I never visited Thean Hou Temple before Chinese New Year and since I saw an article about more lanterns this year, I thought it would be nice to pay a visit and see what it is all about. I expected it to be like Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang where lights are turned on way before Chinese New Year but it was not to be.
I reached there after 6pm and while waiting for the lights to go on, I decided to snap a few shot. Being there, one can feel the atmosphere, without the crowd.
While there were few people there, there wasn’t a lack of photographers. We saw a few, and most came armed with tripods and all the works, including me and my friend of course.
I remembered there were some statues of the 12 different animals in the Chinese zodiac, so of course, must go and snap a photo of the tiger, since it is the year of the tiger. Was looking at different angles and thought this would be the best, with a view of the temple and some sky.
As it grew darker, I grew more worried. The lights didn’t seem like it will make an appearance and that would be sad indeed. Being a little kiasu, we were upstairs but decided to make our way down to book our spot. After all, once the lights are turned on, you can bet that the photographers will all be trying to get the best angle possible.
The right at the centre shot has been done to death but I never shot one myself so I knew I wanted that angle.
The newly acquired Velbon tripod was ready in place, the China-made remote trigger was plugged in and I was all set to be wowed. Unfortunately, Thean Hou Temple did not turn on the lights. We were told that they would only do so from the eve of CNY for a period of one month.
I was disappointed but after looking at the pictures, I guess it was not too bad as well. At least I know what I did wrong. For example, the above shot taken using the 24mm f2.8 Manual Focus lens is slightly out-of-focus. I thought that focusing at infinity for that distance would be alright, but I guess not. I might also need new ballhead, the one I got with the tripod seems a bit too small.
So, what would it look like if the lights were turned on? Walking around the temple after news broke out that there will be no lights, I found an angle where the lanterns were lit up by the spotlight. And I guess that could have been the sight. Only 10 times better.
I will be back, Thean Hou Temple. I will.