Daybreak at Bay East Gardens

Situated near Tanjong Rhu, the Bay East Gardens is part of the massive Gardens By the Bay project which is dubbed the “Garden In the City” by the Singapore Government. As part of the 2010 Youth Olympics, an interim garden was developed on Bay East and it’s fronted by a 2km promenade which faces the conservatories of the Gardens By the Bay, super trees, Marina Bay Sands and the rest of the Marina Bay Skyline.

The idea of getting to this location started with these shots of the skyline which Jed has found on Flickr. We spent quite some time on Google Maps locating the possible vantage points and decided finally to just go for it.

On the day of the shoot, Jed, Gilbert and myself met at City Hall MRT and took a cab down to the location. We do not know the exact location so we told the taxi driver the rough location of where we want to get to. To our pleasant surprise, he knew where we are talking about and promptly took us there.

On arrival, we were glad that it’s not undeveloped land which the outdated Google Map’s satellite view showed us. That’s when we also learnt that the location is named the Bay East Gardens.

We promptly setup our equipment and began our shoot as dawn breaks. There is no time to waste! Unfortunately, just as we got our equipment ready, the lights of the Singapore Flyer turned off right at that moment.

Marina Bay Skyline at Dawn as seen from the Bay East Gardens.

It’s quite a wide scene and I am unable to squeeze it into one frame even though I am using a pretty wide 12-24mm on my Nikon D200 (18-36mm 35mm equivalent.) Time for a panoramic shot. The following is stitched from 8 individual shots. I had to work quickly as the dawn is also breaking quickly. By the time I reached the right side of the scene, it was quite a bit brighter than when I started. The exposures were matched during post processing.

Panoramic shot of the Marina Bay Skyline from the Bay East Gardens. Click on the photo for a bigger version.

Soon enough, the sun rose and cast the wonderful golden glow on the buildings. Not having a ND filter, I used the multiple-exposure technique I learnt last week to smooth out the ripples. Annoyingly, speedboats have also started to race across the bay, disturbing the otherwise quiet waters. We had to wait a bit for the water to calm down before making our shots.

The Marina Bay Skyline bathed in the warm golden rays of the morning sun.

And once again, a panoramic stitch. Each individual shot is actually made up of 10 merged multi-exposures.

Panoramic shot of the Marina Bay Skyline bathed in the warm, golden light from the morning sun.

I’m glad that I battled sleepiness in the god-forsaken hours to make the trip down. It’s sure worth it, and it’s a new viewpoint that we can come back to in future.

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