Singapore

Winning shot took close to 20 hours to post-process

A black-and-white photo of Toa Payoh Central that took close to 20 hours to post-process was the winning image in the Housing Board's Shapes Of Home photo contest.

The photo, which accentuates the straight architectural lines of buildings and HDB blocks set against wispy clouds on a sunny day, was a labour of love for videographer Stefan Tan.

"Initially, I corrected all the shadows and highlights, but after looking at the final image, it did not achieve the vision I desired," said the 32-year-old, who picked up photography as a hobby in 2011 and turned professional in 2017.

"For the final edit, I decided to completely darken all the other elements that were distracting, keeping only the key elements. Black-and-white photography is one of the hardest things to master."

But Mr Tan's laborious work paid off, as the panel of judges said the image was a clear choice for the first prize - a Canon EOS 90D with 18-135mm kit lens, worth $2,379 in total.

One of the judges, Mr Bryan van der Beek, a professional commercial and editorial photographer, said the photo was a "clear standout" for him. "The photographer managed to capture a familiar place in a completely different way," he said.

The other three judges were HDB's group director of corporate communications Joyce Ng, Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) Chinese Media Group photo and video desk chief photographer Lee Tiah Khee and The Straits Times' picture editor Stephanie Yeow.

Held from Sept 1 to Oct 16, the Shapes Of Home photo contest invited people to share what home means to them through either green and distinctive HDB designs and architecture, or vibrant heartland moments, including moments in and around homes. It also marks HDB's 60th anniversary this year.

A total of 3,081 photos were submitted in the open category on SPH's Photonico platform and another 3,127 photos in the Instagram category.

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