Little India to Orchard Road – a photo walk

Street photography - Girl promoting Sony NEX camera

Instead of my usual photo walk in Orchard, I decided to shoot in Little India on a Sunday. My cousin Eugene came along as well.

There were less crowd then we expected and several stores were closed. It might be more fruitful to come down on a weekday morning for my next photo walk in Little India.

Nevertheless, I managed to get some interesting shots. I guess I could portray a different pace of life where the people were more laid back since it was the weekend.

Street photography - Little India Arcade

Street photography - Man pushing his bicycle past a shop house in Little India

These tourists were wandering around in Little India.  I’m not sure if they felt the same, but I was very disappointed during my London trip when I went to Borough Market and found it closed.

Street photography - Indian grocer

Street photography - Old shop house in Little India

Street photography - Newsstand

For many of them, it was a day to gather at their favourite hang out and just chit-chat. Those in the retail line had to work or miss out on sales if they closed the store for a day. Some retailers were lucky to have friends who hang out at their shops. They had the best of both worlds: income and a social life.

Street photography - Fruits stall

Street photography - Pots

A good pot is a key to making delicious curry.

Street photography - Pedestrian crossing in Little India

These old shop houses are a stark contrast to the cityscape in Singapore.

Street photography - Shopkeeper in Little India

Street photography - Boot cut jeans on sale in Little India

Street photography - Red Indian statue in Little India

Street photography - Red Indian statue in Little India

The two photos above are good examples for two things.

Firstly, they show that while a shallow depth of field isolates the subject, having a greater depth of field tells a story. Instead of blurring out the background completely, by blurring the background while maintaining the form, the photo works better.

Secondly, switching between landscape and portrait can enhance the photo. In the first photo, you see a spear and a red Indian. I decided to take the second shot in portrait orientation to show the hand holding the spear. It makes more sense and the spear would not seem out of place and detached from the overall composition.

Street photography - Alteration service in Little India

Street photography - a dried leaf stuck on the front of a Maserati

Even expensive cars are not spared from nature’s mischiefs.

Street photography - Shop in Little India

Street photography - Birds that can guess the winning lottery number

If those birds were truly psychic, she probably wouldn’t have to sit there and sell their services.

Street photography - A man praying in Chinatown

Street photography - Couple with a sheep backpack

This couple made me do a double take. At first glance, I assumed that the guy was carrying the sheep backpack for the girl. Then I recalled seeing the girl carrying her own back. That made me turn back to look at them again.

Street photography - Construction worker along the road

Street photography - Photo of myself in the mirror

The mirror was meant to be used by large construction trucks. It was a little too high to get a good shot of myself but I like how it turned out. You can see my cousin in the lower left corner of the mirror. A big truck had reversed into the construction site and the workers were closing the metal gate.

Street photography - Leica print on the ground

Leica wanted the public to know that it had opened a new Leica store in the Mandarin Gallery.

Street photography - Man wearing a polo shirt with

Street photography - Tourist taking photos with a tablet

I see many people do this in a single day of shooting. I often wonder if they image quality of these tablets were good enough. Perhaps they would suffice for uploading to Facebook or Instagram.

Street photography - Man walking along Orchard Road

Street photography - Woman with a DSLR camera

Street photography - Woman shooting with a DSLR camera

She was probably trying out a new camera. I saw her fiddling with the controls and frowning after each shot she took.

Street photography - Man shooting with his mobile phone

Another common sight: mobile photography. The difference between this and tablet photography is that the former tend to have better cameras.

Street photography - Sign along Orchard Road

Street photography - Girl promoting Sony NEX camera

One of the Sony girls promoting the new NEX camera. I think it was the F3. She demonstrated us the new feature: a tilt-screen. To prove her point, she took a picture with us using the camera.

I’m not familiar with Sony products but that looks like a prime lens. If it is, then it’s a little misleading since most people new to photography would actually use a zoom lens, probably an 18-55mm or the bulky 18-200mm.

Street photography - Couple pushing a pram for their pet dog

Some people really dote on their pets. The pram was full of stuff for the lucky pooch.

Street photography - Man patting his daughter's head as she watches the street performer

The street performer was teasing the little girl. She appeared apprehensive, probably because she couldn’t understand him. Her father probably noticed her uneasiness, leading him to pat her head reassuringly.

Street photography - Tourist taking a video along Orchard Road

A tourist recording the street performance. I’m very tempted to get a video camera. Most likely a Sanyo Xacti. I’m shopping around for different models. If you have any suggestions, drop a comment below.

Street photography - Woman recording a video of a street performer

I prefer a video camera because ergonomically, it makes more sense to handhold it for extended periods of time when recording a video. A DSLR is out of the question. I don’t like to record videos with compact cameras either. Unless I get a video rig. I would prefer a compact video camera.

Street photography - Kids with their scooters

Street photography - Two women in Orchard Road

A very pleasant couple of friends. They seemed to have not met up for a long time and were very delighted to see each other. They approached me to help them take a photo in front of Ngee Ann City. I complied and requested to take a shot with my M8. They eagerly obliged.

It’s a shame I didn’t have my business cards. I would love to do arrange to do a photo shoot with them. If any readers know how to contact them, do help me to get in touch with them. I’ll really appreciate it. This taught me to always bring my business cards with me.

Street photography - Leica X2 on display

I wandered back to the Leica road show in front of Mandarin Gallery. The Leica X-2 oozes style and class. It is sexy even with the protruding electronic viewfinder.

Street photography - Leica print on the ground

It was hard to get the shot I wanted. When people saw me pointing my camera on the Leica film strip, the would stop to avoid getting into my shot. I understand their goodwill in not wanting to spoil my shot. But I actually want a photo with them walking along the corridor! Others who continued walking simply moved to the side of the corridor instead of walking on the Leica strip.

Street photography - Man reaching for his headphones

Street photography - People resting at the Ngee Ann City fountain

Street photography - Mother carrying Winnie the Pooh bag

The difference between a woman out with a kid and one without. Of course, there are some mothers who are comfortable with carrying their child’s belongings in a branded bag.

Street photography - Man recording a video with his tablet

It’s awkward enough to take photographs with a tablet due to its size. This guy takes it to a different level by taking videos with one.

Street photography - Stranger in Orchard Road

This lady was extremely shy. She was hesitant about being photographed but agreed after her friends chimed in to encourage her. She was so shy that I couldn’t get her to turn her face into the light. Nonetheless, I’m very grateful to her for being a sport and letting me take a shot.

Street photography - Woman in Orchard Road

Street photography - Promotion

I concluded that it is a hassle to put on or remove the bags. When they wanted something from their bags, they simply asked their colleagues to help them to get it.

Street photography - Men smoking in Orchard Road

Street photography - Body Shop promotion

This is Body Shop’s Look Good, Feel Good campaign. I see this group in Orchard Road every Sunday.

Street photography - Boy with a sign saying

This boy was sabotaged by his friends. They made this placard as a birthday surprise. One of the friends had her DSLR ready to document the day. He was unwilling to go along with their scheme until he spotted me taking this photo. In exchange for the photo, he asked for a hug. I gladly obliged for the birthday boy.

I wonder how many hugs he got that day.

Street photography - Boy with sign saying

Notice the lens flare. I have encountered this when shooting in strong sunlight. It is an expected issue because I chose to go for the single coated lens instead of a multi-coated one. The SC lens produced less contrast, something that I prefer in my black and white photos.

Street photography - Woman walking in front of Emporio Armani

Street photography - Ion Orchard

If only she carried a bag as well.

Thanks for stopping by today. If you are in Singapore, contact me to arrange for a photo walk together.

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  1. Bucky Avatar

    Just wanted to drop by and say that the swirliness of the bokeh you’re getting w your Leica is INSANE! I’m a sucker for it so I’m drooling over it. Hopefully meet you and your Leica one day when I’m out shooting! :)

    1. Jen Xi Avatar

      Hi Bucky, thank you. If you shoot in the streets on Sundays in Singapore, we might bump into each other. Don’t be a stranger if you do. =)

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