Saturday, 18 July 2009

Crowne Plaza: Runaway by the Runway

11th July 2009

Light and Shadow


"Just let me take this photo," I said, sensing her looming behind me and with a slight sense of beckon.

It was obvious she was planning something, as she had urged me to take a seat amidst the vibrant colours of the hotel lobby a little earlier, while she went to check us in and perhaps attend to the said surprise. Surely I had my guesses, but the better part of me emptied my mind to the environment around me, to subject myself to a potentially greater sense of surprise for whatever was in store.

Surrounded by vibrant colours of the furnishing with a strong emphasis on contemporary shapes and curves, the furnishing of the Hotel Lobby well-complemented the modern architecture of the building.



Technicolour World

While the theme on the lobby played heavily on colours, the corridors that had led us there earlier played on another aspect, that of lighting, and how it strived to create a sense of rhythm. Streaks of sunlight streamed into the winding corridors on alternating bands, as the Lady and I had earlier traversed, moving through the light and shadow at a steady pace, with an almost parallel swirl of emotions, alternating between the darkness of the unknown that we were walking into and the warmth of the excitement that filled our hearts.


Shadow / Light

All these emotions were about to culminate into a climax that awaited us 9 storeys up. I braced myself and rose from my seat, lifting my bag, and taking her hand and with a warm smile, taking slow and heavy strides across the lobby and through the lift doors.


Runaway by the Runway

A beep, a click and the swinging of the door marked the prelude to our little weekend hideaway. Anticipation ran through my soul as I put my first foot forward, walking through the narrow doorway until I came into full view of the room, and much beyond that.

"Wow!", I squealed, ruining my composure there and then, as I let out my first sign of visible excitement since we embarked on our little "runaway."

Warmly lit and equipped with a sofa area, a large double bed, a flat screen wall-hung TV, and even an iPod dock; these extravagant features seemed secondary compared to the 2 bigger fishes. A luxurious bathroom with a unique glass wall that looked into and subsequently out of the room, decorated with flower petal decals, gave the room a more spacious and definitely more unique feel of openness and transparency, in additional to serving it's decorative purpose.



She's Everywhere

But definitely the biggest draw lay behind the white satin curtains. I approached it slowly; first grabbing a Dark Chocolate off the specially-prepared Birthday Treat laid out on the desk, and as the outer shell started to melt in my mouth, the sweet warm chocolate fudge at its centre rushed out and unto my tongue.


"Oh, you actually noticed the chocolates? It was specially prepared for you, you know?" she said, with a hint of pride in her voice.

"Yeah, I know," I said naturally, always self-believing that I knew more than I did.

Approaching the curtains, I drew it slightly to take a garner at the view that lay before my shade-covered eyes.




A giant Singapore Airlines carrier was full-frontal, staring right at me and slowly making her way towards me, definitely in hopes of getting a bit more upclose and personal with the Birthday Boy, as she inched slowly towards my position and then took a turn to the right. In the background, on the runway, another one of her sisters was preparing to take flight, while on the parallel runway a Qatar Airline's carrier raced her to the skies.


Racing Queens

I pressed my ears to the glass, straining to listen to the sounds I remembered from the numerous occasions to the Viewing Gallery in my youth, as a Turkish Airline's carrier was greeted by the warm tarmac of our sunny island. Indeed, it felt like we had our own little personal viewing gallery, just for the Lady and I.

I drew the curtains wide, to share the view with the Lady who made it possible and we stood there in silence, just watching the activities on the runway for a little while.



For Your Eyes Only

"Thank you, Darling," I turned to her and said, breaking the silence.

She looked back at me with her large, round eyes and smile, one that showed a thorough sense of joy, and yet conveyed a sense of suppression - perhaps towards the things that were yet to come...


Friday, 3 July 2009

Changi Broadwalk: Over the Broadwalk, Under the Sun

20th June 2009

"We're at the wrong place," I exclaimed, with a sudden realization upon looking at the map. In fact, we were on the totally opposite end of the beach.

Rushing back to the car, I sped down the driveway, in a race against the setting sun. Indeed, procrastination in itself was already a nasty beast, add the weather-jinx and ill-luck (with carpark and navigation problems) into the mix, and the realization of our long-planned photo-expedition seemed so close and yet so far.

Man is the master of his own destiny, and Immortals... well, a little more than that - making it to the broadwalk just as the Sun drew her last breaths along the horizon. But this was what we were here for, to capture her dying moments.

The competition was on, with the Lady pitting her (relatively) newly-acquired camera against my (relatively) newly-acquired photo-theory.

We strolled down the walkway, heads turning from side to side, trying to see the world around us in frames, trying to find the right composition, trying to find our perfect pictures.

Identifying my first frame, I clicked and shot, but was far from happy with the results. Thus, in turn, tinkered with the settings till I found what I wanted. Lighting is always a bitch when it comes to photography, but sunset lighting is even harder to depict. In the end, I decided to go with a slightly-warmer feel for my photos.

First Frames

Down the bridge and along the coast, we continued down the well-laid paths in somewhat erratic rotations; her focus was mostly on objects while I tried to look for a bit more landscape. Being more of an artist than a techie, composition often plays a bigger part for me, and I have an incline towards looking for slightly more abstract and interesting shapes.


A well-hidden bridge along the seaside gave rise to the inspiration of some peak-a-boo shots (according to the Lady), shots that seemingly focused on one thing, but were actually meant to showcase something else in the background. A pity that I couldn't create a Depth of Field effect with my Nikon though.


The sky started to spread a warm blanket of pink over us, as we made it to arguably the most distinct spot along the broadwalk, an isolated little pavilion that overlooked the sea.


Perhaps as distinct as the pavilion itself is the lone withered tree that resides beside it. Branches bare and outstretched in agony, the singular tree stands alone, enduring the perpetual torment of the waves beating again her trunk as she looks out towards the open sea, longingly perhaps, for an escape from this loneliness.


Inspired by my interpreted-plight of the poor entity, I decided to try to creatively shift my White Balance to provide a slightly more fitting landscape - not to mention partially inspired by my current work as well.

Before: Present Day

After: Post-Apocalyptic

"Dude, there's an Iguana on the tree, you might wanna shoot it," a friendly fisherman in the pavilion said to me, as I was shooting my creative close-ups of the tree. As I tried to place my focus on the beast, the slippery reptile had already slipped beyond my sight and into the water. Little did I know however, I had actually already captured it in my close-ups.


"1, 2, 3...." I counted, as I pressed the shutter, as she almost immediately came over to my side to see how the photos turned out.

"Crap, it's over-exposed" I told her. "But you know what, it's kinda cool, haha."

Obviously, she had no choice but to agree.

Accidental Beauty

Strolling down a winding path under the resorts had us bombarded with shouts of excitement and the smokes of barbeque from the chalets above.

Attempting to do an artistic shot, the Lady accidentally stumbled upon a surprisingly cool effect, taking the shot through the lens of our shades.

Through the Lens

We walked a little more, under the shade of palm trees that we already mostly unnecessary as the sun was already in her final moments and the only remnants of her glory were streaks on a distant horizon.

The Unnecessary Shade

Dark clouds and flashes of lighting beckoned us to turn around as we approached the sailing club, and perhaps more than fitting, as night had already fallen and the scenery beyond was much less captivating than what we had transcended before. Familiarity hardly bred contempt, as the once-familiar path had taken on a whole new light.

One for the Road

As we reached our point of origin, I could not help but use the metaphor of "Reflection" as the final frame to bring closure to our more than fulfilling journey.


It's funny how things work out sometimes. If you had asked me to go on a photo-trip a few months back, I would have scorned at the very thought of it. Yet, since I started to better embrace photo-theory, a new-found interest seems to have been kindled in me to put this theory into practice. Of course, having good company doesn't hurt either.

Oh, and about the verdict of the competition, of course I believe that I won hands down. But don't take my word for it, see it for yourself here.