planet sculpture – by Marc Quinn. 

I particularly like this angle because it contrast the baby in the foreground with the financial centre in the back. In the highly competitive work environment with tremendous stress on everyone, it is an unfortunate consequence that baby making has to take a back seat.

Dragonfly hunting

I wanted to take some live dragonflies but didn’t manage to capture any keepers because those I spotted are really skittish and just can’t keep still for a picture. In the end, I could only contend with a more friendly grasshopper…

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… as well as metallic dragonflies.

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Flower dome

Without much luck with dragonflies and I’m melting under the hot noon sun, I headed to the cool conservatories. I wanted to take an aerial overview of the Flight of Fancy theme, so I went to the Baobabs.

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Just a few more steps and the good overview of the Flower Dome.

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Next I head down to the Flower field to have a better look at the exhibits.

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Overheard one of the visitors mentioning to her friends that she wanted to get married here. She better hurry though, because these exhibits are not permanent.

Having enough of the exhibits, I turned my attention to the flowers. I don’t particularly like to take flowers though, but these few caught my eyes.

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Overall, I had quite a fruitful trip today 🙂

Flower Dome @ Gardens by the Bay

I got a few hours of early release from office today (one day earlier than Chinese New Year Eve) and my kids should be having fun at their childcare, so I decided to maximise my few hours of freedom. After having a quick lunch, I headed down to Bloodbank@DhobyGhaut to donate some ‘healthy’ blood before the CNY festive contamination. Bloodbank@DhobyGhaut, located in the Dhoby Xchange right above Dhoby Ghaut MRT station is definitely much more convenient than Bloodbank@HSA.

Then off I went to Gardens by the Bay. I had already went to Cloud Forest with my wife sometime ago, so decided to take a look at the Flower Dome again (my first visit was during its preview during one of the Orchid Exhibition). Before I reach the domes, I was already greeted with festive colours of flowers. Nice!

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Festive colours

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Fisheye fun

I had not gotten a fisheye lens when I first visited Flower Dome during its preview and now that I had one, I tried to play with it in the wide area inside the conservatory.

After having fun with my fisheye lens, I turned my focus on the colourful flowers. I read that the flowers will be changed slowly throughout the year, to reflect the ‘changing’ seasons. So I presume it is the spring colours I’m seeing now, predominantly red, pink, yellow and white.

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Flowers everywhere

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Festive mood

Nearer the exit… it is not the flowers but a simple chinese knitting that caught my attention.

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Comparing the two domes, I prefer the Cloud forest to the Flower Dome. I found the former’s multistorey architecture, waterfall and varied flowers much more interesting.

 

Collecting my prize at Jurong Bird Park

Took part in the Picture the Colour 2012, an annual Bird Photography competition organised by Jurong Bird Park. I had no luck last year in the professional category (using DSLR). I tried again this year but entered in the Amateur category (compact camera) instead.  With luck, I got first this time with the winning shot below.

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Winning picture for Picture the Colour 2012, Amateur Category, taken with Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V. This picture was touched up a little to bump up the constrast plus some sharpening. The original picture submitted can’t be post processed, so looked a little stale.

I know the shot above has no wow factor. That’s not the point. The point is this shot won me one Nikon 1 J1 Camera and $300 worth of Cathay photo vouchers. Off I went to Jurong Bird Park to collect my prize.

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With Christmas just round the corner, festive decorations was up to greet visitors.

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A pair of penguins taken with Zuiko 8mm Fisheye lens.

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Nikon 1 J1 Camera and $300 worth of Cathay photo vouchers

After collecting my prize in Jurong Bird Park, I decided to hang around for some photography. First stop is to have a quick lunch at one of the restaurant there, Bongo Burgers.

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Mutton burger with soup

After lunch, I stepped out to take some pictures of the flowers (especially orchids) near the entrance before leaving.

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