Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Vesak 2551 Float Parade & Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Soft Opening

Happy Vesak Day to all Buddhists and beings of the world,
today is Vesak 2551.

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Venerable Shi Fa Zhao
President of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Yesterday, I went for my first Event & Reportage photoshoot. It was very crowded when I reached the front of the temple around 6.30pm. I managed to station myself beside the gallery area, directly opposite the temple. It was warm and everyone was squeezing to the front. All that heat is making me sweat like a pig. At times when I was going to loose my cool, and give those 'mobile phone loud-hailers' a piece of mind. I told myself to restrain as this is after all a Buddhist event and I must treat everyone with a compassionate heart. Despite the fact that I have never liked crowds, I was quite surprised that my mind remained calm with each thought of compassion. This significant religious event is one that I have anticipated for weeks, the Soft Opening of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum link along South Bridge Road (opposite Maxwell Market). The guest-of-honour for the evening was our President Nathan. In conjunction with the soft opening of the temple, there was also a celebration on the eve with a float parade. Displays from around Asia participated in this meaningful event. My dad participated in the event as well. He was driving the float display called 'Dharma'. I did not know that the 'Dharma' was his float until after event, back at home. I thought that it was the best display of the evening, the theme and sound gave me a very peaceful and spiritual sensation. At the end of the hour-long parade, there was a short 5-minutes fireworks display fired from the temple itself, followed by the opening ceremony. The temple will be officially opened to public from 11pm onward.

Click on thumbnails above to learn more about the parade details.

Armed with my D200 and SB-600 with SureBounce MK.I, I burnt 271 films (shutter counts) for this event, but most of the shots did not turn out good, due to the lack of night event experience and also my poor location, as I was blocked by many standing guards and official photographers. I regretted that I had not asked my dad to get me an Official pass. I had a hard time trying to capture shots of the performances, over peoples' shoulders, since I was using 50mm (the longest I have) and most of the shots turned out blurry at full resolution. It was hard cropping away shoulders, keeping around 30-40% of the blurry images, which also meant that I had to resize them small to make them sharp. This might just be the last of my event & reportage shoots, as I find the shots not worthy, unless I am an Official and had shooting privilege.
Nevertheless, here are the pictures from the event.

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