He used photography to bring smiles to foreign workers after Little India riot
Photography is a tool that can diffuse hostility in a tense situation.
Full-time photographer Singaporean Adrian Seetho did a walkabout at the Little India neighbourhood, a popular hangout for South Asian migrant workers in Singapore.
He was exploring the area two weeks after a major riot involving about 400 people rocked the neighbourhood.
In December 2013, a fatal bus accident triggered a rowdy crowd, which attacked the bus, and set vehicles alight.
The violence left 18 people injured.
The riot was the country’s worst outbreak of violence in more than 40 years. Online reactions were vitriolic, and quick to condemn the migrant workers involved.
During his stroll in Little India, Seetho said the atmosphere was “still a little tense and hostile”. He also came across a group of foreign workers who became defensive when approached for a photo.
“It saddens me to see the most receptive and accommodating group of people turning defensive and hostile due to the condemnation they face after the incident.”
Seetho persisted, gently explaining that he was not a reporter and eventually succeeded in photographing his subjects after they warmed up to him within the same day.
“We started snapping away shortly after, and it really warms my heart to see them break away from that hostility and smiling once again,” he said.
The 26-year-old first picked up photography in 2007 after his father bought him a camera. However, he spent little time pursuing the craft.
“I had absolutely no interest in photography then. With no prior knowledge about photography, I was unable to take a decent picture after numerous attempts,” he said.
Attending a basic photography course was the turning point which renewed his interest.
“I was really blessed to have many supportive, like-minded individuals by my side, sharing their vast knowledge and experience with me,” he said. From then on, the camera became his constant companion.
Today, he takes a wide range of types of photos, including travel, sports and portraits.
“Looking back, I’m still amazed by how an unexpected gift eventually became a passion I adore,” said Seetho.
It is also passion and hard work that separates a good photographer from the rest, he said. He also advised photographers to “keep shooting” and to ask questions – even the dumbest ones – when they need to.
Seetho has been using the Flickr platform since June 2009.
“I’ve found Flickr to be the best platform to showcase my work, given its large and supportive community. Its interactive layout encourages photographers to share, browse, interact and learn from each other,” he said.
Anime characters came to life on International Cosplay Day at Scape on Sunday. Hundreds gather at the event, which took up some spaces on three levels, to show off their costumes, play games, participate in a costume contest or rub shoulders with star cosplayers Kamui and Dat-Baka.
Photography is about creating a scene that tells a story: Singaporean photographer
Photography is about creating a scene that tells the audience a story, said freelance photographer Ray Toh.
However, photo editing trends have changed this element of storytelling.
According to Toh, people are “spending more time adding effects and combining photos into one” as opposed to creating an image from behind the camera.
The 38-year-old Singaporean oil and gas manager loves taking candid portraits and landscape photos. Landscape photos give him a sense of freedom, he said.
Toh has won several “small awards”, one of which was received during a Qatar National Day event and another as part of a Thailand tourism campaign.
His trusted equipment include the Canon 5D Mark II camera and lenses such as the 16-35 mm and 50 mm.
His camera bag includes a flash gun and tripod, and a raincoat in case of rainy weather.
Toh says his most memorable shoot was when he photographed a Qatar parachute team leaping off their helicopter during the country’s National Day Parade.
He was introduced to the team by a local publication he was photographing for.
It was an “exciting” experience for Toh, who shot photos of the team from the helicopter.
It was a rare opportunity for he gladly accepted to do for free.
Most of his photos are displayed through his Flickr account, a platform he feels has allowed him to “exhibit” his works, gain exposure and receive feedback from the public.
He also said that Flickr has been a great platform for him to create friendships with like-minded people.
The globetrotter has been living abroad for 10 years in countries such as Norway, the United Kingdom, and Qatar.
Now based in Qatar, Toh says there are several things that he still misses about Singapore like his mother, siblings and, of course, the food.
He also misses how things are “well-organised” in the city-state.
When asked about life in the burgeoning Middle Eastern country, he said, “The cost of living in Qatar is similar to Singapore, except that the vehicles and petrol here is way cheaper.”
He also recommended taking photographs at the Doha Corniche, a place he claims to be one of the best spots for shutterbugs to shoot away.
Toh also enjoys photographing nature and exploring Qatar’s farms and deserts.
These are photos from the stable tour of Cavalia, as the horses rest after the performance and get their manes done.
A beautiful blend of acrobatics and equestrian ballet, the sight of horses running free in urban Singapore is pure eye candy.
You’ll hear lots of gasps and wows at acrobats human pyramids with superhuman agility, and riders performing life-endangering stunts on galloping horses.
This visual spectacle is a great treat for the whole family.
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