EOS World invited its members to the Singapore Garden Festival Photo Challenge, where over fifty garden designs and exquisite floral creations were displayed, involving more than 250,000 plants and 1,000 different species.

EOS 70D | F/5.6 | ISO 200 | 1/60s | Photo by Romie

This was the first time the Festival went outdoors and visitors were treated to the best of tropical horticulture and artistry, with impressive structures towering 10 metres high. There were fifteen Landscape and Fantasy Gardens, fourteen Floral Windows to the World displays, eight Balcony Gardens, seven Table Top Floral displays, six miniature gardens and the Orchid Extravaganza featuring some 18,000 plants and over forty orchid species and hybrids.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/22 | ISO 100 | 1/125s | Photo by Paul Chua

For this challenge, we had to capture the excited reactions of the visitors while they were enjoying themselves in the gardens.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/2.8 | ISO 800 | 1/320s | Photo by Paul Chua

As usual, the Festival was brimming mostly with foreigners and tourists happily snapping their selfies and pictures using their smart phones and tablets.

EOS 600D | F/6.3 | ISO 400 | 1/80s | Photo by David Ng Soon Thong

For this challenge, I used my Canon EOS 5D Mark III with EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM lens as I needed to shoot from a distance without drawing the attention of my subjects. Due to the weight of the camera and the lens, totalling a hefty 2.5 Kg, I set my camera to TV mode with shutter speed at 1/125 (to minimize any camera shake), ISO 100 and AWB. At this mode, my camera automatically sets the aperture to obtain the standard exposure to suit the brightness of the subject. I also set my camera to a single point AF to focus on my subject. After that, I scouted around the gardens to look for camera-worthy moments.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/4 | ISO 100 | 1/125s | Photo by Frederick Loh

EOS 70D | F/5.6 | ISO 100 | 1/80s | Photo by Romie

While shooting, my subjects may sometimes realise that my camera is aiming at them.  Usually, I smile at them and give them a thumbs-up, as a friendly gesture to ease any discomfort they may be showing on their faces.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/4 | ISO 100 | 1/125s | Photo by Frederick Loh

EOS 5D Mark III | F/5 | ISO 100 | 1/125s | Photo by Frederick Loh

Another problem that can crop up in a crowded area is when you are about to shoot, somebody inevitably walks or stands in front of your camera and you miss the shot. I have to really hold the camera in my stand-by-get-ready-to-shoot position to avoid missing my shots. Of course, my arm felt fatigued from just doing that but the pay-off is getting the good shots at the end of the day which made it worthwhile and here’s all the proof.

EOS 600D | F/6.3 | ISO 800 | 1/80s | Photo by David Ng Soon Thong

EOS 70D | F/4 | ISO 640 | 1/2s | Photo by Romie

EOS 5D Mark III | F/2.8 | ISO 800 | 1/20s | Photo by Paul Chua

EOS 600D | F/6.3 | ISO 800 | 1/125s | Photo by David Ng Soon Thong

EOS 5D Mark III | F/5.6 | ISO 100 | 1/500s | Photo by Paul Chua