Sleepless and studying at 4am

Sleepless and studying at 4am

A Secondary 4 student took some time off revising at 4am to take this self-portrait. Matthew Lau, 16, has been staying up late almost every night since September to prepare for his upcoming O-level exams..

"It is very intense preparation," said the Monfort Secondary School student. Matthew, who aspires to be a professional photographer, won $500 for last week's Big Picture theme "Exam-nation", which called for submissions on coping with the annual ritual.

The Big Picture is a year-long contest organised by The New Paper and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth to encourage Singaporeans to document everyday life in the city.

Last week's three judges each picked a different winner, but Matthew's photo won because it received the most votes.

Said judge Tay Kay Chin: "As long as you were a student, you can relate to this immediately." Judge Tay's winning pick was a photo of students at Changi Airport Terminal 3 by Mr Kajan Madrasmail. "I like how the photographer used space to convey the 'loneliness' of the students."

Judge Francis Lee's winner was Mr Koh Soon Ann's photo of students in an exam hall.

"Despite the neatly arranged tables, the composition conveys a sense of urgency in a diagonal flow that suggests otherwise," he said.

Judge Ng Sor Luan picked one by Mr Muhammad Jafri of a student poring over stacks of notes on a bus.

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