Different Light and Weather Conditions for Landscape Photography

The thing about shooting landscape photography is that we all want to capture the beauty of the landscape and its allure in that magical moment. This is what makes the image so special and memorable to us. Regardless of exploring the urban cityscape or travelling to the countryside wilderness, the ideal time of shoot for most photographers is without a doubt during the golden hour or blue hour of the day. However, there are also many other different light conditions throughout the day which you may consider shooting in. The start and end point of a day may vary, depending on factors such as the season, latitude, longitude and time zone. The weather also plays a part in shaping the light conditions onto the landscape as different light conditions exude different moods of the environment.

As a seasoned landscape photographer, I often find myself at the mercy of the constantly changing weather conditions. Sometimes it’s just not feasible to produce images with the exact ideal conditions since one could only spend a limited amount of time on one location at a time. Yet sometimes when the morning light doesn’t work out for me, I’ll have to could come back and try again during the evening light. Hence, I have learnt to accept these changing elements. I believe that with ample research and preparation beforehand could increase the success rate of achieving a memorable image of the location.

In this article, I attempt to explain the various types of light conditions as one may expect through different times of the day, as well as some tips in shooting various landscapes from my own experience. Before I began, here are some terms I have used which you should get familiar with:

a. Golden Hour

The golden hour happens twice a day where the sun is positioned near the horizon, radiating its brilliant golden tone of light. Of course, when this occurs will depend on one’s location and will vary with the seasons. For example, these locations near the equator tend to have shorter golden hour whereas locations further from the equator may experience longer golden hours during certain seasons.

b. Twilight / Blue Hour

The twilight or blue hour refers to the period of time before sunrise or after sunset where the sun is below the visible horizon. The atmosphere is illuminated neither completely lit nor completely dark. Depending on the position of the geometric angle of the sun relative to the horizon, the twilight time can be further divided into civil twilight, nautical twilight and astronomical twilight. Another special situation is that temporal twilight may also happen during a celestial event such as a total solar eclipse. But for the sake of this article, all these shall be condensed as one category.

c. Night time

Night time or complete darkness, as the opposite of day, is the period of time between sunset and sunrise where the sun is significantly below the horizon. During the night time, you will be able to find two kinds of ambient lighting in any environment: Artificial lighting from man-made structures and natural illumination which can be provided by a combination of moonlight, stars, celestial phenomenon, as well as weather conditions such as aurorae, lightning storms, etc. Learn recognise these elements and you would be able to include them when shooting landscapes at night.

1. The Morning Twilight

During this time of the day, there are just enough ambient lights balanced with the darkness of the sky and this is the only time where we can maximise the colours of the scene to the fullest in the image. When you’re out early in the dark shooting the neighbourhood or the wilderness, it is still necessary to take some safety precautions.


This image was shot during the cold, wee hours of the morning, so technically it’s still at night time. However, what makes this image special was that a celestial phenomenon of the Super Blood Moon was happening. In this case, the moon had appeared much brighter than usual before its transition into a total lunar eclipse, rendering the dark black sky into a temporal twilight.

2. At Dawn 

Dawn is the period just before sunrise and it has a slightly cooler and subtler, almost pastel feel compared to other times of the day as people would have just woken up and are preparing for work. This is a good time to start your walkabout as the atmosphere and mood at this time are usually very peaceful and quiet. However, the lighting conditions at this time can change dramatically as the day transits from the morning twilight into the golden hour.


For this image of the Seljalandsfoss in Iceland early in the morning, I had stayed overnight in my vehicle. It’s not the best experience considering it was still winter time but I would have the waterfall to myself on the next morning before more visitors arrive. As the sunrise approaches, you can see the orange glow of the soon to rise sun blending with the soft pink tones of the dawn sky.

3. The Morning Golden Hour

Many photographers would agree that the golden hour is the best time to shoot landscape and they can’t be wrong. During this time, light from the morning sunrise and the evening sunset often bathe buildings and landscapes with its brilliant golden glow.


I took this photo of the private estates from outside the Keppel Bay area in Singapore. The atmosphere was still quiet as the sun had just entered the morning golden hour period. The quality of light has a lighter, cooler yellow tone. If you have experienced both morning and evening golden hours, you would have noticed that the quality of light during the morning always has a slightly cooler colour temperature than the evening.


This photo was taken on a hill near the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK. I came here to catch the Perseids meteor shower one night and later I got curious at how the scene would look like in the morning. So, I decided to stay up through the night until dawn. As the sun rose above the horizon, I thought the strong backlight from the sun would create interesting silhouettes on these wild flowering plants, thereby emphasizing on the rich quality of the golden sunlight.

4. Misty Morning

The misty weather can be a fantastic opportunity to capture landscapes in an otherworldly, ethereal feel. As mists usually occur near the shores, it can last for a couple of hours in the morning, or half a day or even the entire night. However, misty weather doesn’t happen every day. If you live in an area where mists can develop, do keep a close eye on the weather forecast to increase your chances of shooting. It is always a good idea to explore in pairs or small groups. Sometimes mists can develop into cold, thick fog and that may significantly reduce our visibility. Be extremely careful especially if you have to drive to your location. From my experience, I don’t recommend driving in the fog.


This image is special to me because it was the first time I have captured a misty landscape. My friend and I had planned a visit to the Mousehold Heath in Norwich, the UK as the mist had been in the weather forecast. Driving through the early morning mist proved to be quite challenging for me due to the poor visibility on the road. When we reached there, each of us started to wander around the area in close proximity to find our own ideal composition. The foggy atmosphere here had reminded me of the scenes from the horror film, Silent Hill.


I later picked another spot of the heath as the sun finally came out at dawn with the faded background obscured by the mist. The mists have separated the foreground and background elements, creating an ethereal scene with a soothing blend of warm and cool colours, almost pastel-like.


For this image, I have captured the morning dews on the dried plant as my subject focus. The dried plant seemed to be a lot more focused because of the mist that rendered the background much softer than the lens would normally obscure.

Another important point to take note is that mists and haze are two very different atmospheric phenomena. While the mist is caused by small droplets of water suspended in air, however, haze is caused by dust, smoke and other dry particulates that obscure the clarity of the sky. These harmful particles can cause severe breathing problems to our respiratory system and are usually caused by farming, exhaust fumes from heavy traffic, industrial pollution, volcanic eruptions, and even wildfires!

5. Sunny Days

Many photographers tend to avoid shooting landscapes during the midday as light from the high sun are usually much harsher than the light at dawn or dusk. However, strong light on bright sunny days can be great for capturing vibrant colours and contrasting visual elements of the landscape. This doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be during the summer as there is plenty of sunshine in places around the tropical region, such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.


Sunny days with strong light are great for creating high contrast images, particularly when there are scattered clouds. This photo was taken in Central Tampines, Singapore on one sunny day. These bright white clouds stand out against the blue sky and help to build a sense of drama in the image. I often use a Gradient Neutral Density filter for a sunny day shoot like this. It helps to reduce the intensity of the sunlight and makes the exposure more balanced. With a stronger ND filter, it is possible to achieve a slower shutter speed on a bright day, thereby creating a motion blur effect on any movement in the image. 

Sunny days with clear blue skies could also be a suitable time for architecture photography because the form, shapes, angles and colours of a building are the most important visual elements in architecture photography. A clear blue sky does not distract from the main subject of the photo. On the contrary, blue skies act as a counter-balance to these heavy visual elements. Sometimes you could even capture striking visuals of buildings through window reflections! I captured the iconic St Paul’s Cathedral in London from a nearby shopping mall on one sunny summer afternoon. I loved how the strong light reflected off these glass windows have produced illusions of the cathedral and these strong visual lines lead back to the dome structure. The blue sky has certainly added some punch to the image, though I wished it could have been a clearer, deeper blue. However, it’s not every day to have such ideal conditions in London.


This was taken in Sligachan in the Isle of Skye, Scotland. The sunny afternoon had presented the highland landscape with an insanely deep blue sky, rendering the image in an almost painterly feel. I took a short hike to the river and set up my camera at a relatively low angle so I would be able to capture the contrast of the rocky riverbed against these mountains. When you’re out shooting in rugged terrains like this on a sunny day, remember to stay sufficiently hydrated and have plenty of sun protection!

6. Overcast Days

When it comes to clouds there could be either sunny cloudy or dull overcast weather. For some people, cloudy overcast days isn’t a great time for landscape photography because the sky tends to be very flat and white and not particularly interesting. Sometimes it can be a hassle to bring our gears out when the weather doesn’t know it wants to rain or shine. However, overcast skies produce soft diffused lighting which is perfect for capturing moody atmospheric scenes and portraitures. You could use this even lighting to your advantage by focusing on your subject rather than vast sweeping landscapes. Street photography, black and white and minimalistic styles are some approaches to photographing overcast days. 


This is an image of the Sheringham coastal town in the UK. A friend had brought me here for a project work one autumn morning. I remembered it was a windy, overcast day with intermittent rain, typical of British weather. At that point, there were not many people out on the promenade and all we could hear were the crashing of waves on the shore. Perhaps this gave me an impression that a flat, almost washed-out feel would be able to reflect the mood of the quiet, coastal town.


However, that is not to say that overcast days would always certainly result in moody atmospheric feel. Dull overcast skies can also offer contrast for colour visual elements, such as the image above. I took this one early morning on the platform of Hoxton station, a district in East London. Overcast skies can also provide useful visual counter-balance for a minimalistic feel to your images.


Sometimes overcast days can produce the most dramatic scene out of the landscape, for example, just before the start of a heavy rain or during a monsoon season. This image was captured in the Scottish Highlands as the intense cloud formation looms over the mountain terrain. I thought this might have been even more dramatic if there were sun rays piercing through the cloud break.

7. In the Rain

Shooting in the rain is always a hassle. We are so used to our own comfort zones that we tend to put our cameras away when the wet weather comes. We tend to get worried that the rain would damage our camera gears even though they are pretty much weatherproof these days. However, with sufficient preparation, rain can present great opportunities for interesting cityscape photographs we might otherwise miss.


This is the Singapore’s Keppel harbour on a rainy day, captured from a sheltered vantage point. The heavy rain has rendered a dull, washed out effect of the harbour. Certain times of the year the region here goes into the monsoon season with long periods of torrential rain. As such, you may want to consider getting a waterproof pouch for your camera or perhaps shoot from inside your vehicle if there is no shelter. I used to cut a hole in a plastic bag and wrap it around my camera with some rubber bands. Sometimes I would use my raincoat to put it on my camera and tripod setup if I am shooting in a light drizzle. It is always a good habit to clean your gears after a day’s shoot in the rain.


On the other hand, the evening blue hour and rain go particularly well together. This is an image of Singapore’s Downtown district taken from an accessible high vantage point on a rainy day. It looks pretty amazing when these city lights pop out during the evening blue hour but if you look more closely, you could actually see car light trails reflected off the wet streets! That’s something you won’t get on a dry evening.


The thunderstorm is also a great opportunity to capture lightning at night. Finding a good vantage point can be challenging at first because the storm is constantly moving and it is difficult to predict where the lightning will strike. The image above was shot on top of a residential building in West Tampines, Singapore. I took a series of long exposures with a wide-angle lens, hoping that the lightning would appear during the period of capture. With a bit of luck, I managed to capture some lightning strikes.

Lightning is an obvious threat to your safety and it is an activity that can be dangerous if sensible safety considerations are not taken. When considering a setup location for chasing lightning storms, choose safe locations where raindrop would not reflect/refract light and thus potentially ruin a good photo. Parking garages, highway underpasses, and large buildings can keep you and your camera safe from both.


Twice I have visited the Old Man of Storr at the Isle of Skye in Scotland, and twice the bad weather had discouraged me from surpassing this spot successfully. When it rains, it’s better to wear a raincoat as umbrellas are the least useful in those kinds of terrain. The above image I have captured may look like just another day with an overcast sky, but in fact, it had been raining intermittently with high winds! It pays to be extremely cautious when shooting in mountainous or coastal regions with heavy downpour or high winds. It can be extremely dangerous if you are not too familiar with these terrains especially when the weather conditions turn really bad. I wouldn’t want to risk getting blown out of balance by the strong winds and fall over the steep and rocky terrain in the rain.


Sometimes the day turns bright and sunny after a heavy rain. If you look down on the streets, you may see puddles of the rainwater and you may capture some reflections of the landscape from a low angle. And if you look up, you might catch a glimpse of the beautiful rainbow in the sky. You have to be quick though because rainbows don’t last long. For the above image, I manage to capture the rainbow from the top of a carpark in West Tampines, Singapore. I was fortunate that the rainbow had lasted for about half an hour which gave me ample time to look for the best vantage point in the neighbourhood.

8. Winter Snow

Seeing actual snowfall in person is an exhilarating experience. I remember when it finally snowed in Norwich and everyone in the city went crazy about it. The beauty of it is that snow and frost can transform the landscape into an otherworldly winter wonderland. However, winter is not an easy time to photograph. For a person growing up in a tropical region, shooting snowy regions are arguably one of the most challenging conditions and I have not shot extensively in such conditions. Frigid temperatures often lead to discomfort for photographers and short battery life. In extreme cases, a snow blizzard or even whiteout may occur. With thorough preparation and protection, shooting winter landscapes could be a rewarding experience.


I shot this image of a playground in a park in Berlin one winter morning. It was my first time exploring a snowy cityscape and I was extremely excited about it, but at the same time, l realised I had not sufficiently prepared enough warm clothing for the weather. I did not expect the temperature would be much colder than the UK at the time. Thankfully there were shops nearby which allow me to keep myself warm once in a while. When transitioning from cold places to a warm place, do be careful of the dramatic change of temperature or humidity which may result in condensation building up in your camera lenses. Constant cycles of condensation produce moisture which can lead to mould growth and damage your lenses in the long run.


This image captured in Iceland shows just how much snowfall there was. Normally we would expect snow to appear white on our camera regardless of lighting conditions. However, snow can trick our camera meter and it can appear dull or grey on the image. Hence to get the correct exposure, you may sometimes need to overexpose a little to compensate.


The winter weather in Iceland can be quite harsh. Always, always, check the weather forecast before heading out and pay attention not only to the localised weather and temperature but also read the road conditions. Joining a tour group would a good choice if you have no experience driving in winter. Otherwise, you may have to do extensive research on driving in Iceland because driving through a snow blizzard at night is indeed a frightening experience. The image above shows how sublime the snow blizzard can get. Driving alone on the dark, icy road became so stressful for me, I had to wait for hours at a closed petrol station for the blizzard to pass before I could continue my journey.


Colours and contrast work well even in snowy cityscapes at night. If you are out about in the city, capturing urban cityscapes in snowy winter night could be an interesting experience. Unlike Iceland, it’s much easier to take the public transport to get around locations, except, you do have to look out for the last train or bus! Above is an image of the Berlin Cathedral at night. I had used my cable release to capture the long exposure. In the foreground is a frozen fountain and adjacent to the cathedral were bright lights illuminating from a large LED screen. I ended staying up for a couple of hours longer at the location because my hands had been trembling from the cold temperature so much that it kept causing camera shakes during the long exposure. Moral of the story: make sure to dress appropriately for the cold and account for the fact that it will be a lot colder once the sun goes down!

9. The Evening Golden Hour

The evening golden hour is usually a more popular time to shoot cityscapes, as people are knocking off from their work and there are more human activities going on during that transition. The colour temperature during the evening golden hour is always warmer than in the morning.


The long days of the midsummer provide the longest golden hours whereas these lights may last only a couple of minutes during winter. The image above was taken on a moving boat near the Oslo harbour during the evening golden hour one summer. Notice how the sunlight bathes these building structures with its golden lights, creating a bit of visual contrast with shadows where the light did not reach.


This photo was taken in Copenhagen. I was on my way back to my hotel after a whole day of touring the city when I noticed a beautiful sunburst over the river along the south harbour, particularly on the golden lights reflected over the river. Had I set up my camera slightly later, the sunlight would have dipped below these buildings, casting deep shadows onto the scene instead.

10. At Dusk

Dusk is the period just after the sunset, often with brilliant reddish-purplish colours in the clouds and a dramatic orange afterglow from the sunset. The colours at this time tend to be more vivid than at other times of the day.


Thi image was captured from my hotel room when I was in Copenhagen city. I was lucky that my hotel windows were facing the west and I was able to witness a brilliant evening sunset right before the sun dipped below the horizon. However, I wished I had taken a time-lapse sequence of these intense colours as the dusk transitioned into the night.


Above is an image of Edinburgh city captured from a vantage point. You can see clearly the afterglow of the setting sun, creating a beautiful blend of various pastel-like colour tones over the sky. I loved that the city lights had lit up, invoking a mystical feel of the city. Without these lights, I thought the scene would have been a less impactful visual, a mere silhouette of the sunset. I took this image during the summer time and it was sometime around 11pm.

11. The Evening Twilight

When the city lights come on at dusk, you can see colours of the cityscape start to pop out. The evening twilight is my favourite time to capture cityscapes as I find the deep blue sky to be a lot more interesting than the black night sky later and there are a lot more human activities to look out for in the urban cityscape, especially during festive seasons. Often the lights that illuminate the city’s landmarks happens only after sunset and not in the morning. As the evening gets darker, there won’t be a lot of ambient light left, so it’s a good time to seek artificial lights or the moonlight if available.


This is an image of the Stockholm City Hall building behind the Vesabron bridge. I happened to pass by this area during the evening twilight and saw an unusually large crescent moon fading into the horizon. Interestingly, at the time of capture, the moon rises in the daytime and sets in the evening. This can happen only during the new moon phase during the summer where the sunrise and moonrise happens together as with sunset and moonset.


I took this image at the small quiet Portree town in Isle of Skye, Scotland. I was wandering around the harbour area one cloudy evening and it was getting dark. I noticed how these boats had reflected the orange street lights and immediately wanted to capture that unique contrast of colours. I thought the scene would have lost that special moment if it were taken later at night.


This was taken one evening during the Lunar New year season in Chinatown, Singapore. These beautiful lantern lights illuminating the street worked really work during the blue hour. I wanted to capture that festive mood as more people have knocked off from their work and were coming out to explore these market streets.

12. Into the Night

Last but not least, shooting landscapes at night can be a challenging experience as one might think that there isn’t anything interesting to shoot. However, compared to the daytime, night photography does open up a lot of creative opportunities such as slow exposure, bokeh effects, light and reflections, etc. It would be extremely useful to invest on a sturdy tripod and a cable release to keep your camera steady for the slow exposure.


Christmas season is one of the best times for night photography. Colourful lights, lively crowd at these market stalls and even ice skating activities look so magical at night. I captured this image at the Christmas night market in Nottingham where the explosion of colours comes alive by nightfall and almost every angle is an interesting sight. In this case, the night sky wasn’t too dominant in the frame as I had focused on activities at the street level. I had used slow shutter speed to create a sense of flow in the movement of the crowd.


This image was captured on a cliff of a park called Parc de la Creueta del Coll in Barcelona. My original plan was to capture the magnificent view of the entire city at twilight but I stayed on the cliff longer than I had intended. I wasn’t too disappointed. This scene here offered a unique view of the Barcelona city residing on a mountainside and these street lights had looked like the artery of the city. However, getting down from the cliff became somewhat of a challenge as it was quite hard to navigate at night. Thankfully it was a full moon on that night.


The only time you can capture stars is of course, during the night time. Some of the ideal locations to capture astrophotography could be in national parks, forests, mountain tops and even lakes or coastal areas, away from city areas with light pollution. When the atmospheric conditions are good, you could capture celestial phenomena such as meteor showers, the milky way, aurorae or even the Supermoon!

Wherever you are out in the city or in the wilderness, your safety is extremely important especially at places where it could be very dark or dangerous. Always do your research and risk assessment beforehand. Take a friend with you or at least be accountable to someone before you head out. Consider bringing along some camping equipment if you’re intending to stay outdoors outside the city throughout the night. You may also need a flashlight or a map to navigate around because the last thing you ever want is to get stranded in the night.

Well, there you have it! With my shooting experience spanning across nine different cities, hopefully, this article will inspire everyone to appreciate capture any landscapes under different lighting conditions. Regardless of where we travel, what level of photography we are at or whatever camera technology we have at hand, only when we learn to recognise how light and weather conditions can work together, any time of the day can be a good time to photograph landscapes. With a bit of sensibility and some creativity, the results can be really spectacular!

10 Photos of Chinatown during the Lunar New Year

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival is an important Chinese festival celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. For those celebrating, it means there is a lot of things to look forward to, such as colourful processions, seasonal markets and lively lion dance. Singapore’s Chinatown is the place to be in to feel the festive mood, the lively chatter and laughter of people meeting up and exploring the streets.

This year is the year of the Dog, I decided to capture the atmosphere of the festive season at Chinatown from an architectural perspective, particularly during the blue hour. These 10 images were taken over the course of five visits as I could only be at one spot during the blue hour. I have not captured the festive season extensively, hence I may come back again in the following year to capture a different perspective.

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Best Images of 2017

Looking back, 2017 has been a year of amazing challenges. It was a year of visiting so many places before my transition from the UK back to Singapore. Opportunities present itself so often that I have captured a ridiculously lot of photographs, it was difficult to curate some of my best works out. As I have shot a wide variety of subjects, my style has not always been consistent across all of my images. Here I have compiled some of my best works captured in 2017 and placed into different categories, in no particular order.  I hope you would like them as much as I do.

City and Architecture | People | Urban exploration | NightAerial | Street | Interior | Food | Black and white | Animals | Landscape | Travel | Abstract

All images were captured using Canon imaging sensor and enhanced image processor.

In the new year 2018, I may have lesser chances to travel out for landscape and travel photography, but I hope that there may be more opportunities of capturing other genres photography such as events, documentary,  lifestyle, food, products, fashion, portraitures, etc.

City and Architecture


Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark


Victory Column Siegessäule, Berlin, Germany


London Bridge Office Tower, London, UK



Strøget, Copenhagen, Denmark


Carnival at Marina Bayfront, Singapore


A girl sits on top of snow near Snaefellsnes, Iceland

Urban exploration


Solna Centrum Station, Stockholm, Sweden


A playground in Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany



Berlin Cathedral, Germany


Northern Lights in Hvítárbrú, Borgarfjordur, Icealand


Thunderstorm in West Tampines, Singapore



Aerial view of Postdam, Germany


Aerial view of Southern Iceland


Aerial view of Fife, Scotland



Bank Station, London, UK



Interior of Castlehill, Edinburgh, Scotland


Interior of Wheelock Place during Christmas, Orchard Road, Singapore



Swedish Meatballs


Steamed Mussels with Coconut milk and chilli

Still Life


Scotch Whiskies

Black and white


A couple at Bauhaus Archive, Berlin, Germany


Stadsgården, Stockholm, Sweden


Shoppers in One New Change, London, UK



A wild Stag in Glenfinnan, Scotland


A Snow Bunting bird spotted on Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, Iceland


A horse in Carlsberg Breweries’ stable, Copenhagen, Denmark


9 oowenphoto-iceland-11

Vestrahorn, Iceland


Kastellet Star Fortress, Copenhagen, Denmark



Visitors enjoying the Fjord tour with prawn buffet, Oslo, Norway



A mirror cube with Vestrahorn as backdrop, Iceland.


All images © 2017 Oowen Photography.

All rights reserved. All photographs and text included herein are the property of Oowen Ong. All materials are protected under the Singapore and international copyright laws and treaties which provide substantial penalties for infringement. The use of any images or other materials included herein, in whole or part, for any purpose, including, but not limited to, reproduction, storage, manipulation, digital or otherwise, is expressly prohibited without the written permission of Oowen Ong.

Please note: These images are not royalty free and a fee is required for each specific usage. This includes the use of any of these images for use in web pages. Such usage could conflict with the interest of our other clients that have paid a usage fee for a specific purpose. Legal action could then be taken against illegal usage by any users found in breach. Please respect copyright laws. To inquire about the use of any of these images, please contact me via this website.

A Photographic Journey: Scotland

Scotland is a big place. There is so much to see, always not enough time to explore them all. When I visited Scotland for the first time, it was mainly for my photographic assignments and partially a wanderlust to explore the region. Driving from Glasgow through parts of the Scottish highlands and around to Edinburgh, I’ve seen the magical landscapes of the highlands, bewitching castles, rugged coastlines, whisky, wildlife and of course, the friendly locals. On my second visit was purely for holiday as I brought my folks around. It was also a second chance for me to return back to places I have missed before.

This article documents my experiences in Scotland and some of my favourite images I have captured in this region, presented in a narrative order. These journeys were truly once in a lifetime experience. If you have never been to Scotland highlands or want to but haven’t got the time, it is time you should really consider!


Huge windmills looked like miniature toys from above. When the weather is good, you can see a lot of details of the landscape from the plane windows.


An aerial view of Glasgow city, where the second longest river in Scotland, River Clyde flows through the city in the distance.


A street scene from St Vincent street, Glasgow city.


St George’s Tron, Church of Scotland from West George road. Glasgow has a rich and varied architectural heritage. It’s wealthy past has also left a legacy of the finest Victorian architecture in the UK.


Buchanan Street is Glagow’s main pedestrianised shopping street where there is no shortage of mega malls, well-known brand names and speciality shopping. As the largest retail centre in the UK outside London, all lined with big names you’d expect from the great British high street.


Glasgow has been consistently voted as the top place to shop in the UK outside London’s west end. The cobbled streets and lanes are where you will find a mix of vintage stores and independent boutiques.


High end retail shopping mall, truly a shopaholics’ paradise!


Visiting the carnival during the summer are some of the favourite activities for the children.


A family patronises a candy stall. Notice their shirts had the same colour as the stall.


A twelve-year old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky in a Stag shaped decanter on oak wooden  stand, spotted in a souvenir shop in Glasgow.


Tarbet lies on the west shore of Loch Lomond some two thirds of the way towards its northern end. When driving out of Glasgow and into the highlands, many people tend to overlook this interesting and attractive location as they simply see Tarbet as a passing, en route to even more spectacular scenery. The weather was ridiculously good that day and I just had to stop by to enjoy the picturesque scenery of Loch Lomond.


As Elvish as it may sound, the Falls of Lora is actually a tidal rapid, a popular destination for kayakers and divers as well as a stunning sight for visitors and photographers watching the eddies and swirling waters. Connel Bridge is a cantilever bridge that spans Loch Etive at Connel Village. Interestingly, there was never such a person called “Lora”.


I loved the beautiful pastel colours of the sunset as I happened to pass by Oban. As a small resort town, Oban is protected by the island of Kerrera and beyond Kerrera, the Isle of Mull.


The water in Oban bay is clear enough to see marine creatures from the harbour. We spotted a handful of fishes and moon jellyfish, a common jellyfish found in many estuaries and harbours in the UK.


The brilliant sunset at Connel made us stay longer than we intended. We got hungry decided to try out some food at the Oyster Inn restaurant nearby. By our experience, it has excellent food and services.


Fish and Chips from Oyster Inn Restaurant in Connel. In my humble opinion, this is by far the best chips I have ever tasted, beating Norwich Grosvenor chips and Manhatten fish Market (which I still loved), even the chips in Portree, Cromer and London, hands down. I think its because the batter on the fish was done differently. Perhaps it was a special cooking oil. But whatever it is, if you have the chance to pass by this area, I recommend giving it a try.


A pot of steamed mussels in coconut milk and chilli. I know, it sounds like a weird combination for mussels with coconut milk, but it was delicious to our taste. We’ve tried mussels of other flavours in other parts of Scotland and still think coconut milk was a great combination. I’d probably try and find the recipe online and see if my mum to cook it at home.


The Corran Ferry crosses Loch Linnhe at the Corran Narrows. We stopped by this little area to take a breather as we head up north towards Fort William.


New housing structures were being built along the coast of Corran, most likely accommodation from a nearby inn. Against the backdrop of the mountains on a sunny day, it sure looked as though we were in another exotic place such as Hawaii or New Zealand.


If you are a Harry Potter fan, you would be familiar with the Hogwarts express train scenes. Glenfinnan is where those train scenes are located. The train passes through the viaduct at a regular intervals everyday. I didn’t had the time to explore paths near the viaduct though.


Glenfinnan is a small village with many paths linking the village to the loch and the viaduct. It is possible to walk everywhere but it will require some time to explore them. Above the visitor centre is a vantage point which most visitors would hike up to. It is possible to go higher up a little beyond the designated vantage point to where I took this photo.


A memorial tower was erected here in Glenfinnan in tribute to the Jacobite clansmen who fought and died in the cause of Prince Charles Edward Stuart. However, the statue of an anonymous highlander, commonly referred to at the point of commission as Charles Edward Stewart, was added much later.


A beautiful stag was spotted near the Glenfinnan monument. Much care was taken not to go too near to the animal.


Fort William is the second largest settlement in the Highlands of Scotland. It is a centre for hillwalking and climbing due to its proximity to Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the UK. You can put your feet up in a cosy traditional pub and enjoy a distinctly flavoured Highland single malt or even a traditional ale straight from the local brewery. You can also indulge in the local delicacies at shops, cafés and restaurants along the High Street.


Halfway up Scotland, I met a Scottish busker performing with his bagpipe and apparently he sells his own CD albums.


Once during my journey midway, I was stopped by a patrol police. As with the drivers before me, I was asked to pull over one side to allow an incoming vehicle to pass through. I complied, not knowing what happened initially. A while later, as it turns out, a long vehicle appeared from the opposite side. It carried a huge blade-like object, which looked like the wings of an aircraft. Just as I thought that was it, two more vehicles appeared. As I continued my journey though the next harbour town, it then occurred to me that these long wing-like objects where actually windmill blades!


The thing about staying in the highlands is that I always preferred accommodations that are slightly off the beaten track. It is more quiet and tranquil, which gives me more opportunity to relax and enjoy the view of the highlands in isolation. This accommodation in Ratagan is a perfect choice, with friendly staff and well maintained facility. Its slightly challenging to get to this neighbourhood though.


Common dinning room of my accommodation in Ratagan. Although the facilities here were basic, but they were really well maintained!


Part of the mountains which make up the Five Sisters of Kintail. When I showed this image to the folks in UK, many were impressed by the mood and atmosphere I was able to capture. Some suggestions I received on improving the image was to add a human element in the landscape, to which I appreciate the feedback, but not feasible in this case.


You see, these mountain peaks were actually shot from Ratagan, across Loch Duich, which is at least two miles apart. To include a human element in the shot would be quite difficult and dangerous.


Low tide over Loch Duich. This fantastic view is right outside my accommodation in Ratgan!


Eilean Donan Castle perches on a tidal island where three sea lochs meet. It is without a doubt one of the most popular visitor attractions in the Highlands. It is also recognised as an official James Bond location. I remembered the fourth time I passed by this castle, I saw a glimpse of golden light of sunset. Unfortunately I had to rush back to my next pit stop and wasn’t able to capture the magical light. Eilean Donan’s setting is truly breath-taking.


The bridge to Isle of Skye from Loch Alsh Viewpoint. There are many viewpoints around Scotland highlands roads where you will be able to pull over to one side and admire the scenic views. The only thing is that you can easily drive past the viewpoint without realising and miss it altogether.


The lonely road ahead. The Old man of Storr can be seen in the distance. These roads look like suitable for racing like the Fast and Furious. Over here, the clouds changes very quickly. With the unpredictable weather conditions, and sheep, much care must be taken when driving along these roads.


The Old man of Storr is a rocky hill on the Trotternish peninsula of the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Famous for its magnificent scenery and views, the Old Man of Storr is a popular hotspot for hikers, hill walkers and photographers. It is also the location where the opening scenes of Ridley Scotts’ Prometheus was shot.


This gigantic pinnacle is called the Old man of Storr. Twice I have visited here, and twice I had not been able to hike past this spot. The first attempt was due to the in-coming morning fog and I felt my safety would be compromised as no one was around with me  at the time, and i had no map and compass. The second attempt was due to raining clouds and high winds which discouraged me from hiking further up.


This was the spot where the steep trail splits into two directions: one eastwards and the other westwards. The Needle Rock is where the eastward trail begins. I regret not being able to advance further from here as the conditions were not favourable to me.


Loch Mealt is an inland fresh-water loch. The viewpoint is located close to the sea and its eastern side comprises of the spectacular tall sea-cliffs of Kilt Rock, a dramatic waterfall created from the outflow of Loch Mealt.


The cliff edges of Loch Mealt and the Kilt rocks are pretty well fenced, but visitors should take particular care in walking near the edge.


It was summer time and I did thought of setting up my tent outside. The temperatures were cold in the morning, and I thought I could endure that. But when I saw how much midges there were, I changed my mind.


Loch Mealt with Beinn Edra in the background. Days like this its hard to predict how heavy the rain will fall. Better to head back early than getting stuck outside with low visibility.


Two visitors standing  on the cliff of Lealt Falls looking over the coast.


Lealt Falls from above the first viewpoint where you can look into the depths of the gorge and see the waterfall finding its way down the gorge. The trail has no fences so it can be quite dangerous when there are high winds. There are more sights to see at the bottom of the gorge, but I didn’t have enough time to explore.


A view of Uig village from vantage point. So I took the wrong turn at Portree and reached Uig instead. As I followed through route A855, driving up the narrow path at such a great height can be a frightening experience. I continued my journey through the same route and only to find out later that I had driven around the whole isle and back to Portree, missing out the Quiraing.


The adventure of driving around the Isle of Skye and not knowing exactly where I am. I happened to find some cattle grazing on top of the hill at a random location which made me stopped my car. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a highland cow. I didn’t manage to see any throughout my trips.


The colourful town of Portree is the largest “small town” in the Isle of Skye. It’s the ideal base to explore sights around the island.


Portree is also a natural harbour, and the shape of this rugged coastline of peninsulas and bays, sea arches and stalks, has been likened to a lobster’s claw and is rich with wildlife. With the unpredictable weather conditions in the highlands, the view of its surrounding landscapes are always different every day.


Street lights reflected onto the boats moored at Portree harbour as the clouds cleared at twilight, offering a contrast of colours.


Morning breakfast at Café Arriba, Portree, Isle of Skye. Its menu changes every once in a while, and I was deeply saddened this delicious burrito was no longer available on my second visit.


Langoustines, or scampi, at the Sea Breezes Restaurant, Portree. They’re basically delectable mini lobsters.


Fish and Chips at the Sea Breezes Restaurant, Portree.


Have you tried a venison steak before? We had one for diner at the Portree Hotel. It was delicious!


Chargrilled Cod fillet, Creamy Mushroom Gnocchi and Crispy Onions at the Portree Hotel.


Lunch at Seuma’s Bar, Sligachan was delicious!


Lunch at Seuma’s Bar, Sligachan was delicious!


The Sligachan Bridge is on the main road to Portree, in the heart of the Cuillins. It is situated at the junction of the roads from Portree, Dunvegan and Broadford. The hotel was built in around 1830 at this road junction. Many early climbers chose this as a spot to start their ascents of the Cuillin. Today there is also a campsite and bunkhouse adjacent to the hotel. There is also a small microbrewery, which is operated in the same building as the hotel.


I was inspired to visit this location because of the works of a British photographer, Julian Calverley, as well as a brilliant Johnny Walker ad made by two students. Legend has it that if you dip your face in the river water by the Sligachan Bridge, you will be granted eternal beauty.


The Sligachan trails are long. There are two hiking trails towards different directions with no circular paths, yet both trails offer stunning views of the peaks of the Cuillin. The Cuillin is a range of rocky mountains dominating the landscape on Skye: the Black Cuillin and the Red Cuillin separated by Glen Sligachan.


The iconic ridge of the Black Cuillin is considered as one of UK’s most challenging mountain range.


Marsco, a red Cullin mountain. Red Cuillin hills are lower and, being less rocky, have fewer scrambles or climbs.


Waterfalls along the Sligachan trail.


Can you imagine playing Pokemon Go in this setting?


My longest hike at the Sligachan trail was only up to about 7th klick, and then back to the starting point. If you can see a tiny white peck near the horizon, that is the Sligachan hotel, the starting point of the trail. I had only brought a litre of water with me.


An interesting view of a neighbourhood in Sligachan; a patch of trees amidst the seemingly barren land.


The weather had been ridiculously good that afternoon. As we drove out of Isle of Skye through the Skye bridge, we were treated to a stunning view of the bridge and its surrounding water. The nearest village Kyle of Lochalsh is visible from where the Skye Bridge. On foreground is actually a tiny island called Eilean Bàn.


A woman walks through the coast of Stonehaven with her dog on a windy day. Stonehaven is a pretty harbour town south of Aberdeen, famous for its Hogmanay fireballs ceremony. The storm had just passed and the winds were high, I stopped by this little town out of curiosity.


On the way down from the highlands, we chanced upon a wine distillery called the Dalwhinnie Distillery. We stopped by to take a look at the visitors centre for a short while. I was driving, so couldn’t taste a bit of whisky.


Dalwhinnie is the highest distillery in Scotland, at 1,164 feet above sea level. The name Dalwhinnie is derived from the Gaelic language, meaning ‘meeting place’, referring to the meeting of ancient cattle drovers’ routes through the mountains.


Limited edition Dalwhinnie whisky bottle on display. Quite tempting to buy a bottle of whisky back, but unfortunately our baggage had limited space.


Mannochmore 12 Years Old Flora & Fauna, surprisingly clean, dry and refreshingly direct, which makes it a good apéritif. Auchroisk 10 Years Old Flora & Fauna, an apéritif whisky, pleasant and light, which opens sweet, fresh and balanced then dries to a short finish.


An interesting drinking apparatus on display.


A special released, limited edition Dalwhinnie 1989, 25 year old bottle on display. Deliciously fruity, with notes of plum, greengage, strawberries and melon, and a touch of toast and liquorice.


One can hear the sound of the sheep’s call from the wine distillery, only to realise a heard of sheep right beside the wine distillery!


Our next pit stop was Perth, Scotland. It took us a while to figure out the location our accommodation was actually inside the University of the Highlands and Islands Perth College. As it turns out, these apartments were let out during the summer break as the college students would have gone away for holiday. How cool is that?


Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland. It is a city with amazing views, hidden courtyards, secret gardens and stunning architectural details to be discovered almost everywhere you look. Here is a skyline of the old town of Edinburgh.


The most common way of visiting Edinburgh from London is through the train. Edinburgh Waverley railway station is the principal station serving Edinburgh. It is believed to be the only railway station named after a work of fiction.


This Scott Monument is a Victorian Gothic monument to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. It has a series of viewing platforms reached by a series of narrow spiral staircases giving panoramic views of central Edinburgh and its surroundings. It is the largest monument to a writer in the world.


The New Town contains Edinburgh’s main shopping streets. Princes Street is home to many chain shops, as well as Jenners departmental store, an Edinburgh institution.


Beautiful interiors of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. The art museum holds the national collections of portraits, all of which are of, but not necessarily by, Scots. The museum’s collection totals some 3,000 paintings and sculptures, 25,000 prints and drawings, and 38,000 photographs.


Let’s Circus performing in the city. The Edinburgh castle stands proudly in the background.


From outside, the Tartan Weaving Mill looks like just another souvenir shop in an old mill house. But  once inside, my goodness, it is really a labyrinth!


The Royal Mile is the name given to a succession of streets forming the main thoroughfare of the Old Town of the city of Edinburgh in Scotland. It runs downhill between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace. The Royal Mile is the busiest tourist street in the Old Town, perhaps rivalled only by Princes Street in the New Town.


The Royal Mile especially the higher end near the castle, has many tourist-oriented shops selling Scottish souvenirs from postcards to whisky and kilts.


The streets which make up the Royal Mile are Castlehill, the Lawnmarket, the High Street, the Canongate and Abbey Strand. During the annual Edinburgh Festival, the High Street becomes crowded with tourists, entertainers and buskers.


It is common to see buskers performing with Scottish bagpipes. Here, a pair of buskers performs with harp and flute on the streets.


Near the Edinburgh castle is the The Scotch Whisky Experience, a visitor attraction  which offers tours and whisky tutoring sessions, alongside a shop, corporate spaces and Amber Restaurant & Whisky Bar. On the first occasion I visited, the streets were so crowded I couldn’t get in. The second time I came back up, I had not been told that the streets were closed due to some major event going on. I never got taste the scotch whiskies..


A view of Edinburgh city from Holywood park, a short walk from the city centre. There can’t be many cities with a volcano (albeit dormant) slap bang in the centre, but Edinburgh is one such place. During summer time, the last light could be near 11pm.


A brilliant sunset over Edinburgh city, from the Salisbury Crag in Holyrood park.


Carlton Hill in a distance. When the weather is clear, the Forth Road Bridge connecting Edinburgh can be seen over the horizon.


Ahhhh, Zavenya!!!!


Edinburgh city at twilight, from the Salisbury Crag in Holyrood park.


In attempt to capture the evening skyline from another vantage point, here is a view of the old town of Edinburgh city from Carlton hill.


The city lights lit up at twilight invokes a mystical feel of the Edinburgh city. Here, You can see peaks jutting out of the horizon. It is called the Lomond hills, also known locally as “Paps of Fife”.


There Are Places I Remember

Spending two years of my time studying in the UK has been an amazing journey. Not only have I had the opportunity to explore many new places, but have also experienced new cultures and made many new friends. In this series contains the various places I have visited within the UK which have now become a part of my memories. The intention of curating this series is not about seeking out touristy locations in the effort to put my own artistic spin on the area, but more as a means to record my personal experience of visiting these places as to how I would remember them. The significance of it is that I would not have the chance to revisit those places again after returning back to Singapore.

I have not really explored the UK landscape extensively throughout my two years stay because half the time was spent working on my photography assignments and based in Norwich most of the time. Sometimes I would take a breather from my stressful schedule and head out for a walk outside my home or travel out of the city to nearby places with friends. It is only through such opportunities that I was able to capture landscapes scenes that were outside my assignment works.

At first, I didn’t know how to group them as all the images seem to be in different approaches and all over the place. I feel that every image captured are visually strong as an individual as I have tried to build every image its own narrative. Sometimes I would be influenced by images that motivated me to edit them in a certain mood, sometimes I would capture these scenes street photography-style with no particular concept in mind, pretty much like Henri-Cartier Bresson.

This series of 36 images arranged more according to places I have been to, but by no means in chronological order.


Norwich is the city I was based in during my time in the UK. There are many parts of the city I have explored over the four seasons and I have come to fall in love with the largely quiet environment away from the city centre. This was the place I have also made my photography works with my housemates and photography peers, many of which I have had fond memories of.


The “Bag Lady” of Norwich, in contrast with the largest cathedral in Norfolk. This was one of the first few images taken during my first walkabout exploring the city.


Eaton Park during the early winter months, a quiet environment away from bustling city centre and the lovely landscape as the seasons change. A dad and his teenage child exit out of the colonnade pavilion and I saw the symmetricity of the building structure against the barren trees was yet another photo opportunity.


A distinctive view of the city centre from the Norwich Castle one autumn evening while searching for vantage points. It has been a rainy week, yet I was able to see glowing rays of light piercing through as the cloud break. The Norwich City Town Council is where the clock tower stands.


A cherry tree blossoms at the arrival of spring, taken outside my neighbourhood. Spring is my busiest period and I hardly have the time to properly look at these spring flowers. Yet when I do get the time, I appreciate the fact that it was my first time seeing them up close.


Throughout my entire stay in the UK, I have lived near the second largest Roman Catholic cathedral in England. As it was a huge landmark, it was pretty easy navigating my way back home from the city centre even late at night. Every day I get to see different facets of its stunning exterior as the lighting conditions differ almost throughout all four seasons. Yet not once have I entered its premise. This was the first image of the cathedral I had captured but didn’t publish. The view of the cathedral building has etched onto my memory so much that I wanted to capture the building in my ideal light condition before my departure. I wanted to revisit the shoot again but later realised I hardly found the time to revisit due to my hectic schedule, even though I still pass by everyday… 


A view of the Wensum river flowing through the city centre one evening after the rain had subsided. A warm glow appeared as the sun sets behind the clouds, creating a beautiful palette of colours of the scene. This was one of the rare moments I felt I was at the right place at the right time.


When time allows, I would often climb up Mousehold Heath with my camera to capture the amazing view of the city; sometimes on bright sunny days, sometimes on wet rainy days with high winds, other times on cold freezing winter days. St James’ hill is arguably the highest vantage point I could find in Norwich. It is a popular viewpoint on bonfire night or whenever there are fireworks exhibitions from the centre of Norwich. In this image, I found an old couple, photography enthusiasts, capturing the magnificent sunset. I was there too.


December is the time when shopping streets would be decorated with mesmerizing Christmas lights and displays. This is a corner of a shopping street in the city centre I would pass by almost every day.  This was an attempt at capturing a scene of the festive mood during the blue hour. Notice that there were two Christmas trees on two levels of the building, one in a lighted room, and the other in a dark room.


On Guy Fawkes night, also known as the bonfire night is an annual commemoration often celebrate at large organised events with extravagant firework displays. I went up the St James’ hill to capture the fireworks. I originally wanted to capture those fireworks in contrast with the crowd in the foreground, but unfortunately, I could not manoeuvre in time as the spot become rather crowded and the fireworks ended much quicker than I expected. Following the aftermath of the fireworks display, most people would have descended back to the city. I decided to turn my camera around to look for interesting results if any.


Winter months are usually warm and mild in Norwich as snowing is a rare occurrence. When it does, many folks would have gone berserk at the sight of it. Yet one early morning was the heaviest snowfall I had seen. Having not seen any proper snowfall in my life, I was absolutely excited about it. Treading on snow in my boots for my first time was an amazing experience. Except that day was also the deadline of my assignments and I had not slept the night before, so I had not been able to properly document the wintery wonderland. However, I managed to snag one image of the snow at one of the campuses of Norwich University of the Arts, after my submission.

Great Yarmouth 

Great Yarmouth is a coastal town in Norfolk. I’m glad to have the opportunity to visit the small town on a couple of occasions because I have had some friends living there. This was taken on my first visit to the town centre during my summer break, a wide, pedestrianised avenue leading all the way from the town centre to the seafront. Despite many negative opinions for a non-local to visit that region, I found that exploring the main street to be a rather pleasant experience.


An old couple resting on a bench in front of a local candy shop.


Strolling along the marine parade, exploring the sights while waiting for my friend to turn up. A scene of a takeaway food stall along the promenade near the pier.


Cromer and Sheringham are yet another coastal towns in Norfolk which I had visited, particularly for its Norfolk coastal path with a group of international friends. I have enjoyed the hiking experience as well as the fresh fish and chips from the local restaurants. Yet I remembered my first visit there was due to a project collaboration work that enabled me to visit places outside Norwich city for the first time since my arrival.


A scene in Sheringham, where the start of our hiking towards Cromer begins.


The promenade in Sheringham, during my first visit to the coastal town for project work. It was a windy and cloudy day.


Rocks and rails along Sheringham beach during the summer time


Hiking towards Cromer from Sheringham, the first challenge was to climb up what the locals call the Beeston Bump. It was a picturesque walk along the cliffs, especially on a bright and sunny day.


Strong light and shadows casting over the coast, adding vibrant colours to the cliffs and landscape. Things like this make me excited about exploring places through the tourist’s eyes.


Cambridge is about 1.5 drive from Norwich and I have only been to Cambridge twice. The first time was for the punting tour during the summer break, and the second time I explored one of the university campus grounds over the Easter break. Yet twice is not enough to warrant a total familiarity of the university city, as there were much more parts of the city I had not explored. Nevertheless, I had thoroughly enjoyed the experiences on both trips.


The Corpus Christi College is one of my favourite part of the university campus to photograph, as stripes of green lawn are particularly striking against the blue sky. It is also perhaps one of the more iconic spots in Cambridge photographed by visitors.


Marketplace in the city centre of Cambridge, taken from a high vantage point. I loved this vantage point as it shows a section of the city in an overview.


An evening light hits part of the Corpus Christi College, framed by the entrance hall. It reminded me of the iconic Taj Mahal as framed by its entrance gate.


A scene of a punting tour along the River Cam, a popular activity in Cambridge especially during the summertime.


The only reason I had been to Nottingham was due to a visitation to an art exhibition at the Nottingham Contemporary gallery during the Christmas period with a group of international friends. It was a great opportunity as not only I toured the exhibition but also had been able to explore the Christmas market at the city centre.


Outskirts of Nottingham town, on a train ride. A new neighbourhood is under construction.


Crossing the road outside the Nottingham train station and towards the city centre.


A scene of the Christmas market at daytime, taken from a vantage point. It was my first time visiting a Christmas market as I have never seen a similar market in Norwich. Looking at the crowd, I could not imagine just how much people would have visited the Nottingham Christmas market.


It gets a lot livelier as night falls. The insane crowd meant it was harder to get around and I had to choose my vantage point beforehand. The night activity here is definitely a lot different from that of Norwich during the festive period.


I never got to fully explore Manchester city as I was only in the area for a day with my travel buddy after our Scotland leg. He was there for personal matters while I spent the entire day touring the Manchester United stadium. The funny thing about this experience was that I was too naive to think I could walk all the way to Old Trafford from Victoria Station and back, assuming that the distance would be similar to Norwich. I was dead wrong, and I found it the hard way. Half the day was spent under the hot sun figuring my way around and then went on the stadium tour.


This image was taken at the Old Trafford station while on my way back to the city centre via the metro tube as I became hardpressed for time to catch a train back to Norwich that evening. It was a good weather and I loved the view of the cityscape from the station platform. In the end, it only took me a mere 15 mins to reach the city centre. Apart from the images of the stadium tour, I did not take any photos of the city due to the fact that I had mismanaged my time.


When coming to the UK, one should visit London city at least once. As one of the most visited cities in the world, London is half a size larger than Singapore. It is busy, vibrant and there is really a lot to see.  Yet in the light of the recent terror attacks in London, one cannot help but have security concerns about the terror threat. With two hours train ride from Norwich, I seldom arrange a full day trip to the city unless I have specific matters to do there. Expenditure in London can also be relatively quite expensive. I can remember I have visited London in at least five occasions.


This scene was taken on the tube station platform of Hoxton, a district East of London. The cloudiness in the sky is a typical weather in the UK. From this vantage point, I could see parts of the metropolitan and parts with construction works. Then there is the London tube coming towards the train station.


The morning rush in Stratford, a district east of London. Commuters were heading towards the railway station or the bus interchange. Whenever I pass by this area, I would be awestruck by the beautiful decors of the shopping centre. I arrived early in London that day to see to some print matters and captured this scene as a remembrance.


Due to the heavy congestions in London, many locals here choose to travel by either the tube or bicycles. Cycling is a great way to save money on travel expenses, explore the city and get some exercises at the same time. There are cyclist lanes everywhere in London and even the roads can get pretty congested with cyclists during peak hours. Here is a street scene along Westminister bridge.


The Orangery, in the Kew Gardens. I made Kew Gardens a top priority during my first visit to London during my summer break. This was partially due to the influence of Sir Attenborough in his three-part documentary series, “Kingdom of Plants”. The Kew garden is a huge and beautiful place, very much different from the Singapore Botanical gardens. I pick this image because apart from the usual garden photos we are expected from the garden, I wanted to show the garden from a different perspective; although I could have picked other images from my collection. In this case, it was the scene of the visitors resting after a day’s tour, but signs of plants visible and the airy structural building, hopefully, enough to suggest what the place is.


One London Bridge is a high quality refurbished office building located right beside the London Bridge. I was attracted by the unique design of the building and the particularly reflective surface of the office windows on a bright sunny day. This image would form a visual impression of a distinctive busy London office in my memory.


The iconic St Paul’s Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral and the mother church of the Diocese of London. Beside the cathedral is a shopping mall with an accessible rooftop garden which one can view the breathtaking London skyline at any time of the day. After a couple of visits to this area, often in gloomy weather, I’m glad that I was finally able to capture the bright blue sky against the dome of St Paul’s, causing vibrant reflections on both sides of the window screens of the shopping mall. Unfortunately, I have not entered the cathedral as the entrance fee for visitors was too expensive for me.


A moment in time at the Bank junction, the historical and financial centre of London, at which nine streets converge in the heart of the city. It is also where the Bank of England is located. Behind the Royal Exchange London stands the Leadenhall building, an office building iconic to the skyline of London. Nearby construction works were in underway for a new office tower.


While exploring the Camden Town Market, a family looks for direction on where they are going to visit next.  This image was taken through a window on the second-floor vantage point.


As the train heads towards Norwich from London central, a man glances out to see the London stadium. This scene sort of depicts my afterthoughts every time I travel back to Norwich after spending a day in London, even there are interesting scenes to see while on the way back. Parts of the ArcelorMittal Orbit can be seen on the right side of the window.


Stairs leading to the basement floor of One New Change shopping mall. Apart from the classic shot of St Paul’s Cathedral, I found this image to be a distinctive part of the shopping scene in the One New Change, where shoppers are almost everywhere.

Other Contenders 

Curating images for this series has been a challenging process for me. There are some images that I felt could have been part of the series but falls short on certain elements. For me, having a coherent style or not wasn’t as important as selecting interesting visuals of places that had impacted me during my time in the UK. Instead, I took much care in arranging the series as a whole, not too much and not too little.  Here are some images that I felt did not make it to this series, I’m including them here as part of sharing my developmental process.


Sheringham, taken from inside a coach. I thought this scene here kind of gives it a character, an impression of the busyness of the small town.


When I first explored the Camden high street, I was intrigued to see that almost every lamppost has got banners on, enticing customers to patronise their shop due to its close proximity.


Picadilly Circus, taken outside the metro station. being able to see these old building structures first hand is an awesome experience. but the fact that has become a crowded touristy spot and a shopping district, hence the omission of this image.


London Chinatown. I enjoyed the experience of walking through familiarity, at least once.


On my way back, I happen to chance upon a rather interesting architectural design of the Stratford ONE student accommodation by Unite Students. I thought there was very little narrative element in this image, hence the omission.


In my previous research which explores the concept of “The Provocative Landscape”, I investigated the representation of the landscape through the tourists’ eyes and question how images of cities and landscapes could provoke reactions and thus relate to these images from a personal perspective. As my journey in the UK has come to an end, it is then I realised the significance of these photographs I have captured during those two years. By adding the element of my own personal narrative to my images, I started to see how they could somehow come together as a series.

Final Conclusion: A Summary of BA2a, BA2b, BA3a & BA3b

Through this two years of intensive research and development of my photographic practices has finally (almost) come to an end. I love my course. I love photography. I loved the people and environment. Most importantly, I loved doing what I do. Thus concludes all the experiences I have accumulated and all works I have done thus far. I have divided my thoughts into six key areas to look into.

  • The Provocative Landscape

  • Photographic Practices

  • The Industry 
  • Self Promotional and Business Plans
  • Collaboration
  • Post University Plans

The Provocative Landscape

In my BA2 works, I explored colours and structural elements in my body of works and “A kaleidoscope of colours” was the result. As I developed my focus into landscape photography later on in BA3, it developed into “The Provocative Landscape” and much of my research had revolved around it.

In my essay, “The Provocative Landscape”, I have proposed that there could be three approaches to reading provocative landscape images: The controversial Image, The Dialectical Image and The Rhetorical Image. These approaches have been helpful in identifying what landscape images can be considered provocative, though sometimes images do not fall into a single category. Thus, I have decided to use many landscape photographers’ works to further elaborate on my point.

I  not only look at landscape photographers, but also at art installations, films and listen to music, and to an extent, the photography works I have done have been a response to those influences over the two years of my course work. It is not a matter of straightforward references but rather a subconscious accumulation of experiences which finds its way into the pictures.

As artists and photographers have engaged with a wide variety of techniques and continuously sought to evolve their photographic practices through time, I have found that for some landscape photographers, it is not the technique that makes an image provocative, but the interaction between the image (how it was created) and the audience (what kind of emotion does it evoke) that makes the image provocative. Provocative landscapes could also be from a religious point of view, as though a sign from the heavens, since the chances of encountering such phenomenon are very rare. How these research has informed my photography works was through my two series, “Allenmanstretten” and “Pandora’s Box”.

In the pursuit of better quality in my photography,  I have sort of evolved from full frame cameras though exposure of other works and understanding the limitations when I consider for large prints. Though I have not used a medium format camera for most of my landscape works due to logistical constraints, but that should not stop me from dreaming bigger.  I think I am ready for medium format cameras!

Photographic Practices

Just like the many photographers before me who set out to explore the potential of landscape photography. We wished, for a number of reasons, to work against, or at least question, some of the accepted conventions of landscape photography, and I certainly realised that there was much ground for me to explore. As my experience in research and planning continue to evolve with my knowledge of the landscape constantly with paradigm shifts, This has grown into a sort of personal preoccupation, to a point where it has become one of my primary interests. This was also thanks to the pieces of advice from the tutors and peers and industry professionals whom through these critique sessions have constantly challenged me to outperform myself in surprising ways.

Though this is only a point of my photographic practices, it is a never-ending learning experience. These practices will continue to change and evolve. Who knows what future holds when my practices evolved again!

The Industry  

The point of understanding how my practices are relevant to my industry is an important one.  Through market research, understanding differences between the UK market and Singapore market and setting up interview questions for those professionals already in the Singapore industry, meant that while I am in the UK,  I have to commodate my works to cater the interest of both groups of audiences. But when I return back home, I will cater predominantly towards the local group of audience. To survive in a small and competitive market, it has been the way that the more skills one can acquire, the better the chance of being hired. The current practice of the industry in the region is not healthy, but that is the way it is.

Self Promotional & business Plans

The point of understanding the relevancy of my practices to my industry is an important market research. Identifying the key differences between the UK and Singapore market and interviewing professionals already in the industry led me to a better understanding of how my industry actually works and how my business can fit in.

Figuring out a business plan that will work for me takes time and refinement. There are no hard and fast rules than I can complete this within a school semester. My original objective was to set up shop to make some money off my prints. Yet if I were to bring this business back to Singapore, the environment there is will not be the same. Setting up a business is a daunting task, especially if I were to bring the business back home. I have no experience in this area and it is going to be a different ball game. I could research as much as I can, but unless I tried it out and get some experience out first hand, I won’t know how it is really like. But in any case, if my business model doesn’t work out, I will need to consider other options, such as changing my plans, collaborate with another creative to sell products, etc.

Understanding the market needs also meant that my portfolio works have to cater to these groups of audience. Hence I opted for Press Kit boxes; a balance of digital and hardcopy prints. The reason I am favouring press kits over large portfolio boxes or photo albums is because in Singapore market has a different mentality compared to the UK. As for the mode of showing portfolios, both clients and vendor tend to prefer the convenience of the portfolio than showing something big. This means that the people generally prefers everything online and digital. However, if a tactile box with lots of interesting items might entice them to work with the photographer.

I have had an unsuccessful collaboration attempts in BA2 works due to my unfamiliarity of the UK work environment. But through the collaboration work with Fahim in BA3bhas enabled me to discover other fields of industries where landscape imagery can be relevant (other than car adverts) – the game industry in areas of environmental concept designs, as well as the movie industry. As game artists and visual effects artist have exemplified using references of elements of landscapes to build an imaginary landscape, it is possible to interpret a provocative landscape in the form of a utopian/dystopian world. In regards to the Singapore industry, game design and Visual effects companies are more prevalent there than car advertising. There is  LucasFilm and there is  ILM branch in Singapore. These are the prominent ones, and such projects are usually collaborative ones.

Post University Plans

“Carry on with life, get married, have children and grow old.”

No, seriously, a lot of people have begun to ask me about my plans post university. Industry professionals asked me if I could work in the UK. The answer is No. This is because of the current political situation in the UK. With the Brexit situation going on, major businesses are moving away from the UK and into Europe. This also meant that I will have to fight a lot harder and at a more disadvantaged position.

UK friends outside of Uni have asked me what I am going to do next. Most likely set up my own business when I get back home. Either that for I find a production company to get more photography-related work experience.

Peers have asked me if I were to continue Masters. The answer is No. the reason is two-fold.  Firstly, a year of degree course for a non-EU student is already a lot higher than what the local students are complaining about (imagine what you could do with £4000 difference) and I am not eligible for any bursary nor under any scholaship awards. Simply put, it is not sustainable for me financially. Secondly,

Secondly, Masters in Photography is completely unheard of back in Singapore, because photography in the sense isn’t recognised as a niche profession. what is important to do photography in Singapore is the work experience. If I were to study a Masters, most likely I would consider doing Masters in Multimedia locally, where both photography and film production falls under the same umbrella. perhaps, if I were to consider teaching photography as a profession in the longer run, I may consider. Hence I’m not pursuing Masters at the moment.

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Developmental Process: Allemannsretten

Allemannsretten is a Norwegian concept from the ancient times which means “the freedom to roam” in English. Simply defined, this traditional right takes on the form of general public rights which applies to open country, thus making it legal in most cases for people to walk through any piece of uncultivated land. This concept rings true for tourists exploring any new places for their first time, not just open spaces, as it may give them a sensory impression of the whole outdoor experience. I came across this term in a bookstore in Reykjavik, Iceland and thought it fitted well on how I made the majority of the landscape images and what I was interested in.

This series forms part of a larger overarching theme, ‘The provocative landscape’ whereby I have been working on for two years, accumulating the travels and experiences of roaming about these locations for my first time and exploring places through the tourists’ eyes, thus informs my impression of the landscape through personal experience and in turn translated into photography.

To know more about my travels:
London | Scotland | Barcelona | Dubai | Singapore | Berlin | Iceland

(Some of these image in the series were not printed out as part of the final series because I have to consider the balance of my portfolio in the bigger picture. I have three collections of prints hence I have to be conscious of omitting those with the weakest links.)


The references to this series is an accumulation of the photographers or image makers that I have analysed over the course of two years of endeavour; Some in the form of visuals and themes, some in the form of philosophy and photographic practices while some are cultural influences. But at the same time, I didn’t want to simply emulate their style, or copy them. Instead, I wanted my own photographic style to come out of its own, while still influenced by these photographers.

(For more information about my research and references, check out my bibliography page.)

Ansel Adams | His dedication, and experiences in capturing the landscape has left me captivated and wanting to understand what makes his images work. As I had first started with the love for landscape photography; his idea of pre-visualisation and his preference for black and white images had me re-look at my own practices in photography. [Analysis]

Saul Reiter | Believed there is such a thing as ‘a search for beauty’. He considers it worthwhile for one to pursue their perceived forms of beauty. [Analysis]

Edward Burtynsky | Heavy influence from Edward Burtynsky’s photographic practices: “[we] come from nature… There is an importance to [having] a certain reverence for what nature is because we are connected to it… If we destroy nature, we destroy ourselves.” [Analysis]

Dan Holdsworthoften quite interested in dislocating the image from the place.  He was interested in is a psychological landscape’, not so much in where it is located. his works represent an updated notions of the Romantic Sublime, with “elements of awe, vastness, individual insignificance, of trespass even, are appropriate to these … wildernesses.” [Analysis]

Finn Beales | His image style always gives an authentic and natural feel, there isn’t too much heavy editing. He has a keen sense of how lights affect the landscape and use that to his advantage, thus using the lights to create the atmosphere. [ Analysis]

Richard Misrach | One those image which perhaps I felt most connected to was The Wall, Jacumba, California, an image Misrach captured in 2009 which depicts the U.S.-Mexico border often show a fence and desolation on either side. The clouds covering the mountain ridges suggests the scene with an ominous atmosphere. It has that depth which conveys the scale of the desert terrain. It is not vividly coloured, but there are a lot of details hidden within the landscape which might provoke one’s response into thinking what is there within those vast spaces. Hence from this image, Richard Misrach’s works suggest a dialectical image. [Analysis]

Paul Seawright | Seawright’s works “Hidden” is relevant to my research because of his subtle and quiet approach in capturing the terrain suggests that where there lay a hidden malevolence of its landscapes and the spectacle of ruins which becomes aestheticized, an approach which contrasts against that of Luc Delahaye’s works. [Analysis]

Simon Roberts | By elevation, it lifts the mid-ground and gave him a better opportunity to see the landscape and build narratives into it. By photographing the theatrical and using the atmosphere to his advantage, the less likely for him to get stopped taking pictures. [Analysis]

Other Research 

Toussaint (The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine) | This is one of the many beautiful video game worlds that I enjoyed watching. Though I’m not really a gamer myself, but the art is beautifully rendered, the stunning vistas and brilliant sunsets. Landscape images can be a source of influence for video game environmental designs and vice versa. This also shows another potential revenue for landscape images.

Hebe | Chinese Pop singer and Idol, Hebe and her Music Video: Insignificance

Impressionism and Romanticism Arts Movement


Paintings from these art movements have given me an impression of what the European landscapes could be like, therefore shaping my photographic practices and the preferential visual to dramatic landscapes and snowscape terrains, as I have subconsciously tried to emulate these art styles into my landscape photography. [Analysis]

A Curated Series

My approach to Allenmanstretten was to curate my images from all of my travels and look at landscapes in the opposite direction of my original photographic style. The vivid colours in this series are largely absent in my images. There are certain elements of detail hidden in the visual that I hope the viewers may take a second look. There is also that certain element of commercial value of travel photography amidst the fine arts approach. This is intended, as the essence of my travel is encapsulated through these experiences.


A shortcut through the small canal behind the Berlin Zoo with sheets of broken ice in interesting positions. The calm water presented a serenity of the scene as a train passes through the vicinity, echoing its presence. That was the moment, Henri Cartier-Bresson style.


  1. as usual, I blended the three exposures into a single image, colouring shadow area with the underexposed image and highlight areas with the overexposed image.
  2. I then use the curves to pull in more contrast, and colour adjustment filter for a cooler tone. This process is used throughout to balance the colour of the snow.


Wandering through the Tiergarten park exploring the wintry landscape of Berlin, I found a playground in the midst of the white open space, covered with a thin layer of snow. I  captured the scene in a two-dimensional form, utilising the strong visual lines of the playground and the trees in the background.


  1. The image was originally framed with the rule of thirds in mind. I used bracket exposure to bring back some detail of the overcast sky.
  2. noting that there was a single yellow hue visible in the image, I used the HSL to push the yellow hue out.
  3. I applied curves adjustment to create a punchier contrast and colour balance filter with cool tones to balance out the colours in the image.


A street scene off the edge of Tiergarten park just before the Holocaust memorial. Having submitted my dissertation report just before my Berlin trip, the subject of war tourism and the research of war photographers in my essay were still fresh in me at the time. These forests gave me the world war two impression vibe as it had reminded me of the calm scenes of the miniseries, Band of Brothers (2001), just before the bombardment at the Battle of the Bulge in episode 6. Having done my two years of full-time National Service stint, I cannot imagine myself in those circumstances and I do not want to put myself in that forest. I  captured the scene in a two-dimensional form, utilising the strong visual lines of the traffic lights and the trees in the background.




At the black sand pits in Iceland, a strong gust of wind picks up and everyone froze still, not wanting the sands to hit on their faces. I wanted to capture the scene of the people heading in the same direction towards a cave but they are all in an awkward standing position, hands covering their face from the sands.

Edit_BA8Not much editing was done on this images, but largely to open up shadows and control the highlights in camera raw file.


This was the first time I have captured fog at the Mousehold Heath forest, Norwich. I think this stems out from a conversation I had with an acquaintance of mine back in Singapore about “printing wallpaper for hanging”. What he meant was about wanting to purchase fine art prints from me, while I showed him a couple of random wallpapers as a reference to what he actually said:

I didn’t know the author of the misty forest wallpaper in the reference image, but when I on the ground shooting the fog, I was probably trying to emulate the same atmosphere in the panoramic format; the strong verticle lines of the trees, the same crispness in the foreground and the blurriness at the background. In this case, it was interesting yet strange that such wallpaper images had a bit of influence on me. For such large format prints, I would have to go for a larger format camera as opposed to a full-frame digital format camera on hand.


This image features a group of boats in the harbour in Portree, Scotland. Beyond the harbour lies a body of land, clouded in mist. The air of mystery surrounds what it could be.


The editing process for this image was slightly different from my usual techniques. It is still a simple editing process on my camera raw file with addition graduated filter, and I added a cooling photo filter and toned it down a little to attain the bluish cinematic atmosphere. With the mist in the background, I figured this works the best for this image.


Driving through a peculiar part of the landscape in the southern region of Iceland, what made this image more peculiar was that orange cube object among the pile of rocks and stones in the middle of nowhere. The cloudy weather only made the scene look foreboding.


The editing process is fairly straightforward.

  1. Usual exposure blending process. the bottom half is largely the brighter exposure, while the top half the darker exposure.
  2. I didn’t want the orange cube object to stand out too much, so I desaturated the hue a little, so it blends in well with the surroundings.
  3. I added curves to increase contrast.
  4. And added colour balance to increase more blue hues. I used a gradient mask to control the filter and preventing the blue hues from overpowering.


This was the most intense drive in my experience as I had unwittingly driven into a sudden snow blizzard while en route eastwards towards my next destination in Iceland. The roads became icy and poor visibility. I eventually found a closed petrol station and had to wait out until the storm had passed. This image shows the destructive force of nature in the form of the snow storm. At the time, somehow the heavy snow had reminded me of Ori Gersht’s sublime images of exploding flowers. I guess this would become the landscape version where the petrol station is going to be blown apart.


Not much processing was done for this image. A large part of it was to pick the right frame. one determining factor was to find the images of the petrol station with sharp edges in contrast with the heavy snow. The other factor was the snow’s interaction with the lamp post. Many of the bokeh formed around the lamp post during the snow storm didn’t quite produce the perfect shot I was looking for. among all of the shots, I found one with an ‘X’ shapes light stood out the most for me. Below are the frames that did not make it to my list.



I selected this image because the cloudy weather made the image foreboding, hence the cinematic approach to creating an orangey-alienish landscape. On industry relevancy, the first thing that came into my mind was computer wallpaper or a fine art print.

  1. I wanted to get details of the sky and the mountain peaks, and I could only get it by blending the two exposures together.
  2. I created a tonal curve adjustment and painted over the peaks to get a more punchy contrast.
  3. Next, I apply a Color Effex pro filter over to the layers, which would get me the orangey-alienish landscape.
  4. last but not least, I apply a cool colour balance over the image to tone down the warm orange tones.


A wooden cross stands firmly on a cliff in the night sky, away from the city lights. When I came to this vantage point in Barcelona, I was immediately reminded of the tomb of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion on the cross. At the same time, I also remembered the works of the German painter, Caspar David Friedrich’s “The cross beside the Baltic“, which seeks to express the power of nature and illuminate the beauty and significance of Christ through nature. This image was shot from a low angle up such that the light from the moon forms a significance to the cross.


  1. The original raw files were still too dark even after opening the shadows and reducing the orange hues. hence I had to blend three exposures together.
  2. I slowly paint out the rock details out, as well as the lighten the exposure on the cross.
  3. last but not least, I created colour balance filter to accentuate the blue hues, I used a radial gradient mask to prevent the colour balance filter from overpowering the image too much.


This was captured during one of the supermoon phenomena where the moon becomes slightly larger and brighter than usual. The absence of street lights in the neighbourhood and the clear night sky heightens the bright white light from the moon to a dramatic effect, as though an apocalyptic meteorite has appeared. After seeing Joe Hilmarsson’s iconic image of the Aurora Borealis above Iceland which resembles an iridescent angel glowing in the night sky, I thought such phenomenon becomes a valid point for provocative landscapes.


My editing processes for this image were also pretty much straight forward

  1. opening up shadows in my camera raw file
  2. toning down the orange hues and increasing blue hues
  3. I explored further with the detail extractor filter in Color Efex Pro, but found the effect not suitable for this image. this was because when the details are opened up, the eyes would be led away from the brightest light source and wander around the image first.
  4. to prove the point above, I edited a few variations with a lighter rendition, the one with the darkest shadows still stands out for me.



This was taken during the aftermath of a fireworks display during the Bonfire Night festival. I meant to capture some fireworks display from a vantage point in Mousehold Heath.The last year we I took them near the city, it was extremely crowded. I thought of doing from that vantage point, but I didn’t expect that the crowd and photographers turnout would be equally great. I lost the interest to capture fireworks itself and began thinking of placing human elements into perspective. The idea was to capture a scene, something which I would not see often. But these fireworks had ended as fast as it began. I decided to linger a while longer to see what happens next, still clicking on my shutters.

When I framed my shot on the ground, I didn’t think of what sort composition to use. It just comes naturally as I shot the image. I had used a dynamic composition, Root 2 Rectangle fits perfectly here.

I picked this image as part of my series because the scene sort of depicts a dystopian world, as though an aftermath of a battle had occurred in the city and two figures were watching the scene happening. There seems to have a Sci-fi feel to it.

1. This image does not have complex processing. On my camera raw, I adjusted the exposure slightly brighter with some contrast and pushed the shadows to the maximum.

2. Since this is a full night image, chances of noise would be present and I wanted to suppress it. I applied noise reduction settings and a bit of post-crop vignetting to control the unwanted light spill.

3. To enhance the image further, I cloned in a crescent moon from my previous images and cloned out the stray light streaks at the bottom right corner. I used the dynamic composition, root-two rectangle to position the crescent moon.

Other Contenders 

Some of the images I have selected to be included in this series but were not printed out as part of my portfolio because I had to consider the bigger picture of balancing out with the other series. These images, in my opinion, were the weaker links.