The colours of Singapore – Joo Chiat

The colours of Singapore – one of my favorite photography subjects.

It’s funny but from Europe I’ve imagined Singapore as a very modern (which comes in my mind with greyish-glassyish buildings), and while it’s partly true, the Red Little Dot is so much more.

I already talked about all the beautiful green places all around the island, but another charming trait of Singapore is all the traditional colourful Peranakan shophouses all around the city. Who can see them in Little India, Emerald Hill, Chinatown, …, and of course Joo Chiat.

Joo Chiat is a small and charming neighbourhood, toward the east coast, well worth a stroll.

I arrived there early in the morning, and was welcome by singing birds on a balcony.

Joo Chiat © Catherine Houston
Joo Chiat © Catherine Houston

And of course I admire many Peranakan shophouses. All with different facades, all colourful, all full of history and charm. Here is just a few sample.

I stopped a few minutes near a very small temple, between two condos.

 

And like I always do, I enjoyed walking around the back streets, taking pictures of bikes (another ones of my favorites subjects) and hunting colours in every corner.

and hunting colours in every corner.

 

What’s your favourite part of Singapore?

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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).

Like a bird on a bench…

It was one of those (rare) days when I had no client appointment and no kid to watch after (well just a couple of hours really…), and I sat there, on my balcony, like a bird on a bench, not sure about what to do.

I wanted to go out and take pictures, but at the same time doing nothing and even just watching TV was not an unpleasant idea either.

I waited, and waited…. looking at the sky, thinking it’s probably going to rain anyway….

But I grew up in a house surrounded by a big garden, and my parents never considered highly staying inside doing nothing (although my dad would not argue as strongly about going outside when I was playing piano :-)).

So many years after my childhood I still have that little voice inside my head telling me that I should go outside.

So I waited a little more, but eventually… I took flight…

I did not go very far, just the park next door, but I took my camera with me and enjoyed walking, observing, remembering why I love photography at the first place.

Nature is beautiful but we often forget to take the time to look at it.

Bishan Park © Catherine HoustonBishan Park © Catherine HoustonBishan Park-3439Bishan Park © Catherine HoustonBishan Park © Catherine HoustonBishan Park © Catherine HoustonBishan Park © Catherine HoustonBishan Park © Catherine Houston

 

To purchase an image, book a session or a class or just to see more pictures please follow the link below:

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Flowers of Little India, Singapore.

As you may know by now if you stumbled upon my blog before, I love doing street photography in my free time (I’m not that rich in free time however, which probably explain the lack of regularity in my postings…).

Some of the most colourful streets of Singapore are found in Little India. I organised there a few weeks back a photography walk mostly focused on Tekka market (one of the biggest wet market in Singapore), but a short walk in the neighbouring streets gave me also the opportunity to rediscover some wall paintings, and to pay a closer attention to the flower shops.

The flowers are omnipresent in Little India.

There are sold not only in bouquets for the obvious decorative purpose, but also cut and/or organised for temple offerings. Either way passing through one of the many flower shops in Little India is overwhelming for your senses ( the colours, the smell, textures, …).

One of the many treasures of Singapore.

Bouquet of Flowers in Little India, Singapore.
Little India Flowers © MermozinePhotography

Little India Flowers © MermozinePhotography
Little India Flowers © MermozinePhotography

 

For more images and to purchase prints, please check out my website at: https://www.mermozinefineart.com/

Thank you 🙂

 

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/.

 

To Ends and Beginnings.

Well well well… here we are again, starting a New Year!

A time to reflect on the past year and dream upon the upcoming one.

To be honest I dreaded 2018. The arrival of my fourth baby was freaking me out, I could not start to imagine how I could possibly take care of 4 kids and run a business at the same time, all of that while being so far away from my family (not babysitting back-up plan with grandma here).

But then, 2018 arrived, and not long after my little man was born. And yes that was a lot of hard work, but it was also an awesome year, maybe my favourite as a mom.

I’m not one of those perfect moms who always entertaine their kids, never turn on the TV, never loose their temper (and did you notice that those moms usually manage to have also perfect hair and make-up!). Our home is often messy, the windows filled with little finger prints, and the fridge often missing something I forgot to buy (and I often look like a “witch))..

But then again, my kids are healthy and happy, we’re living in paradise (a lonely paradise away from home, sometimes though), we did our first (awesome) travel as a family of 6, and I kept my sanity (well most of it ;-)).

It was a year full of laughter (and fights), full of loving and cuddling (and of the big sisters spoiling the baby “but mommy he’s sooo cute!!”). A year full of first times (first grade for one, first time at school for another, first time biking or biking without training wheels, first mandarin classes for all girls, first time sitting alone, first time clapping,…), a year full of energy.

A very full year indeed.

So there is not much more I wish for 2019 (more sleep will be great!!). I don’t really have “new resolutions”. I would just want to be able to do pretty much the same and to spend more time with my parents (and I promised my best-friend to put aside some “me-time” everyday :-)…).

So welcome 2019, I’m ready for you!!

Bondi Beach, Australia

A few months back, I took my first trip to Australia.

To be totally honest, I was a little worried about that trip. Even though lots of people told be about the beauty of Australia, for me, a huge arachnophobe, it still was a big black point on the map (too many spiders – can not go there!!!).

So, we compromised with my husband and decided to head there in the winter. But still,  out of the plane, in the taxi heading out from the airport I was a little nervous, jumpy even (I mean did you hear about

the huge spiders hiding in the cars!!! ahhhhhh!!!!!).

But then, we reached Bondi Beach.

Bondi Beach was our first destination. Chosen a little randomly I’d admit. Close to Sydney, a beach for the kids, everyone should be happy.

What I did not expect was the amazing colour of the ocean. Blue.

But really, really really BLUE… Like mediterranean sea kind of blue.

And just like that, I forgot my fears and fell in love with Australia.

(well, next time I’d go there will probably also be in the winter – just in case).

Bondi Beach, Australia
Bondi Beach © Catherine Houston

Bondi Beach-0986
Bondi Beach © Catherine Houston

Bondi Beach-0991
Bondi Beach © Catherine Houston

Bondi Beach-0998
Bondi Beach © Catherine Houston

Bondi Beach-1001
Bondi Beach © Catherine Houston

Bondi Beach-1012
Bondi Beach © Catherine Houston

Bondi Beach-1046
Bondi Beach © Catherine Houston

Bondi Beach-1047
Bondi Beach © Catherine Houston

Bondi Beach-1051
Bondi Beach © Catherine Houston

If you wish to purchase any prints please go to my website:

https://www.mermozinefineart.com/

Like a Bird in Paradise…

“Like a bird in paradise…”
I often go to the Botanic Gardens, here in Singapore.

It’s beautiful.

But most of the time I just go there with a purpose: being on time, meeting with clients, doing a photoshoot, being on time to my next appointment, … I know pretty well the park by now (I still get lost sometimes though ), so I’m on autopilot-photographer-mode, taking my clients to my “usual” places to get the best shots.

 

But once in a while I need to pause, take a deep breath, and really open my eyes to my surroundings… the only way to really appreciate and see the beauty all around…

 

Minimalism (… a therapy)

flower, white, minimalist, photograph, minimalism

For the last few months I have been stroke by an urge for anything minimalistic in my photographs.

Minimum number of subjects, minimum colours, and even more recently a phase of white on white pictures (with just a little bit of textures and shapes). So of course, as a photographer, it could be my current school of thoughts (that sounds so cool and romantic right 😉 )….

and then again as a mom of now 4, living in a perpetual mess (visual, but also the noises, …) that could be an inconscient therapy…. my soul trying to resist the chaos by creating a little bit of cleanliness in my world!!!

In any case, here it is….

art science museum, architecture, Singapore, marina bay sands,
The art science museum of Marina Bay Sands, in Singapore.

frangipani flower, gardens by the bay, Singapore, photography,
A frangipane flower on the floor, in the Gardens by the Bay, Singapore.

singapore, wall, colours, street, window, chinatown, photography
A fake window on a real green wall in Chinatown, Singapore.

mailbox, silver, metal, white, wall, singapore, tiong bahru, minimalism, minimalist
A row of silver mailboxes on a white wall, in Tiong Bahru, Singapore.

birds, wall, art, street photography, minimalist, minimalism, singapore
Birds flying in a sample of street wall art in Singapore.

white, minimalism, minimalist, photography, coffee cups, cups,
A stack of white coffee cups on a white background.

 

You can see more of my work at www.mermozine.com or by following me on Facebook

You can also contact me by Email if you wish to purchase prints, at Photography@Mermozine.com.