Chinese New Year Fireworks in Singapore - How Best to See It
Look out for
spectacular Chinese New Year fireworks
during the 2010 CNY celebrations."
For 4 consecutive nights in February 2008, I got hooked on fireworks photography. It was my first fireworks shoot and after 3 nights of fumbling, I finally captured something reasonable on night 4. Ha, it can only get better next year.
I'd like to share with you my best shots. So here goes...
This first shot is dedicated to those stranded at bus/train stations all over China during Chinese New Year 2008. My heart goes out to you, though I don't fully understand your suffering. May you get to see your families next year.
The Chinese New Year Fireworks in 2008 were launched from the Esplanade Bridge, to bring it closer to the people. This makes it very exciting if you are watching from the River Hong Bao area just behind the bridge. The explosions are louder and the sparks seem brighter and bigger - you feel like you are among the fireworks.
|Some of the shots fly higher than others.
|It's an excellent time to make your wishes for the new year. As each spray goes off, make a wish - that is if you are not too enchanted to do so...
|Some lovely, low-release sparks.
|What do these look like? I thought they were svelte dancers with spiky hair.
- The Chinese New Year Fireworks are probably not as spectacular as the others in the Singapore calendar. But, they are set off on more nights - 4 nights in 2008, 5-8 Feb 2008. See this calendar of fireworks in Singapore.
- The crowd for CNY is also smaller and therefore great if you want to take the kids there. Apart from the very nice views, I enjoyed listening to the children going ooh, aah, waaah. And they applauded when it ended, in a way that only kids know how. Just make sure they are occupied for the hour just before the first burst goes off.
- In 2008, the fireworks were launched from the Esplanade Bridge, from the edge facing Marina Bay. The best spots to watch the display are the water-front promenade outside the Esplanade Theatre, and the Merlion Park.
However, the fireworks may be launched from a different spot in 2010. Again watch this space for updates.
- Plan to be there at least 30 minutes before lauch time to get a good view. (Note: This doesn't apply for the fireworks on New Year's Eve and National Day, when many people turn up at least 2 hours earlier to 'chope seats'.)
- No question about it. You need to be there earlier than the rest who just want to watch the show. One night, I was there 45 minutes before launch time and had to settle for a spot behind some trees. The result? All my photos had leaves in them. Turn up at least 2 hours earlier to secure a spot on the water-side benches.
- The best spot to shoot the fireworks is from the water-front promenade outside the Esplanade. But don't compete with the crowds gathering near the Esplanade Bridge. Move farther away to beyond the Makansutra Food area. If you are too near Esplanade Bridge, you cannot get all the bursts inside your frame - unless you are using a fish lens or a super-wide-angle.
- For those of you who are really new to photography, a good tripod is an absolute must and a cable release will reduce camera shake tremendously (but optional).
- If you have people sitting (and waiting) in front of you, don't expect them to remain seated when the fireworks go off. They will stand up, believe me. So anticipate and make sure your tripod is set at the correct height.
- I've found the first few shots to be very important, before the smoke fills up the skies.
- ISO Setting: the lowest your camera can set, usually ISO 50 or 100.
- Apeture: F8 to F16.
- Timing: varies according to fireworks conditions. This one comes with a bit of practice, experience and luck! Most of the shots on this page are between 6 and 8 seconds at F10 and ISO 100.
I'll post more findings here as I become more knowledgeable about fireworks photography.