Street Photography Singapore – Red Light District to Orchard Road Lah

street photography singapore
Mean streets of Singapore

Street photography Singapore – it’s hot, it’s humid, and the streets are far more interesting than some western media would have you believe. Last week, I spent about 24 hours taking photos on the multi-cultural streets of Singapore. Not since my visit to Hong Kong earlier this year have I had a chance to indulge in some street photography in an Asian country. Fuji X-Pro1 in-tow, I headed out to see what I could find.

Street photography in Singapore, or any Asian nation for that matter, is a blast. The diversity of ethnicities, the textured urban landscapes, and round-the-clock street level activation –  Asia in general certainly holds some of the world’s most vibrant streets, and Singapore is no exception. Singaporeans may be reserved,  but they almost universally have no problem with having their photo taken.


Bugis Street photography Singapore
Street sipper, Singapore
Geylang, Singapore - A brothel gets the morning hose-down.
Brothel receiving the morning hose-down, Geylang, Singapore.
Orchard Road Photography - on the streets of Singapore
Orchard Road, Singapore.
Singapore Train Photography
Metro system, Singapore.
Singapore - Bugis Street
Bugis Street, Singapore.
Bugis Street - Singapore Photography
Bugis Street, Singapore
Singapore street photography in Geylang
Geylang, Singapore.
Geylang Street - Singapore
Geylang, Singapore.
orchard road street photography singapore
Orchard Road street photography, Singapore.
street photography in singapore - on the subway
On the subway, Singapore.


UPDATE 2018 : sorry to say – this is the only post on the entire Yomadic website that has suffered some kind of problem. I’ve lost the rest of this article, and most of the images. One day, I’ll get them back from my SD card.


BTW, I would love to send you the next dispatch, posted from some-where random around this planet (and you'll soon find out why YOMADIC email followers are my favourite followers):

29 thoughts on “Street Photography Singapore – Red Light District to Orchard Road Lah

    1. Yes, I don’t have a zoom lens, so shots from a distance are pretty much impossible for me. In any case, I much prefer not being sneaky, I feel it contributes to a better image. Thanks Elise for the kind words.

  1. Excellent post Nate! I love that you chose black and white for the pics. I’ve always felt B&W expressing more emotion. You do such a great job with street photography, gives me something to aspire to.

    1. Thanks Noelle, I always appreciate you dropping by and leaving your thoughts.. especially seeing as they’re always so kind ;)

  2. Sometimes it takes a third party to mention it, before you realize how caught up you are in your own world. Your photos were refreshing and impactful, having captured these often neglected emotions of Singaporeans. Good job! I am hoping though, that your personal collection had a couple of light-hearted shots of Singapore life as well? :)

    1. Hey Desmond, really appreciate the compliment. I’ll have a look back through my photos, maybe I do have one or two light-hearted shots…

  3. Love the photos, but I actually think this is a situation where colour would have been more appropriate. Singapore has such a luscious tropical pallet. On the other hand, by removing this from the equation, perhaps it has allowed you to better portray that under the surface feel. Mixed thoughts!

    1. I know what you mean Paul. I guess my feeling, right or wrong, is that colour would have somehow “watered down” what is actually portrayed in the image. When the image is bright and vibrant, it almost seems to overpower the subject or content of the photo. Still, I might take a crack at colour here in KL. We’ll see!

  4. John assumes the same look when we travel =) I seriously love these – and have had a bit of a relationship with Singapore since I spent a couple of months there when I was 21. We have passed through it since then because it is close to Perth and I have a close friend there as well. I find it an interesting city but seems to be so crowded and expensive, even more than I remember it. There is such an interesting cultural mix there. Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    Keep the street photography posts coming. Yours always inspire me. I’m finally quite comfortable with my new camera but have been doing more urban landscape shooting than close-ups of people. I really want to work on it! I’m still quite shy…

    1. Cheers Andrea… I will certainly have more street photography posts on the way. Singapore is expensive, especially for accommodation. BTW, your urban landscape shots are great, I love checking out your latest stuff!

  5. Be sure to upgrade your X-Pro 1 and lens to the new 2.0 firmware. It really improves focusing in low-light conditions.

    1. Done! It really does make a big difference – I am pretty close to relying on autofocus 100% of the time now…. we’ll see how it goes!

  6. I really like these photos – I’m not a brave photographer but I love photos of people. Maybe Singapore is somewhere to try, as you suggest. As for the socio-economic thing….I have many Singaporean friends and they often say how the country is deteriorating in terms of personal freedom and becoming some kind of strange, almost plastic land where everything revolves around glitz and pleasing the government.

    1. Thanks for the compliment Tom. As for Singapore – yep, you hit the nail on the head. That’s the exact impression I get as well, after having visited here a number of times. It’s a really strange place these days, but as an outsider – incredibly interesting.

  7. Great series…loving the guy with the beard, as well as the final shot. Love Asian countries.

  8. Using an 18 mm lens and you can have such a close image, that must be like on their face.
    I am really impress. Really curious on the time you shot the photo, It will be awesome if you would share some of your experience. and one thing, is interesting on how you see the life in singapore,
    just like the phrase “life is slowly being sucked out of many Singaporeans “.

    1. Cheers Meng – yes, I get in nice and close, I often pre-focus to between 1 and 1.5 metres. I will share some of my experiences one day soon – stay tuned.

      1. waiting forward for that but one thing I am very interested to know about street photography in different part of the world.
        Can language be a barrier??Especially in country where not everyone speak English.

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