Jensen Chua is a photography instructor at the Canon Imaging Academy. He is also a travel photographer and writer at Jetabout Holidays. In this article, he shares tips on how to capture stunning shots at the newly opened Jewel at Changi Airport with the new Canon EOS RP!

I was given the opportunity to shoot at the newly minted landmark – Jewel, at Changi Airport before its official opening on 17 April 2019. Regardless of your level of experience, photographers will experience a steep learning curve while trying to capture shots here!

One of the key challenges faced was the immense human traffic. 500,000 preview visit passes were issued for the 1-week preview event. We were lucky to be given the opportunity to experience this through an EOS World exclusive shooting session and learnt some valuable tips that might just help those planning a photo trip there.

Observe the Lighting 

Good photography is all about good lighting. Without ideal lighting, a picture will simply fall flat. At the Rain Vortex area, do take note of the lighting conditions. It is a naturally lit venue during day time. In this instance, a gloomy overcast or rainy day might translate to having a less dramatic picture. We were lucky that the passing clouds did not cover the sun for too long during our photo walk session. This enabled the sun rays to enter the glass dome ceiling with the water mist accentuating the shards of light.

Canon EOS RP | Canon EF16-35mm F4L IS | f/5.6 | 1/200 | ISO 100

Include People as Part of the Composition 

Most photographers try to frame as little people as possible in their pictures. But in the heavily packed venue, that will be an impossible task baring the use of Photoshop to remove “intrusive” subjects. What’s an airport with little to no people though? Enjoy their presence and include them in the photo composition. My Canon EOS RP swivel screen came in really handy when I went down low to shoot the human landscape. Shoot plenty of frames to increase the rate of capturing perfect shots.

Canon EOS RP | Canon EF16-35mm F4L ISf/5.6 | 1/125 |ISO 100

Less is More 

Instead of using ultra-wide angled (UWA) lenses all the time, bring your telephoto lenses like the Canon EF70-200mm F2.8 L IS. Zoom in tight to capture the mood of the venue. In the picture above, I shot at a 200mm length to compress the view of the visitors enjoying the wet mist from the Rain Vortex. With a huge crowd that slowed down our movements, the zoom lens came in handy, allowing me to shoot from further away.

Canon EOS RP | Canon 70-200mm F4L ISf/4.5 | 1/640 | ISO 400

Time Your Visit 

Knowing the sun orientation is important so that you can make use of the natural lighting to your advantage. In the picture below, it looked deceptively easy to compose but is really a confluence of ideal conditions. I used an aperture of F18 to generate a Sunstar by positioning the sun to a corner of the roof structure for a more pinpoint effect. I was hoping that the clouds do not cover it while waiting for the trams to pass along the track as the shot would have looked incomplete without it. Likewise, the water mist from the waterfall enhanced the shards of sun rays for a more dramatic outcome.

Canon EOS RP | Canon EF16-35mm F4L ISf/18 | 1/30 | ISO 400

Have Fun, Go with Friends 

To better enjoy your photo outing, get like-minded friends to tag along so you can discuss and learn from each other’s experiences after the photo session. Canon EOS World organises complimentary photo walks regularly. So do keep a look out on their community website.

Canon EOS RP | Canon EF16-35mm F4L ISf/4 | 1/30 | ISO 100

Don’t Leave Your Tripod at Home

One of the key highlights of the Jewel at Changi Airport is the Light and Sound Show, that commences nightly after dark. You will need a stable tripod to be able to capture the show as long exposure is needed. Gorilla pod is ideal as you can use it to secure your camera on the passageways guard rails. I would recommend a max exposure of not more than 3-4 seconds to capture the laser trails at its best!

Canon EOS RP |Canon EF16-35mm F4L ISf/5.6 | 1/4 | ISO 100

For more photography tips from Jensen, check out his website here.

*All pictures used in this article are copyrighted to Jensen Chua Photography and all rights are reserved.