5 things to do today: Free lesson on taking better portraits, explore heritage spaces virtually and more

Stay in and help fight Covid-19. The Straits Times recommends fun, uplifting things to do each day


1. LEARN: Tips to take better photos

A photo by healthcare professional and photography enthusiast Tan Chin Hock, who will be giving free lessons via video conferencing platform Zoom on tips to take pictures of loved ones at home. PHOTO: TAN CHIN HOCK

If the extended circuit breaker feels like a downer, snap out of it.

To healthcare professional and photography enthusiast Tan Chin Hock, 42, the extended time at home is the perfect opportunity to strap on your camera and snap portraits of your loved ones at home.

He will share tips over video-conferencing platform Zoom on how best to use photography to make the most out of your time at home.

In two sessions held at 7pm today and 3pm tomorrow, he will give advice on how to shoot according to a theme and how to make the process fun for your subjects.

Each session lasts about 40 minutes and is free of charge.

His photo book, Siblings - The Ups And Downs Of Having One (2019), came in first in the book category of photography awards Le Prix de la Photographie de Paris last year.

Mr Tan says: ''This uncomfortable situation we are in right now will end, but memories last forever.

''I hope to use photography to inspire readers to look at the current situation in a different light.''

For details on the free sessions and to view his personal collection of photos of his family, go to Memories Of A Circuitbreaker.

2. DO: Explore heritage spaces virtually

Conversation starter kits contain a selection of images of old buildings and landmarks such as Capitol Building. PHOTO: COURTESY OF NATIONAL HERITAGE BOARD

Discover what Orchard Road was like in the 19th Century before it became a shopping belt, or listen to stories about Singapore's rich intangible cultural heritage.

The National Heritage Board has curated a series of nostalgic things people can do at home, from exploring cultural spaces virtually to watching videos of traditional trades such as songkok making and Nonya beadwork.

There are also activities for children. For example, they can take on the role of a curator or a designer, write interesting captions for "artefacts" found at home or sketch out their ideal exhibition.

  • Write in

  • We would also like to hear from you, our readers, on how you are coping and keeping busy while at home. Please send us videos, pictures, stories, poems or other contributions at stlife@sph.com.sg or on ST's Facebook and Instagram accounts. We will curate and showcase some of these, including at str.sg/stayhomeST

To engage the elderly, download conversation starter kits that contain a selection of 40 images of old buildings, landmarks, scenes and objects, to spark discussion about these things and places.

Info: Your #StayHomeForSG Heritage Fix

3. LISTEN: Podcast for women entrepreneurs

If you are a caregiver thinking about how to make some extra money on the side, this podcast will get you thinking about how to start and sustain a business in the pandemic.

Ms Joyce Tee, DBS' group head of SME banking, addresses the top concerns of aspiring women entrepreneurs and answers questions such as whether now is a good time to test out business ideas as more people work from home.


Ms Tee also recounts how she started her own business at the age of 13 when she was schooling, as well as the hard knocks she encountered and lessons learnt along the way.

Info: Money Hacks Podcast: Lessons for budding women entrepreneurs in Covid-19 era

4. WATCH: Falling by Pangdemonium

Tan Kheng Hua (left) and Andrew Marko (right) in the 2016 production of Falling. PHOTO: PANGDEMONIUM

Tune into the challenges of caring for a family member with autism.

Local theatre group Pangdemonium will screen a video recording of its 2016 play, Falling, on Vimeo from 8pm today to 11.59pm on Sunday.

Falling was written by American playwright Deanna Jent, from her own experience as a mother of a boy with severe autism.

The veteran cast in Pangdemonium's show, set in Singapore, comprises Adrian Pang, Andrew Marko, Fiona Lim, Neo Swee Lin and Tan Kheng Hua.

Info: Details of Pangdemonium's screening, ST preview of Falling

5. LEARN: Famous sporting families

Singapore's swimming siblings (from far left) Quah Zheng Wen, Quah Jing Wen and Quah Ting Wen. PHOTO: ST FILE C2

They say talent runs in the blood and for these six sports families, this certainly holds true.

Read about Italian Daniel Maldini, a third-generation AC Milan player who in February made his debut for the famous Italian club some 66 years after his grandfather Cesare, or about Singapore's three Quah swimming siblings, who won 13 gold and three silver medals at the 2019 SEA Games.

Info: Your Daily Dose: 6 sporting families

Compiled by Prisca Ang, with input from Ernest Luis and Sazali Abdul Aziz

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 24, 2020, with the headline 5 things to do today: Free lesson on taking better portraits, explore heritage spaces virtually and more. Subscribe