Photographing The Marina Bay Sands – Singapore

When I think Singapore, I think Marina Bay Sands. I went to Singapore for the first time during the Summer 2014. It was the starting point for a month-long trip that would then bring me to Indonesia, to Kuala Lumpur, and back to Singapore.

When I started looking for hotels in Singapore, my thoughts were: Wow! That’s expensive! For our first stay in the city, I settled to the Holiday Inn Express Singapore Orchard Road. If you want to stay in the Orchard Road area, I highly recommend it.  It is conveniently located and it is a nice hotel.

But on our second stay at the end of the trip, I decided to overlook the price tag and book two nights at the Marina Bay Sands. While it’s quite expensive, I think that, for a leisure trip, you have to consider the Marina Bay Sands like an attraction rather than a hotel. There are so many things to keep you occupied that you shouldn’t leave the hotel while you stay there.

That being said, even if you don’t stay there, you can actually hang around and take amazing pictures of the hotel and of the areas surrounding.

Singapore Marina Bay Sands

Since we didn’t get that much clear skies during our two stays in Singapore (it was always a little hazy or cloudy), my daytime pictures aren’t that great. Well, you be the judge:

Marina Bay Sands Singapore

Marina Bay Sands Singapore

But at night, things got interesting. Here is what I suggest if you want to get pretty pictures of that gigantic and impressive hotel.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore

Marina Bay Sands Singapore

1. Bring a good tripod. While you could be able to find places to rest your camera while taking the long exposure photographs, it is much easier to have a tripod with you so you can position yourself wherever you want and so you risk less of having shaky pictures.

2. Be patient. Night photography usually means long exposure photography, which means that you have to be patient. Be sure to plan lots of time to try different settings and see the results. Try to not be rushed or to be in a situation where you don’t have time to do long exposure photography. That brings me to my next tip:

3. Try different settings. Don’t be shy to fill up space on those memory cards. You can delete the duplicates after if you ever run out of space. But for now, experiment. Try a 30 seconds exposure with an aperture of f16. And then a 15 seconds exposure with an aperture of f8. And see what you prefer. (Out of disclosure, I’m just throwing out settings without actually having checked what I used for the pictures in that post). So try different settings. A longer exposure will smoothen out the water even more. A bigger f stop number will mean a bigger depth of field. Remember that!

4. Take time to walk around. Every step you take, the perspective changes. Something might get out of the frame which makes the picture even more beautiful. See below for the changes in perspectives. Or something might get into the frame which makes the picture even more interesting. Like the ArtScience Museum, the white structure in my pictures. Or you could see something totally different from the hotel you’re trying to photograph, but which makes an interesting photo nonetheless. Like those trees in front of the Marina Bay Sands.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Marina Bay Sands SingaporeMarina Bay Sands Singapore

So there you have it. My tips to photograph the Marina Bay Sands. Bring a tripod, be patient, try different settings, walk around.

Have you been to Singapore? Did you try night photography? Tell me more in the comments!

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