Archives for posts with tag: Photography tips

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 ^^



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.

I’ve started using Photoshop Elements 7.0 a few months back and I found that it really helps towards improving a poorly taken photo.

I have no sense of creativity especially when I’m out in the field taking photographs. And I felt most of my photos lack something in the end. So proper post-processing is essential for me to make the photo ‘right’.

Sometimes I get a poorly composed photo, badly lit and have a bad colour cast but all this can be fixed in post-processing. I take photos in RAW mode so that it gives me a wider choice of selection when doing the editing.

I’ll give you an example.

During the recent Dogathon at UPM (I have more photos pending for a new blogpost so do look out for it), I’ve taken quite a number of photos. One of the photo look like this unedited.

Shih Tzu

There are pros and cons to this photo.

I love the sharpness of the photo. I love the eye contact the dog gave. It was taken at 200mm so hoping for eye contact at that range is not easy and I got it here. I love the bokeh (blurring out of the background) as well.

The bad parts will be the legs. The big legs which covered the Shih Tzu’s butt is hurting the photo horribly. Not to mention there’s another 2 pairs of legs in the background. There is also a bit too much green grass area which are not needed. This shot was taken sometimes at 8am on a cloudy morning with my colour balance set to AUTO, making it have a bluish cast towards it. The photo definitely can be improved with some editing and cropping.

I bump up the warmth of the photo. And did some cropping to it and got this in the end.

Shih TzuIt’s quite amazing how photo editing can improve your photo nowadays. And so I would recommend to all photo enthusiasts to spend some time to learn how to edit your photos and do some editing. You’ll be amazed.

Managed to get this young cute couple to model for me just before they went back to Borneo. It was a bit hard to start off as always since I was at a loss of ideas. But once it got off things went a bit better.

Location of shoot: UPM Bukit Expo and Presint 2, Putrajaya.

Here are some of the photos:

Shirley and Ezone5

Shirley and Ezone8

Shirley and Ezone22

Shirley and Ezone26

Shirley and Ezone32

Shirley and Ezone34

Shirley and Ezone38

Shirley and Ezone41

Shirley and Ezone46

Shirley and Ezone48

Shirley and Ezone6

Shirley and Ezone15

Shirley and Ezone16

Shirley and Ezone25

Shirley and Ezone31

Shirley and Ezone33

Shirley and Ezone37

Thanks again to Shirley and Ezone for helping me out with this 🙂

A few more tips regarding photography

  1. Snap as much as you can
  2. Best lighting conditions are early in the morning or during the evening
  3. Starting is always hard but after a while it will become easier to conduct the shoot
  4. Allow the subject to do something with each other.

And with this shoot I’m hope I’m ready for my big assignment this Saturday.

Thanks to Joanne and Leo for following me out on this shoot. We did this at Putrajaya and I learnt a lot of things from this shoot since it was officially my first outdoor shoot with real life people modeling for me. Also it was a bit awkward when we started since neither I nor the models know how to get things started. Even Phoebe, the bun eating assistant, didn’t really know what to do.

Well we eventually got started and I got tons of photos which didn’t work out right but some did turn out quite well. All photos were taken using a D90 with 50mm f/1.8 lens.



















J&L 13


J&L 14





Things I’ve learnt thus far:

  1. Prepare food and drinks for the model
  2. Go shooting outdoors early in the morning
  3. Its better to choose the day after a rainy day since it reduces chances of haze.
  4. Read through magazines to get ideas of how you want the shots to be
  5. Bring a towel or an extra shirt if you sweat easily (Like me)

Anyway… I’m really looking forward to the next shoot.