I'm a Singapore event photographer; specializing in corporate events, weddings and birthday parties.


Istana Changing of the Guards Ceremony

The Istana ("palace" in Malay) is the President of Singapore's official residence. It's next to Plaza Singapura, at the end of Orchard Road.

The whole ceremony seems to be handled by the Military Police Command. Even the traffic control was by MPs on motorbikes. However some policemen in blue uniforms were around to look after security. Based on information provided, the band here is either the SAF Central Band or SAF Band A.

It's on the first Sunday of every month, at 6pm, but not in July or August ( http://www.istana.gov.sg/content/istana/presidentsoffice/ceremonialguards.html ). 

  • D7000, 70-210mm f4-5.6
  • At 210mm, f11, ISO 6400, 1/1000 seconds
  • Aperture priority exposure, center-weighted metering, auto white balance
  • Picasa: Straighten, auto contrast
Took a chance and stationed myself on the other side of the road, to avoid the crowd. Photo was taken at the end of the ceremony. Band is marching out towards Cathay Cineplex, where they disperse. Policemen had just cleared the crowd to make way for the band, so I had a clear shot. You can see the gate of the Istana in the background. The gate might not be a main part of the photo, but it's important for establishing the location, giving the photo a unique look.

1/1000 seconds is too fast, should have reduced ISO. But needed the high ISO earlier for when the band was in the shade, didn't have time to switch. Should have used auto ISO. Needed small aperture because depth of field at telephoto focal lengths is small. Which means that a super expensive f2.8 70-200mm isn't necessarily worth it because many times, you can't use f2.8.