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The Punggol Point Jetty. Pic info – Canon 650D, 1/3s, F22, ISO100. EV+0.3. Lens – Canon EFS 18-135mm STM. HDR processed.

Photography Tip No.1 – Timing

Back in the 1980s-90s, this place was famous as a seafood avenue. But today much of that charm have been replaced by more modern amenities like a 5 km long North-eastern Park Connector network linking you all the way to Punggol Park in Hougang. Certainly a boon for cyclists, joggers or anyone with a “fetish” for long walks. 

Much revolves around the L-shaped jetty, which is like the epi-centre of activities at this venue.  While the older generation may moan the passing of the rustic charm, the lovely sunset at this idyllic venue remains one of the best on the island. Serene, beautiful as it ever was.  This journal is about the potential of this venue for photographers looking to shoot some awesome sunset and people photography. 

I have visited the place couple of times over a month period and am pleased to say that I am rewarded with different “feel” both time. If awesome sunset is your centre of focus, then a weekday visit between 5pm-7pm would be ideal.  For a more “people-centric” photography session, then weekends and public holidays should not disappoint, as you will have more “models” to include as point of interest in the composition.

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Gorgeous Sunset. Pic info – Canon 650D, 1/1000s, F8, ISO100. Lens – Canon EFS 18-135mm STM. HDR processed. 

You can never quite know when the best and most beautiful light is going to occur, but it usually happens in a shot few minutes window, which can be any time within 15 minutes before and after sunset.

For preparation, it would be prudent to be at the location at least 30-45min to sunset, to allows for getting ready with equipment, setting and also comfortable with the surrounding.

Tip No.2 – Look for interesting silhouettes

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Sunset “worshippers”.  Pic info – Canon 650D, 1/500s, F7, ISO100. EV-0.5 Lens – Canon EF 70-200F4L IS.

People makes for interesting subject especially for sunset. Silhouette them among trees, along jetty, etc, against the brighter background or the sunset. A higher shuttle speed would be recommend for a “cleaner” picture. You can also try slow speed to blur the human figures. In such cases, a neutral density filter might be called for if the ambience light is still too bright.

Should you have friends during photography prearranged with them to stand rock still, shoot at a slow speed of 1s-1/2s for an interesting effect where sharp silhouettes, juxtaposed with blur shadow. Get creative!

Tip No.3 – Look for unique activities

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Fisherman – Pic info – Canon 650D, 1/250s, F4.5, ISO400. Lens – Canon EF 70-200F4L IS.

During the public holiday visit, I was rewarded with a fisherman casting his net. I had to shoot at a higher shuttle speed to freeze the net and water droplets, for a more dramatic feel. So a higher ISO is necessary in the receding light.

I seldom shoot at high frames per second, in view of reducing shuttle wear & tear. But in this instance, I fired away at 5 frames per second to get the ideal spread of the fishing net.

Tip No.4 – break free and create

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Little girl on bicycle – Pic info – Canon 650D, 1/10s, F2.8, ISO200. Lens – Canon EF40mm. Slow-speed sync (2nd curtain).

When the light gets too dim for sharp still pictures, I added a bit of buzz by shooting my daughter as she rides along the boardwalk. The usual flash shutter of 1/30-1/60s will render a boring shot, with sharp subject and without a hint of movement.

To convey a sense of speed in the pic, combine panning technique (tracking and shooting the subject as you squeeze the camera shuttle) and slow speed with flash for a more interesting pic.

Punggol Point Park Information

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Address: Punggol Road (End)

Bicycles kiosk opening hours:
2pm – 8pm (Tuesday – Friday)
9am – 8pm (Saturday / Sunday / Public Holiday)
Closed on Mondays except for School holidays / Public Holidays

For those who drives, parking spaces are available in the vicinity. Free parking is available at the non-marked open area leading to the outward Bound School while paid parking is available within the Punggol Ranch. But refrain from parking along the zig-zag lines in the drop off point leading to the Punggol Promenade. The Premas parking wardens will scour the area, weekends or public holidays included.

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