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Singapore Downtown Skyline, First Night Shots!

Discussion in 'Night, InfraRed, and UltraViolet Photography' started by stm69, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. stm69


    Aug 10, 2005
    First off, for those that have visited Singapore, everywhere's pretty much downtown! :lol:

    We were visiting my sister and her husband who happened to have a room downtown. We were 54 or 55 stories up for reference. For those that followed the IOC's selection for an Olympics site which London won, this was shot the night before London was announced as the winner. As one of the official hotels for IOC people to stay at, security was tight; xray/metal detectors and soldiers with machine guns (Singapore like the UK is an extremely gun-shy country, regular police sometimes don't even have guns).

    Once I saw the view out the window (we did take some daytime shots if anyone's really interested in seeing those), I absolutely knew that it would be a gorgeous view in the evening. So, I went to a mall next door and bought a tripod, and prepared for my first try at night time shots.

    Bear in mind, I know pretty much absolutely nothing about photography, especially how to shoot at night. All I could remember was broad generalizations, and I had the goal of getting "those cool car headlights moving like streams" type shot. So without further ado, here we go!

    I took a myraid of shots, but thought I'd post 2 sets with different settings for comparison. These are some of the more attractive ones. All pictures have 70% USM in PS:CS, with an auto levels (didn't do much), reduced to 33% size of original. Long exposures were processed in camera for noise (took forever!) Shot with a D70 + 24-120VR lens combo, no flash used.

    EXIF : 1/4 sec F/5.6 ISO 800

    Compare it to
    EXIF : 15 seconds F22 ISO 800

    It lightened up quite a bit, but both pictures still had fairly large amounts of noise in the darker areas, water, and trees. You're viewing part of a skyline off a balcony that stretches really as far as the eye can see, lights twinkling till infinity.

    In the middle of the shots, is Clark Quay, one of the original reasons Singapore grew in the last hundred years first as a trading port destination. We used to learn about that in school during history class, they used to have "bump boats" that would ferry goods to and fro this quay before a modern harbor was built.

    Above the Singapore river, and the Quay, ironically, are the skyscrapers that modern Singapore reinvented itself for, banking and other commercial activities. I just think it's so cool that there's such a contrast between the new and old.

    The second set
    EXIF : 1/5 second F3.5 ISO 800

    Compare it to
    EXIF : 15 seconds F25 ISO 800

    These shots as you can tell are beneath the hotel. They highlight the "Padang", a huge field in the middle there where a lot of official stuff like parades (IOC ceremonies and stuff were done there too) are held. The cool light show are rehearsals for the National Day celebrations in August (like the 4th of July here). You can also see lots of goverment buildings, courthouses, and also St. Andrews Cathedral to the right.

    What you can't see to the left, past one of the freeways, is the harbor and shoreline. During the day you can see miles and miles of ocean with ships, mostly container ships, all over. At night you can see their lights. To the right, beckons the rest of the city of Singapore, buildings and buildings twinkling in a sea of lights.

    I really wish I could do the view more justice. Any comments on how to improve would be greatly appreciated; especially in trying to get the grain out. I know I screwed up on the "short exposure" pictures by not cranking the aperature wider open, but shooting conditions were definately not ideal. 4.5 foot high railing, balcony didn't allow for tripod to extend all the way, dang sliding glass doors kept shutting on my foot, had to use timer to take pictures to prevent camera vibrations in conjunction with the winds, etc etc!

    Hope you enjoy!

  2. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks for sharing your images, Sam. One very nice perk about being a member of this international community is visiting places throughout the world without leaving the comfort of my home through the postings of the membership. Singapore looks to be a huge city that looks like it never sleeps. I appreciate the opportunity to view your city!
  3. Really love that first image. You have nailed the exposure. Well done.
  4. Sam, that first shot is phenomenal!! Job well done! I just can't get over that view! I've always been a sucker for nighttime city shots. Sure beats the view out of my windows. ;) 
  5. I've always hoped to travel to Singapore someday. They are really beautiful night shots, Same. Great color, clarity. Nicely done!
  6. stm69


    Aug 10, 2005
    Thanks for the comments so far. Any thoughts on what cranking the aperature would have done for the regular exposures? Say from 3.5/4 to F22 for an "exaggeration"?

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