Rick and I had a very fun outing last Saturday! For a long time, we’d wanted to explore night photography, so Rick signed us up for Sony’s Singapore Flyer Photography workshop. It was especially exciting because it was our first time on the Singapore Flyer!
One essential tool for night photography is a tripod. Only then can you use long shutter speeds to achieve that kind of effect in the photo above. For this shot, we switched our shutter speed to “Bulb” mode, and exposed for 100 seconds. Yes, I had to press down on the shutter button, hold on, and count for 100 seconds! Not easy! I accidentally let go a couple of times midway, and had to start over.
Using a tripod, you can also achieve the “silky flowing water” effect, like what we see in postcards! This was shot in the Yakult Rainforest Discovery on the grounds of the Flyer. It was pretty dark, as it was about 6.30pm on a very cloudy day, but you can see the image comes out bright because of the long shutter speed.
Ok, I know the composition of this shot is far from ideal, but there were 10 other participants around me, all with tripods, so this was the best angle I could squeeze in. Also, we were rushing to board to Flyer, so no time to take more shots.
Unfortunately, the Flyer was very crowded that night, so by the time we boarded our capsule, the sun had already set. According to our trainer, the best time to take this shot would be just when the sun is setting.
For this workshop, we were taught to use “Manual” mode. Flight time was 30 minutes, but the time when the Flyer stopped at this angle was very short. Our window of opportunity was very small! After adjusting the manual settings and composition, this was the best shot I could get. Hey, I’m an amateur after all!
Of course, this is a very lousy pic. It’s a little over-exposed, and I should have zoomed in more.
Imagine 12 oblivious-to-what’s-around-them participants with their SLRs and bulky tripods, hogging the best photo-spots in the Flyer capsule. I think the other visitors must have been mighty pissed! 😛
Here’s a pic by the pro:
Click here for more stunning photos of the Flyer by the pro, our talented trainer Darren Francis!
Our time in the Flyer whizzed by in the blink of an eye! But the session was not over yet. We took more photos from the ground, like the first photo in this post. Also, our very knowledgeable and entertaining trainer Darren Francis showed us how fun it is to play around with “light painting”!
Rick and I both enjoyed the workshop immensely. No, I’m not getting paid by Sony for saying this, neither did we attend this workshop for free. Because we own a Sony Alpha 350 DSLR, we get email updates from Sony, and that’s how we learnt about this outing.
Unfortunately, this workshop is only for Sony Alpha DSLR users, but if you don’t own one, they will loan you a set for the duration of the course.
We thought the course was very well organized. The class size was kept small, only 12 participants, so that we’d all get enough attention. Besides Darren, who was our main instructor, other instructors like Kenneth and Richard were there to assist the students. They are very friendly and enthusiastic! They are also very accomplished photographers. Check out their online portfolios!
This workshop costs S$55 per person, and includes a 1.5-hour theory session, 3-hour practical session, as well as the Singapore Flyer ride (priced at S$29.50 per adult). The next Sony Singapore Flyer workshop is scheduled to run on Friday, 22 Jan 2010 (theory) and Saturday, 23 Jan 2010 (practical). If you’re interested, do sign up soon as seats fill up fast!
A big THANK YOU to Darren, Kenneth, Richard, and Xing Hui of Sony Singapore, and fellow course mates for an awesome session at the Singapore Flyer!