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How to Take a Great Photo?

How to Take a Great Photo? Get Some Pointers From Last Year’s Winners

The race is on for shutterbugs across CCK Town to win a coveted spot in CCK Town’s 2023 Calendar. (Join the photo contest or email 

We spoke to the top 3 winners of the 2022 Calendar Photo Contest to bring you their winning tips and the inspiration behind their beautiful photos.

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

The key to getting a good shot is patience, said Hong Kah North resident Yong Kuo Hoong, whose photo of the sunrise at Sungei Buloh’s Eagle Point (below) clinched the top prize in the 2022 Calendar photo contest.

Kuo Hong, a geography teacher, also won the top prize in the 2021 Calendar Photo Contest with his photo of sunrise at Kranji Dam (see below). 

“I love taking photographs and since the theme of the last contest was nature — my favourite subject — I decided to just give it a try again,” said the two-time winner, who got hooked on photography at university.

Though he was unable to travel overseas in the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he said the time spent exploring the hidden nooks and crannies of our sunny isle has “opened [his] eyes to the beauty that can be found within Singapore’s shores”.

Kuo Hoong said CCK Town Council’s contest was a really good idea because it showed the public that natural beauty does exist in urban Singapore — if one knows just where to look.

For his winning shot, he captured Sungei Buloh’s Eagle Point at sunrise as it allowed him to show off his forte, sunrise photography, and to challenge himself shooting in a new location.

He checked out the photos that had been taken of Sungei Buloh Eagle Point and researched online for the best available vantage points.

Patience, he said, is critical to getting a good shot. He visited Eagle’s Point at least twice to maximise his chances. He explained: “You may not get the shot you want immediately. The weather may be too cloudy but if you wait a while, the light may change, and you will be amply rewarded.”

Be adventurous

For real estate agent Bryan Goh, the pandemic provided him with an opportunity to take photos in unusual settings.

In the past, the CCK estate resident would head to the Central Business District to enjoy the annual New Year’s Day fireworks. When the venue of the fireworks was changed to the heartlands in 2021 due to the pandemic, he was game to try something different.

“The heartlands fireworks may not be as grand, but it is a nice change of scenery; you get a photo that’s not the run of the mill,” he said. His tip: Keep trying different things.

His picture of the fireworks cascading over CCK Town won him the most likes in CCK Town Council’s First View from Your Window Instagram contest earlier this year.

His photo of sunrise at Kranji Reservoir (pictured below) won him the second prize in the 2022 Calendar Photo Contest.

Bryan had also participated in the Town Council’s 2021 Calendar Photo Contest with this scene of youths playing basketball (pictured below).

All You Need is a Little Planning

Retired polytechnic lecturer Clement Lee is a familiar face in Hillview as the volunteer photographer is often on the ground to capture community events — free of charge.

The Bukit Gombak resident first picked up a camera during his junior college days. He said: “Back then, it was an expensive hobby because you had to pay to develop every single shot that you took on film.”

However, he said the advent of digital photography has made the hobby accessible to many more people as one can snap as many photos as one likes and just choose the best to print.

Since his retirement a few years ago, he started spending more time honing his craft and going on overseas shooting trips with his photo buddies. Since the pandemic, he has been exploring the island in search of nice spots and has shot countless sunrises and sunsets.

His favourite haunts to shoot in CCK Town are Little Guilin and Bukit Batok Nature Park, which are near his home.  These two locations are featured in his entries for the 2021 and 2022 Calendar Photo Contests.

Little Guilin is featured in Clement’s entry for the 2021 Calendar Photo Contest.

His winning entry for 2022 cast the spotlight on a group of residents stretching in front of Bukit Gombak Sports Complex. He said: “Sunrises and sunsets are very common, so I wanted to inject a human element to show people at their early morning exercise.”

Planning, he added, is needed for good photos. For example, he had to wake up at 6am to be there at 6.30am to catch the people in action with the sunrise.

Inspired by Clement, Bryan and Kuo Hoong? Put these tips into action and up your chances of  getting your best shot into the 2023 calendar!

Join the photo contest or email