It is currently almost unknown and under-promoted. I asked the cycling man about the significance of pedaling the tricycle. He told me has no idea. Lol.
Besides talking to strangers, I spent most of my time adjusting the flash strength as the white attire worn by devotees can over-expose or burn out easily.
One thing I learned is that the standard zoom (24 to 70mm) lens and tiny HVL-F20M flash were sufficient for the parade. Felt like jettisoning the redundant heavy prime lenses and powerful HVL-F60M flash I brought along but my car was too far away.
Always travel light when you don’t know how far you will be walking.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 1250, f4, 1/80 sec.
The roads here are a maze so I had no idea of the route the parade will cover. Heck. I don’t even know where my car was parked but I did bread crumb my tracks with a pic on my phone camera at every junction or turn during the walk.
Jinjang was a Chinese village notorious for gangsterism and triads many years ago. At one time, no taxis will send passengers in for fear of ambush by the gangs.
The gangs are gone or are silver haired now. The Chinese community solved the gangsterism and associated social problems by sending their kids to college. This broke the vicious cycle but it is to have another impact on the festival which I shall discuss in the next post.
As a photographer, my attitude was to cross the bridge when I get there, prepared to face all eventualities since it is my first time at their parade. There’s smoke, there’s fire and the Pak Thian Kiong temple is beautifully lit tonight. Am loving it but wished they started during the magic hour.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 400, f4, 1/80 sec.
Chui Ker (Hokkien) or Woon Chai Koh (in Cantonese) is rice flour cake steamed in metal cups or bowls. The rice pudding is then topped up with ‘Chai Por’.
The toppings of Chai Por is preserved and fried radish (lobak) chopped into bits with sesame oil and soy sauce added. Chili sauce is optional.
It is takeaway or street food that should be eaten on the wax paper it comes wrapped in.
The exact recipe varies. Some use shallots or turnip, some add dried shrimps (heh bi) while others soak the toppings in a special oil concoction.
For the rice flour, some mix it with potato flour to enhance the texture and smoothness.
As such, chui kueh from different stalls never taste the same and the satisfaction varies greatly. If you find a good hawker selling it, pray it stays.
It is a dying traditional Chinese breakfast snack and is not as easy to find these days. Chui Ker is more popular in neighbouring Singapore where it is spelled and pronounced as chwee kueh.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 800, f14, 1/80 sec.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 50, f11, 1/500 sec.
Inside the tunnel of an underpass, I decided to have some fun with the camera. For safety reasons, try this only when you are a passenger.
Set the camera’s shutter speed to between 1 and 2 seconds. Click and rotate your camera during the length of the exposure. The rotation need not be a full or perfect circle. Your mileage may vary.
To make the light bluish at the end of the tunnel, change the white balance to one of the presets by pre-viewing to see which works best.
This may be one of the last of such colour combos as the city’s street and infra lighting are gradually converted to daylight-coloured LEDs. The spider web patterns here are the result of warmer and older sodium lights.
I wish there are more taillight reds but many local motorists fail to see the need to turn on the lights when entering a tunnel. The red streaks are cars braking into a traffic jam at the end of the underpass.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 50, f22, 1.6 sec.