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Issue 02

A NUSPS publication

A collection of members’ photos and thoughts on the city life, exploration and other themes | Interview with Macro photographer, Nicky Bay | About shooting weddings in film by established local photographer, Brian Ho | Highlights from Montage 2013, “Metamorphoses”

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snapshots issue 2 p.16-21

Kent Ridge Post Office P.O. Box 1121 Singapore 911105 Web: FB: Twitter: Club main sponsor


Club co-sponsor


snapshots issue 2 Publication team Editorial Director Marumo Kana Creative Director Fatin Iesa Writers & Contributors Christopher Puan Ziyang Colombatantirige Uthpala Amoda Perera Jasmine Ku Jerlene Ng Lynn Ong Rohini Samtani Yang Zhixing


Designers Andrew Lim Kelman Chiang Lim Hwee Woon Sit Shi Ying


To subscribe to snapshots, email For editorial enquiries, email For advertising enquiries, email Disclaimer: snapshots is a bi-annual newsletter by The Photographic Society of the Natinoal University of Singapore (NUSPS). Issue 2 is available only in electronic form. The views and opinions expressed by or implied in snapshots do not necessarily reflect those of NUSPS. No responsibility is accepted for the claims made in advertisements, articles or photographs contained in this publication. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of NUSPS. All rights reserved. Copyright Š 2013 by The Photographic Society of the NUS. All information is correct at the time of publication.

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p.57 - 60

snapshots issue 2




p.52-57 An Analogue Wedding by Brian Ho

January / ’13 p.8-11 Studio Photography course p.12-15 ‘Hustle & Buslte’ City Hall outing

February / ‘13 p.22-25 ‘Unwind’ Internal Photography Competition p.26-29 NUSPS Bazaar 2013


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snapshots issue 2

March / ‘13 p.40-41 2nd National Photography Festival for Primary Schools


April / ‘13 p.42-45 Canon-VJC Exposee VI


p.46-51 Interview with Nicky Bay

February / ‘13 p.16-21 Lomography workshop


p.64-67 Montage 2013


March / ‘13 p.30-33 Post-processing course p.34-39 Experimental photography course

...More p.2-3 About club sponsors & snapshots issue 2 publication team p.4-5 About NUSPS, Contact us, Words from the president, Editer’s letter, About 44th Management Committee p.58-61 Member-initiated Outing (MIO) p.62-63 Photo of the Month (PoM) snapshots | 3


Contact us

history: Founded in 1969, The Photographic Society of National University of Singapore is one of the earliest found groups formed. Today, NUSPS boasts of more than 700 members. The society is actively involved in bringing photographic techniques and knowledge to members through courses, photography outings and competitions. vision: 1. Provide logistic and technical support for photographers to pursue their hobby 2. Create a community for photographers to meet fellow hobbyists and share their tips/experiences 3. Spread the hobby by lowering the barrier to photography and maintaining the interest for existing members 4. Continue the friendly relationship with external organisations in support of the photographic community.

Should you wish to contact us for possible collaborations, queries or feedback, kindly contact Lee Chen Tong (external) at or Marumo Kana (internal) at For membership signups and enquiries related to membership, please email Shailen Aggarwal at For equipment loan, please contact Uthpala at Any comments or suggestions about our website itself can be directly sent to the webmaster at Yang Zhixing at We can also be reached at our mailing address: Kent Ridge Post Office, P.O. Box 1121, Singapore 9111105.

Words from the president

Have you ever thought about what the term “photographer” means to you? Someone who takes photo for a living? Someone who owns a camera? Someone who is good at photography perhaps? Well for The Photographic Society of NUS, we never trouble ourselves with such thoughts, for we are not “photographers”. Rather, the society has come to be what it is today through the gathering and engagement of like-minded people who are passionate about photography – taking pictures with cameras, that is. We believe that photography is subjective, just like the appreciation of art, and the love of food. If beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, then each individual must have varied ideas of what makes a perfect photo, if one were to exist. What is common, however, is the enthusiasm to capture the moment, the desire to explore the interest and the zest to share the hobby. This is what the club is about. We are not “photographers”, but we are photography enthusiasts. Join us, if you are one too. Lee Chen Tong President, 44th Management Committee

Editor’s letter

In this second issue of snapshots, we have once again compiled together a bunch of fantastic photographs taken by our very own NUSPS members. These were taken during our array of outings, courses, workshops and major events which took place in the first half of 2013. In addition, we have managed to interview an amazing macro photographer, Nicky Bay, (p.46-51) and hear from an established local photographer, Brian Ho, on his opinion and expeirience on shooting in film in an era where everything is becoming digitalised (p.52-57). For macro photography and film photography enthusiasts, do check them out! Last but not least, we have also put in highlights from our annual flagship event, Montage 2013, to showcase all the components of the event - the competition, workshops and the seminar. We sincerely hope that you will enjoy this issue! Marumo Kana Vice-President & Editorial Director, 44th Management Committee

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About the 44th management committee Honourary Assistant Secretary Shailen Aggarwal FOE / Year 2 Course & Activities Director Atri Paik Chowdhury FOE / Year 2

Honourary Treasurer Lim Hwee Woon FASS / Year 1

Creative Director Fatin Iesa FOS / Year 3

Publicity Director Sit Shi Ying Biz / Year 1

IT Director Yang Zhixing SOC / Year 2

Logistics Director Puan Ziyang Christopher FOS / Year 4

Honorary General Secretary Jasmine Ku FASS / Year 1

Darkroom Director Uthpala Perera FOE / Year 2

Marketing Director President Vice-President Montage Director Kenneth Cheng Gim Yee Lee Chen Tong Marumo Kana Nguyen Tuan Anh FOE / Year 2 SOC / Year 1 FOE / Year 1 FOS / Year 2

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capture the light Writer Marumo Kana Designer & Photographer Fatin Iesa

Together with Mr Hart Tan from Tomato Photo, NUSPS members had the opportunity to learn from the professional the secrets to using light to create your image.

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Early on a Saturday morning, a group of students were up and about the NUS Campus. All had the same goal in mind: to capture the light. On the morning of 19 January 2013, 30 NUSPS members gathered to learn the secrets to capturing the light – for studio photography - in an indoor studio context. Interestingly, this course attracted the interest of many members (more than the usual numbers). When asked why they were interested in this particular course, many replied that they were genuinely intrigued to know more about this unique genre of photography. The course, organised by Mr Hart Tan from Tomato Photo, covered 3 essential topics about studio photography: 1. Understanding lighting fundamental, 2. Understanding light modifier and 3. Understanding the usage of light in portraiture context. With equipment provided by Cathay Photo, such as Mamiya Leaf digital camera system and Elinchrom Style RX 600, Mr. Tan used them to showcase to the members exactly how he does it. He started by shooting portraits of one of our members and demonstrated exactly how to handle the camera while shooting. While doing so, he gave tips on how to exactly hold the camera and direct the client to get the best portrait. He illustrated the different outcomes one can get by the use of different intensity of light, positioning of the equipment and reflectors. The use of lightmeter was also elaborated on and how it can be used to estimate the best settings for the shoot. However, with all the equipment available, he reminded members that one still has to put themselves in the shoes of the client who is being shot – some clients may be intimidated by the amount of equipment surrounding them in such a studio setting. Thus the client’s feelings need to

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Hart is the founder of Tomato Photo since the birth of his eldest child, Alex, in 2008. Since then, Tomato Photo has photographed over 1000 families and has been named “one of the best Singapore-based photographic studio” by Expat Living Magazine in Oct 2008. Tomato Photo has been featured in several magazines for portraiture work, and even on Channel U for their superb newborn photography. Hart himself is accepted by the prestigious Master Photographers Association in UK as a Qualified Master Photographer in Portraiture, and he specialises in love and newborn photography for clients in Singapore and around the region.

be thought of while trying to capture the best portrait for them. While demonstrating, he gave a few pieces of advice to our members such as: • “Don’t ask a photographer the aperture or ISO or other small details of a particular photo taken because they are not of much concern. These small specifications can always be varied to achieve the same photo, what’s more important is to get the big picture.” • “Shoot less, think more – that’s the way to go when you shoot” • “Studio photography is any photography shot under the controlled conditions of a studio”

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Before the end of the course, we managed to have a short interview with Mr Tan who gave the following advice to our members: 1. Keep it simple – Don’t complicate things: Look at equipment as just a tool to obtain an image that you visualise in your mind. Go with simple set-up and equipment (you don’t need to bring so many) 2. Be honest – Take photos with integrity. Be honest to your clients and to yourself by knowing your capability as a photographer 3. Specialise – Not only is cheaper to focus on a specific genre of photography than being a generalist, if you focus on something that touches you at your personal level, it will be shown in your photos Overall, it was an excellent course which ended on a good note, where members could personally ask Mr Tan to find out more about studio photography. Everyone definitely enjoyed an informative course and left at the end of the course with their curiosity for this genre of photography satisfied.

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the city never sleeps Writer Marumo Kana Designer Fatin Iesa Photographers Yang Zhixing, Lee Chen Tong & Fatin Iesa

‌that was why NUSPS members set themselves out on a Saturday morning in January, to capture the hustle and bustle in the heart of the lion city.

Photo credits: Michael Nay

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On 26 January 2013, Saturday, NUSPS members set out on an adventure to City Hall, home to some of Singapore’s architectural treasures like Raffles Hotel and CHIJMES. The adventure started at City Hall MRT where members were grouped into 4 groups, consisting of 5 to 10 members. Each group, accompanied by a Management Committee member, had a diverse range of individuals and everyone had a chance to get to know one another before setting off on their adventure.


Over the next few hours, each group strolled through the famous landmarks found there. They were namely, the Civilian War Memorial, Raffles Hotel, the CHIJMES and the St. Andrew’s Cathedral. Despite the blazing hot sun, we managed to snap a number of photographs which captured the liveliness of the city. To help us in this, our sponsor, Canon, even provided us with 5 lenses for us to be able to capture a wider variety of photographs. These lenses included Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM, EF S10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM and a EF 17-40mm f/4L USM. Each group carried a lens each and the lenses were exchanged between groups so that everybody could get their hands on them and try out the lenses. Though we were focused on capturing good shots for the day, we also took the opportunity to get to know other fellow photographers which made the outing an even more memorable one. We concluded our outing at the St. Andrew’s Cathedral, where not only did we have our group photo taken, but also gave out prizes for a photography competition. For the theme of ‘Hustle and Bustle’, 5 photographs came in as the top shots of the day. The winners each won themselves a Canon camera bag – but at the end of the day, everyone was a winner, for we met new shutterbug friends and captured our own unique shots of the city.


Winners of the photo contest. Taken by: 01 Anthony 1/125 sec | f/10 | ISO-100 02 Avinash 1/6 sec | f/22 | ISO-100 03 Dinesh 1/15 sec | f/16 | ISO-100 04 Kelman 1/30 sec | f/14 | ISO-100 05 Pradeep 1/1250 sec | f/5.6 | ISO-400

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Lomography workshops Writers Jerlene Ng, Rohini Samtani Designer Lim Hwee Woon


What is Lomography? Lomography is a global community dedicated to experimental and creative analogue photography. The concept of Lomography encompasses an interactive, vivid, blurred and crazy way of life. Through our constantly expanding selection of innovative cameras & photographic accessories, we promote analogue photography as a creative approach to communicate, absorb, and capture the world. 03

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08 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 06

Yang Zhixing 1/125 sec. | f/3.5 | ISO-1600 Yang Zhixing 1/500 sec. | f/3.5 | ISO-1600 Marumo Kana Sit Shi Ying Marumo Kana Arslan Iqbal Siddiqui Marumo Kana Jasmine Ku

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09 Camelia Ortega 10 Nasrul


La Sardina: Multiple Exposure Workshop Writer Jerlene Ng

In February, NUSPS organised a Pinhole Photography workshop in collaboration with the Lomography Gallery Store. The members had the opportunity to play with colourful clones of the classic Diana F+ cameras from the 1960s. The workshop began with a short theory lesson on Pinhole photography held at the Lomography Gallery Store on South Bridge Road. Thereafter, we strolled down the narrow lanes of Ann Siang Hill to experiment with our colourful Diana F+ cameras. The sunny Saturday afternoon provided the perfect lighting conditions to work with the analogue camera. The workshop instructor, Melissa works at the Gallery store and organises its events and workshops. Her enthusiasm for Lomography was displayed through her keenness to share her knowledge and expertise with us. As most of us were first-time Lomographers, we were greatly inspired by Melissa’s passion for the art. I personally loved the Diana Clone that I used during the workshop so much that I purchased one the following week. Being in a small group, the members were able to interact with one another more closely. The more experienced members gladly shared their knowledge on film photography with the beginners. This created a conducive learning environment and we were all able to take something away from the workshop, both from the helpful staff at the Lomography Gallery Store as well as other fellow NUSPS members. 18 | snapshots

How I view it I have always been a digital photography enthusiast. However, my recent participation in the Lomography Gallery Store Singapore’s workshops and activities is now getting me more inclined towards film photography. As I see it, engaging in film photography makes you a better digital photographer as well. Here’s why:

Diana F+: Black & White Pinhole Photography Workshop Writer Rohini Samtani What do you do when you have a Saturday afternoon and $10 to spare? Join the La Sardina workshop organised by the Lomography Gallery Store, of course! On 2 February, 18 NUSPS members made their way down to the colourful and camera-filled store along South Bridge Road, hoping to unlock the secrets to taking interesting double exposure shots using the La Sardina. Our bubbly instructor, Jacqueline, who was decked out in an edgy all-black outfit, kicked off the session by handing out cameras to everyone. Some of us might have been silently wishing to score the prettier cameras, but all of us were visibly intrigued by the unique designs on each one of them. After giving us some few tips and tricks on how to work the camera, the instructor led us out to Duxton Hill to experiment making our own multiple exposure shots. The quaint surroundings made a great location for members to take beautiful pictures made up of charming old shophouses and rustic cobblestone paths. We were not just photographers that day – we were also models (when someone’s photos needed some livening up), mentors (some of us were more experienced with analog cameras than others, and were more than happy to help) and last but not least, friends who got to know each other better by the end of the day!

Handling a film camera gets you back in touch with the basics of photography, as you learn that all there is to it, is capturing an inverted image on a film. This makes you more aware on concentrating on composition and colours, since you know that these are aspects of your image that you cannot change later. Thus, when transferring this theory to digital photography, one is able to just take a photograph and not need to edit it after. Moreover, the joy of taking a photograph on a film camera, and not knowing what you captured instantly, is unparalleled. This also makes you more conscious of what photograph you’re capturing, forcing you to take the perfect shot in one click. The fact that one always has limited film and that it is expensive forces you to just take one or two pictures of a particular subject and be happy with it. This, when translated into digital photography, pushes you to take fewer and better shots. I personally love the feeling when I get my developed roll of film back. The pictures that I thought the least about when taking them always turn out to be the best. Film photography is thus not only a way to get back to your basics of photography, but also being surprised by the beauty of this art.


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“ The concept of Lomography

encompasses an interactive, vivid, blurred and crazy way of life.�





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Shee Siew Ying Jerlene Ng Arslan Iqbal Siddiqui Camelia Ortega Hwang Kai Yin Marumo Kana Marumo Kana Sit Shi Ying Marumo Kana Kenneth Cheng Marumo Kana

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Writer Jasmine Ku Si Mun Designer Andrew Lim

This year, the Photographic Society of NUS (NUSPS) held a photographic competition themed “Unwind” which was targeted at new and budding photographers within NUS to encourage them to actively pursue photography and showcase their photographic talents. Held during the school vacation, the competition ran alongside a spirit of celebration, as a much-needed respite away from the hectic lifestyle and stress faced in school. It aimed to use photography as a medium for participants to subjectively interpret and express the essence of “Unwind”. The “Unwind” Photographic Competition was successfully concluded on the 8th February 2013 with close to 250 entries. At the end on 16th February 2013, the judges announced the top 8 winners (1st - 3rd Prize & 5 Merit Prize Winners) and they are as follows:

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PRIZE WINNERS 1st Prize Valery Heng 2nd Prize Chen Zhi 3rd Prize Desmond Yeow Merit Prize Winners Wynn Lei Phyu Tan Yuan Hong Hwang Kai Yin Wong Yew Liang Maria Konovalova

Following the end of the competition, these winning entries were exhibited during our NUSPS Annual Bazaar on the 21-22nd February 2013 at the Central Forum, which attracted a huge crowd. Our winners were all smiles as they received their prizes, proudly sponsored by Cathay Photo and Canon, during the Prize Presentation at our Bazaar 2013. The Organizing Committee would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation towards Cathay Photo and Canon for their generous sponsorship that made “Unwind” a successful event as well as their continuing support towards NUSPS.

1st prize : Valery Heng


“My passion in photography began when I first got my camera and would bring it out with me almost anywhere. Though I now shoot primarily when travelling overseas, I’ve come to enjoy travel photography in particular and look forward to travelling more often. I really enjoyed looking at other participants’ entries, and was quite surprised when finding out that my photo had come in first. Seeing as how I’ve never won first prize in any competition, this achievement is definitely a surprise to remember and a great milestone in my photographic journey.” - Valery Heng

01 Valery Heng

1/60 sec. | f/13 | ISO-200

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2nd prize : Chen Zhi


3rd prize : Desmond Yeow

03 02 Chen Zhi 03 Desmond Yeow

1/2000 sec. | f/8 | ISO-800

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Wong Yew Liang

Wynn Lei Phyu



Maria Konovalova

Tan Yuan Hong


Hwang Kai Yin



merit prize winners

04 Wong Yew Liang 05 Wynn Lei Phyu 06 Maria Konovalova 07 Tan Yuan Hong 08 Hwang Kai Yin

1/100 sec. | f/3.4 | ISO-80 1/160 sec. | f/20 | ISO-100 1/80 sec. | f/9 | ISO-100 1/80 sec. | f/4 | ISO-200 1/800 sec. | f/8 | ISO-100

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nusps Annual Bazaar 2013 Writer Christopher Puan Designer Andrew Lim

This year, the annual NUSPS Bazaar took place on the 21st and 22nd of February 2013. One of the key events in the NUSPS work calendar, the Bazaar serves to increase the prominence of NUSPS as a student-run society, raise funds for our activities, enrich student life through the provision of photographic services at affordable prices and this year, showcase inspirational works from our internal photographic competition, “Unwind”. The bazaar consisted of three key features: The sale of a variety of merchandise by our 35 participating vendors, the photo booth that served as the focal point of our society’s presence at the Central forum during the event, and the “Unwind” competition winners’ photo exhibition. Reception was warm from the general student body, with at least a few hundred students passing through the area each day and browsing


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1/320 sec. | f/2.8 | ISO-320

through the various stalls. Our own photobooth, which offered informal and resume shoots, had brisk business with a fair number of staff and students taking advantage of the affordable but professional photographic services on offer. While the photobooth served a pragmatic purpose, the mere presence of numerous advanced studio equipment worth almost $10,000 and generously loaned by our sponsors, Cathay Photo, served also to boost our presence in the forum. In addition, we had a membership drive which served to attract new members from interested students passing by. The “Unwind” competition photo exhibition also attracted attention from passers-by, illustrating the draw of winners’ quality photographic prints. The eight prize winners of the internal competition also received vouchers kindly sponsored by Cathay Photo, presented by

NUSPS’ 44th President, Lee Chen Tong. This two-day event could not have been a success without the help of enthusiastic volunteers from our NUSPS members. As the event coordinator, I would like to express my utmost appreciation to all who rendered their time and assistance in one way or another.

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02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

1/100 sec. | f/5 | ISO-250 1/25 sec. | f/5 | ISO-125 1/100 sec. | f/6.3 | ISO-100 1/100 sec. | f/6.3 | ISO-100 1/250 sec. | f/5.6 | ISO-200 1/200 sec. | f/2.8 | ISO-320 1/100 sec. | f/6.3 | ISO-100 1/50 sec. | f/4 | ISO-400 1/160 sec. | f/6.3 | ISO-125

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magic the

Writer Yang Zhixing Designer Andrew Lim

NUSPS has always been willing to provide its members a wide range of courses and activities. The Post-Processing Course was a result of that spirit. Held successfully on March 17th, 2013, the post -processing course gave participants an opportunity to explore the world of retouching photos and get their hands on the most popular as well as professional post-possessing softwares, namely, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. The entire course consisted of two sessions of 1.5 hours each, with the first session consisting of a instructionary brief on some key features of Adobe Photoshop, while the second one sought to expound Adobe Lightroom as another powerful editing medium. The instructors for the two sessions were Fatin Iesa and Christopher Puan, who are part of the current MC (Management Committee) of NUSPS. Both of them have years of experience in post-processing, and they eagerly volunteered to share their expertise with fellow members. The course covered a wide range of post-processing techniques tailored for photographers, such as the adjustments of colors, brightness & contrast, removal of unexpected information, tone curve and detail control. 30 | snapshots

Before the course began, participants downloaded the relevant softwares and some sample photographs to be used during the course. This way, all participants had access similar course materials, which aided in facilitating a centralised learning experience. Any difficulties in navigating each of the two programs could also be quickly addressed, with other MC members on-hand who offered valuable assistance.



Learning many practical and useful post-processing skills, participants were able to learn valuable lessons to better enhance and add a creative finish to their subsequent works. Finally, NUSPS would like to thank them for their support and attentive presence, and hopes that much inspiration and interest was spurred following this course!

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1/100 sec. | f/4 | ISO-1600 1/125 sec. | f/2.5 | ISO-1250 02



1/80 sec. | f/5.6 | ISO-1600


1/100 sec. | f/2.5 | ISO-1250

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05 06 07 08 09

1/30 sec. | f/4.5 | ISO-1600 1/160 sec. | f/3.5 | ISO-1600 1/200 sec. | f/3.5 | ISO-1600 1/125 sec. | f/3.2 | ISO-1600 1/200 sec. | f/2.2 | ISO-1600

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Stuck at home,

nothing to do? Writer Colombatantirige Uthpala Amoda Perera Designer Kelman Chiang

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03 01 02 03 04 05

1/80 sec. | ISO 1600 1/125 sec. | ISO 1600 1/640 sec. | f/2.2 | ISO 1600 1/60 sec. | ISO 1600 1/125 sec. | ISO 1600



Free Lensing For many music videos and also for those retro / film-like / lomo effects created using digital cameras, people often use free lensing. This is where you have your lens dismounted from the camera and tilt it up and down or left and right, to change the plane of focus. “Plane of what?”, don’t worry, the plane of focus is the plane / imaginary surface parallel to your lens, which is in focus. By tilting the lens, you will be tilting the plane of focus, thus giving you weird and cool effects. It may be a little hard to visualise till you try this out yourself. Note Having the lens off your camera exposes your sensor to dust and other elements. This can be quite damaging to your equipment, so please only try this indoors. Also, try to minimize the chances of dust entering the sensor by having a plastic bag over the body, lens and the gap.

What you’ll need


- Digital camera - Old SLR lens with aperture ring / your own lens works as well - Tripod

Now that you have your lens in one hand, slowly place it over the mount and tilt it in different directions and see how you can focus in on different parts of the image. Focus is achieved solely though tilting the lens. So once you have the aperture to the widest and the focus set to infinity you don’t need to worry about those again. If you tilt sideways, you can get a soft focus effect whilst tilting up and down gives you a tilt-shift effect. This trick is great for portraits as you can focus in on such a small area. This technique if quite fun as you often get light leaks on your images, giving it a very retro look.

Setup There isn’t really any set up for this. However, have your aperture to the widest possible and your focus at infinity on your lens. The camera should be on manual mode, so that you can take photographs without the camera having to detect a lens. The exposure for each shots needs to be determined after you see the image as your light meter wouldn’t work without a lens.

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Water Droplets How many of you have wondered how to capture those artistic and abstract images of water droplets? Think it requires a lot of hard work and an insane amount of equipment? Well no - it’s quite easy. What you’ll need - Digital camera - Speedlight x 2 (the more light the better) - Tank/tray - Macro lens (you can use your kit lens if you don’t have one) - Food colouring - Tripod Setup If all the above equipment are available, the basic set up would be just as the image shown below (image 07). However, it’s more important to have the correct camera setting rather than this setup, so don’t worry if you don’t have everything on the above list.

Method For the camera setting, you want to have the lowest ISO you can get (usually ISO 100), this will help to prevent any form of grain, because this will be a macro shot and you will most probably have to crop the final image. You also need to focus on the drop quite accurately. This will ensure that you get sharp results which can quite obviously be discerned when you get your final image. For this, you can use the live view mode on your camera and zoom into a specific area. (You can place a ruler vertical to the tank at the exact position where the droplets will be hitting the water and focus in on it.) Next your speedlights should be at their highest settings of either power 32 or 64. One should be aimed from behind and there should be a paper in font of it, so that you can get a diffused light and background. The second speedlight should be aimed in from the side (right at the point where the drops will be falling) and this will freeze the action.

Alternatively, you can either have the speedlights on ‘slave’ mode so that they will go off when the speedlight / flash on your camera goes off, or you can connect them wirelessly. It’ll be best if you use an aperture value of 10 or above, to get a larger depth of field so that more of your droplets are in focus. The shutter speed is quite interesting though. You can try faster shutter speeds of up to 1/250 of a second, but because you have an external flash, you can reduce this down to 1/30 or even 1 second (if you’re in a completely dark room) and use the power of the flash to freeze the action. Furthermore, the quicker shutter speeds will give you more rigid shaped droplets, the longer shutters peeds will give you droplets which are smoother in its shape. Again all of this equipment is not necessary - with patience and just your camera and inbuilt flash you can achieve almost the same results. It’s all about repeating everything till you get that one shot you like. So go on and have a ‘splash’.


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1/320 sec. | f/8 | ISO 160 1/250 sec. | f/3.5 | ISO 200 1/200 sec. | f/8 | ISO 100




Fruit Splashes


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1/80 sec. | f/2.8 | ISO 1000 1/100 sec. | f/16 | ISO 200 1/50 sec. | f/2.8 | ISO 400 1/100 sec. | f/16 | ISO 200

What you’ll need


- Digital Camera - Speedlights X3 - Fruits - Water tank - White sheet of paper - Tripod

Firstly set your ISO to 100, so that you can crop your images and not lose any details. Also try and chose an aperture value where you can keep most of the fruit in focus (f6 and above should do). Your shutter speed should be at least at 1/200 of a second, so that you can freeze your fruits. Now you need to have your speedlights on slave mode so that they are triggered with the main speedlight/on camera flash. Do try not to use the on camera flash, because your tank will have a reflective glass surface and you might see blown out images. You need to master letting go of the fruit and then pressing the shutter button as well and don’t be afraid to try out different styles such as incorporating high and low key images which will be explained below.

Setup As you can see, the camera should be set up parallel to the tank and the 2 speedlights at the side and also one speedlight behind the tank with the sheet of paper used as a diffuser.

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High and Low key aka

White or Black Background This techniques is usually done in studios where you have a powerful studio lights which can be used to create these effects. However with the help of a few speedlights, similar effects are attainable. What you’ll need - Digital Camera - Speedlights X2 or X3 - Subject - Tripod x2 (Or some form of stand to keep your speedlights on)

High Key / White background

Low Key / Black background



As seen in the image below, a white / off white background such as a wall should be behind the subject. The 2 speedlights on the side are used to blowout the background so that it’ll be overexposed thus making it into a smooth white colour. The second speedlight can be used to light the subject and can be placed anywhere you wish. You can even use the on camera flash for ease.

For this type of photography, a dark environment will be most suited. Also it is best if there are less objects in the background so that there won’t be any light bouncing off the back. The angle of the flash should usually be about 45°, but if you have a long hallway, you can have the speedlight straight onwards or maybe have it above the eyeline.(Images)



As mentioned before, to blowout the background, the 2 speedlights at the back should be set to maximum power. Also you can either have the speedlights on slave mode so that they go off when the speedlight/flash on your camera goes off, or connect them wirelessly. I would suggest using ISO 100, for photographs with less noise. The shutter speed and aperture can be varied depending on how much light you have on the subject. Try not to increase the aperture to much, as this will tend to make the background too dark as well. You can also try using 1 speedlight right behind the subject, giving a gradient to the white of the background. The basic idea is given to you, but you should try experimenting so as to achieve the shots that you like.

What we are trying to achieve is, to have as little as possible light spill out to the background and also to ensure that only the subject is lit. So to do this, you flash should be directly facing the subject and if you can have a cylinder made out of cardboard on the speedlight, so that the light is more concentrated. (image) Your speedlight can be set to its maximum power, or somewhere close to that as this will help increase the amount of concentrated light falling on the subject, thus allowing you to choose higher aperture and shutter speed values. Have your ISO setting at 100 and your aperture value should be around f13. Your shutter speed should also be at around 1/200 of a second.



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The good thing about these two methods is that you can get quite artistic portraits, with shadows or go for that all white heavenly look as well.

Bokeh-licious Making your own bokeh kit is super simple. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it nay sooner. What you’ll need - Digital Camera - 50mm f1.8 prime lens /or any other lens with a wide aperture / your kit lend will do - Black construction paper - Pair of scissors

Method Firstly you need to cut out circular pieces of black paper so that they will easily fit on top of your lens or your filter. Next you fold the circles in half and cut geometric shapes in the middle. A few ideas to try out are heart of course, question marks, stars and lots more. You can get super creative with these. I’ve seen cupcakes, bats, trees and other weird shapes that have been cut out.

Then you want to place these on top of your lens and have you aperture wide open, it works best with f2.8 and under. However, you can use any aperture you have, but you need to make the diameter of the cut out smaller than the focal length divided by the aperture value (this is only a rough guide to help you). When shooting people or objects, try and have small lights in the background so that you can get the bokeh shapes more prominently in your shots.



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1/200 sec. | f/13 | ISO 100 1/200 sec. | f/13 | ISO 100 1/100 sec. | f/4 | ISO 1600 1/60 sec. | f/2.8 | ISO 1600 1/60 sec. | f/2.5 | ISO 1600 1/80 sec. | f/3.2 | ISO 1600


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Canon 2nd National Photography Festival for Primary Schools Writer Ong Lynn Designer Sit Shi Ying Photograph Canon

“(A) beautiful scene is beautiful but boring, because there is no life (in it).” - Tristen Yeo, on taking photos of people

In the early morning of 30 March, 160 students from 40 primary schools across the island gathered at Pasir Ris East Community Centre to participate in the 2nd National Photography Festival for Primary Schools. Other than the basic photography training by Canon Academy earlier in the year, the participants, most of whom were entering in their first ever photography competition, were also guided by mentors comprising of 20 NUSPS members, and volunteers from Meridian Junior College and National Junior College. Before the competition started, photographer and judge, Triston

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Yeo, shared his views about taking photos of people. “(A) beautiful scene is beautiful but boring, because there is no life (in it).” Instead, he encouraged students to “think more, shoot less” and discover the stories evolving around the lives of people. With that valuable piece of advice, students rushed to capture photos depicting the themes of “people”, “pleasure”, “nature” and “architecture”. In teams of 4, participants ventured to Pasir Ris park, Pasir Ris Sports and Recreation Centre, HDB heartlands, wet markets and many other places, to tell the stories of Pasir Ris community from their perspectives.

Eventually, the organising school Edgefield Primary emerged as overall champions with their fantastic teamwork. Consolation prizes, special mention awards, 1st runner up and 2nd runner up were also awarded to 25 other schools to encourage teams to continue pursuing their interest in photography. Notably, 6 individual photographers were recognised for their efforts in being able to capture defining “moments” in their photos at the right place, at the right time.







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1/80sec | f/2.8 | ISO-1250 1/80sec | f/2.8 | ISO-1250 1/125sec | f/5.6 | ISO-100 1/80sec | f/2.8 | ISO-1250 1/60sec | f/2.8 | ISO-2500 1/30sec | f/2 | ISO-250

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Exposé VI C a n o n - VJC

Writer Ong Lynn Designer Kelman Chiang Photographer Canon

For the 6th year running, Canon-VJC Exposé was held this year in Victoria Junior College on 6th April, attracting more than 750 shutterbugs from secondary schools and junior colleges across the island. 15 NUSPS members joined in the fun, guiding the participants in trying out the newest Canon cameras and equipment at the various stations of EOS Experience Day. Starting with sharings by celebrity & fashion photographer Kevin Ou and motorsports photographer Cheryl Tay, participants were introduced to the speakers’ photography works and inspiring stories behind each photograph. At the EOS Experience Day, these budding photographers headed to various stations to try out sports photography with the telephoto lenses, low-light photography, macro photography and motorsports photography!

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NUSPS member Sit Shi Ying, who was one of the volunteers for the event, shared about her fruitful experience as a guide at the car mobile station, “I was able to guide participants in taking their photos using the Canon EOS M. One girl was so shocked and happy when she came to this station as she could try out the camera that she really liked.” Another fellow member Benjamin Nah, appointed to the sports station, was amazed by the telephoto lenses on display. “Being an amateur photographer, I have not had the chance to use different equipment other than the kit lens that I own. Seeing the excitement and joy in the participants who were so enthusiastic about the event made me feel excited about using the expensive 300mm and 500mm prime lenses too!”

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Interview with Nicky Bay Writer Christopher Puan Ziyang Designer Kelman Chiang Photographs by Nicky Bay

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Nicky Bay is a prolific nature macro photographer, having gone on over 200 macro shooting trips over the past 4 years alone. He has contributed to photo exhibitions, published macro-themed articles on the Telegraph (UK) and had his macro photographs published on the Popular Photography Magazine (US) on several occasions. He documents his macro photography findings in an educational fashion on his blog, which is the most popular macro-photography nature blog in Singapore –

How long have you dabbled in photography? I started with occasional macro shoots when I got my first DSLR and macro lens in 2008, but have held compact digital cameras for casual shoots since 2003. What got you started in photography? I browsed photos online a lot, and often encounter jaw-dropping pictures. In particular, macro photographs of tiny creatures caught my eye and inspired me to venture further into the field.

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Of all the genres, why macro photography in particular? Macro photography subjects are all around us. This particular genre of photography opens a special window in the micro world, which most people do not notice nor appreciate. The entire observation process of micro subjects in nature can teach important lessons in life too. How do you juggle your photographic interest alongside your work? I limit my photo shoots to one night a week on weekends so it never interferes with a weekday job. Have you done freelance photography events? How often? What do you look out for? I don’t actively look for freelance photography opportunities, but I’ve gotten requests from friends a couple of times a year. As my primary focus is on macro photography, most of the requests were redirected or politely turned down. Actual jobs to photograph small subjects in nature are rare, or almost non-existent in Singapore. If there was such an opportunity, I would definitely have a look at it.

What difficulties do you typically face in macro photography? Macro photography depends on a lot of luck and patience. We usually do not know what we’ll encounter or shoot at the beginning of any shoot. When we do find subjects to shoot, the habitat of the subject could be restrictive or even precarious, making it difficult to focus or light up. Most subjects are shy and can escape before we can get any decent picture. It is not uncommon to struggle for over half an hour trying to shoot a 1cm spider that is dancing all over the place. Any tips for readers out there? Respect nature, and have patience. Go on field trips with a small group of friends. 5 pairs of eyes are usually better than 1. But too many in a group means you may not get a chance to shoot a subject at all. Do not spend too much time on equipment. The most important factor in macro, is to get the lighting correct. That’s where the fun comes in, as everyone can DIY their own setup to get different results.

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How do you come up with the concepts? What do you take into consideration when you photograph a subject? Macro photography is sometimes argued to be not a form of photography at all. This is all up to the photographer to capture a scene and relate it to any story or important lesson in life. For normal subjects, our primary concern is the sharpness of subject, even lighting and quality of background to create the contrast. Sometimes, we use alternative lighting to highlight different aspects of a subject. In actual fact, macro photography is just like many forms of photography, just that the subjects are small, unpredictable, and uncooperative. How do you think your photographic direction will change over time? I am currently undertaking a documentary route for a book that I am working on. Which means the photos I take may not be high on artistic value, but angled to better contribute to science. It can mean less flattering pictures, but when I see any opportunity for unique compositions or shots, I would still go for them.

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An Analogue Wedding Writer & Photographer Brian Ho Designer Marumo Kana

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People are often surprised that I’m still using a film camera for my wedding assignments. They usually wouldn’t know I’m using an analogue SLR until I hit the last frame and then they hear the unmistakable whirring sound of a film roll rewinding back into the canister. I guess it’s just hard to believe that anyone would go through the hassle of analogue photography when the ease of the digital medium is so readily available. So, why analogue photography? Well, it’s really down to personal choice and to a very large extent 54 | snapshots

my passion for everything film. I love the colour and grain texture that film produces. It feels organic, surreal and at the same time, so life-like. With a different film, you get a different experience altogether. And sometimes with the same type of film, you get a different look simply by doing a push or pull processing. The Kodak TRI-X is one of such and has been the staple film for my black and white works. I love the feeling of not knowing what you’ll get until everything is developed in the darkroom. The suspense makes the entire experience more exciting and in many ways more worth-

while. It changes your relationship with photography and by distancing yourself from the immediate gratification you get from instant previews with digital cameras. You take your time to appreciate what photography really means for you. It’s a slow process, just like how any meaningful relationship usually is. Instead of taking a bunch of somewhat similar photos with the hope that one will turn out right, with film, you do not have that luxury. You only have your instinct and that split-second decision on when to hit the camera shutter. Once you’ve hit the shutter, you pray that your instinct didn’t fail you when

it mattered most. That very instinct is what differentiates one photographer from another. The best photographers are said to have the ability to be at the right place at the right time and knowing when to press the shutter at precisely the right moment.

know why. Some have described it as cinematic. They love the organic nature of it. It is what most photographers would describe as the “film look” but this has been a very loosely used term.

Do people know, let alone even care if it’s film? Unless you’re very familiar with film, most of whom have seen my works for the first time won’t immediately identify them with the film medium until they are told. They can tell it’s very different but they don’t actually

What exactly is the “film look”? For me, that “film look” comes from the approach you take in photography. Often, nothing is too certain. It’s how you choose to view your relationship with photography, some by choice, some dictated by circumstances. If you use a roll of film on a Lomography camera or a point-and-

shoot camera, the entire experience would again be very different because you now have in your hands a simple camera with only rudimentary functions. That, however, does not take the photography experience away. In fact, it takes it on a different route. The simplicity in a more basic camera triggers a hidden part of your creativity which in turns affect how you perceive your surrounding. What film photography lacks is a sense of immediacy. You are made to wait, and this makes your thought process more thorough and instincts more acute. That thought process snapshots | 55

and the heightened sense of alertness is what makes the film photography experience different from its digital counterpart. The difference is obvious but the reason behind it isn’t always so apparent. Are you anti-digital? I’ve often been asked if I’m anti-digital. I’m not a huge fan of it. I find the experience less rewarding and definitely less challenging. But digital photography has made so much advancement in recent years that to ignore it would be unwise and foolhardy even. The difference for me lies in that because I’m still 56 | snapshots

primarily a film photographer, the instinct and years of habit as a film advocate is never forgotten when I do use a digital camera. I often forget that I have a 32GB CF card and not just 36 shots (or 12 shots if I’m on 6x6 medium format) which isn’t exactly a bad thing. It keeps you focused because the price of a mistake on film is costly. In many ways, I get the best of both worlds. I’ve developed the instincts of a film photographer but yet enjoy the convenience of digital. I reckon that if I do use more digital and less of analogue, I’ll start losing the very habits that built the foundation of what photography meant

for me – a sense of awareness which is not something that was developed overnight. What’s in your bag these days? It depends on what I’m doing. If I’m on a wedding assignment, I still like my SLRs coupled usually with a 50mm lens. They are quick and versatile. With events like weddings, every emotion happens in a fleeting moment. Often, you only have a fraction of a second to capture that special moment into that little camera box. Once the moment is missed, it’s unlikely you’ll ever see it again. For

that reason, you do not want your equipment to be the stumbling block. On a more casual day, I love to have my Lomography cameras with me. My current favourites are the Diana and LC-A+. I like the 6x6 format that Diana produces and the versatility of having 36 frames in the LC-A+. I like Lomography cameras for the fact that they are light, unobtrusive and so amazingly simple to use. It makes the entire experience so carefree and opens your mind to a new world of image-making.

People have been predicting the demise of film since the birth of digital photography. Truth be told, that day might actually come. But photography has been part of my life ever since I discovered the wonders of image-making and would continue to be so long after the extinction of film. Life goes on, perhaps in a different way. But as long as there’s film, it’ll always be a medium of choice for me.

About the author Brian Ho is the principal photographer of thegaleria and shoots weddings primarily in analogue film. Brian is the 2010 Photographer of the Year Silver-Medallist for the Artistic Guild Wedding Photojournalist Association (AG|WPJA) Web: Facebook:

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Member-Initiated Outing Writer & Designer Marumo Kana

It has been a few months since the launch of a new initiative by the 44th Management Committee of NUSPS, “Member-Initiated Outing (MIO)�. It is a new platform where all NUSPS members are given the freedom to organize their own outings and/ or participate in outings organized by fellow members. By participating in MIOs, members are now able to enjoy a wider range of genre of photography. There is no restriction on venue and timing so outings can be organised anywhere, anytime. Since its launch in December 2012, several MIOs have been successfully organised. From the MIOs that have been organised, it seems that MIOs are rather popular especially during festive times such as period near and during the Chinese New Year or if there are major events going on such as the Sentosa Flowers. The genres of photography in focus for these MIOs were wide-ranging - from street, nature to even aviation photography - which is a testament to the variety of interest harboured by members of NUSPS. In the next few pages, we have put together a compilation of moments from some of these MIOs. Whether to join or to create an MIO, they are an easy process and our IT director, Yang Zhixing has compiled it at portal/mio.

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01 Vinay Swaroop Balla 1/250 sec. | f/4 | ISO 320 02 Vinay Swaroop Balla 1/160 sec. | f/3.5 | ISO 3200 03 Christopher Puan Ziyang 1/640 sec. | f/7.1 | ISO 100 04 Vinay Swaroop Balla 1/250 sec. | f/4 | ISO 320 05 Christopher Puan Ziyang 1/640 sec. | f/6.3 | ISO 100 06 Kenny Chua 07 Lee Rui Kang 1/250 sec. | f/5 | ISO 640 08 Vinay Swaroop Balla 1/200 sec. | f/6.3 | ISO 6400 09 Vinay Swaroop Balla 8 sec. | f/20 | ISO 100 10 Lee Rui Kang 1/60 sec. | f/3.2 | ISO 640 11 Christopher Puan Ziyang 1/1600 sec. | f/5 | ISO 100





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Photo Of the Month Designer Sit Shi Ying

January The Journey by Andrew Lim 1/2000sec | f/1.8 | ISO-400

Epilogue “There is truly no greater irony than the existence of Death - for in its duty, it has immortalized the one it has Taken.” - Harlequin’s Muse

February Cherish by Rajnish Sharma 1/13sec | f/5.6 | ISO-400

Some promises are larger than life.. they are stories, pass over to the generations. Cherish every moment of life!

March Exploration by Huang Ting Hsiang 1/500sec | f/2.8 | ISO-1000

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Eternity Loop

Infinity by Chen Junyang

Diamonds are forever, at more than 1 billion years old, they’re among the 1/200sec | f/2.8 | ISO-200 oldest objects on Earth. Gold on the other hand has an Atomic number higher than Iron and cannot be synthesized in stars through fusion. Only upon its death in a spectacular display of a supernova does it momentarily reach the conditions to produce it. Crystalline perfection on Earth mounted on precious stardust. It is no coincidence the combination has become the symbol of eternity for the seemingly transient life of humans.

May Nostalgia by Nicholas Tang 1/200sec | f/2.5 | ISO-2000

Reminiscing the past. For most of us, only our body age. But we are still young at heart.

June Home by Rajnish Sharma 1/320sec | f/9 | ISO-320

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Montage 2013 ‘Metamorphoses’ Writer & Designer Marumo Kana

Competition Competition - Open Category

1st prize: ‘New Life’ by Joseph Goh Meng Huat

2nd prize: ‘Inevitable Nature’ by Vinay Swaroop Balla

3rd prize: ‘Before and After’ by Wong Chek Poh 64 | snapshots

Over the period of March to June 2013, the 44th Management Committee of NUSPS organised Montage 2013, with theme “Metamorphoses”. Montage, an annual flagship event by NUSPS, consisted of 3 components this year - a competition, workshops and a seminar. In this feature, we will be showcasing the winners’ photos from the competition, as well as, snapshots from our workshops and the seminar.

Competition - Youth Category

1st prize: ‘Shifting Light’ by Kwok Jia-Xin

2nd prize: ‘Dawn of a New Beginning’ by Tan Yuan Hong

3rd prize: ‘Deimatic-like Behavior’ by Tan Pek Nan, John

Competition - Photo Story Category 1st prize: ‘1 out of 33’ by Bernice Wong Shu Fen

2nd prize: ‘The Malay Man’ by Noor Iskandar

3rd prize: ‘The Social Circus’ by Nicholas Low

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Workshops Workshop - Event Photography Workshop by Lionel Lin

Workshop - Fashion Portraiture Using Natural Light by Amanda Wong

Workshop - Wedding Photography by Melvin Lau

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Seminar Seminar @ SOTA Drama Theatre

Speaker, Maxby Chan

Montage director, Nguyen Tuan Anh

Speaker, Hart Tan

Emcee, Kenneth Cheng

Plenary Session

Speaker, Brian Ho

Host (Plenary session), Nic Ong

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Profile for The Photographic Society of the NUS

Snapshots Issue 2  

The long awaited second issue of the biannual newsletter, "Snapshots" by NUS Photographic Society (NUSPS) is finally here! In this issue,...

Snapshots Issue 2  

The long awaited second issue of the biannual newsletter, "Snapshots" by NUS Photographic Society (NUSPS) is finally here! In this issue,...