A Gem in Singapore’s Art District @ Albert Court Village Hotel

“Photos make your Blogs go Pop!” Workshop
by Panasonic & omy.sg  

@Albert Court Village Hotel

I’ve been blogging for almost 2 years and til now I’ve not attended any photography course to upgrade my photography skills and knowledge. Shame on me! But I’m glad that I finally had an amazing opportunity to attend a workship organised by Panasonic and Omy.sg last saturday where I get to try first hands on Panasonic’s latest semi-pro camera from the LUMIX GF5 series. This workshop was conducted in at Albert Court Village Hotel.In addition, photographer enthusiast, Jerome and blogger, Christine were also there to share with the attendees about some tips on taking photos. Not only that, we get to spend a few hours with the stunning camera during our heritage trail in Little India.

A beautiful boutique hotel hidden in the heart of Singapore’ art district.

Albert Court Village Hotel is a boutique hotel comprising restored pre-war shop houses with Straits Chinese carvings and motifs, located near the Singapore Art Museum, National Library, art schools and Little India where more cultural heritage beckons. It’s also located in the district where there are alot of quirky, special-themed and popular cafes and restaurants serving superb food. Good food, great attractions and excellent accomodation. What more could you ask for?

Panasonic Lumix GF5X:” I wish you were mine!”

How I wish Alvin from omy.sg would turn to us and announced,” Good news! Each of you here gets to bring back the whole camera set right infront of you!” If I were to put DSLR on one end of the spectrum and digital compact cameras on the other end, then this Panasonic Lumix GF5X will be placed right smack in the middle.This camera has the best of both worlds. It’s slightly larger than compact cameras but has a great performance level that is on par with DSLRs. Before I rave about this camera further, here are some of the features of this gem.

12.1 Megapixel
Well-designed touchscreen interface
High resolution LCD screen
Full HD 1080p Video, Stereo Sound
14 Creative filters ( eg. Miniature mode, one-point colour, retro…etc)
Test shot with Lumix GF5X. Amazing quality, right? The following photos in this blog post were taken using Panasonic’s Lumix GF5X.

I have to plainly admit that though I’ve used the camera as often as most photographers do, I’m not trained or skills in photography and knew little jargons of the photography world. Nevertheless, through this photography workshop, I learnt a little thing or two especially with the functions and modes of the Panasonic camera. Now I understood what’s iA (intelligent auto) mode is all about even though I’ve been using Panasonic cameras for almost 5 years and have not used other brands of camera before.

I’ve been using this Panasonic digital compact camera for about 1 year now but I felt this camera is so obsolete as compared to Lumix GF5X. But I can’t bear to abandon this camera because everyone finds it really cute. It’s always been a great conversation starter for me.
The iA mode enables you to adjust defocusing area, that is, focusing on the object and blurring the background or vice versa. This will bring more attention to the object of focus.
The color and quality of the images taken by Panasonic’s latest camera are stunning!
One-Point Colour Mode
This is one of the camera’s function mode that gives images a pop of colour.
Teatime! Let’s have some cupcakes.
This is also a great time to practise the skills taught during the workshop.
Ahhh…comfy couch, coffee please!
My Philosophy for Food photography
For me, I like to zoom right in and take a close-up shot of the food. For instance, I would bring my camera lens closer to the sandwich and bring it to focus to capture the different texture of the bread and the gloss or shine from the mushroom which was stuffed in the sandwich. In the workshop, Christine also shared this tip with us.
Straits Chinese Architecture
“Open the windows, open your eyes.”

Up, down, left or right? 

Impressive Art Mode

After all that hardwork of taking photographs, it’s back to comfort food for that surge of sugar rush. Latte and cookies!

The hotel Lounge.
 The red couch reminded me of Jay Chou. Don’t ask me why.

Missing home? Hotel guests are able to use these Mac computers to get into touch with their family and friends back home. 

So right after the mini photography lecture and sharing, we headed down to Little India and explore the heritage site. Whether you’re a local or tourist here, be sure to check out these great photo spots in this vicinity!

What made the pillars so beautiful and attractive is the intricate floral wallpaper design. Slow down your footsteps and take a good look at it.

I would love to walk into one of these stalls under the shophouses but everything’s were kind of rush and we didn’t have time to capture all the beautiful sights found in the heart of this local heritage site.

One of the photography tricks to create a meaningful composition mentioned during the workshop was about leading lines. Jerome shared with us that the lines in the photograph can help draw the viewer’s eyes through the photograph. The leading lines can also “lead” our eyes to the focal point or the object which the photographer would like to draw its attention to.

Tourists:”  Where are we? This place looked so strange. “

I hope I’ve been putting the leading lines technique into good use. Here, in this photography, I am drawing attention to the two tourists who were soaking into the beautiful sights of Singapore despite the warm climate. It must be unbearingly hot here for tourist who came from countries with cooler climates!!

Jerome’s walking the talk.

Colors also draw attentions to the eyes. Especially vivid or vibrant colours. The India culture, interestingly, is a culture of bright and loud colours. Thus, it is not surprising to see a splash of several bright hues of red, blue, yellow and green in this little town. From the market to the magazine stalls in Little India, one gets to enjoy a huge display of striking colours that made this heritage site so unique.

Great Indian food to try out here! Naan! Read the scribbles on the wall because for all you know, there could be little hidden secrets written on it. Mango shake, anyone? I think it’s refering to Mango lassi, a mango yogurt drink which is a popular beverage among the Indians.

The mailbox. Has anyone got a personal mailbox like this nowadays? My personal mailbox is embedded right in my Samsung Galaxy phone!
There’s this safari-themed resturant along the streets of Little India and if you happen to walk past it, do drop by and say Hi! to this friendly safari guide here!

Garlands of Jasmine.

Tourist Hop-On buses!

Partipants of the workshop gathering under the tree of knowledge.

Got a kid? Get one of these traditional Indian costume for your little ones! Though it might be a little expensive.

Miniature effect.
Look how cartoonish this photo is! But I love how the image shows up on the camera. There are several subjects in this photo and everyone is enaging in their own thoughts. What’s more interesting is the diversity of cultures in this picture that reflect the multi-ethnicity in Singapore, a melting pot of different cultures.

Attention-grabbing colours that pop out of the picture. Did you even notice that there’s a grey, dull-looking air-con unit in this picture?
He must be one of those legendary Indian actors or singer of all time!

” Stop and stare.”

“Teach me.”
We have finally completed the trail! Next, we headed back to Albert Court Village hotel for a debrief session. 


Albert Cafe
Get a great view of the Albert Court Village Hotel Courtyard as you dine here.


Small cafes in the courtyard of the hotel.

From Albert Court Village Hotel, if you walk right down the red-brick pavement, you will see a tall dark building with black panels that gives a modern vibe. That’s Lasalle, the college of arts. Do explore their campus and exhibitions. If you have another 15 minutes left, why not dine in at their school cafeteria called “15 mins of fame”?

The Bugis district is one of the best places to explore in Singapore. Even as a local, I still find it fascinating to discover a different side of Singapore. As a kid, I only hand out at shopping malls and town area such as Orchard and CityHall. It’s only recently that I started to rediscover Singapore, looking at it in a different light as Singapore develops. It’s a true gem in the heart of Singapore.

It’s a stone throw away from LASALLE.

A rare sight. Who’s the Hoogie-boogie?

If you walked further, you will get to see the famous Goddess of Mercy Temple and a huge departmental store, OG.  Further down, it’s bugis street where you find fashionable clothes,accessories and bags at a bargain.

Visit the local food centres and try one of our monstrous fruit! Durian. No, it doesn’t stink! I love Durians!

How about some KOI bubble tea after a long shopping trip along Bugis street? But I’m afraid you might have to queue for a pretty long time.
Should I be a tourist and is visiting Singapore for the very first time,  I would love to stay here.
180 Albert Street
Singapore 189971 
 Tel : +65 6339 3939
Fax : +65 6339 3253
5 minute walk from Little India MRT Station
15 minute walk from Bugis MRT Station

Would you love to stay in this hotel located near Singapore’s Art District and heritage site, Little India? I’ve got a GOOD NEWS for you! There’s a promotion going on right now!


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