Tag Archives: photography

Our Trip: Singapore Botanic Gardens

After 7 hours of going around Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserves, we decided to revisit the location, but this time, at 7 am. As the saying goes “the early bird catches the worm”, we wanted to be there as early as we can so that we will be able to get more sighting of birds when they are looking for their morning meal.

However, we were quite disappointed because we were not able to get any shot (probably because our eyes are not sharp enough due to lack of sleep). We tried out luck again at the Little Heron Deck and guess who greeted us? It’s the Plantain Squirrel!

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This noisy little creature is known for adapting in forested and urban areas. It has an olive-brown body and tail, reddish brown underbelly and black and white stripes along its body.

We were hoping to spot Herons perched on the tree branches right in front of us but I guess we were not in luck. Came across more Yellow-vented Bulbuls and Mynas. We made a few rounds around the reserves and saw the same Saltwater crocodile, Zebra Doves and Golden Orb Spiders.

We also encountered a White -breasted Waterhen waddling around the pond.

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The White-breasted Waterhen are commonly found in the Southeast Asia region and near freshwater. They are also a Crepuscular creature, meaning there are mostly active during twilight.

After spending 3 hours in Sungei Buloh, we decided to rest and try out our luck over at the Singapore Botanic Gardens using a 150-600mm lens.

Upon reaching the Singapore Botanic Gardens, which is located at 1 Cluny Road, we were greeted by an Oriental Pied Hornbill. Sadly, we were not prepared. I am pretty sure that the next time we make our visit again, we will be greeted by it again and I’ll make sure that I will get a snap of it.

The Singapore Botanic Gardens is one of the three gardens to be honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site! This 158-year-old tropical garden covers an area of 74 hectares and houses the largest orchid collection of 1,200 species and 2,000 hybrids. Want to go to a park that closes late at night? Here is the place to go! The garden is open at 5 am and closes at midnight. Fact: It is the only garden that opens at the mentioned timings every day!

After setting up our camera, the first species we came across was the Red Junglefowl. I was amazed at how shiny its feather were. Just as I was about to snap a picture of the male, the female Junglefowl appeared. In my opinion, it is not as flattering as the male, but it has its own unique features. Take a look at them:

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The female’s plumage is typical of this family of birds in being cryptic and adapted for camouflage. She alone looks after the eggs and chick. She also has no fleshy wattles and a very small comb on the head. – Wikipedia.
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The Red Junglefowl was first domesticated at least five thousand years ago. Their species has been found across Southeast Asia and on several Hawaiian Islands.
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Look at how its feather shimmer.

After spending about half an hour getting used to the lens, we made our move towards the Swan Lake. That is where this we came across this graceful Black Swan.

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The Black Swan is known to be an ornamental bird in the 1800s, but have escaped and formed stable population. – Wikipedia.

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And lastly, the last capture of the day was… the Magpie Robin! Cute isn’t it?

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Used to be in abundance in Singpaore, the Magpie Robin’s population was swept out when the Myna came over and terrorized the city. Singapore managed to find the last few of its kind over in Pulau Ubin. With proper breeding and conservation, its population stabilizes and was released back in the wild.

There are more species to be found in the Singapore Botanic Gardens but due to time constraint and the huge number of visitors on that day, we only managed to come across those few listed above.

Our Trip: Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

Last weekend was filled with lots of sound of nature. From the buzzing of the bees to the sweet melody from the birds, I definitely enjoyed every single moment of it. It was tiring, but it’s worth every drop of sweat.

My partner and I started off the long weekend at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve which is located at 301 Neo Tiew Crescent. We’ve been there a couple of times but was the first time that I brought my own camera with a newly bought lens; Tamron 70-300mm. I was so excited because it has been a while since I went out to do something that I love. We did further research on the location and tried to explore the variant of species that are found there.

Started the day at 10 am on a Saturday. We were supposed to reach at 7 am to catch the window period when the birds are out but due to unforeseen circumstances, we reached much later. To our surprise, we managed to spot quite a number of species roaming around the park. In fact, we encountered more than what we anticipated.

We made our way to the Little Heron Deck and that was where we saw this beautiful Dark Glassy Tiger. This butterfly, also known as Parantica agleoides, is commonly found in Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserves and Pasir Ris Park.

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The Dark Glassy Tiger can be identified by the presence of the longitudinal streaks in the forewing cell, in contrast to the transverse streaks for the Blue Glassy Tiger.

While on the deck, I managed to spot a Yellow-vented Bulbul, flying from branch to branch around the area. It was pretty hard to get a shot of this lively bird. After a few attempts, here is the final product:

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Apart from it’s ‘bubbling’ call, the Yellow-vented  Bulbul is known to have taken very well toward modernization.

And of course, for those who have been to Sungei Buloh, will know of the famous Estuarine crocodiles that reside in the river:

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Also known as the Saltwater Crocodile, this creature can grow up to 8 metres long!

The crocodile is not the only reptile that we encountered that day.

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The Changeable Lizards are commonly found in mangroves and coastal vegetations.

We spent almost 7 hours there and decided to call it a day. Overall, we were not that satisfied as we know that they are more species to be found at Sungei Buloh but we were happy that we were able to get pretty decent shots for our collection of photographs.

To end this post, here is a couple of Zebra Doves, which is commonly mistaken for its cousin, Peaceful Dove (commonly found in Australia):

The Love of Photography

 

My passion for photography is something that I was pressured into at first. This incident happened 7 years ago, when the hype was pretty intense in Singapore. My friend was telling me about how photography was in the coolest hobby and I should invest getting a camera. Normally, if I am not certain about something, I will tend to read up on it first. Not much, just briefly. (And that is why I am always in trouble, lol). But this time, I literally stepped into a camera shop, looked for the latest model and bought a Sony DSLR Alpha 550. The salesperson didn’t have to pitch to me and I was pretty insistent on getting that model. At that point in time, I received a 50mm lens as a free gift.

I went out with that camera right away and start snapping for photos. I don’t know the basics of photography; ISO, Aperture, HDR, Shutter speed, Macro etc. I was too ignorant back then to even bother to read up on it. I shot everything in Auto mode. After about 2 months, I placed the camera in my cupboard, left untouched.

Years went by, I began to explore the wonders of photography through social media and it was just fitting that I got a job as a Forensic specialist, where one of our scope is to take photos of crime scenes. During the first 4 months after getting the job, we were put through a series of photography classes; teaching us all about the art of photography. Yes, forensic photography is different but the fundamentals are the same. While working there, I was given a Canon EOS 60D, and that was when the fire starts to burn furiously.

Coincidentally, I met partner at that point in time. A very driven and artistic individual, my boyfriend also has the passion for photography but flamed out years ago. Though he does occasionally snapped stills using his mobile phone and it still looks amazing. He used to own a DSLR as well. After we got together, we found this common interest we have and decided to rekindle the flame.

To me, photography is not just a hobby to pass time, but it also serves as an activity that both of us are committed to and spending more quality time together. 🙂