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The Marina Bay Sands Light Show – Before & After

(Click on the image for larger view.)

It is more than a month now, I have no making any landscape photography outing due to the serious haze condition here in Malaysia. In other words, giving me more time to spend with my family, also a good timing to check back my previous unprocessed photos and clearing them, lol. This photo was taken at 2014 year end at Singapore, I make a short trip there, spending some good times with my friends and also took some of the famous views around the cities.

This photo took beside Helix Bridge from a lower angle (one of the famous view here), using it as an interesting leading line to bring the viewer’s attention onto the Marina Bay Sands and the light show. The Light Show always performs every day, and at least 2 sessions each day. Sometimes the schedule might change due to some occasional events, I would advise checking out the latest schedule from its website Here, before visiting.

The first show begin at 8 pm, I reach the spot almost an hour earlier, so that I can set up my gear and trying out several composition at different focal length. Once I decide one, I took several shots with different exposures and shutter speed, then I will leave the composition unchanged until The Light Show start and finish. The shows will be last for 15 minutes, and to capture the laser light, I will need to use a faster shutter speed at 1.3 seconds, the sky was total dark and I have to compensate by pushing higher ISO at 400, change my aperture at f4 and re-focusing on the Marina Bay Sand instead of using hyper focus.  I want to ensure both the laser light and the Marina Bay Sand are sharp and clear enough, and I will blend them in the earlier shot that I took.

 Shooting Info:

16 mm focal length,

Base photo: ISO-100. f11 aperture at 30 seconds shutters speed.

Recovery highlight: ISO-100. f11 aperture at 7 seconds shutters speed.

Light Show: ISO-400, f4.0 aperture at 1.3 seconds shutters speed.

When I at home, I put all my photos in the lightroom, from here I will do some minor adjustment, on the white balance, exposure and also the lens correction. I was stood at the lower angle of the Helix Bridge, and I want to include more of the bridge as the leading line, I decide to tilt up my camera and make the shot. Normally I will try to avoid this, because this will causing distortion, and to fix that in post processing I will need to do some cropping or sometimes cloning after correcting the distortion, which causing downsizing on the image resolution, and I not prefer that. Below is the result after the adjustment in lightroom.


Next I move the photos into photoshop, pick the base exposure and using another under exposure shoot to recovery the highlight. From all the photos that I took during the Light Show, I pick 2 from there after an experiment with several different combination of Lights to get the ideal one. Blending in the Laser Lights is simple, just loaded the photo in as a layer, and change the blending mode to “lighten”, the laser lights will automatically merge together. However just to make the blending more precisely, I adding the layer mask to make sure it is only applying on the laser lights and also slightly brighten up the Marina Bay Sand building.


The 2 photos that I use to blend in the Light Show

I fill up the blank area using clone stamp tool and also apply a bit of motion blur on the water just to smoother it more. Change the photo’s color tone to toward blue, my personal opinion blue always work best for night Cityscape. 🙂  I playing around on contrast adjustment using luminosity masking technique, and just to make the helix bridge which also my leading line more “pop”, I slightly brighten it up. After that I loaded in Nik Software color effect pro, applying a bit of pro contrast, and to darken the sky more I applying the polarization filter. After all the adjustment, the photo appears to be over saturated, I have reduced it based on the different color channel using Hue/Saturation adjustment. Lastly, before I export my photo, I sharpen the image and adding some noise reduction on the sky and water area,

Here is the Before & After Comparison

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