Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Rainbow Connection

Rainbows never fail to lift my spirits, even if it's for a while. And during travels, they make an excellent backdrop to your scene doesn't it?! ;) But more importantly, no matter how dampening a rain or how gloomy a storm, a rainbow on the horizon signals hope for the future ahead.

Here's some quick tips for spotting and shooting rainbows :

1. Know when there could be rainbows
Rainbows are caused by the refraction of sunlight on raindrops or moisture in the air. As such, obviously sunlight and rain clouds need to be present. There needs to be a certain angle where the sunlight need to hit the raindrops for rainbows to be seen, and so, typically this happens when the sun is lower in the sky, ie. mornings or late afternoons.

2. Know where there could be rainbows.
Also, rainbows occur on the anti-solar point in the sky, ie. where the sun is shining, look at the other direction. That's where the sunlight is falling onto, and if there's rain clouds or moisture in the sky, there's a chance there will be rainbow!

3. Use a circular polariser
Put your circular polariser to good use! Turn it until the rainbow is the clearest!

4. Move
By all means, take your shots immediately when you see a rainbow. But remember to move to improve your composition, eg. such that the ends of the rainbow fall onto something, or the rainbow is less obstructed etc.

Of course, "rainbows" appear in fountains or waterfalls too. Since there are water sprays and droplets in the air, the principle is the same. But what I just love is seeing a proper rainbow in the sky!

The Rainbow Connection, by Kermit the Frog

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
And rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that
and someone believed it,
and look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing?
And what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
the lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell,
we know that it's probably magic....

Have you been half asleep
and have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same.
I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
It's something that I'm supposed to be.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
the lovers, the dreamers and me.
La, la la, La, la la la, La Laa, la la, La, La la laaaaaaa

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Southern Ridges

Singapore is well known as an urban city, with tall buildings and modern shopping malls. But visitors to Singapore can also look out for some nice green outdoor activities in nature as well - one which is The Southern Ridges.

These Ridges stretch through three parks, covering Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, and Kent Ridge Park. You can take walks through many of its trails, cycle along its paths, or just relax in various sections of the park, eg. HortPark, a gardening paradise for horticulture enthusiasts. Besides HortPark, other attractions include Alexandra Arch and Henderson Waves, two bridges that links many of the walks from the various sections. These bridges are architecturally unique and in the evening, they're beautifully lighted to accentuate its form. The lights on Alexandra Arch actually changes colours through the night!

My favourite would be Henderson Waves though. It is Singapore's highest pedestrian bridge (36m) that connects Mount Faber Park to Telok Blangah Hill Park. It's structure is truly unique - constructed to follow the form of a mathematical function, its curves or "waves" is quite an achitecture wonder. The views atop the bridge is wonderful and it's no wonder that it's becoming a favourite outing for families and tourists alike.

National Parks Singapore
provides more details, including maps and walking routes. Check out the Southern Ridges to see another side of Singapore!