My recent trip to Singapore was notable for several reasons, including the terrible, rainy weather. At it’s best, Singapore sits on the equator and could be described on a good day as “sticky.” But my trip in December featured torrential downpours that seemed like something out of Blade Runner. Since the light wasn’t particularly pretty, I wasn’t feeling inspired and I found my energy sapped a bit by the tropical humidity.
The weather reminded me of previous trips I had taken a decade earlier, when I was shooting a lot of film. Flat light was the main reason I used to pull out my changing bag and shoot infrared film to make the scene more interesting. When the light was bad, I would either shoot infrared or cross-process film as a way to add interest to a scene.
I decided to do a mobile technology riff on that by re-visiting the hipstamatic app. No, it’s not a virtual infrared app, but It’s certainly less cumbersome than carrying around the changing bag that was required when you needed total darkness to change rolls of infrared film.
I had had luck recently in French Polynesia using Hipstamatic app and use some film & lens combos that might make the colors pop a bit, despite the bad light. When I find myself in shooting conditions that are less than ideal, I do best when I create a challenge for myself to push myself in another way.
Here is a little mobile photography Hipstamatic Photo Essay of Singapore, featuring my ride from the Fullerton Bay Hotel to the Marina Bay Sands on the Sinagpore River Cruise, a cool Chinese Junk boat turned water taxi, which runs a ferry service between the two hotels approximately every 30 minutes or so. It is a fun way to get a slightly different angle of the city, and well run and organized as one would expect in the banking city-state of Singapore.
I got this capture using the Hipstmatic Jimmy lens + DC film, which is a favorite combination of mine.
While I am not a fan of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel the building itself is rather beautiful. It’s said to be inspired by joss sticks. It really doesn’t have a bad angle.
Waiting for the Singapore River Cruise.
The famous Singapore Merlion.
I found myself really enjoying the ride, and getting some good captures along the way. All these images were shot in Hipstamatic and maybe tweaked a touch in Snapseed. I’ve found it’s good to have a streamlined workflow when using hipstamatic. If you haven’t yet tried it out, the Hipstamatic app allows you to save favorite settings by tapping the star on the back of the camera case, and then tapping the + sign in the upper right corner to set a new favorite.
Mobile Photography Tip: set a few film/lens and flash combos in hipstamatic as your go-to settings for certain situations you find yourself in often, and save them in different colored cases so you can easily identify what they are. It is particularly helpful to have a few go-tos set for when I’m on the road with non-photographers. I love the DC film & Loftus lens for restaurants and food, and Jimmy lens + DC film for outdoors and landscapes, and the new Tinto Lens + D type plate film combo for portraits. The app is much more approachable if you save the settings you like.
Views of the gorgeous Marina Bay Sands ArtScience Museum— which really doesn’t have a bad angle. It’s a lovely architectural lotus blossom
Looking back at the Singapore CBD from the Singapore River Cruise.