Blog posts for 04/2010  

Car racing near Marina Promenade

Sunday morning. You plan to sleep well into the morning, and maybe even reach that long-sought after goal, waking up at noon, to make up for a long backlog of lost sleep.
And at ten o'clock an unbelievably loud noise, akin to somebody switching on all the 100,000 Toyota Corolla recalled in Brazil, wakes you up. It comes from the other bank of the river, a few hundreds meters from your flat.

You have two options:
1) earplugs, sleeping mask, and you will yourself back to sleep;
2) camera, long lens, bicycle, and you ride across the bridge to see where all the noise is coming from.

I took the second option, and rode on the Benjamin Sheares Bridge towards Marina Promenade. And surprise... it wasn't Toyota testing 100,000 cars. 'Twas just a simple car race. Very simple, actually: sports cars started in couple, ran for a few hundreds metres in a straight line, then accelerated sideways through three bends, often bouncing against each other, and made it back to where they started from. There was a ticket a queue, designated areas, designated footpaths. No thanks, just give me the cars.
Car racing in Singapore
And indeed they gave me - and everybody else, paying audience and freeloaders on the bridge - the cars.

A moment of the race

A moment of the race

A moment of the race

A moment of the race

A moment of the race

A green car, but is it a green car?
This is probably not what people mean when they think of 'green cars'

Tags: car racing, pictures, Singapore, sport

Six-a-side in Singapore

A moment in a match

Tags: football, pictures, Singapore, sport

Do we need subject permission before snapping a sports picture?

I will be returning to the UK after two years in Atlanta and two in Singapore, and I better get used again to the "you will be filmed fifty times a day by CCTVs, but damned if you take a picture" approach. Here in Singapore it does not matter where I am, there are always at least a dozen chaps with big DSLRs (and sometimes Lomos) taking pictures of everything, from ants on the ground to skyscrapers, and including the food they have at the restaurant. In the US (in Georgia), I was asked why I was taking a picture of a magnificent building in midtown Atlanta ("Because it?s magnificent, sir!"), and in other occasions I was given wary looks when I took pictures of dams, bridges and anything vaguely remarkable. I was lucky none of the wary bystanders were Jack Bauer-style proactive ...

We all know taking picture is becoming increasingly difficult, from a legal standpoint. So, not being a pro photographer, I wondered whether the subject of a photo taken during a sports event can claim that the photographer has no right of taking that picture, on grounds of privacy violation.

As an amateur sport photographer, in the last few months I have taken plenty of pictures of triathlon, fencing, sailing, football (soccer). These competitions were photographed without having an official assignment, without having to pay a ticket (and therefore without a recorded entry in the event venue), and in public places (with the exception of the fencing competition). For instance, I recently photographed the Singapore Ironman 70.3 triathlon competition which took place in a public park (the run), on a public road (the cycling segment) and in the Singapore Strait (the swim). I have offered free pictures to several race participants, those I could manage to find contact details for, and they were all between thankful and enthusiastic about the offer, but I wonder if any of my subjects might actually complain feeling that their privacy has been violated.

Based on common sense, I believe somebody?s expectation of privacy should be considerably lowered, when this person dons his/her sports gear and takes part in a sports event on public land.

A further ramification: what if I take pictures in the above described scenario, and then find somebody ? a sports magazine, a sports gear shop ? interested in publishing one of my pictures in exchange of money? Would the subject of the image have any right to claim a share of the mon

Tags: photographers rights, privacy

Faces of triathlon

A few more pictures taken at the 2010 Aviva Ironman 70.3 in Singapore, on 21st March 2010. Sport portraits, if you want, bearing in mind the obvious: these are not portraits taken in a studio, with makeup and lighting designed to enhance the model's features. These pictures were taken hours into a triathlon race, when the athletes had already a long swim and many miles of cycling on their back and, most importantly for a portrait, on their faces.

Number 74 - Aviva Ironman 70.3 2010, Singapore

An anonymous racer during the run - Aviva Ironman 70.3 2010, Singapore

Competitor 57 - Aviva Ironman 70.3 2010, Singapore

Number 612 - Aviva Ironman 70.3 2010, Singapore

Number 640 - Aviva Ironman 70.3 2010, Singapore

Number 797 - Aviva Ironman 70.3 2010, Singapore

Number 1026 - Aviva Ironman 70.3 2010, Singapore

Number 1431 - Aviva Ironman 70.3 2010, Singapore

A few names:
#1026, Craig Johnson
#612, Meng LOH
#57, Pei shan SIM
#640, Andrew PEREIRA
#1431 (unknown)

Tags: pictures, Singapore, sport, sports portraits, triathlon

OSIM International Triathlon 2010 - #3879

A picture of racer #3879 at the OSIM International Triathlon competition in Singapore. A hot day, as usual, I hope all athletes remembered to put as much sun cream as I did; I got sunburnt the day before, at the Singapore Soccer Sixes.
OSIM Internatioal Triathlon 2010, 11th April 2010

Tags: pictures, Singapore, sport, triathlon

Singapore Soccer Sixes: there is not just triathlon, here

It was too rainy to watch triathlon, today, so I went the City Hall area with the idea of visiting Peninsula Plaza and Funan Centre, And I accidentally stumbled upon an international football competition at Padang, the sports field in front of City Hall. The Singapore Soccer Sixes is a six-a-side football tournament with many very short matches (see the rules).
A Soccer Sixes match at Padang

Tags: football, pictures, Singapore, sport

Is Singapore a triathlon-crazy island?

In Singapore, three weeks ago we had the Aviva Ironman 70.3. This weekend we have the OSIM International Triathlon 2010. Is Singapore a triathlon-crazy island?

I don't know much about triathlon, I have no problems admitting that. I know athletes swim, then they ride a bicycle, then they run. Then, if they were like me, they would swear they will never do anything like that again. And on Tuesday they would be training.

I was saying I do not know much about triathlon, and I cannot claim to know much about Singapore, despite having spent here the last two years. The usual stereotypes of 'work hard, eat well, go shopping, travel abroad" and the status symbols listed as "the five Cs" (Condo, Cash, Credit card, Card, Country club)(ok, that's seven) are not enough to explain a country. But one thing seems true: "commitment to excellence", the slogan that used to be the core of the Oakland Raiders' approach to sports, applies to Singapore as well. Even more, actually:nowadays, the Raiders are regular NFL losers, while Singapore thrives. And that desire to excel and to lead might help to understand why there are so many triathlon competitions in Singapore (well, at least in the last few weeks).

If anybody has global statistics on the number of triathlon amateur and professional athletes, let me know: I believe Singapore has way more than its fair quota of triathletes, a disproportionate high number for such a relatively small country.

Well, after all this blabbing, I will be near the ECP, tomorrow, to take pictures of the OSIM International Triathlon 2010. I will take pictures of most athletes, probably, as I did at the Aviva Ironman, but if you want to be sure that I take pictures of you, tell me: leave a comment at the bottom of this page indicating your race number (I hope those have been assigned already), or nod/pat me on the shoulder/smile when you ride past me, tomorrow at the race. But please do not crash to attract my attention: I have a few pictures of people crashing at the Ironman, no need to have more...

How to spot me: I am an ang mo, about 1.84m, between scrawny (US standards) and slim (European standards), fair-ish hair, primary-colour t-shirt (red, blue or green) and green-gray shorts, big black backpack on my shoulders, Nikon D300, and probably an unusual point of view (either very low, or very close to the athlete

Tags: Singapore, sport, triathlon

Skaters at Somerset MRT - II

Other pictures taken last week near the Somerset MRT. Dozens of skaters on skateboards and on rollerblades, several photographers around, glorious sunshine (which disappeared too soon behind the buildings surrounding the area). As in every sport, you try to get as close as possible to the action without damaging the show: if skaters have to pay more attention to you than to their own line/speed/position, you are wasting their time and yours.

Skater #1, Somerset MRTSkaters #2, Somerset MRTSkater #4, Somerset MRTSkater #3, Somerset MRT

Tags: pictures, Singapore, Skating, sport

Extreme Sailing Series 2009, Singapore

December 2009, you wake up in the morning and what's out of the window? Catamarans racing in the Kallang Basin. On a sunny day. When there's nothing else to do.
As Mr. Wilde used to say, "I can resist everything except temptation". So out I went, with a bicycle, an overweight backpack and not enough sun cream. A few sample photos are below, mostly taken with the Nikon D300 and the Sigma 50-500mm.

A view from the top

We're almost down under, and we are not even close to Australia!Where is it going?That was close!Comfortably enjoying the race

Tags: pictures, sailing, Singapore, sport

2010 Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore: numbers 5, 1028, 1104, 911, 955

Another few pictures of the triathlon competition that took place in Singapore two weeks ago, the Aviva Ironman 2010.

Number 5, James Cunnama, who finished second:
Number 5, James Cunnama
Bruce Pye, #911, and #955, Andrew Thomson:
Bruce Pye, number 911, and Andrew Thomson, number 955
Number 1028, Steven Joyce, and number 1104, Niels Have:
Number 1028, Steven Joyce, and number 1104, Niels Have

Tags: pictures, Singapore, sport, triathlon

Skaters at Somerset MRT

Spent a few hours next to the Somerset MRT station, taking pictures of skaters (on skateboards and on rollerblades).

A skateboarder at Somerset MRT, Singapore
The more sports pictures I take, the more I understand why pro sport photographers love their 300/2 and the other bright glass they have: there's never enough light! I took most of my pictures with a 18-105mm today, and I used a 50-500mm for a few others. I could have done with the 10-20mm, for images close to the ramps, and with a 50mm/1.8 for the others. Next time...

Tags: pictures, Singapore, Skating, sport

Beware: triathlete charging!

A picture of #29, Margaret Shapiro, at the recent 2010 Aviva Ironman 70.3, a triathlon competition that took place in Singapore in March 2010.
Number 29

Margaret finished 3rd among women and 14th globally, with a time of 4 hours, 31 minutes and 37 seconds.

Tags: pictures, Singapore, sport, triathlon

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