We feature some of the brightest Instagram storytellers in the Passion Passport community through our Instagram Spotlight series. This week, Eric Poon (@sgpoonie) explains some of the techniques that make his photography stand out from the crowd.

Symmetry

Symmetry refers to a sense of harmonious, beautiful proportion and balance in our everyday life. But on the other hand, in mathematics, symmetry has a more precise definition: that one shape becomes exactly like another if you flip, slide, or turn it around.

This first photo was taken at Skyville@Dawson in Queenstown, Singapore. It is a custom building that consists of 960 homes. The area was designed with a “housing-in-the-park” mindset, and the link-bridge pictured was built between the blocks of homes and terraces. In this instance, I used symmetry as a technique to frame the photo.

Similarly, the second image — taken at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, outside the Nu Sentral building — uses the same technique. I chanced upon this bit of architecture during a shopping spree and instantly fell in love with the wooden structure. I often use symmetry when shooting architectural spaces, as it highlights the meeting point of the interesting shapes.

Pattern

Pattern refers to a repeated, decorative design. Each of these three pictures was taken on different occasions and in various venues, but they are all classified as examples of pattern because they highlight the concept of repetition. These images show that taking photos of buildings doesn’t have to be boring or dull — when you focus your eye, you can capture and appreciate a structure’s beautiful, repetitive design.

Lines

The concept of line was first introduced by ancient mathematicians to represent straight objects with insignificant width and depth. After deciding to take shots of buildings that would produce the end result of “line,” I journeyed to western Singapore to photograph 64 Yung Kuang Road.  Although I did not abide by the “rules” of line when I took these photos, since the lines were not “straight” from left to right or top to bottom, these images, showcase the creative freedom that photography offers. For example, to play with more angles and perspectives, and to make the lines more distinctive, I placed an object (the rainbow-colored umbrella) in between them to attract greater attention to the lines.

Spirals

Spiral staircases can be extremely eye-catching. I find their repetitive geometric shapes and sense of endless perspective rather distinct. Their patterns add texture to photographs, as can be seen in this photo of the red-and-black staircase that I took at a local school.

Reflections

Reflection photos, especially when shot indoors, have much more going on in the frame than other images. Essentially, they double the architectural elements and colors, are more dramatic, and also provide a balanced composition. To prepare for this, I conducted research before visiting each of these places.

When learning about the Yayoi Kusama, I discovered that an auspicious or unique ornament is often placed in the center of the building’s entrance. In this photo, a pumpkin was added to the room, which accentuates the reflective properties of the chamber itself.

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Eric Poon
Eric Poon is a Singaporean with more than 10 years of experience in the tourism industry. His countless opportunities to travel for work quickly turned him into an avid traveler and, in turn, a passionate photographer. He currently uses Instagram to capture and share moments from around the world in hopes that others might learn to appreciate the architectural details found in every city.