Archives for category: DSLR

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.


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.

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*Be advised that I initially planned to just show a few photos on this post but it turned into a ‘tutorial’ type of a post. I love photography as a hobby and whatever written below are my experience with macro photography. If I incorrectly describe some of the information, please do correct me. Thanks*

Shooting macro basically means shooting very minute things. When this mode is active you will be able to focus up very very close to the subject and take photos of it. Done correctly and you might see details of your subject which you won’t be able to see with your naked eye. For the point and shoot camera, macro mode is often designated by the flower icon. You should switch to it and try to focus up close on certain subjects and notice the difference. For point and shoot cameras, the amount of macro you can actually do is limited when compared to the DSLR.

~Look for this icon~

For DSLR users, you can shoot subjects in macro mode using a kit lens however to fully appreciate what your DSLR can do in macro mode, you might want to get into some macro dedicated accessories.

First off, we have the macro lens. These lens can be used to shoot as normal but are capable of focusing very close to your subjects. The idea using macro lens is quite easy. Fit it onto the DSLR. Bump the aperture to at around f/16 to f/32. And focus (I would suggest manually) on your subject until you get the desired sharpness. It might also be handy to have a flashgun around since using such small apertures will limit the amount of light entering your camera. Adjust your shutter speed as required. And use a tripod if necessary.

One of the more popular macro lens in the market will be the Tamron 90mm f/2.8. In fact I have one with me everytime I go on any type of shoots because it can be used as an alternative portrait lens.

Next, for budget photographers, a macro conversion lens can be an alternative. These lens fit onto the front of the kit lens (but be aware of the filter size since it can cause vignette if improperly fitted. The upside to the macro conversion lens is that, its a lot cheaper compared to a dedicated macro lens and its also a lot lighter to carry it outside. However, since it is a fit-on lens, you should never use Auto focus (which I wouldn’t recommend as well even with a macro dedicated lens). The auto focus won’t be able to focus accurately because the macro conversion lens is fit on in front of the camera lens. If you’re new to macro photography, it might really take some time to get used to using a macro conversion lens. I have tried out the Raynox Macro conversion lens before and it really requires a bit of practice to get use to it. But when done correctly, you’ll be impressed.

Alternatively, there’s the reverse macro rings. These allow you to use the reverse side of your lens to take macro shots. Apply the adapter ring on your camera, apply your lens in reversed on the ring and shoot away. Of course, you won’t be able to use the auto focusing and you will have to adjust your distance (move forward and back) to get the desired focus. These will most probably be the cheapest alternative (I haven’t really tried these before though).

~This is a reverse ring~

Lastly, there’s the close-up filters. Fix it on like how you would fix on your UV filter and you have a pseudo macro effect. These filters have +numbers on them by which the higher the number, the better the closeup effect. The downside of this will be that the filter size are fixed, so if you gotten 52mm filter size closeup filters, you might not be able to use them on 67mm size lens without additional accessories.

~Close up filters~

All in all, to be good in macro photography, you will have to remember these few points.

  1. Use a tripod if you have one. It might not be as flexible as you hope for it to be but it helps out a lot. Otherwise, use a fast enough shutter speed or bump up the ISO to compensate. When you are really close up to your subject, even the slightest move will cause blurriness.
  2. Use a small aperture to get sharp and in-focus shots. When you’re focusing on something which is so minute, the depth of field plane changes as well. So if you were to use a large aperture (eg: f/2.8), the sharpness plane is so thin that you might not get the focused area entirely sharp. If you’re able to, use the depth of field preview button. If you don’t know what is that, its time to read up on that camera manual.
  3. Use an external flashgun or ensure adequate lighting. While using such small aperture, you will definitely have a hard time getting your photo properly exposed. Adequate lighting will be key here.
  4. As always, take more than one photo. Its better to have a lot of ‘under-par’ photos and one nice photo rather than one lousy photo.
  5. Manual is better than auto. In macro photography, this is often true. Adjust the focus manually rather than to let the auto focus mechanism of the camera take over.
  6. Have fun.

*Note: All photos (except those in the slideshow) are taken from their respected websites*

First off, Happy New Year to all. I haven’t been updating for a long long while partially because I was very caught up with my work and dedications.

It’s the time of the year when I look back at 2010 and noted out some of the things which clearly  made my year (either great or miserable).

1. Someone broke into by car and stole the car battery

I still have no idea how someone could open up a locked car hood and took out the battery.


2. Became an avid photographer covering certain events and functions (such as), and getting some good shots off people as well.

1. CSSUPM Annual Dinner 2010.

Had a great time with great retro dressing models.

2. Now I See Spiritual Revival Concert 2010.

I wasn’t an official photographer for the event but since anyone can basically just go up front to take photos, I just went ahead. Anyway. Shot for 2 concerts, first one was in New Era College Kajang, and the second at a University in Sunway.

3. Staged photoshoots.

Managed to ask Joanne & Leo, Fang Wen and Shirley & Ezone to model for me. I still feel that the photos are lacking a lot though. Need more practice.

4. Desmine and Melissa’s Wedding

My first ever Wedding photoshoot. And I didn’t do quite well. Hmmm. But they are a loving couple. Apparently starting a family soon ^^.

5. UPM Dogathon 2010

Once again, not an official photographer. But I reckon I got some great shots that day.

6. CSSUPM Annual Camp 2010

Camp 248

I realized I didn’t blog about this since I was on a break. Regardless I had a fun, great and emotional time at Port Dickson.

7. Chinese Opera Charity Concert

Actresses and Daniel

This was a charity event so I wasn’t paid for it (nor I was for most of the events). But still enjoy taking photos of the actors and mostly actresses on stage. Also didn’t blog about this but most of the photos can be found on my Facebook.

8. Alex and KaeChing’s Wedding.

Kae Ching and Alex

Was a guest but that didn’t keep Esme (my camera) away. They finally tie the knot after… 7-8 years?? And they will surely have many more years to look forward to.

9. CSSUPM Freshies Day.

Dance 1

Welcoming the lovely juniors to the family away from home.

10. English Language Dinner

Group 24

Was called to shoot this event. More photos on Facebook. Though I think I was paid for this. Since the dinner was free for me ^^.

11. Some random shots of people around me

Chapel Milo Party 13

Nova might kill me for this. But its a lovely very descriptive shot.

12. Macro photography.Bee 1Bee

Loving the Tamron 90mm lens I have right now.

3. Met Karen Kong during Alex and KaeChing’s wedding.

I’m a fan for hers though not so recently. But I do like some of her songs. Did managed to get a couple of photos of her.

Karen Kong on stage 3

4. Won a few tickets online for miscellaneous events.

Ticket 1

Tickets to Moto GP UK from Air Asia, which I didn’t go because it was in the UK. And they gave me the tickets 1 week before the event.


Ticket 7

NTV7 Star Live Concert 2010 tickets from which I gave to Sally.


I did won tickets to Alice in Wonderland special screening though… I misplace the photo but I gave the tickets to TJF and Wei Keat. That particular screening was pretty harsh on my wallet though cause even though I got the tickets for free… I was fined for speeding on my way back from the cinema TT.

5. Got my photo published in a magazine.

I remember I intended to get a photo out in a magazine during my 2010 resolutions which I made in 2009. And in November 2010, I got my first photo out in the Digital SLR Magazine Malaysia October 2010 issue. I submitted the photo in September and I was very disappointed when it didn’t come out in the September issue but was really shocked when I saw it in the October issue. Won a memory card as well. Hurray for me.

6. Took care of a CAT for a whole month.

Smokey 5

Smokey isn’t mine. She’s Sandy’s cat but Sandy is having her break so I offer to take care of her. And she is one timid cat. Enjoy my time scaring her all over the place. She’s going back to Sandy soon though. I might miss her. But she’s better off with Sandy since I found out that I can be quite a bully Smile with tongue out

7. Lost some weight.

I have no proof of this yet though since I haven’t weight myself for sometime. But since most of my jeans are a lot looser than they was, I guess I should have lost a few kgs. But definitely didn’t reach my target of 65kg. Perhaps somewhere within 70kg to 75kg. I’ll keep trying the coming year.

8. Cried my eyes out during the CSSUPM Annual Camp.

Camp 186 (captioned)

I did mention that it was emotional but you would never guess how emotional it was for me. Perhaps only the few who sat beside me knew what had happened. But it got me to change some parts of me though I guess. Some parts of the evil me still remain but I’ll slowly take care of that.

9. Travelled all over Malaysia.

I went to Malacca, Johor, Penang, Kedah, Pangkor, Perak and also went back Labuan for a few weeks. Didn’t managed to go outside Malaysia though like in 2009 when I went Taiwan. But AirAsia is already flying to South Korea and also New Zealand next year. These destinations are really tempting me. Maybe I will really fly to this places in 2011.


Went to AIMST university in Kedah when my sister enrolled there.


Monkey 9

Got attacked by monkeys and leeches during my trip to Pangkor. It was funny though.



Went to Malacca with CharYong to meet up with FangWen for her photoshoot.


10. And finally… Made a decision to get my doctorate by 2013.

I have to graduate by then. Seriously I have to!!! Working hard on it now. Progress this year had been better than the past years but its still a long way to go and I still can’t see the end of the road. But I’ll keep walking… And I have to go on a faster pace as well. Lets do it!!!


I hope your 2010 was as eventful as mine ^^