June 17, 2015

Progress – it’s the natural phenomenon of improvement and evolution that happens over time. In Singapore, that means we’ve moved forward as a nation from being an insignificant little red dot on the world map to an independent powerhouse city-state that has one of the busiest ports and largest financial centres in the world, the world’s best airport, and a population of 5.4 million people; all within a span of 50 years. And in that same thread of progress, Nikon too has finally introduced their very first single lens reflex (SLR) camera with touchscreen capabilities. By Adam Kerr. Photographed with the Nikon D5500.

d5500

Urban landscape photography is usually grittier and quite abstract. It takes a while to find a good vantage point to shoot your subject so it’s always a plus point when your gear isn’t so heavy. The Nikon D5500 only weighs about 470g (plus it’s small) so it’s pretty portable.

Intersection of Rochor Road and Queen Street, shot from the top floor of Rochor Centre.
Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II
ISO:160
Focal Length: 29mm
Aperture: f/4.5
Shutter Speed: 1/800

d55002

Singapore’s central business district during The Golden Hour. The D5500’s exceptional 2016- pixel RGB sensor can still gather accurate brightness and colour data, even during the time when daylight is more red and softer as compared to other times of the day, giving a nice, warm tone.

People’s Park Complex
Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II
ISO: 320
Focal Length: 18mm
Aperture: f/3.5
Shutter Speed: 1/2000

d55003

Garlands sold along the streets of Little India. The great thing about using a prime lens is that you actually have to physically move around to get the right frame, since you can’t zoom in or out. It’s really quite an experience; all part of the joy in photography. The 39-point autofocus (AF) ability lets me achieve crisp and sharp images even while I’m shooting and moving at the same time just to get the perfect composition.

Little India
Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
ISO: 200
Focal Length: 35mm
Aperture: f/1.8
Shutter Speed: 1/200

d55004

After purring for a good minute, this cat started to rub itself against me. The 3.2-inch TFT Vari-angle LCD Touch Screen on the Nikon D5500 allowed me to quickly snap a photo from a lower angle without having to lie down on the ground. That would’ve been a funny sight.

Little India
Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
ISO: 200
Focal Length: 35mm
Aperture: f/1.8
Shutter Speed: 1/1250

d55005

Once protected by the Urban Redevelopment Authority as a landmark, these colourful blocks, which were built by the Housing and Development Board, will soon be demolished to paveway for the new North-South Expressway. The residents here will have to move out by the end of this year. Even as a DX-format camera with 24.2-megapixels, the Nikon D5500 is able to capture these vibrant blocks.

Rochor Centre
Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 18mm Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/800

d55006

Birds usually scare easily and will take flight at the instant they feel threatened, which is why it’s important to set a fast shutter speed on your camera. The combination of this, together with the D5500’s 39-point AF and high-speed continuous shooting frame rate of 5 frames per second (fps), made it possible for me capture these birds mid-flight.

Dakota Crescent
Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
ISO: 200
Focal Length: 35mm
Aperture: f/1.8
Shutter Speed: 1/1600

d55007

The last time I came here, I was about five years old. My parents brought me here to show me where I might end up if I were to lie and cheat (and do many other “bad” things) and misbehave. It was pretty interesting to revisit it as an adult.

Haw Par Villa
Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140 f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR
ISO:100
Focal Length: 27mm
Aperture: f/4
Shutter Speed: 1/125

d55008

I like talking to taxi drivers. They’re like a capsule of memories, waiting to be opened. Ask the right questions and you might get anecdotes of a Singapore you’ve never lived through. After downloading this shot onto my iPhone using the built-in WiFi, I sent it to him as a token of appreciation just before I got off at my destination. A prime lens gives me a wider aperture so even though it’s pretty dark inside the taxi, I’m able to capture a crisp shot with really nice, creamy bokeh.

Taxi in Marina Coastal Expressway
Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
ISO: 2000
Focal Length: 35mm
Aperture: f/1.8
Shutter Speed: 1/160

d55009

This quiet spot overlooking the city is one of my favourite places in Singapore. Listening to the gentle splashing of the waves against the breakwater and feeling the light sea breeze in my hair is a way to take a break from all the bustle (and people) of the city, without actually getting out of the city. Long-exposure photography works well at night. Leaving the camera’s shutter open for a longer period of time, more light is absorbed, allowing you to create an exposure that lets you fully maximise the dynamic range of the camera’s sensor. In other words, you’ll be able to capturea very clear and vibrant picture.

Singapore’s Skyline
Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II
ISO:100
Focal Length: 32mm
Aperture: f/13
Shutter Speed: 20.0s

d550010

The D5500’s 3.2-inch Vari-angle LCD Touch Screen allowed me take a photo of the supertrees from a low angle without having to crouch uncomfortably on the ground. Also, the built-in WiFi enabled me to shoot remotely from my iPhone. All I had to do was just set it up with a few clicks on the D5500 and I was good to go. I sat on the ground as I exposed each shot for 25 seconds.

Gardens By The Bay
Lens: AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II
ISO:100
Focal Length: 18mm
Aperture: f/14
Shutter Speed: 25.0s

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