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Having friends living in some of the best cities in the world is a great perk. Two of said friends recently moved to Singapore for work. So, early in 2014 I booked my flight for a September visit. For those who have read my article on Santorini, you’ll know that my overseas trips always get my photography urges buzzing. Having a plane ticket to Singapore in my hand was more than enough to get me psyched about the potential photo opportunities.

As luck would have it, I inadvertently booked my trip to land on the F1 Grand Prix weekend. As a follower of the sport (despite having only ever been to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone some 17 years ago), you can image my excitement levels were hitting 11. So I booked a ticket for that too!

Photography of Marina Bay Sands, Singapore by Oliver Pohlmann

The Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore.

The Markets of Little India in Singapore

The markets of Little India.

As this was my first time in Singapore, I did my usual research in to the best photo locations around the city. This included scouting through for inspiration from other photographers who have captured impressive shots of the city and its people. I soon had a shortlist of photos I wanted to come back with.

Photography of Singapore local by Oliver Pohlmann

A local hand-carves wooden pieces for sale to tourists.

Our descent in to Singapore’s Changi Airport saw us arrive during an impressive evening lightning storm, which had me pressing my face up against the window all the while we were landing. Fortunately it was 10pm, so we were soon in bed asleep, my body clocks straight on to local time, ready for the following day – F1 race day.

Now, I would love to show you some epic photos of the spectacular night race that is the Singapore Grand Prix, but truth-be-told, I failed miserably. In my defence, shooting F1 cars travelling at over 150 mph at night is taxing enough for any professional photographer, but couple that with the numerous safety fences and barriers which separate the spectators from the action, plus the fact there are always hundreds of people squashed around you at every section of the track and you’ll understand that great photos are an almost impossibility for spectators. Shame.

Photography of Singapore by Oliver Pohlmann

High-density living in Singapore.

Photography of the Singapore skyline at night by Oliver Pohlmann

The Singapore skyline at night.

The next few days were spent exploring the city, day and night – the city streets, its people, the temples, markets and the skyscrapers. It’s an addictive city for any photographer. Singapore is such a visually-striking city that a week simply wasn’t long enough to visit all the places on my wishlist. But I left with a collection of photos which summed up my experiences from this first visit.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Singapore

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.

Photography of Singapore backstreet by Oliver Pohlmann

Life in the backstreets of Singapore.

Of course, I didn’t waste the opportunity of being in that part of the world, so I jumped across to Bali in Indonesia for three days. This was a contrasting experience to my time in Singapore, which you can see in the photos I took there. You can read about my visit to Bali right here!

Author & Photography – Oliver Pohlmann

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