‘What Makes SG’: These winning photos from National Geographic collab show the stunning side of Singapore

Benita Lee

Now that National Day is nearly upon us, we can all expect the annual bombardment of government-approved jingles that you may or may not secretly listen to on repeatlocally-inspired nosh, and red and white on things that should never be splashed with those colors. *patriotic feels*

To celebrate Singapore’s 53rd birthday, we’ve got a special Singapore edition of a little magazine you may have heard of called National Geographic. Dropping islandwide at community centers and libraries, the limited edition publication will see 250,000 copies distributed for free from Aug 1 onwards.

Of course, this being a collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Information, the mag will feature an interview with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong about his thoughts on the future of Singapore, alongside a series of local stories about individuals contributing to “shaping our future home through their pursuits.”

All this is part of the #WhatMakesSG campaign (since the authorities have figured out hashtags are the way to millennials’ hearts… and eyeballs), which includes a photography contest that was held back in April. Out of the over 7,000 entries, five winners were chosen by National Geographic photographer Michael Yamashita and Nobel Peace Prize photographer Sim Chi Yin.

These images — plus Yamashita’s pictures of Singapore — will tour the country at a month-long roving exhibition that just started in Suntec City this week. Following that, the display will move to Changi Airport Terminal 4, Central Public Library, Jurong Regional Library, and Cheng San Public Library.

Oh, and for more on Singapore, you can tune in to a 60-minute Nat Geo documentary called City of the Future: Singapore, which will air from Aug 18.

Here are the winning photos.

This shot of the Bishan Otter family at Gardens by the Bay East was taken by nature enthusiast Kang Yen Thiing, who’s taken a keen interest in Singapore’s smooth-coated otters and how they’ve adapted to urban life over the past few years. Photo: Kang Yen Thiing
The single father captured this beautiful moment of his daughter running to him on a hot summer day at a water park. Photo: Partha Pratim Roy
This school administrator got her start in photography as a weekend hobby four years ago – the image was actually an accidental shot of the skyscrapers and shop houses of Singapore while she was waiting for the Chinese New Year fireworks display. Photo: Nikki Chiang
With a sizeable following on Instagram, Leslie Heng captures artistic, architectural shots when he explores the city with his camera in his free time. Photo: Leslie Heng
The IT professional who shot this prefers to document the lesser-seen elements of life – this photo captures the sunrise along Boat Quay, at the busiest part of the old Port of Singapore, which saw three quarters of all shipping business pass through during the 1860s. Photo: Teh Han Lin


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