Some shots from a recent trip to Finland. The weather was hovering around zero but the skies were generally blue and the ground frost intermittent. Finland is a truly beautify place and I have been there several time. I was only an hours drive north of Helsinki in Karkkila but it felt like a million miles away from London or Singapore.
For this trip, I took along my new Nokia 1020 to shoot on. These are the low res files I downloaded and did not even colour balance or amend. Very impressive result from a mobile phone. Then again, it does have a 41 Megapixel camera…
The last shot was taken on the return journey from Finland, where I enjoyed a 2.5 hour long sunset as we flew south west from Helsinki to London. This image reminds me of how people often envisage the entrance to heaven.
Following on from my last entry, this was taken a few minutes prior to the last shot (below) in Alcudia, Mallorca. Unfortunately, I was not well positioned for the sunrise, which was behind the head of the peninsula, to my left. The reason for this was main due to the fact that the westerly facing headland was several kilometres on the other side of a private golf course and I had no idea how long it would have taken me to walk there. Has anybody ever made this journey?
One thing that resonated with me the most about this particular dawn was the strength of the yellow in the sky. Singapore tends to be far more orange due to pollutants in the atmosphere.
I awoke well before dawn on my penultimate day in Mallorca this summer. I wanted the experience the serenity one finds at the birth of a new day, surrounded by nature. My home town of Singapore does have many green spaces but they are a patch of nature juxtaposed against the greyness of manmade objects. I was craving for the antithesis.
A yacht had moored the previous night and bobbed gently on the rising tide as the first light of day bathed the foreground in a rich golden light. The moon was cradled amongst the wisps of cloud as they glided silently across the sky overhead, travelling on the a light breeze, which rustled the branches ever so slightly.
I think this is going to be my go to calm place for this year.
This afternoon, I went for a walk on the wilder side of Singapore. In the centre of the island, there is a slither of nature called MacRitchie Reservoir Park. Just south of Upper Pierce Reservoir, there is a tree top walk, which in effect is a narrow suspension bridge, just wide enough for someone to traverse across the rooftop of the jungle below.
Lining the side of the bridge were many monkeys. They were generally quite skittish but the character in the image above was more than a little bold. I had a wide angle lens on my camera, meaning he was sat within an arm’s length from me when I took this shot.
Whilst in Europe earlier this month, I visited Città di San Marino, a medieval settlement situated on the slopes Monte Titano, over 700m above sea level. San Marino was added to the Unesco World Heritage list in 2008 and walking around the hilltop enclave, it was very easy to see why.
San Marino, situated close to the Adriatic coast, is the third smallest state in Europe after the Vatican and Monaco and claims to be the world’s oldest republic, being established in 301 AD by a Christian stonemason named Marinus, who, once climbing climbed Mt. Titano, found a small community of Christians, persecuted for their faith by the Emperor Diocletian.
The Republic of San Marino is made up of a few towns dotted around Mount Titano and the capital. The city walled city has three distinct towers that overlook the rest of the country and are visible for miles around.
This is a reverse view of the central fort from the top of the previous hilltop fort, looking down over most of the Republic of San Marino.
Out walking around downtown Singapore a week ago and grabbed a shot of the cityscape just after the sun had dropped below the horizon. Still over thirty degrees even past 8pm but that’s life one degree from the equator.
Back in 2012, my team at Wieden + Kennedy created Nokia Gulp, shot solely on a Nokia N8 handset. The plot as based on a Jonah-style adventure of a fisherman getting caught in a belly of a giant fish. It was the successor to Nokia Dot, the smallest animation ever, which W+K also made with Sumo Science and Aardman, again using a Nokia N8 handset.
Here is a look behind the scenes how the world’s largest animation is shot on a Nokia phone handset. We needed an army of locals to help us prepare the beach everyday for the shoot.
The advert was release across Europe initially and then globally. It has since become a favourite on Vimeo and still enjoys good ratings years after making it.
Creative Review: http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2011/august/nokia-gulp-wieden-kennedy
This weekend, I went for a walk with my family in a place called Bukit Brown Cemetery. It is a secluded, overgrown graveyard in Singapore. It is unique in that you are in the middle of a metropolis that is Singapore but be standing in the solitude of a rainforest.
Bukit Brown Cemetery is also known to the local community as Kopi Sua or Coffee Hill. It is a Chinese cemetery, established in the early 20th Century and was the biggest Chinese graveyard outside China. The cemetery was named after its first owner, George Henry Brown, who was a ship owner and arrived in Singapore from Calcutta in the 1840s. He bought the area and named it Mount Pleasant.
As I wondered around this oasis of nature and calmness, it was very distressing to see all the construction work underway, something very common in Singapore. The issue here is that Bukit Brown Cemetery is slowly but sure being sacrificed to the god of progress. Large swathes of land have already been dug up and this beautify setting will soon be replaced by suburbia, concrete and glass.
In a place like Singapore, where such places are rare and revered, it is a shame that such a tranquil and spiritual place is being ruined to make way for apartments and the MRT (underground system).
If you are keen to see this wonderful place before it disappears forever, you can find it located between Lornie Road and Mount Pleasant Road, off Sime Road and Kheam Hock Road.
For further information about Bukit Brown Cemetery, here are some links, including a site to help save it from extinction:
1) Information about the cemetery: http://bukitbrown.com/main/
2) Save the cemetery site: https://sosbukitbrown.wordpress.com/
3) Preserving the history of Bukit Brown: http://www.bukitbrown.info/
Dawn on a stretch of beach a few miles south of Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada. No another person around for miles, just the gentle lapping of the Pacific ocean against the shore. Mist was rising from the land, creating a very other-worldly effect.
Holiday season was well over and the temperature was only a just in double digits. Still, one of my favourite beaches in Canada.