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Thread: Esplanade Opening Experiences

  1. #1
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    Hi

    i just came back from the Esplanade opening.....Streetshooter, Tomshen both of u were there too? didn't see u all....too many pple!

    despite a "veteran" of many successful fireworks outings, dun think i am going to get any usable frames this time in wat is the most spectacular fireworks display i have ever seen

    will post my sorry story later.....
    David Teo
    View my work and blog at http://www.5stonesphoto.com/blog

  2. #2
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    Originally posted by Red Dawn
    Hi

    i just came back from the Esplanade opening.....Streetshooter, Tomshen both of u were there too? didn't see u all....too many pple!

    despite a "veteran" of many successful fireworks outings, dun think i am going to get any usable frames this time in wat is the most spectacular fireworks display i have ever seen

    will post my sorry story later.....
    what happened? u handheld at ISO 3200 with German made lens cap on?

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by tomshen

    what happened? u handheld at ISO 3200 with German made lens cap on?
    Hi

    short summary of my story

    1) Got distracted by last min dinner appointment with a female friend - so despite reaching there early with plenty of time to find a good spot, "wasted" half the time eating next time i will get my priorities straight.....

    2) Second big mistake - we have some friends who booked a nice room in Westin Stamford hotel (now the Swissotel - watever). Went up with them to the room and the view is indeed nice. They invited me to shoot from there as i wouldn't have to squeeze with all the people. I setup my tripod and everything and.........

    in an incredible stupid move, i decided i wasn't close enough. I couldn't feel the sweat, couldn't potentially smell gunpowder, and felt too detached from all that will happen.

    So in this brain damaged condition, i packed up my stuff again and decided to go to the Esplanade Bridge 30 mins from the start of the firework, leaving behind a nice air conditioned suite near the top of the world and a bunch of nice pple (including among them a couple of rather nice looking babes)

    My friends decided to stay in the room, and they must be thinking "this weird guy with the camera is weirder than we thought" They delayed my journey further by asking for group shots with the esplanade in the background...

    3) Which left me with all of 30 mins. That isn't enough time to find a good spot. I had to fight crowds all the way from the hotel to the esplanade bridge, squeeze through this huge crowd, and then, had to settle for a less than ideal position, with no place to put my tripod! argh! After all that backbreaking effort of carring my full gear through the human traffic, i had to settle for a ledge which i climbed on, but had no place to put down my stuff.

    So, i had to shoot handheld for the entire performance, carrying my heavy bag and tripod Worse, i had to shoot with 800 negative film, and i don't think shooting fireworks with negative film is the best idea in the world! arrrgghhhhhh

    After all that effort, i couldn't really think straight about my exposures. I set the camera to manual, and do my best to estimate the exposure required, for both the 1v and the M6.
    I don't have a good feeling about my exposures. :|

    (i realise i shoot with the manual mode much more often with the 1v now after getting so used to the m6 - and realised just how ineffective a reflected light meter is, even if it's evaluative!)

    And i had to shoot with super low shutter speeds with the 70-200, and my tired hands just aren't as steady as i would like.

    so in a nutshell that's why to get any usable frames out of that whole episode would be quite a miracle indeed.

    And my friends didn't make me feel any better when they keep waxing lyrical quotes on how nice the view was from up there...........

    well, i console myself that at least i was a part of the proceedings. i squeezed through sweaty bodies, had ashes flying all over me, ashes flying into my camera bag, smelt gunpowder from the fireworks, and witnessed a spectacular display up close and personal.
    David Teo
    View my work and blog at http://www.5stonesphoto.com/blog

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    Never mind RD, yr spirit worthes 10 best shots.

  5. #5
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    Default My Experience

    Was there with my family. Had dinner early, and had plenty of time to make our way to the opening ceremony. We even got to the direct front of the forecourt. Cool, we thought. Then the VIPs started coming in, and clocked stage right .

    Ok, performance starts. I started to shoot using my 80-200 and Press 800. So far so good, but the VIPs standing at stage right are still irritating at best coz they blocked a good half of the performance. Hey, they're VIPs dammit, why cant management give them some seats somewhere else?

    I've been to the rehearsal, so I roughly knew when the end's gonna come. Anticipating fireworks as reported in the papers, I stooped down to change lens. Then.... kaboom..... kaboom...... faster than I thought. Completely disoriented, I quickly set my lens to f/2.8 and shoot at 1/30s whatever was fired.

    Part 2
    OK, so now we make our way to the 2nd location to see/shoot the Harbour Spectacular. Along the way, my parents pointed out to me a very nice spot on the elevated planting area holding bogainvillas along the Esplanade bridge. But stupid and stubborn me, not knowing where the fireworks be (why can't the authorities tell us where it will be fired from anyway?) somehow decided it's not such a good spot and proceeded to Merlion Bridge and found a spot facing Esplanade.

    Waited 2 hours, and it finally started. That's when I realised I am in the wrong position. Too late to change. It's now very crowded. Shot the abseilers (heck, 200mm isn't enough), shot the bumboats, and then amidst all the excitement was completely disorientated (again) with the first bursts of the fireworks. Fumbled around changing lenses, wasting completely good moments. I didn't even want to change film to my regular fireworks film, which is ISO 100 slide. So I continue to shoot using Press 800. Quickly framed the merlion into the picture as foreground and hoped for the best.

    Still disoriented, I fumbled around wondering why the camera was hunting. Ah.... never set to MF. So set to MF, then quickly set to f/11 and B to shoot. Hopefully some will turn out. This is probably one of my worst firework shoots.

    Regards
    CK

  6. #6

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    Guess its too crowded=high density.
    To solve this problem, they should make the fireworks displays at various locations. along the Sg river, from Clarke to Boat to Marina. Just my 2cents.

    The atmosphere there is bad, Sweaty. sweat and more sweat. Can't think straight and only sweat liek mad.

  7. #7
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    Splitting this into another thread so as not to clutter Street Shooter's post.


    Regards
    CK

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by Red Dawn

    1) Got distracted by last min dinner appointment with a female friend - so despite reaching there early with plenty of time to find a good spot, "wasted" half the time eating next time i will get my priorities straight.....

    2) Second big mistake - we have some friends who booked a nice room in Westin Stamford hotel (now the Swissotel - watever). Went up with them to the room and the view is indeed nice. They invited me to shoot from there as i wouldn't have to squeeze with all the people. I setup my tripod and everything and.........
    Come on, "female friend"? Time to proceed further. I am waiting to charge you $xxxx.yy for your wedding!

    Regards
    CK

  9. #9
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    And now, how I envy that front page shot obtained by Zao Bao photographers.


    Photo By : Liang Jin Hua (), Lianhe Zaobao

    I think one of our ClubSNAPpers got something silimar. Red Dawn, you should really have stayed in the hotel room (and I should have went over as well....) oh well.

    At least it's still the most spectacular fireworks I've seen in my life.

    Regards
    CK

  10. #10

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    Originally posted by franciskc
    Guess its too crowded=high density.
    To solve this problem, they should make the fireworks displays at various locations. along the Sg river, from Clarke to Boat to Marina. Just my 2cents.

    The atmosphere there is bad, Sweaty. sweat and more sweat. Can't think straight and only sweat liek mad.
    Rad Dawn, CKiang dun worried, you are not alone.
    Got the same feeling that the fireworks shots will not be ideal.

    Too much unforeseen events/problems had happened! Pointing at the wrong directon, the locaton make it less ideal for the fireworks shots - quickly sway to the right position, BIG MISTAKE - forgot to keep track of the number of frame left for the fireworks and ended up missing the "grand finale", etc......
    Last edited by scanner; 13th October 2002 at 12:54 PM.

  11. #11

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    Originally posted by Red Dawn


    Hi

    short summary of my story

    1) Got distracted by last min dinner appointment with a female friend - so despite reaching there early with plenty of time to find a good spot, "wasted" half the time eating next time i will get my priorities straight.....

    2) Second big mistake - we have some friends who booked a nice room in Westin Stamford hotel (now the Swissotel - watever). Went up with them to the room and the view is indeed nice. They invited me to shoot from there as i wouldn't have to squeeze with all the people. I setup my tripod and everything and.........

    in an incredible stupid move, i decided i wasn't close enough. I couldn't feel the sweat, couldn't potentially smell gunpowder, and felt too detached from all that will happen.

    yup .. the most sweaty photography experience i had ... worse than a full day wedding shoots !!

    heh ... you are not alone

  12. #12

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    Originally posted by ckiang
    And now, how I envy that front page shot obtained by Zao Bao photographers.

    I think one of our ClubSNAPpers got something silimar. Red Dawn, you should really have stayed in the hotel room (and I should have went over as well....) oh well.

    Regards
    CK
    hmm...... is megaweb going to apply for a photography post at Zao Bao?

  13. #13

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    Hmm, I was stupid too.

    Set exposure to 15s (i have no bulb mode) for the finale and bam! The shots were badly overexposed.

    I was supposed to meet all the CSers at city hall, but somehow I missed them - and I arrived before 6! Stood almost 1/2 hour outside coffee bean, smelling the coffee aroma but feeling pretty stupid. Luckily AGP4x and his wife "rescued" me.

    Even dumber, I forgot my to take my camera with me after having dinner. Luckily no one stole it.

    Think yesterday was bad luck day.

  14. #14

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    Originally posted by Zoomer
    Hmm, I was stupid too.

    Set exposure to 15s (i have no bulb mode) for the finale and bam! The shots were badly overexposed.

    I was supposed to meet all the CSers at city hall, but somehow I missed them - and I arrived before 6! Stood almost 1/2 hour outside coffee bean, smelling the coffee aroma but feeling pretty stupid. Luckily AGP4x and his wife "rescued" me.

    Even dumber, I forgot my to take my camera with me after having dinner. Luckily no one stole it.

    Think yesterday was bad luck day.
    ahka ! miss u also ... lucky AGP4x did the coordination between u and me

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by Red Dawn
    Hi

    i just came back from the Esplanade opening.....Streetshooter, Tomshen both of u were there too? didn't see u all....too many pple!

    despite a "veteran" of many successful fireworks outings, dun think i am going to get any usable frames this time in wat is the most spectacular fireworks display i have ever seen

    will post my sorry story later.....
    Saw Tomshen in the afternoon at the Esplanade though.

    Had family dinner till abt 10pm and decided to rush down to catch the fireworks.

    Got stuck in traffic around the area. In the end, caught the final burst of fireworks while I'm turning out from Shenton way side heading into ECP to Changi Airport.

    Quickly mounted my lens and shot out of my car windows while still navigating thru' the traffic

    As expected, photo turned out disappointing.

    What an experience shooting and driving at the same time! and with the traffic police behind flashing and urging all motorists to keep going.

    But did caught glimpse of the fireworks and must say that it is
    spectacular.

    Anyway, still chance to catch the Festival of Fireworks end of this year. I'm sure most of us would be better prepared then.

    Rgds,
    Jeffery

  16. #16

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    Originally posted by oceanxp


    ahka ! miss u also ... lucky AGP4x did the coordination between u and me
    Where did u guys wait?

    Funny, outside coffeebean isn't very big leh.

  17. #17

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    Originally posted by Zoomer


    Where did u guys wait?

    Funny, outside coffeebean isn't very big leh.
    huh, we are outside starbucks ... is that a coffeebean ?

    lots of us are outside ( open space ) =P.. abt 6pm to 6:20pm... aiya .. should have call one of us ...


  18. #18

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    Sigh. I brought my camera only to discover that it was out of batt!! Apart from that, the evening was pretty enjoyable though.

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