Archives for category: Photography

I haven’t been shooting for a long time (since March 2012). This time last year I would have joined on the bandwagon and go for event such as Floria 2012, Bon Odori 2012 to shoot them but I just can’t find the passion to shoot recently. I guess its because of one incident which happened in March this year.

My house was broken into!!

And they took all but one of my lens. I lost a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8, Tamron 90mm f/2.8, a Lensbaby Composer and a couple of expensive filters.

They also took 4 of my hard disk which contained most of my documents, photos, things that I have collected for the past few years. Yeah… All the photos I took since 2006 is gone.

I was in a slump. It was a hard time to get by. I couldn’t believe that it was all gone. Cost-wise I guess I would have lost close to RM6000 that day alone. And it was after coming back from the CSS camp. Luckily I had my camera and my laptop out with me that day. If not the loss would have been even more painful.

Since then, I felt that the passion was no longer there, especially when others ask me to shoot photos. I still shoot every now and then but I can rarely find the joy of shooting anymore. I even gotten into a bad relationship with someone the day I lost my stuff because someone insisted I removed the photos of him from Facebook (acting like a child seriously @@). I gotten a phobia of leaving anything valuable alone now, and I bring my stuff everywhere I go to. I can’t imagine losing my laptop (with all my project data in it) or anything else. I got demotivated to do a lot of things (even my project) for a long while.

I’ve not told many about this, only those close to me. I had hopes getting the items back but still reality is that, this is Malaysia, you don’t really get back what you lost to thieves (which itself is a sad case). I also pray that nothing worse will come out of this bad experience.

Anyway. I have decided to type this here because a few days ago, while updating the previous post, I looked through the photos I took of Dogathon 2011, and most of them were good and it made me reminiscence the time I use to shoot. That when I told myself that I need to recover. I need to somehow get back into it again. Perhaps I have mourned long enough. So you might see some more photos from me in the future (hopefully).

I’m really thankful for the support I gotten in my time of slump though. There are people who were really understanding and I thank them for that :). I have also learned to be more careful I guess in leaving my stuff (although I still have the tendency to leave things everywhere) and am currently looking for a new place to move into (with possibly better security).

Meanwhile, here’s one of the photos I took during my slump (it was a CSS event and it was kinda hard to say no to shooting a CSS event)

It’s when I get photos like this that make me treasure photography more 🙂

Woofing, wagging and we’re off to the whimsical wonderland.

And that was the tagline for this year’s dogathon. The 15th Dogathon to be organized by the VETERNAK & Zoologico Club of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UPM. Aside from being a meeting of all dogs, and a fun filled day for both dogs and owners and visitors alike, it also functions as a charity platform to generate funds for ProKasih in order to provide better stray animal welfare & to promote responsible pet ownership. Even though the weather during the event was gloomy and it looked as if it could have rained at any moment, it didn’t prevent gathering of the dogs and the games to be carried out. Here are some shots of the day: Dogs are still man's best friend

~Dogs are still Men’s best friend~

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~Alice and her deck of cards~

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~A Pomeranian~

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~An assortment of dogs~

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~I think this is a Shih Tzu~

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~A variety of competition for the dogs. E.g: The obstacle course~

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~A Schnauzer going through the hoop~

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~A Chow Chow chilling out being massaged by its owner~

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~A tiny Chihuahua~

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~Go go go!!! The female category dog race~

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~Followed by the men’s category dog race~

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~And they’re off (Men’s category dog race)~

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~I think this Doberman was one of the winners for the Men’s category~

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~There were huskies running in the race as well 🙂 ~

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~A Dalmatian followed by a German Shepherd~

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~You’re almost at the finish line… Lets keep going~

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~Tired but still in the race… Lets slow down a bit~

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~I may look tiny but I’m faster than the whole lot of them 🙂 ~

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~A very lovely husky in the race~

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~Go get the ball, boy~

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~SIT!!!~

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~This beagle is staring at the food in the handler’s hands~

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~Huskies galore!!!~

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~Looking attentive 🙂 ~

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~Fetching the stick 🙂 ~

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~Saving the best for last 🙂 Isn’t it the cutest thing ever?? ~

Kudos to the Vet students for another successful Dogathon event. Will be looking forward for next year’s Dogathon :).

For more photos of this year’s Dogathon: Please visit my Flickr

Interested in seeing the previous years Dogathon photos: Please click on the following link: 2010, 2009, 2008 .

P/S: Lack of blog post recently… Was a bit busy… Might post a bit more from now on.

I’ve mentioned that I will be talking a bit about how to take this type of photo previously. First off lets start by having a look at the EXIF information.

F-stop: f/10

Could have been smaller to make sure that the whole field was sharp… Perhaps f/16 or something. I used the hyperfocal distance rule by which is defined as:

When the lens is focused on the hyperfocal distance, the depth of field extends from half the hyperfocal distance to infinity. Photography, Phil Davis, 1972.

This way I will be sure that the photo will be sharp at from 2-3 feet in front of me till infinity. Have a read about hyperfocal distance.

Exposure time: 6.7 seconds

The sea water is silky because of the longer exposure time it took for this photo. Having the shutter opens for 6 seconds allow the camera to record the movement of water. Of course to achieve this, you’ll need a tripod to keep the camera steady so that the only movement you’ll be tracking is the movement of water (and possibly the movement of clouds). I placed my tripod in the water for this shot (Which is not a good thing to do because the sand will get into the joint and it takes a long long time to clean it @@).

ISO: 200

I used a low ISO to keep noise out and to make sure that the quality of the photo is at it’s best.

Focal length: 11mm

Just wanted to take it more details.

That’s not all though. It was around 4-5pm when this photo was taken, and it was quite bright at the time. It would have been hard to get a 6 seconds exposure time at that condition so I used a ND8 (Neutral Density 8-stop) filter. This is basically a heavily ‘shaded’ filter which prevent light from entering and since less light were to enter I can use a longer exposure time to make the water silky.

Source

Another important thing to keep in mind when taking landscape photos will be to have points of interest which directs the eyes of the viewer to explore the whole foreground and background of the photo. One can easily achieve this by placing something of interest in the foreground, midground and the background. In this photo I placed the rock in the foreground, and the tree trunk brings the eyes from the foreground to the midground and eventually towards the rocks and the island on the background. Of course, to be honest I didn’t plan it out this way as what was on my mind when taking this photo was to keep the rock at the foreground. But this shot works because to its ability to draw the viewer’s eyes throughout the whole photo.

It was a cloudy day so some white balance changes had to be done in post processing. Also… It was quite a hazy day by which I had to do a bit of ‘burning’ to darken the island in the background. I didn’t bring my graduated filter and the highlights of the original photo was a bit washed out at the sky but since I took the photo in RAW, I managed to darken it and made the clouds more prominent.

All in all, I believe the photo turned out quite well.

Happy shooting ^^

 

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It doesn’t really looked too ‘Super’ though @@

I don’t really have much to blog about nowadays and since the previous blog post on Macro Photography seemed to be informative, I thought I should follow up with another mini ‘tutorial’.

Shutter priority mode is the mode which is denoted by a ‘Tv’ icon in most camera dials. It allows the user to control the length of time by which the camera shutter is opened. Its when the shutter is open that the camera ‘takes’ the photo. Any movements done when the shutter is open will cause the blurred movement effects you might see in night shots. With some thinking, you will most probably figure out that to get a non-blurred photo, you will need a fast shutter speed so as to freeze the movements while to include movements into a photo, a slow shutter speed will be used.

Certain more advanced point and shoot cameras have to option for the shutter priority mode but most (if-not-all) DSLR will certainly have the mode. The shutter speed ranges from a slow shutter speed (by which the shutter opens for a longer period of time… eg: 1 second or 2 seconds) to fast shutter speed (it closes off faster… eg: 1/60… which basically means its shut off in 1/60 of a second)

Another important thing to note is that when the shutter is opened for a longer period of time, more light enters the camera and hence your photo will be more exposed than usual. And the same applies for a fast shutter speed time. This is basically why night modes have longer shutter speed compared to action/sports/kids mode… Because we need more light to enter the camera at night to make the photo better exposed. In the latter mode, we need a fast shutter speed to freeze the movements of the action/sports/kids.

I sometimes find people asking me, what shutter speed should I use? Generally whichever you are comfortable with. Of course, I would start with a fast shutter speed and slowly make my way down to a slower shutter speed to compensate for the change in aperture or ISO etc. But a rule of thumb will be to ‘Not use a shutter speed which is less than the zoom range of your lens’ (or something like that). Eg: If you are zooming at 55mm (for a standard 18-55mm kit lens), make sure your shutter speed is not less than 1/55 (or rather 1/60 because 1/55 don’t really exist) and most of the time, it should be good enough. You can always try to use less than the zoom range, but it will be entirely up to your skills in handling a camera, the VR (Vibration Reduction) or IS (Image Stabilization) ability of your camera and so on. Still… The safest way of using a slow shutter speed is putting it on a tripod or some flat surface.

I would always recommend you to take out your camera right now and play around with the Tv mode settings. Eventually when you’re used to it, you can go into taking panning shots, light painting and also some creative usage of shutter speed shots.

~Panning shots like the roller coaster ride above allows you to implicate movements in the shots~

And eventually, you will be able to do something like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~This was taken during my trip to Pangkor last year. The smooth water and sky are due to slow shutter speeds. I will make a post on how this photo was taken soon~

Till the next update, remember that the best way to learn is via hands on experience. Keep shooting.