Dad slides into first place with shot of kids' joy

SINGAPORE - Sun, sea and slide: the key components of a winning snapshot?

For Mr Robin Tan, 56, that was certainly the case.

Mr Tan, a technical officer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, has won the second weekly prize of The Straits Times' Wherever You Are contest for the photograph of his son and daughter enjoying themselves on a water slide.

He will receive $1,000 in cash from the contest, which showcases how the paper brings content across various platforms to readers, wherever they are.

Readers can send in a photo or a video of themselves or their loved ones enjoying life. Bonus points are given to those who weave in a creative reference to the newspaper.

Mr Tan snapped the shot on a recent cruise trip to Phuket. He and his family were aboard the SuperStar Virgo cruise ship, which had a 100m mega water slide that his children instantly fell in love with.

His son Chang Chuen, 11, and daughter Ee Shuen, 13, adored the slide so much that they sacrificed their shore trip to Phuket in order to have more time on it.

"That slide was something special," reminisced Mr Tan. "It has a transparent part that juts out over the water - it's like you're falling into the sea."

The photo immediately caught the eye of this week's judge, ST Life! food editor Tan Hsueh Yun, 45. "The sky looks so beautiful in the picture - something which we cannot take for granted these days," quipped Ms Tan.

"I really love the pure joy of the children in the photo," she added.

Readers stand to win cash prizes worth more than $30,000 in the contest, which has seen more than 1,100 entries so far.

The top winner gets a trip for two to London to catch the Chelsea versus Manchester City match at Stamford Bridge on Oct27. He or she will enjoy a five-day hotel stay courtesy of Millennium & Copthorne Hotels and at least $3,000 in cash.

To get these prizes, readers have been upping the ante. Some have sent in photos of themselves levitating off the ground or leaping out of planes.

Among the 20 shortlisted entrants for this week was Mr Eugene Ang, 22, who is majoring in international politics at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

In his shot, Mr Ang appears to be floating out of a door at Georgetown while reading his campus newspaper.

He achieved the illusion using a tripod, the self-timer function on his camera and "countless painstaking jumps".

"As our minds and curiosity are set adrift by the books and newspapers we read, reading perhaps does make one fly," said Mr Ang.

Another adventurous soul is Mr Johnathan Ng, 25, whose shortlisted photo featured him skydiving in Wollongong, Australia.

Mr Ng, a telecommunications engineering graduate from the University of New South Wales, scribbled "THIS IS LIFE" in marker on his palm before he leapt into mid-air.

"You only live once," he said. "Why not just jump out of a plane and regret it later?"

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