For many of us, Saturdays make for the best sleep-in mornings.
But on 16th March 2019, we found ourselves up and about at Woodlands MRT station – armed with our cameras and slathered up in sunscreen. As the sun was starting to come up, it only meant one thing: it was Instawalk day.
We teamed up with the Ministry of National Development (MND), Housing & Development Board (HDB) and National Parks Board (NParks) to discover the hidden gems of Woodlands – no passports needed. Here’s where we visited and the creative shots we snapped along the way:
Despite our bleary eyes, the gorgeous sights of Woodlands Waterfront were enough to wake even the sleepiest of us. The clear skies made for great Instawalk weather too.
To get everyone’s photo adventure started, our creatives then busted out some special props such as mirrors for us to get extra creative with our photos – this got everyone into full-photographer mode.
Photo tip: Capturing your subject’s reflection is a fun way to switch things up – just use a circular mirror as we did!
After everyone had explored the waterfront, we moved on to the adjacent playground at Woodlands Waterfront Park, which was definitely a hotspot for our pics. With the photo themes of Geometry, Nature and Play still fresh in everyone’s minds, many bravely scaled the spider web structure with their cameras and snapped pictures of one another, which was a great way to break the ice and make new friends.
With the clever use of the structures at the playground, participants were able to get some unique angles for shots, as well as play with the shadow patterns under the sun. Our Instawalkers had tonnes of fun looking for hidden photo ops by playing around with perspectives – after all, a ‘Best Photo’ award was up for grabs!
We unleashed the inner kids within us at Admiralty Park, which houses a playground with a grand total of 26 slides – the most number of slides at any playground in Singapore. With slides towering at up to 9-metres tall, they’re bound to provide an adrenaline rush for children and adults alike.
The main star of many of the participants’ photos, however, was nature herself. Not only does Admiralty Park have one of the most thrilling playgrounds, but it also holds the largest nature area right in the middle of an urban park.
A suspended metal boardwalk takes you from urban to nature in the park, where you’ll be completely surrounded by nature.
Mangroves – shrubs that you can only find at tropical and subtropical latitudes – lined both sides of the bridge, and the leafy foliage provided some shelter as Instawalkers captured some snaps, adding a splash of green for their feeds.
Photo tip: Some participants got extra creative with their photos, making full use of the metal walkways for some pretty creative shots.
Image credit: @oenaerda
The realistic-looking dinosaurs at Fu Shan Garden Park served as the backdrop for many of our participants’ shots. We were also surprised to learn that the dinos have been around for more than 15 years!
Aside from the dinos, a circle of tall cemented blocks at the entrance of the garden made for a great chance for some to strike a picture and get some portraits in.
Fun fact: These come to life with rainbow-coloured lights at night.
The Ant & Grasshopper Playground had many of the participants posing in-between the long green “blades of grass” or scaling up to the shady treehouses for a team photo.
While many of the participants were interested in photography, it was heartwarming to see that everyone was comfortable enough with each other to even try their hand at “talent-ing” for each other by the time we got to the playground.
Image credit: @yanqiing
Our own photographers from TSL also shared with participants the best camera angles to shoot from, as well as how to use the objects around them when posing.
One of the tallest and newest playgrounds in Sembawang GRC is the Double-Dome Playground at Woodlands Circle, which provided us with a fresh backdrop for photo-taking.
With the spider web-style dome, many could climb up for a Spiderman-inspired shot or go through the brightly-coloured tunnels for a Geometry-themed picture. The gridded exterior of the tunnels even cast some cool shadows on the ground.
When thinking of photoshoot locations, your HDB void deck may not immediately come to mind, but maybe you should start thinking again. Discovering some cut-out circles in the wall of a nearby HDB flat right around the corner, participants started to get pretty creative with the ways they posed inside them.
Image credit: @mortalsnaps
The Animal Kingdom Playground might not be a zoo, but its adorable sculptures sure made it feel like one – well, kinda. Everyone was ready to climb up on them to strike a pose for cute squad photos.
The vibrant yellow and orange walls of the surrounding HDB flats made for great backgrounds for more portraits. The swaying palm trees and vivid buildings had many commenting that the area had its own special vibe that set it apart from other heartland estates.
Many of our Instawalkers were pretty puzzled when we arrived at our last stop for the day: Kampung Admiralty. At first glance, it looked like a regular building housing restaurants and other amenities – no biggie.
But as we explored the different floors of the building, we saw how it was built for intergenerational living. The Community Plaza at the ground level was designed to function as a family living room, with a large open space for mass activities like fitness sessions. Upstairs, you can find childcare centres, medical centres, and flats designed for the elderly.
A lift ride up and we felt a significant drop in temperature upon stepping out into the cool relief of the garden, thanks to the leafy plants in the area. Everyone got to work using the green plants around the rooftop for their shots, producing photos that gave off some fairytale-style forest vibes.
Our happy bunch of Instawalkers
By the end of our Instawalk adventure, there was no shortage of bright smiles as many exchanged Instagram handles and contacts to keep in touch.
Hearing various participants make plans to go on future shoots with one another made us realise that many walked away from the experience not just with some great shots, but new friends who share a love for photography.
If you want to join in on the fun, follow us on @thesmartlocal and @mndsingapore to make sure that you catch us for the next Instawalk. Until next time, explore the different creative shots all of us took from this walk with the hashtags #TSLWalks and #iWalkWoodlands.
Watch our full adventure here:
See you soon!
This post was brought to you by the Ministry of National Development.
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