Follow me to…. Marina Bay, Singapore….

Once upon a time (to be more specific two weeks ago), I decided I wanted to photograph the sunrise above Marine Bay.

I got ready the day before (which is very organised for my personal standards!!):

– Camera ready ✓

– Battery charged ✓

– Memory cards ✓

– Lenses ✓

– Neutral density filters ✓

– Bottle of Water ✓

I got up very early in the morning, and here I was, at about 6:15-6:20 am setting up my gear at Garden East Bay, to witness a beautiful sunrise.

It was still so dark that I had to use a flash light to set-up properly my camera to get ready for some long exposures.

Marina Bay, Singapore © Catherine Houston/MermozinePhotography

As the sun started to rise it and the sky started to transition from the blue hour to sunrise colours it became clear that not only there was too many clouds for beautiful colours but I had chosen the wrong spot (I should have done more research online but I’m much more a trial/error kind of person…). Either way, it was too long to unpack everything and move to a better spot, so I decided to roll with it! 🙂

Marina Bay, Singapore © Catherine Houston/MermozinePhotography
Marina Bay, Singapore © Catherine Houston/MermozinePhotography

Once the sun all the way up, I started to walk back to the Gardens by the Bay, toward Marina Bay.

It’s quite a long walk, but worth doing! From tropical paradise…. to downtown skyscrapers…

Marina Bay, Singapore © Catherine Houston/MermozinePhotography

Past the flower domes you’re about 5-10 minutes away from Marina Bay Sands (depending on how fast you’re walking). At this point you could decide to stop, get a drink and chill out, or to go all the way around the Marina Bay to see the Merlion. I went for an intermediary half way choice.

First thing to admire on the way?

The water lily ponds at the feet of the Science Museum.

Marina Bay, Singapore © Catherine Houston/MermozinePhotography
Marina Bay, Singapore © Catherine Houston/MermozinePhotography
Marina Bay, Singapore © Catherine Houston/MermozinePhotography

Yes, this little water/nature paradise is that close to the city center!!

Marina Bay, Singapore © Catherine Houston/MermozinePhotography

I finished my tour some long exposure shots of the skyline of Raffles Place – the center of the Financial District of Singapore.

And yes it was time for me to get away from the sun (as you may know I’m turning into a vampire and can’t stand under the sun from 10am to about 4pm…).

I hope you enjoyed our little walk together ;-).

Next time? Jurong Lake Gardens… Stay Tune….

Bye Bye

To schedule a photowalk / workshop or purchase a print…. follow the link below 🙂

https://www.mermozinefineart.com/

Follow me to… Kampong Glam

Last time I took you for a stroll – by “stroll” hear a “photowalk” – we went to Chinatown.

Today, I’m taking you to another very colourful part of Singapore, Kampong Glam, with its famous Arab Street, the beautiful Sultan Mosque and the Malay Heritage Center.

Like usual I spent most of the time hunting for photographic treasures in the backstreets.

But enough talking, let’s go! 😉

After all this walking, let’s relax on a swing shall we?

Thank you for joining me on my morning stroll.

Next time I’ll take you to Tiong Bahru.

Want to see more pictures? https://www.mermozinefineart.com/

Want to join me in real life on my next photowalk?https://www.facebook.com/MermozinePhotography/posts/3208951745850974

Photowalk in Chinatown (Singapore)

After a long (seems like ages….) Covid -19 related interruption I’ve finally resumed this month leading photowalks in different parts of Singapore. I’ve done two in July, one in Chinatown and one in Kampong Glam.

So let’s start with Chinatown!!!

First of all, I was saddened to see how many small shops are now closed in and around Pagoda street. I often go there early in the morning to witness the opening of the shops, but last week-end not much was going on. The touristy streets feel really empty…

We have an expression in french “il n’y a pas un chat”, the direct translation would be “there is no cat”, meaning no one in the street….

…but wait!!!

….there was a cat!!!

I was however quickly welcomed by the rain.

The rain did not last, and I was able to walk like usual into the back streets, hunting for “treasures” to photograph.

I discovered or rediscovered fantastic mural paintings.

And I finished my stroll by looking at the few shops opened.

See you soon for a glimpse at Kampong Glam!!

To schedule a photowalk with me, see more of my work or purchase a print, please check out my website :-): www.mermozinefineart.com

Struck by Lighting!!!

Once upon a time….

In a not so far away country (well it all depends on where you live really….)

Lived a photographer (yes, it might be me)

Within the first days of Covid-19 confinement

She got very motivated about using this time to boost her inspiration

To learn new skills, develop her craft!!!

But days followed days

Weeks followed weeks

And at some point she realised that

The initial motivation was long gone

What is Monday or Sunday?

Would they ever get out again? (very dramatic, I know…)

And then… one evening….

As she was walking by the study to go to the kitchen

She saw the light!!!

And she dropped her washing the dishes plans

To meet her camera again…

https://www.mermozinefineart.com/

Like a bird in a cage…

In March, when one was still able to go wherever he(she) might chose, I went on a hike in Ang Mo Kio (starting in the park across the street from the library on Ang Mo Kio Av 6 and ending up in the Mayflower neighbourhood).
 
It’s here!!Screenshot 2020-04-30 at 1.53.00 PM
 
It’s really not that long ago but it feels like ages!!!
 
Anyway… I loved that hike.
The park was really nice (and pretty much empty) but the best was our discovery of the Mayflower Kebun Baru Bird Singing Club. I’ve heard about it before, but seeing it in person was really magical (the kids adored it).
 
Imagine (well you can just look at the pictures actually :-)) a field filled with high pitched old fashioned cages, colourful clothes, and the beautiful singing of all these beautiful animals.
 
 
There is a path in the middle, with on one end the park I was talking before, and on the other end the market and Mayflower hawker center.
Like a bird in a cage © Catherine Houston
 
When you get closer to the cages, you notice all the beautiful details: the fabrics, the delicate mini-china inside to feed the birds, the old-fashioned cages…
Like a bird in a cage © Catherine Houston
 
The Bird Singing Club itself has a few shaded area where one can sit down to admire the birds, enter a singing competition of its animal, purchase or sell a bird.
 
Like a bird in a cage © Catherine Houston
Like a bird in a cage © Catherine Houston
Like a bird in a cage © Catherine Houston
 
And you can sit down around a drink at the hawker center and still enjoy the view on the birds.
 
Like a bird in a cage © Catherine Houston
Like a bird in a cage © Catherine Houston
 
By the way, anyone else but me feeling a little bit like… a bird in a cage…. lately? 🙂
Like a bird in a cage © Catherine Houston
 
To see more images and purchase a print, please check out my website:
This pictures can be find more specifically here:
 

A day in our confined lives…

Most of the world is on stand-by…
It’s called “lockdown”, “confinement”, or here in Singapore “Circuit Breaker”..
Either way, everything/everyone seem to be standing still…
 
seem to be standing still …
 
But life is still going on inside homes.
Kids are still being kids, and parents, well, they are trying to make the best of it, multitasking teleworking, homeschooling, housekeeping, sanity keeping, …
 
Wandering how it is a an apartment with 4 kids?
 
It is manageable but you have to seriously lower your expectations.
Our home is a school all mornings – my office has been taken over by little girls – the living room is being transformed in a giant doll house every afternoon, and the whole place look as it has been through a tornado daily.
 
Here is a few pics into one day in our confined lives…
Our confined lives © Catherine Houston
There is a lot of teleworking for the kids too.
Our confined lives © Catherine HoustonIt’s sometimes difficult to get motivated for schoolwork .

Our confined lives © Catherine Houston
“A day in our confined lives”… documentary family photography.

But we are usually done by lunchtime and then the fun time can begin.

Our confined lives © Catherine Houston
“A day in our confined lives”… documentary family photography.

Then the toys take over the place.

Our confined lives © Catherine Houston
“A day in our confined lives”… documentary family photography.

May the fun begin….

Our confined lives © Catherine Houston

For my little one having his big sisters home all the time is super exciting… and a little bit tiring…

Our confined lives © Catherine Houston

Fights and meltdowns also fill up our days!!

Our confined lives © Catherine HoustonOur confined lives © Catherine Houston

But usually all it takes is a big cuddle, and they are back in business!Our confined lives © Catherine Houston

So yeah, it’s exhausting for us parents, but at the same time we have a unique opportunity to spend loads of time with our little ones. So let’s try to make the best of it. And to be totally honest, even if I find the days very long right now, I will miss them when schools will reopen...
 
Stay home, stay healthy but keep living!!!

“Paint it Black”

Here we go, I finally finished a new series of pictures.

I usually spend most of my time editing clients’ pictures, which leaves me little room for my own creative vibes. But Singapore has been hit with the wave of Coronavirus since January and business has been down since then… And I’m obviously very stress about that (and so many other things related to the current situation obviously).

but,

“when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”!!

So I decided to spent some time thinking about what I like to photograph for myself and make a series around it.

I like black and white, I like nature, I like minimalism, ….

I will just put a little sample here.

To see more or in bigger size, click here ;-).

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https://www.mermozinefineart.com/

© 2020 MermozinePhotography

Green green Singapore – Thomson Nature Park

Thomson Nature Park - Singapore

From Europe, my first thoughts of Singapore were of lots of buildings, very high skyscrapers and a modern, urban jungle… for me, a green nature person, the thought of moving there was a little scary.

But just out of the airport, I was relieved to realise how wrong I had been. Yes, there is a lot of urbanisation, but the green is everywhere, and the jungle is far from being only an urban one.

You have giant parks like the Botanical Gardens, Gardens by the Bay and MacRitchie Reservoir, but there are also plenty of smaller ones.

Today, I went for a stroll (literally, since a stroller was involved!) in a newly opened park, Thomson Nature Park, just off of Upper Thomson Road. If you have not discovered it yet, it’s the perfect place for a quiet stroll in nature (we were alone almost the whole time).

To give you a little preview of what to expect there…

– nice clean trails, lots of gorgeous lavish nature,

Thomson Nature Park © Catherine Houston
Thomson Nature Park © Catherine Houston

Thomson Nature Park - Singapore
Thomson Nature Park © Catherine Houston

Thomson Nature Park - Singapore
Thomson Nature Park © Catherine Houston

… monkeys

Thomson Nature Park © Catherine Houston
Thomson Nature Park © Catherine Houston

… “ruins trails” (quite fun for kids)Thomson Nature Park - Singapore

… beware of random falling durians… 🙂

and spoiler alert… quite an handful of hungry mosquitoes (I guess it’s the price to pay to experience a “jungle-like” hike).

Newborn photography in Singapore: several options to best fit your family.

Newborn photography Singapore.

Are you right now expecting a baby? Congratulations! It’s so so exciting right?

Not easy (believe me, I know, I had four, with nine months of morning sickness each time…), but still really exciting!

Is it going to be a boy or a girl? Did you choose a name yet?

All the conflicting emotions (thank you hormones!), all the things to prepare… One minute you could not possibly be more happy and the next you’re freaking out.  And I’m not even talking about all the things you have to choose: What kind of baby bed? Which stroller? Breastfeeding or bottle? Cloth or disposable diapers? …

So let’s not add any more stress and let’s make your newborn photography experience as smooth as possible :-).

Here are the 4 options I’m proposing to my clients at Mermozine-Photography, in Singapore. All designed with what you may want in mind.

1- Newborn Session

The “classical” newborn session is the most complete. It takes 2 hours on average and includes not only posed newborn baby pictures on different background colours, and props, but also family pictures (mom-baby, dad-baby, mom-dad-baby, siblings, …). These sessions can be done in the studio or in the comfort of your home. The best time to do this session is when your little one is between 5-15 days “old” (meaning still really sleepy). During the whole session the priority is the security and the comfort of your precious baby so we take as many breaks as needed (feeding, cuddling, …).

Eleanor August 2015-3979 (2)
Newborn Photography Singapore © MermozinePhotography

janv 2018-6998
Newborn Photography Singapore © MermozinePhotography

 

2- Fresh 48H Session

As indicated in the name, this session is done in the first couple of days after the birth of your baby. It’s a lifestyle, photojournalistic-style session (no posed baby pictures), about one hour long, usually done in the hospital, and the goal is to capture those really precious fleeting first moments (first cuddles, first meeting with siblings, first bath …).

 

 

3- Family Session

The family session is focused around the family. It’s about one hour long and does not include posed newborn pictures. It can be done in the studio, in the comfort of your home or outdoor (although I would not recommend it with a brand new baby). The session can include a mix of posed and lifestyle pictures. And big advantage the age of your baby is not a stress factor (can be 5 days as well as 18 years old!).

newborn photography Singapore
Newborn photography services in Singapore.

newborn photography Singapore
Newborn photography services in Singapore.

 

4- Newborn Mini-Session

The mini-newborn session is focused on baby only, and is designed for anyone wanting posed newborn pictures but also wanting to spend less (time and investment). They are maximum one hour long, can be done only in the studio and do not include any family pictures. Once again the best time to do this session is when your little one is between 5-15 days “old”, and like the regular Newborn Session the priority is the security and the comfort of your precious baby so we take as many breaks as needed (feeding, cuddling, …).

Newborn photography Singapore
Newborn and maternity photography Services in Singapore.

 

To see more of my portfolio and to get the pricing details of each sessions, please

go to my website: https://www.mermozinefineart.com/

You will also find a link there to contact me if you have any question and to book your newborn session with me, or you can email me directly at : Photography@Mermozine.com

Looking forward to meeting your babies :-).

Singapore – a photowalk at the time: Chinatown

 

I started two weeks ago to organise and lead photowalks around Singapore, one per month (well actually two since I do one in French and one in English), each month being in a different part of Singapore.

A photowalk is kind of a photography class but less formal. Mine are 2 hours long, opened to all levels (with any kind of equipment) as we focus more on composition than on technique (although we talk about it too).

In any case the photowalk of January was in Chinatown.

I love this colourful part of the Red Dot. There is great street photography opportunities at every corner with lots of street shops, the market with its fair share of “exotic” food, street art on the walls, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, a mix of tourists and locals.

A street-photographer paradise.

Early in the morning you can photograph the empty streets (yes, even Pagoda Street can be empty!!), the shops opening up as the sun rises high.

A closer look at the shops  gave us a chance to play with composition and colours, to do some fun still-life and close-up shots.

We walked toward the market and stopped at a durian’s shop, because food photography is, for me at least, a huge part of travel photography.

And finally we went to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.

Chinatown-8093

Buddhism-8082
Chinatown Ⓒ Catherine Houston

Buddhism-8078
Chinatown 2019 Ⓒ Catherine Houston

To see the next Photowalks scheduled (next one will be held in Gardens by the Bay!!) and book your spot and/or to purchase a print, please check out my website: https://www.mermozinefineart.com/.