It was the night of the opening ceremony of Singapore’s $600 million Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay on 12 Oct 2002. The media had mentioned that there will be spectacular fireworks for this event. A whole lot of photographers including myself have gathered at the Merlion Bridge early, pointing their cameras towards the Esplanade building. Being the opening ceremony of the Esplanade, we all thought that the fireworks would thus be centered around that area.
When the time came, to our horror, the fireworks were fired from the marina bay side, somewhere where the Marina Bay Sands now stand. Everybody including myself scrambled to find a new composition. There are now a lot of obstruction from the audience in front of me now, so I had to make the best of it. End the end, I included the silhouettes of the audience into the picture, and used the merlion as the middle ground and fired off a few shots. This is one of the better ones.
Lesson learnt: Always be alert to what’s happening around you during a shoot so that you can react fast enough. Find alternative compositions (quickly!) if your intended one did not work out. If you can, try to find out more about the event and what’s going to be happening and where before going down.
I also met an old classmate who is also a photography enthusiast during this shoot. This event had one of the best fireworks I’ve ever seen in Singapore, even till today. The photographs probably won’t do it justice.