Brunei Darussalam


This Chinese New Year 2010, I captured no photos of Lion dance performances unlike previous years where I would drop by the school for the Lion awakening ceremony. And unlike previous years where I would celebrate the new year with my parents and extended family members on the first day. This year, however, my wife and I decided to join over 200 travellers from Brunei and Malaysia to usher in the Year of the Tiger in Taiwan. Our flight took off as early 4 AM (no chance to sleep after reunion dinner) and the first light of the new dawn was this magnificent light. Other than visiting my in-laws, I visited no one this year as I’ve been swamped with back to back work since returning from Kuala Lumpur then Taiwan then [gasping for air] …very recently, 3 intense days of Japanese Cuisine shoot. From reunion dinner to Chap Goh Mei dinner, 15 days of celebration comes to a close and whisked up at a blink of an eye. In continuing the tradition of the Ending The Night With a Bang series here are shots from last night. This time I set up two remote flashes, one hanging off the basketball board ring and another on a light stand to the right.


I was originally very ambitious when it came to the fire crackers. We used to light two long strings of them previously but this year I really wanted to light two combined sets of 3,000 fire crackers simultaneously until I realised the fuse was way too short to pull this off successfully so we abandoned this year for safety reasons (made a mental note to inspect the goods during purchase next year).


The white dot on the top right corner is in fact the full moon. We had waited for the clouds to clear before we ignited the fuse. I made sure the moon was part of the story for a stronger composition although its size wasn’t significant compared to the flare from the two flashes.

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At this height, the pole we used cannot fully accommodate the long string of 3,000 closely packed fire crackers.



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Cleaning up the mess we created. What took seconds to burn left a mess of debris that took a good 5 to 10 minutes to clean up. It’s the same with photography—assignments that may take a whole day to shoot more often than not take several days or weeks to post process. Check out the mess from previous BANGS.


10 thoughts on “ENDING THE NIGHT WITH A BANG 3

  1. These photos were shot with my only available wide angle EF lens, the 17-40mm on the 5D Mark II. Distance to the fire crackers was no further than 5 feet. I got hit countless times by the flying crackers that were shooting off in every direction imaginable. There was just so much smoke and debris everywhere that I needed a shower afterwards.


  2. Its always great to see crackers firing up infront of you~
    Too bad we couldn’t get to see it in Singapore.
    I especially like the last 4 photos.
    Reminds me of my childhood in kampong where fire cracker is not banned then~ hehe..


    1. I wouldn’t mind if fire crackers were banned actually. We should never play with explosives no matter how tempting or fun it may seem to be. Each year our government allows the legal sale and use of fire crackers I take these pictures until such a time I am fed-up and decide not to bother anymore. I do it for the same reason it reminds you of your childhood in Kampong—I remember very little of my own childhood so I’m making full use of time today to immortalize such fleeting moments and memories.


      1. After 3 years of shooting Chap Goh Mei solo I think I should round up some photographers and set up something even more spectacular .. light up the night with not 3,000 but perhaps 9,000 firecrackers and Canon/Nikon flashes! Woot ..


  3. ooh..some of the pictures look exceptionally vibrant! red confetti-like or ashes if preferred, look really good…they somehow look like red roses on the floor.. haha =) Love your shots!!


    1. Hi Lin Ji. Shimworld misses your comments. Thanks for dropping by. They look like red roses because symbolically Chap Goh Mei coincides with the Chinese Valentine’s Day so there you go! Firecrackers exploding ‘roses’ in the air—how incredibly cool is that ? 🙂


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