Alright, I guess you already noticed from the title that I do not speak a word of French.
I am however, able to appreciate its fantastic finale to the Singapore Fireworks Festival 2006 held at Marina Bay last Saturday, 12 August 2006.
From Wify's shop at Bugis Village, my son and I took the TransIsland bendy-bus Service 960 at Parco Bugis Junction right to Marina Centre.
From there, we already had the left-over place to set our cameras - me with my Lumix FZ10 and my son with is Sony Ericsson K610i movie. I know, he should have brought his digicam.
He did not want to go actually, but I persuaded him to, rather than sitting at home with his NeoPets PC games that he can play anytime after he does his homework.
He was actually glad that he came and witnessed the spectacular finale Team France had to offer the thousands that came to Marina Bay. What a brilliant show it was!
We were early by 45 minutes, but knowing Singaporeans, they came even earlier, picnicking just as I have thought of planning. We all think alike here. Small island, ESP seemed strong...
I just had to set my camera underneath the Benjamin Shears Bridge. It was quite a breezy night, so it really helped a lot dissipating the body heat off from the packed crowd.
It was quite intimidating to see so many photographers with sophisticated pro-looking cameras and tripods, long and wide lenses already attached to them, ready to begin, and nothing to do but looking at me setting my "equipment."
Groups of these photographers taking about angles and exposure... pointing here and there, gesturing finger frames, planning their shoot. Interesting to listen, but I caught no balls.
Set my camera to A under A/S/M dial, ISO to 200 and test-shot several pictures of the Business District skyline. It turned out good. It was time to wait.
When it started and every camera there started clicking, I had the first few photos all blurred-out and over exposed from the LCD screen. The auto-focus was not working with me.
Panicked, I just switched it to Program mode leaving the ISO at 200 still. Only then I got the sharper pictures, lots of it.
Some are great looking, while some sucked. My timing was still off. The camera could not save fast enough for another snap to take place.
Mental Note: Buy a 1 or 2 Gigabyte high-speed SD Card end this month at the upcoming PC Show!
OK. I understand now, why the other cameras have wide-angled lenses. The place that we were was good, but just too close to fit a normal lens... thus the fancy attachments on their cameras. Duh!
Nonetheless, as a consolation, I was able to get some wonderful-looking photos for my self. Yes! Never mind the picture-perfect, postcard-looking professional photos. I got my own.
Team France did an all out finale number and got an even louder cheers and claps from the crowd. Very overwhelming, when you get to see those very large balls of sparkles right above you.
With pontoons on the river, the finale had the whole Marina Bay land and water filled with bright fireworks that lasted 15 minutes. Awesome! Just awesome.
Well, by looking at my pictures, the clear lack of photography techniques will make one assume thit was nothing much, but one has to be there to actually witness nothing less than spectacular show to appreciate it.
My son was so excited that when he showed me the video he took with his cell phone, that he unwittingly pressed the delete instead of the save button.
We looked at each other, eye brows raised. Stunned and silent for a moment, and then burst out laughing in shock. Wify will never get to see the magic Team France did.
"Ayah, why don't they make a trash can icon in the phone like PCs have?" my son asked, knowing fully it was just wishful thinking.
We can never recover the video back. There is no "restore" command!
Anyway, It was a great finale befitting the wonderful spirit of our National Day Celebrations!
Oh wait! The celebration has not finished yet!
There will be block-buster movies being screened at The Padang on a giant screen. Free for all who wishes to picnic on the open field in front of the City Hall.
Great opportunity for another session of night photography! My calendar is marked.
A picture may paint a thousand words, but this next national family outing will cast thousands of smiles. No doubt!
Happy Birthday Singapore!