The Dragon year is the most auspicious year in the Chinese calendar. More babies are born in Dragon years compared to other years. Photographically, the Dragon year is good because dragons look cooler than the other zodiac animals.
Chinese/Lunar New Year decorations aren't as fancy or widespread as Christmas decorations. I'd say less than 20 percent of the shopping centers along Orchard Road have decorations outside. Most however do have some decorations in their atrium.
It's not so clear at this picture size, but there are flowers all over the dragon. I actually saw workmen sticking artificial flowers onto the dragon, a few days ago. It's the Water Dragon year this year (the animals cycle in a series of 5 elements), but I guess a flower dragon looks prettier.
- Nikon D7000, Sigma 20mm f1.8
- At 20mm, f2, ISO 200, 1/30 seconds
- Manual exposure, center-weighted metering, auto white balance
- Picasa: No editing
I chose this angle to squeeze both the chinese words on the left and the whole dragon, into the picture. I tried a flat side-on angle first but it didn't look too good, especially with distracting colored lights in the background. This angle closes up the spaces between the dragon and blocks more of the lights.
I would normally use f5.6 or smaller but I'm testing out the Sigma wide open, getting a feel for the lens sharpness and depth of field. Even at f2, the depth of field is surprisingly deep. The building in the background is only slightly blurred. This would not be the case with the 35mm f1.8.