|When visiting a country for the first time you have a certain set of expectations. In case of Singapore, my expectations were met.|
This modern country, lavishly set on the southern end of Malay Peninsula has a great deal going for it. Everything seems to be
thought through for both visitors and residents alike.
The transport system is convenient, automated and efficient taking you anywhere around the city. Clean streets, high level of service
and a low crime rate makes it a place where you can always feel comfortable.
Singapore has big shopping centres that sell all kinds of electronics. Before making a purchase you should always do your research
beforehand so you know you are getting the best price.
From a photographic prospective I was looking forward to a night safari that had been recommended to me. This vast park is located
on the outskirts of Singapore. You can get there by taxi or bus. Travelling time is just over half an hour from the centre depending
on traffic conditions. Once there, you purchase a ticket and proceed to the souvenir shops and food stalls near the park's entrance.
There is usually a queue of people. Once inside, you are led to an open theatre with a stage and seating. After a short while an animal
performance begins. Under the supervisions of their trainers wild animals perform various tricks. You are very close to the animals
if you sit in the front row. Low light conditions are present as all animals in the show are nocturnal. You are not allowed to use a flash
as this scares the animals. After a few attempts to shoot at the highest ISO available on my camera I had to given up. It was difficult
conditions because you get a lot of grainy photos and the animals were constantly moving while performing. It is not physically possible
to freeze the action. My recommendation is to save film and just enjoy the show.
After the show, you proceed to the mini-train that takes you on a guided tour through the night jungle. You get very close to the animals
and at some points as near as a few meters. Sometimes, I felt if I stretch out my hand I could actually touch one of them. The animals
we saw where primarily plant-eating, however we also passed by a pack of hyenas. Their eyes reflected light and looked like little yellow candles.
Again, taking pictures in this environment proved to be impossible, as you are constantly moving on the train and what little light was available
came from the moon shining high above our heads.
After coming back to the central area of the park, a photographic opportunity presented itself. Around the central built-up area a number
of performances were organised out in the open. Some are purely about local music, and some involve native dances. I did not hesitate using
a flash on this occasion and ended up with a couple of colourful and very interesting pictures depicting actors in various poses and
unusual facial expressions. That made my day!