Singapore Lily Pond – Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay - Lily Pond

Gardens by the Bay – Lily Pond

Bear with me on this: Singapore lies on a latitude that is 1 degree and 21 minutes away from the equator. Due to this the sun rises and sets at virtually the same time all year round. It is also the same temperature and humidity all year round. It has the same twilight period durations, which I did not realise, are very fast compared to where I am from.

When I landed and dropped off my luggage at the hotel, I went straight to the Marina Bay area. Singapore was entering the twilight periods and I thought, “Oh, I have a couple of hours of blue light to take some photos”. Nope.

When Singapore enters Nautical twilight, there is 50 minutes of blue light before it goes into Night, full black. For photographers knowing when Nautical and Astronomical twilight starts and ends is very important for two reasons:

Nautical Twilight
- This is when artificial lights are required and is when the street and building lights are on, or start to come on
- The sun is between 6 to 12 degrees below the horizon and is still illuminating some of the sky

Astronomical Twilight
- This is the start of the transition into dark night, black sky. All artificial lights are on.
- The sun is no longer illuminating the sky but due to refraction in our Earths atmosphere, there is still some colour (dark blue) in the sky

The opposite occurs during sunrise.

Civil Twilight, the period when the sun starts to rise or dip below the horizon is when you may be lucky and get the colourful skies.

Singapore’s Nautical Twilgiht lasts about 20 – 25 minutes, Astronomical lasts about the same time. 50 minutes at the max.

So, when I left the Supertree sunset location at the end of the Twilight period, I had 20 minutes left of the blue hour. When I got to the Lily Pond area, I had 10 minutes of blue sky left.

You can see in this shot how dark the sky is, the sun had set (below the horizon) about 35 minutes ago. The light blue at the horizon is light pollution from the city, not the sun.

I learnt this day that I would have to commit to one light blue hour scene and maybe two max locations that are close to each other, if I wanted to take two scenes per day.

Anyway, the Lily Pond area in Gardens by the Bay. For a country that has strict laws and fines, it is a little lapse on health and safety. There are many water areas in Gardens by the Bay with no barriers. I like that to be honest. Be responsible, especially with kids running around.

This area is lit. Yeah, not the meme type lit, I mean illuminated. I thought if I crop out the lights to the left and right, that you can see just behind the trees, and take a vertical shot then I may get a different feel for the same scene.

Moon over the water

Moon over the water

The beautiful clarity of the relection is due to the windless night. I got the moon reflection in this one too.

In the next post I’ll talk about depth of field and foregraound/background focus.

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