May 2010, Netherlands. Commission for KLM inflight magazine
In May Michelle worked on an assignment for the KLM inflight magazine Holland Herald. The feature will be published during the summer of 2010 – more news on publication.
May 2010, Singapore. Mandarin Oriental hotel
Michelle carried out an assignment for the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Singapore photographing by day, dawn and dusk their salubrious new pool area.
The pool has various levels with a state-of-the-art design, including a wet deck for lounging; an infinity edge cascading onto small, round, sea-smoothed pebbles; cosy, solid-teak cabañas for two with earth-toned interiors; relaxing ambient music; and superb views of the city. The whole area has a “resort” feel – an oasis from the hustle and bustle of booming Singapore.
The new pool area also boasts a sky terrace – a great place to chill and watch the sun do down, with unrestricted views to many of the emblematic, iconic buildings of Singapore’s skyline. The hotel’s Dolce Vita Italian restaurant is renowned for its superb Mediterranean cuisine, and features a spacious function area which can host anything from product launches and corporate events to private outdoor family celebrations.
In terms of a long-haul assignment and airline weight restrictions on camera gear, it was a delight to find camera rental shops with extremely competitive prices, stocking the latest in digital equipment, a delight for any professional photographer on the road. External hard drives at a snip of the price in Europe make it easy to have that extra security copy of your assignment, with a very reasonable price tag.
This photographic assignment commenced in May 2010, to be completed in June 2010.
May 2010, Singapore. Botanic Gardens
With over 150 years of history, the Botanic Gardens of Singapore are a must-see highlight for any visitor. Here you will find families relaxing, groups practising Thai Chi and meditation, cultural events at the open-air theatre, people enjoying the green space, and nature lovers in their element.
The highlight for Michelle was the National Orchid Garden, with the largest display of orchids in the world and, surprisingly for super-clean Singapore, a tree with graffiti. This reminded Michelle of the Bamboo Graffiti in the gardens of Majorelle in Marrakesh. Many of the orchids here are dedicated to dignitaries and celebrities, including Margaret Thatcher and Benazir Bhutto, as well as a hybrid in remembrance of Princess Diana.
The orchid garden really has to be seen to be believed – it is nature in perfection; the orchid itself is a parasite, growing and feeding off other plants in the jungle. After the orchid garden, Michelle recommends a visit to the cool house, a refreshing jungle area with a delightfully instantaneous drop in temperature.
For lovers of the ginger flower, don’t miss out on the Ginger Garden, and, above all, don’t forget your camera.
May 2010 Koh Samui, Thailand
All photographers have a different philosophy on this subject, but after months of commercial shoots, Michelle left behind all her gear in safe storage in Singapore and travelled to Koh Samui to relax, with only one body and one lens. As a photographer, putting down the gear occasionally is a therapy in itself. In Koh Samui, she did just that, apart from one shot of the view from the hotel room looking out to the South China Sea, as well as a small selection of images from the Big Buddha, and the extremely photogenic new Wat Nuan Naram Buddhist temple at Plai Laem.