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This year is my first year attending the National Day Parade by joining the crowds at Marina Bay area. Even thou the actual event starts at ~6.15pm, I was advised to be there by ~3 – 4pm to get a good spot for photo shooting.

After reaching the scene at 3.30pm, I realized why. Most spots which have a good view have already been taken up. Luckily my shooting partner reached the scene earlier and got quite a nice spot which we setup our tripods and then “camp” there for the next couple of hours under the burning sun.

While waiting for the parade to start, have to keep ourself occupied… so we started shooting random stuffs.

Export - IMG_9827

(You can find a couple more random stuffs from my photostream @ flickr)

After a few hours of waiting, the parade finally starts..The Red Lions

First event, the Red Lions (It’s a team of 6). Parachuting down from the skies. I had quite alot of difficulty capturing them coming down. They are really coming down hard and fast. While I’m still trying to nail the focus on them.. (I’m in the midst of considering a telephoto zoom lens upgrade 70-200 f4L IS for it’s USM focusing..)

Frankly speaking, after this parachuting event, unless you are lucky enough to get the official tickets for the NDP parade, else you will likely be waiting until the Army march in and President’s inspection is over.

After the wait, the navy put up a performance in the waters of the CBDNavy

Shortly after that, the Ching Hooks carrying the flag flew by…Flyby

Well, after this, waiting time again…will be waiting for all the dancing and singing to finish their performance on the floating platform… (the view is totally blocked from the spot I’m at, there isn’t ANY space to move around at all..)

Shortly after all the singing and dancing are done, the final event which most of us are waiting for starts… THE FIREWORKS!NDP 2012 - Fireworks

Most of us that came early to get a spot is all for the fireworks display. This is my first time shooting fireworks.

After going thru this shoot, I realized that all tutorials/videos on fireworks photography can only prepare you all the way from equipment to camera settings. But the main maker or breaker is the execution of the shot.

There isn’t a rule to say that just expose 3 seconds and everything will be nice. You have to make the judgement on the spot. You need to know when to close the shutter. Leaving the shutter for too long will cause your fireworks to become white stars instead, while opening for too short period will cause your background to be severely underexposed. So, the fireworks and the background have to be “balanced”, after which abit of post processing may help to saturate the colours and push up abit of exposure and recover some details.

But still, despite being the first time in shooting fireworks, I’m relatively pleased with the results I got.. (thou alot of room for improvements…)

Well, the next fireworks event will be held on New Year. Hope I can get some buddies to go with me…else the wait from 4pm to 12am is going to kill…

Until then.