Pretty Picture With An Ugly Backstory

If you park in the mall basement, you are forced to return to the car park by walking through the very long vehicle tunnels after midnight. All human exits and access were closed due to the enormous crowd and security concerns. Not a pleasant walk when you have to lug your heavy tripod and camera gear. Pity those with young kids or elderly parents.

The standalone multi-storey car park behind was ideal but it is now closed and to be demolished. Park your car outside on the roads and it can get ticketed or towed away. Going back home and negotiating the crazy gridlock is another nightmarish story.

To secure a good camera spot and to avoid traffic congestion, one may need to go as early as 9pm. Many eager beaver photographers ended up pointing their cameras at the wrong direction through wrong prediction or guesstimate. Talk about over planning and early set up. There was always a last minute scramble to re-frame or even to change to a wider lens. The fireworks will usually shoot higher than the towers. Use a wide zoom for flexibility,

A close proximity spot presents another problem. Hot debris and burning ash remnants from the sky will rain on your head and equipment. Wear a hat, don safety goggles and cap your lens in between.

There was another struggle or scramble. Getting the exposure correct in the first minute or two after first ignition. The surroundings will be obscured by a pall of lingering or trapped smoke; destroying your pics.

The results may be pretty but the backstory is ugly.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f10, 1.3 sec.

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