Singapore’s Chinatown At Dusk – Re-shooting An Old Shot

Many years ago, I took a photo of Chinatown from the Chinatown Food Centre at Smith Street on my Nikon Coolpix 950. It was a long exposure shot showing the “food street” along Smith Street as well as the iconic 3-storey shophouse in Chinatown. It was close to the Lunar New Year, and a night market has been setup. People were walking through the streets, looking for new year bargains and goodies, and the long exposure rendered them as a blur trail. The few people who happened to stand still during the exposure remained still in the shot, contrasting against the river of moving people.

Chinatown at Dusk, 2002

It was one of my favorite shots, but it was “only two megapixels” although it made a nice 8×10″ print which I used to show many people what a measly 2-megapixels is capable of.

I had always wanted to go back there and reshoot the scene using modern day equipment and also get a higher resolution file, but always put it off as I don’t quite enjoy bashing through the crowd.

Recently, Kit, YS, David and I went for a short walkabout in Chinatown one afternoon and we went to the upper floors of Block 353B above the food centre for some aerial shots of the place and I kind of like the view.

Chinatown from the above.

Still wanting to replicate my 2002 shot, I bashed through the crowd one weekday evening after work. Before that, I thought I wanted a evening shot of the above before the sky goes black. So up I went to Block 335B, put my Joby Gorillapod SLR Zoom on the parapet wall, mounted my Panasonic LX-3 on it and took a shot.

Modern skyscrapers of the city forms a contrasting backdrop against the conserved old shophouses of Singapore's Chinatown at dusk.

Happy with the shot, I tried to go back to the location where I took the 2002 shot. Alas, 2 trees have now been planted in front of that viewpoint, so it’s no longer possible to get a proper shot. A white tentage has also been setup along Smith Street (you can see it in the photo above.) Worse, a bright spotlight is also erected which essentially ruins the shot.

I was disappointed I couldn’t replicate my earlier shot anymore, but the consolation is that I now have a new angle of the place, which I also like.

To all the chinese out there, here’s wishing everyone a happy and prosperous Lunar New Year!

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