Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sony World Photography Awards Launch Hunt to Uncover Singapore’s Best Photographer

Sony is excited to announce the hunt for Singapore’s next best amateur photographer with the Sony World Photography Awards (SWPA) 2015, one of the world’s most prestigious photography competitions.

As part of SWPA, this prestigious award offers a great opportunity for promising photographers to showcase their work on a global platform and be recognised alongside the world’s most prominent photographers.
All photographers who submit an entry to any of the 10 Open categories will have their names automatically submitted for the Singapore National Award. These categories include: Arts & Culture, Nature & Wildlife, People, and many more to choose from.

The winner of the Singapore National Award will be revealed on 18 March 2015. He or she will be honoured with the latest Sony α7S full frame camera and flown to London to attend the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony. In addition, the winner (along with the 1st and 2nd runner-ups) will have their work displayed alongside professional photographers from around the globe as part of the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition held in London from 24th April to 10th May 2015 and showcased online at http://www.worldphoto.org.


wpa 2011 logo ON WHITE RGBwpa 2011 logo ON WHITE RGB

Sony World Photography Awards Launch Hunt to Uncover Singapore’s Best Photographer

Chin Boon Leng_Singapore_1st Place_National Award 2014_LOW-RES
Last year’s winning image taken by Chin Boon Leng
© Chin Boon Leng, 1st Place, Singapore National Award, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards

Singapore National Award is open for entries and will close at 23.59 GMT on Monday 5 January

The Sony World Photography Awards and Singapore National Award are free to enter. All images 
submitted must have been shot in 2014. Full conditions of entry are available at www.worldphoto.org   

Images from the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards are available via the World Photography Organisation (WPO) press centre. Please register at http://press.worldphoto.org/register

(SINGAPORE, 28 October 2014) – The Sony World Photography Awards, one of the world’s most prestigious photography competitions, together with Sony Singapore, today launches a competition to discover Singapore’s best photographer.

Singapore National Award is open to photographers of all abilities from Singapore. Entries are free via www.worldphoto.org and photographers can enter any of ten categories. The judges 
will uncover and honour the best single image by a Singaporean national from across these categories.

This special award offers an amazing opportunity for budding photographers to have their work seen globally and be recognised alongside the world’s leading photographers.

The winner of Singapore National Award will be announced on 18 March 2015. The winning photographer will receive the latest Sony α7S full frame camera and flown to London to attend the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony, while the second and third place winners will receive runner-up prizes. All three photographers will have their work displayed alongside professional photographers from around the globe as part of the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition held in London from 24th of April to 10th of May 2015 and showcased online at www.worldphoto.org. More details of the top three prizes can be found below.

Each year the Sony World Photography Awards celebrates the very best international contemporary photography. The awards include: 15 Professional categories for serious photographers; 10 Open categories for enthusiasts; the Student Focus competition for higher education photography students aged 18-28 and a Youth Competition for photographers under 20.  

The winner of Singapore National Award will be chosen from entries to the Open competition of the 2015 Sony Word Photography Awards taken by Singaporean nationals. Once the participant enters the Open competition, he or she will not be able to enter the Youth or Professional competition.

The Open competition includes ten categories:
●     Architecture
●     Arts & Culture
●     Enhanced
●     Low-light
●     Nature & Wildlife
●     Panoramic
●     People
●     Smile
●     Split second
●     Travel

The competition will close on 5 January 2015. Entries will firstly be judged by WPO's pre-selection committee and a winner will be decided by a special judging panel including Astrid Merget, Creative Director of the World Photography Organisation. 

Scott Gray, Managing Director of the World Photography Organisation comments, "The Sony World Photography Awards are committed to engaging with and supporting talented photographers from around the globe. It is for this reason that we are thrilled to be able to work closely with Sony Singapore to identify the local photographers that are producing great work and pushing their own creative boundaries, so that we can raise their profile across the globe and provide inspiration to other budding Singaporean photographers."

Melvin Pang, Head, Marketing Division, Sony Singapore comments, “The National Awards are a great vehicle to recognise talent on a regional basis and it’s extremely interesting to see the different styles emanating from individual countries. We want to support these national talents and provide them with the best cameras and lenses so that they can focus on the creative subjects in front of them.”

The top three prizes for the Singapore National Award are:
1st Place
·         Sony α7S camera with Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS
·         A trip to attend Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony in London
·         Winning image will be showcased as part of the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London from 24 April to 10 May 2015
·         Winning image will be showcased on www.worldphoto.org

2nd Place
·         Sony α7 camera with Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA
·         Image will be digitally showcased as part of the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London from 24 April to 10 May 2015
·         Image will be showcased on www.worldphoto.org

3rd Place
·         Sony α6000 with Vario-Tessar T*E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS
·         12 months WPO advanced membership on www.worldphoto.org
·         Image will be digitally showcased as part of the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London from 24 April to 10 May 2015
·         Image will be showcased on www.worldphoto.org

About World Photography Organisation (WPO)
WPO supports professional, amateur and young photographers, lending a global platform for the photographic industry to communicate, converge and showcase current trends across all genres of photography. Delivering various initiatives to this global community, these programmes involve the photographer in commercial, cultural and educational activities within the many industry sectors, whilst also creating events for the public to participate in. Currently included within the WPO portfolio are: the Sony World Photography Awards; the World Photography Student Focus Competition and Youth on Assignment. In addition the WPO have recently launched Photo Shanghai, Asia-Pacific’s premiere international Art Fair focused on photography and The Magazine, a monthly online publication where photography is explored, debated and discussed.  WPO also has a thriving online presence via its website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and engages its online audience via regular PhotoTALK discussions. For more information please visit www.worldphoto.org

About Sony Electronics (Singapore) & Sony South East Asia
Sony Electronics (Singapore) was established on 1st October 1999 with business activities comprising engineering and manufacturing, sales and marketing, and logistics and information systems. As part of Sony Electronics (Singapore), Sony South East Asia is responsible for the marketing and sales of consumer products in Singapore, as well as for business and professional products in Singapore and other countries in the South East Asia region. It also handles export business for consumer products from Singapore to various parts of Asia. Since establishing our presence in Singapore in 1973, we have grown steadily over the years to become a leader in the consumer electronics market. For more information on Sony’s products and services in Singapore, please visithttp://www.sony.com.sg/

A Review on Movie : Haemoo 海霧

Synopsis :

Based on true events, Haemoo is the story of a group of fishermen who are driven into madness when their attempt to smuggle illegal migrants ends in a horrible tragedy.

Six crew members – led by the captain, is the kind-hearted chief engineer “Wan-ho’ (Moon Sung-geun) who had an eventful life and lives hidden on the boat. To the naive and youngest crew member ‘Dong-shik’ ( Park Yoochun ) who just started working aboard the ship recently-begin their dream of having their boat with a full load of fish. However on the open sea, they are transporting something, it is not meat but human beings!

To protect the ship and their livelihoods, Captain ‘Cheol-ju’ (Kim Yoon-seok) suggests to his crew members the job in helping to smuggle stowaways. Numerous of stowaways who risk their lives and come across the sea and the six crew members who are on board a fated boat. Amid that, an unknown ‘sea fog’ to which they cannot see what’s in front of themselves come down and they become swept into an uncontrollable accident.

Cast : Kim Yun-Seok, Park Yoo-Chun, Han Ye-Ri, Moon Sung-Geun, Kim Sang-Ho

Selected as the Korea entry for the 87th Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film

Review :

I am a fan of K-drama. Naturally some of the actors in this movie were familiar faces in K-drama. Whether they are young or older actors, they acted brilliantly in this movie. Actor/Singer such as Park Yoo-Chun projected a strong and determined character.

The show started with some jovial moments. Slowly, it started to reveal the problem within this team of fishermen. Each members of the fishing boat have their selfish needs. Two of them are sex craze. The chief engineer is a kind hearted person. The right hand man of the Captain is a family man and obey the Captain. The youngest crew is innocent and will do anything to protect his love one. Captain needs to make more money and at the same time, try to protect his fishing boat. His biggest mistake was to accept the job of human smuggling.

The shocking scene came when the Captain started to do something desperate. This came as surprise for me as I am not ready for such desperate act of survival. Immediately, I felt the other side of humans, cruelty and selfishness. Survival seems to be the only thing in the mind of the Captain. Many years ago, I remember watching a famous movie where surviving members chopped and eat the remains of a dead member. In comparison with this movie, it is similar in nature with regards to the survival instinct in human being.

There is a twist at the end of the movie. The youngest crew and his protected love one (one of the smuggled humans) survived the ordeal. Will they be together? You will get your answer when you watch the movie.


In my opinion, it is a good movie. There were jovial, loving, tense and shocking moments. Storyline is great. Good acting from the casts and definitely kept my butt glued onto my seat for the whole show. I shall rate it 3.5/5 stars. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

All I want for Christmas is Sony

Christmas is here once again! Sony is here to help you take the hassle out of shopping for your friends and loved ones this year with 9 treats that are guaranteed to unwrap smiles this holiday season.

Wished zooming in while using your smartphone did not result in poor and grainy images? That’s now a thing of the past with the new DSC-QX30 lens-style camera. Capture the sweetest moments of this festive season simply by connecting the lens-style cameras to your smartphone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. With its powerful 30x optical zoom lens, you can be sure that pictures of your daughter’s Christmas pageant will come out crisp and clear, even if you’re seated in the back row. But if you prefer being able to hold onto a shape more familiar, why not try the award winning Cyber-shot RX100 III? The RX100 III is an all-in-one compact camera equipped with top-notch features that are perfect for the amateur photographer or the professional snapper.

Are you itching to go on an adventure this Christmas? Don’t forget to bring along Sony’s latest and smallest Action Camera, the HDR-AZ1VR. Weighing only 63g and offering SteadyShot image stabilization, this Action Camera gives you stable images and blur-free videos when you hit the peaks and go on your exhilarating ski runs through the glistening snow!  

Let the world’s smallest and lightest High-Resolution audio digital music player immerse you in a world of vivid, richly detailed sound this holiday season. With the NWZ-A15 Walkman, your favourite Christmas carol has never sounded so good, and you can enjoy it non-stop with its 30 hours-long battery life. And since it’s the season for giving, why not pair the Walkman with the XBA-Z5closed-in ear headphones to make sure you are truly enjoying your music just as how the artiste wanted you do, in High-Resolution Audio. For the purists who insist the absolute best in aural entertainment, turn to the MDR-Z7 headphones for the ultimate sound, wearing comfort, design and construction quality. This pair of flagship headphones produces powerful lows and extended ultra-highs that create a greater and more spacious 3D audio experience.

For those who guiltily admit to binging on all the Christmas goodies, the NWZ-WS610 Walkman will help you burn those calories by being the best partner you will ever need during work outs. It comes with a handy ring-type remote that allows you to control your workout mix while you shed those pounds off your body.

Want to drown out your cousin who thinks she has the loveliest voice? Get the SRS-X1 Ultra-compact wireless speaker. Designed to be petite and waterproof, the SRS-X1 offers uncompromising sound and is easy to carry around. With Bluetooth and Near Field Communication capabilities, the speaker also lets you stream your favourite Christmas tunes wirelessly from a compatible smartphone or tablet.

Last but not least, who doesn’t know that Christmas is the perfect time to veg out in front of the TV? Sony’s very first curved 4K Ultra HD TV is here and it offers such a natural sense of depth and realism, that you’d think you were right there when Hugh Grant was grooving in his undies in Love Actually!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Kampong Lorong Buangkok 罗弄万国村: A visit to the Living Museum in January 2013

Even though I have been around in Singapore for a long time but I have never visited a kampong before. In Jan 2013, I asked Philip whether we can pay a visit to this last kampong in Singapore. He agreed. He came with Mark Ong, another friend who was also interested in this living museum.

The Living Museum

This living museum had gathered much attention in media in the recent years. Visitors from all walks of life came to photograph, speak to the residents and understood the kampong better. We did that too. We were lucky to speak to the kampong chief, Ms Sng Mui Hong. She was the daughter of Sng Teow Koon who acquired this piece of land from Mr Huang Yu Tu in 1956.
You can read more about the kampong in the Wikipedia at :

Filming Location

While we were there, there was filming going on. From what I understood, they were making a video for a Chinese temple. Mediacorps actress, Yvonne Lim 林湘萍,acted as a pregnant woman. She was walking toward us. We passed each other with a smile. One of the kampong chief nicer houses was being use for the filming.


Cats and dogs roamed around the kampong freely. You may find fishes along the drains. The famous kampong chickens with beautiful feathers were all over the side road, crossing canal in strict order.


You can spot self-made swings hanging over the tree branches. Some even make good use of unwanted chair for the swing. It is everyone imagination and creativity to create things that provide a piece of uniqueness and peaceful living. The old world of Singapore trapped within the 21st Century. I don’t think our watch have stopped since 1956 which the birth year of this kampong.


We met a few of the old residents. Since I started to blog recently, I could not recall their names as this visit took place in January 2013. Generally, they have something to say about their kampong. I can only recall our kampong chief story.

She told us once there was an old resident used to stay in this kampong. He came back and rented a house. He rebuilt the house and tries to rent out the house to others. He was able to make a huge profit by renting out the rebuilt house since the rent paid to the kampong chief was cheap. Kampong chief sent him a notice to shift out as it is not right to rent out the house to others. Finally, with the government notice to shift out letter, they shifted out and could not recover the cost of the rebuilt house. The house was pulled down as it does not fit into this kampong. Since then, that part of the kampong was left vacant. The kampong chief could have raise the rent to the current market rental pricing but that was not what his father wanted for this kampong.

The other old resident is this friendly man.

Flora and Fruits

The residents find time to grow medicinal herbs and fruits. You may find coconut tree, rambutan, guava and many other local fruits. These local fruits trees were once common sights in Singapore. With ever changing landscape in Singapore, many of these fruit trees have disappeared. You can still find them in this kampong. One of the residents, an elderly Malay lady took pride of her fruit trees and herbs plant in her garden. We may not speak Malay, but we are Singaporean. The hand gesture does help in our communication.

Personal Opinion

The price of developing Singapore is a huge one. Not financially but in term of our lost heritage. We have lost many of our old buildings, old houses, traditional trade and even some of our customs. This last kampong should be preserved. It is a living museum. It is where we can bring our children to feel what the old Singapore was in the 1950s. This is an original one. Not a rebuilt kampong.

Someone may argue that kampong can still be found in Malaysia and Indonesia but what is great about this kampong is that it is still part of the Singapore mainland. This is our common heritage and it should remain as it is. I don’t think our present government need this small piece of land so desperately. Let it be there forever as part of our living museum.

I shall revisit it again in 2014. Let us be passionate and proud of our heritage. 

More photos can be found at my Flickr account : https://www.flickr.com/photos/seedimage/sets/72157648787211966/

Friday, October 17, 2014

My photography account at the recent Fire Walking Festival 2014

We arrange to meet at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple at around 5.30pm on the 12 Oct 2014 (Sun). Suki brought me into temple. Hindu devotees queueing up to take ritual bath before they start their walk to Sri Mariamman Temple which is where the fire walking ritual will be taking place.

As the blue hour sets in, we waited patiently at the gate of the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple. Firing many test shots to ensure we have good exposure and good coverage of the devotees marching out of the gate. It is going to happen very quickly and there was absolutely no second take. Barriers were raised to ensure the crowd were kept a distance away from the devotees when they march out of the temple gate.

Finally, after much delay, the time had arrived, the gate slide open, and devotees came out in batches. The priest was carrying a pot decorated with flowers (this is what it look like from my standing spot) on his head. There were a few devotees carrying swords.

Everything seems to be moving fast. It was time for us to get out of this location. I swiftly headed for the Farrer Park MRT to board a train down to Chinatown MRT. I expected a short walk toward Sri Mariamman Temple however it turned out to be much longer. It was so crowded that I needed to start pushing my way through. My objective was to reach the main entrance of the temple along South Bridge Road. Unfortunately everywhere was blocked. It seems almost impossible to reach the main entrance. I met Sam Chong and his friend. He told me that it was jammed up with people inside the temple.

At that instance, I found an alley cutting across to Temple Street. Finally, I reached Temple Street. The road capacity of South Bridge Road near the temple entrance was reduced by 50%. I managed to reach the opposite side of the road so that I can photograph the devotees who were still walking down from Sri Srinivasa Perumal temple.  Finally Suki came. We managed to queue up to get into the temple. Some guys were trying to push their way through the crowd into the temple. With Suki around, it is quite unlikely they will get pass him.

The temple crowd management staffs allow batches of visitors into the temple. Inside the temple, Indian music was played by a small group of musicians. The music was repetitive. We moved along a narrow lane with metal barriers on both sides. The staffs were getting us to move faster. I stopped to photograph the fire walkers who were running across the pit. At the end of the pit, there was a pool of water to cool down their burning feet. At least five guys at the cooling pool were there to help the devotees in case someone slipped and fell onto the burning pit. I just cannot imagine the burns suffered by the bare body devotee.

The night seems to be rather warm. The burning pit may have contributed to the heat inside the temple. We went for a second round walk around the pit. At the end, we ended up on the second floor of the temple. At high vantage point, with my fisheye lens, I was able to capture the overall view of the fire walking activities. Devotees prayed before they walk over the pit. There were a few Chinese looking men who took up this fire walking ritual.

Finally, we came out of the temple feeling great to have captured some nice shots. With Suki connection, we ended up inside the air-condition mobile container which was a resting place for doctors and nurses. At the side of the temple, there were ambulances and medical personnel ready to treat the burned devotees. From their conversation, one Chinese devotee fell and burned himself. They treated him and he took his own transport to the hospital.

It was my first experience photographing fire walking and I hope this blog will help to share my experience.

All photos are copyrights of Derrick See ( Seed Image ). No photos are to be copied or published without the permission of the photographer. 

Oishii Japan 2014

Oishii Japan food trade fair first started in 2012. This is the third year in the running and it is my first time attending this event. With 266 exhibitors from 32 Japanese prefectures occupying an area of 6000 square metres, it is definitely growing in number of participants and F&B demand for this event. It serves as a bridge for F&B businesses between Japan and ASEAN.

This year, participating companies brought in strawberries from Tochigi which are well known for its sweetness and large size. Tochigi is also known as “Strawberry Kingdom” in Japan.

The atmosphere make me feel like I am attending an event in Japan. 

Mr. Masanao Nishida, Director of Oishii Japan 2014

 Our Singapore Tourism Board representative giving a speech during the opening ceremony.

 Breaking of Sake or the ancient Japanese sake ceremony called "Kagami Biraki

The Toast of Sake

Shy Japanese girl refuse a photo shot from me. A Japanese elderly man said something and she finally agree to pose for the photo. 

Other valuable products such as Olive beef from Sanuki where the cows were fed with olive resulted in award winning wagyu of superior quality.

From Kagoshima, shōchū (焼酎?) is a Japanese distilled beverage. The shōchū is put through a 30-day fermentation stage, accompanied by classical music Beethoven’ 9th symphony played through a girdle of speakers wrapped around each tank. The producers believe the rhythmic vibrations it help to stimulate yeast activity during the production.

I have personally visited a Nigata booth at the fair where they grew premium rice. The unique thing about this that they release young carps into the wet padi field. The 7 colours carps help to keep the padi field healthy by eating away those pests. Once the padi field is ready for harvesting, the carps are also ready for harvesting. Through selection, better grade carps were sold while the rest of the carps were given away. It is truly a brilliant way of organic farming.

This year, MAFF ( The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan ) have planned a series of demonstrations and talks to educate event visitors on Japanese food ingredients and also invited chef to dish out nice food. I have attended Chef Stephan Zoisl cooking demo. We get to taste what he cooked. It was amazing.

 Chef Stephan cooking demonstration

 Chef Stephan's  Takasago - Kouji Amazake & Ponzu Ice Cream

Chef Stephan's Yellowtail & Miso

In addition, J-Sweets Collection is introduced this year which include desserts, confectionary etc. Also, the return of J-Food tech which showcase latest F&B equipment and technology for  food processing. Besides all these, visitors will be able to visit Hall 404, J-Food Street ( Japanese small bits, snacks and beverages ).

I get to try out interesting food such as the poisonous Puffer fish which is very popular in Japan and best quality beef. In my opinion, if you love food, you will enjoy yourself. Somehow, I  felt that you are attending an event in Japan. And that’s a nice feeling. 

Puffer fish
 Snowy Strawberry desserts

 Friendly Japanese ladies in Kimono

 Huge range of quality seafood

 Famous Hello Kitty

 The octopus is first steamed and boiled to retain it's flavour. The octopus come either come from Africa or Japan.

 Famous Sake brand

 Hello Kitty

 Tokachi button mushrooms. They are delicious. Just can't get enough of them.

Sweet young Japanese girl who stay in Singapore

If you are interested to visit this event, here are the information.

Website : www.oishii-world.com

Location : Suntec Singapore, Halls 404-406, 1 Raffles Boulevard, Suntec City, Singapore 039593

Trade : 16 and 17 Oct 2014, 10am to 5.30pm daily

Public : 18 Oct 2014, 11am to 5pm
Public : $4 per person, Admission is free for children 12 years and below.

All photos are copyright of Derrick See ( Seed Image ).