Dave's Photo & Travelblogue

Photo shoots. World travel advice. Tips on Munich & environs.

The Mer-WHAT?

After weeks of thinking about a fixed 35mm lens with a wide aperture, I finally caved in and got a used Nikon 35mm f/2 AF-D. The used price seems to be the same worldwide, and this newer autofocus lens only costs 30% more than an older manual-focus one. The wide aperture allows some nice foreground/background blur effects, and the lens can practically see in the dark. On my DX “crop sensor” camera, 35mm is like a 50mm on film cameras – the classic fixed lens size.

After buying my lens in Singapore, I walked around the city to see what I could capture with it. Here are some of the images from July 13th. First up, the Swissotel Stamford, where I stayed in 2008 when I visited Singapore during a business trip. In 1986 it was the tallest hotel in the world.

Swissotel Stamford

Marina Bay Sands is a huge new casino complex. It’s open, but apparently not yet completed. I love how the rooftop garden looks like a giant ship.

Marina Bay Sands, not fully completed

Let’s compare the concert hall, known locally as “The Durian,” to a real durian (the stinkiest fruit on earth).

"The Durian" - Concert Hall in Singapore

Now the fruit, which smells like rotting roadkill when ripe:

A display of durians in a fruit shop

Yeah, I can see the resemblance. But I can testify that the concert hall does not smell like rotting roadkill.

Singapore has a lot of rules and regulations. Eating or drinking on the subway: $500 fine. Smoking in public: $1000 fine. Chewing gum: forget about it. Graffiti: caning. How about this one – riding a bike through the underpass, $1000 fine. One sign is just not enough.

Underpass bike fine warnings in Singapore

Finally, here’s the Merlion, symbol of Singapore. That’s right – it’s half mer, half lion. I couldn’t believe how many tourists were trying to get a picture standing in front of this Merlion. More than I’ve seen in front of any other object, anywhere in the world.

The Merlion - symbol of Singapore

I tried to get a shot of the tourist lineup, but space was too tight. Maybe if I had a 15mm lens, haha. In fact it took several minutes to get to the rail for this shot, waiting for this and that big group to get done trading cameras so everyone had a copy of themselves in front of the Merlion.

Merlion crowds aside, Singapore is certainly a beautiful, clean, and impressive city! One thing for sure: the taxi drivers are all polite, use the meter, and don’t try to drag you to shopping malls.

Here’s a question: what was the most touristy attraction you’ve ever seen? Have you been anywhere that you thought, “I wish all these damn tourists would get out of the way so I could get MY shot!”

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Posted in Around the World 7 years ago at 3:43 pm.

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