22 year-old architecture major Yafiq Yusman has quite an Instagram following on Explore Singapore, an account dedicated to showcasing the city in a fun and interesting way. He’s most famous, however, for his reflective images of the cityscape, in a series called “Reflections of Singapore.” Here we speak to him about the series and look at some of his most striking photos.
What inspired you to shoot this series of mirrored images?
I love sharing a different perspective with people, something they don’t usually notice in everyday life. Reflection shots or #puddlegram(s) on Instagram is a good example of this. There are a few Instagrammers whose work I follow and who inspired me a few years back. They are @vutheara from Paris and @deebawr from Singapore. After learning from the outstanding visuals they produced, I came up with my own style.
What were some of your considerations when choosing the places to shoot? ?
I don’t really choose the place to shoot, as the opportunity to capture is everywhere. However, when I do, I love it when there are architectural elements that I can capture in the shot. I take note of leading lines, the perspective and also the people in it. Puddles will always excite me as they are very intriguing to capture. The curiosity of what the image would look like after I shoot keeps me wanting to capture more. It’s addictive.
Did you also have to wait for the streets to rain when shooting?
Most of the time, yes. Rainy days bring a smile to my face as there will be opportunities for me to take puddle shots. When I’m out, I bend down and capture the reflection. No matter how weird it may look, I do it for the love of photography.
What were some of the funny or memorable things that happened when shooting?
What goes on behind the scenes is always funny. As I am always engrossed in shooting my reflection shots, I didn’t take note of the way I’m positioning myself. Some of my friends love to capture me when I’m taking pictures because I look so awkward!
What were some of the difficulties that you had when shooting this series?
There are a few times when the shot doesn’t live up to my expectations, as the puddle isn’t clear enough, or that the perspective that I have captured is not what I envisioned it to be. Sometimes, I also don’t position my camera well and don’t get the right angle or perspective. However, with the amount of experience that I have accumulated in taking these shots, it gets easier to predict the outcome of the image.
What do you think is so fascinating about Singapore cityscapes?
I love the cityscapes and utilizing the beauty of what my country has to offer. What is fascinating about Singapore is the places. The amount of places you can go to is limited but the opportunity to explore different ways of seeing is limitless. As Singapore is has a tropical climate, the lighting is always good. Except when there’s haze.
My favorite image is the one you see above, which was taken a few years back. I didn’t edit it that much; I just tweaked it a little. I am also quite happy with the alignment and proportion of the photo, which was something that I got right on the first click. I wasn’t able to do that few years back but it gets easier after a lot of practice. I was very satisfied with the outcome. People might not like it but I personally love it!