Rory Daniel’s portfolio of commercial work is nothing short of diverse – he photographs food, fashion, lifestyle, corporate, travel and architecture. After the Australian fell in love with Singapore and adopted the country as his home, he was drawn to our skyline, which, to him, represents a home filled with endless opportunities.
What do you think is interesting about Singapore's architecture?
Singapore's skyline fascinates me. There are endless angles to explore and discover to make compelling and fresh images. New modern architecture sits comfortably next to a building built in 1929. For a photographer, there are lots of opportunities to visually compare and contrast buildings from different eras to make interesting images.
Singapore's skyline is also at human scale, unlike Shanghai's oversized edifices, which make you feel small and isolated. The lighting systems used to make the buildings come alive at night make the skyline fascinating at dusk.
Why do you pick particular buildings for your photos?
I am constantly on the lookout for different vistas and angles, and am naturally very curious. I am fascinated with working out how everything fits together in Singapore – the roads and linkages, the different neighbourhoods and the transport system. I satisfy this curiosity by walking or cycling everywhere. I am also attracted to bold shapes, quirky details and poetic combinations.
Do you use a special technique to capture your shots?
I use a tilt-shift lens to not only keep all lines vertical, but also to create super wide-framed images that allow me to fit a lot more into a picture. I love the big and gutsy images the technique produces. The lens allows you to fit full-sized skyscrapers into a frame even when relatively close to the building, and it also produces panoramas.
Do you wait for a certain light to hit the buildings to add nuance to a photograph?
Probably the most important part of architectural photography is knowing when the light will be at its most appealing. So the time of day is critical to the success of an image.
I tend not to wait for light though – I turn up when I predict the light is going to be right for any given building. I will drag myself out of bed for a dawn shot if I want to maximise my chances of having a deep blue sky, or turn up at 7pm for the blue light that lasts about seven minutes right after the sun has set.