Life in Chinatown Captured by the Canon M100

I visited Chinatown planning to take pictures of the Chinese New Year decorations, with the light and chic Canon M100 of course. Unfortunately, the decorations do not look as fantastic as they do at night. I resorted to taking pictures of people instead, as intimidating as it may be. Street photography is fun yet unpredictable. You never know how the crowd interacts, who you come across, and where you find them. The magic is all captured at an opportune moment. Here are a few pictures that I took (hopefully unnoticed by the subjects).

A Tapestry of Human Interaction

Men playing Chinese ChessNot a day goes by at Chinatown without a large group of uncles gathered at the chess table outside the market. To capture the heated chess matches, I tried to occupy most of the picture with people and keep two chess tables in the frame. Since this picture was taken on a cloudy day and under shelter, the lighting was pretty dim. I set the camera to Shutter Priority and used a slow shutter speed. The Chinatown banner at the back was unintentional too! Fortunately, it was a good addition to the picture.

Man sleeping at ledge of Buddha Tooth and Relic Temple

At the perimeter of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, I spotted two ladies engaged in an energetic conversation. This is juxtaposed by the elderly man sleeping soundly on the ledge. To get this shot, I flipped up the live view, propped my elbows on the ledge to stabilise the camera, and took it from a low angle. If I was using a smartphone, I would already be lying down on the cold hard ground. I did not choose to take the photo from a higher angle as it would look as if one is looking down upon him.

The Club Hotel

The Club Hotel at Ann Siang Road has undergone dramatic renovations. Gone are the bright fire-engine red shutters and clean white exterior. In their place are black shutters and striking blue paint. With the aid of Photoshop and Snapseed, the blue looks even brighter. This picture has a lot of lines in it, and it took a while to get a shot where the pillars are perfectly vertical while the road and ceiling are perfectly horizontal. Even so, the lines on the sides where the colonial building is angled are not straight unlike in architectural photography. There was also the risk that the man wearing a blue polo tee will blend in with the walls, so I made sure the angle captured him in such a way where the window grills are behind him for added contrast.