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


Bishan HDB Apartments, Night

I passed these blocks of flats on my way to photograph a wedding. I was particularly impressed by the grassy slope and the two high blocks on the left with the slanting roofs (most HDB blocks have flat roofs).

But it was raining then. I told myself that I'd pass by again after the wedding, and if the rain had stopped by then, I might get an even better photo because it would be night.

Night photos are interesting because they can look very different from what you see "live." By over-exposing the photo, you can get strange but beautiful photos like this one. I got lucky with the clouds - enough to nicely pattern the sky, but not too thick to block it completely. 

The photo works because there are three bands of interest - the sky, the buildings, and the grass. With only two bands, the photo would be too simple.
  • Nikon D600, 28-300mm f3.5-5.6
  • At 28mm, f4, ISO 12800, 1/8 seconds
  • Manual exposure, center-weighted metering, 2500 K White Balance
  • Picasa: Fill light

White balance was set to 2500 K to counteract the orange light from the nearby sodium vapor street lights.

Without a tripod, night photos are an exercise in seeing which camera setting you are willing to sacrifice first. I had already opened up the lens aperture wide, went down to 1/15 seconds shutter speed and ISO 64000. Still too dark.

I decided to risk ISO 128000. Still too dark. I didn't want to go to ISO 25600, too much noise so I sacrificed shutter speed instead, 1/8 seconds. Luckily there was minimal camera shake because the lens vibration reduction really works. Photo looked okay on the LCD playback but back home on the PC it was still too dark, so I boosted fill light by one stop.