It is a feat trying to imagine what the night sky looks like in its natural state in modern day, metropolitan Singapore.
A simple Google search about stars in Singapore turns up more celebrities and light pollution than it does about anything on the cosmos.
Plainly speaking, the Singaporean sky is perceived to be starless. Apart from those few visible constellations crassly summarised as the Orion’s belt, stars in Singapore have taken to shying behind the blue canvas while their artificial nemeses, city bright lights, outshine them completely.
Defying popular belief, Singapore-based astrophotographer Justin Ng boldly sets on a series he named Star Trails where he painstakingly follows and treks the constellations in an incandescent eddy. With the patience of long-exposure and post-processing, the once hidden stars lend their magic to feature powerfully in photographs of recognisable landmarks in Singapore.
The results bore uncanny resemblance to Van Gogh’s painting of The Starry Night.
All image credit belongs to Justin Ng.
With an extensive portfolio, notably a mystical picture of three men beneath the Milky Way at Mount Bromo in Indonesia, Justin’s works have been circulated within major publication circles comprising National Geographic, Time Magazine, The Guardian, BBC, Huffington Post, amongst others.
Even then, Star Trails was not met without scepticism, largely coming from local Singaporeans. Comments were found on his Facebook page expressing doubts about location, the use of Photoshop, and the impossibility of the shots in the presence of heavy light pollution.
In an effort to deflect criticism, Justin purportedly accepted a challenge from a Facebook follower to shoot in a more identifiable location in Singapore. One of his latest works features the Milky Way in a surreal photograph of the Marina Bay Sands. The picture, I believe, clearly attests to his credibility and skill.
More of Justin’s works can be found here.