Blooming in Green (Macro Photography)

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A macro photo that I took in Singapore Botanical Garden. I was in the Orchid Garden but ended up with this photo of a little white flower as the best of the bunch.

Some technical details regarding this shot:

Exposure: shot at f/8 with shutter speed of 1/60s and at ISO 200

Camera: Nikon D3

Lens: Nikkor Micro 105mm

Speedlight: SB-900 (on-camera)

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New Blog Header

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“Change it, please. It doesn’t look nice.”

That’s what the cook told me when she saw our blog’s header when I told her to check the latest post entry that I made regarding my trip to Batanes.

I agreed. It does look so-so. Actually, I’d been meaning to change it for quite awhile. It’s just that somehow I didn’t get around to it. So I asked her what photo should I use and she said, “Anything, as long as it’s not this one. Maybe the one you took when you were at the Helix?”

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The Helix bridge is a pedestrian bridge located between the Marina Bay Sands and the Marina Bay Floating Platform. Its shape was inspired by the shape of a DNA strain. I took it on a fine Sunday evening a few months back when I was feeling like going on a photo hunt.

I took quite a number of photos that night, but I personally like this one best.

For those of you who are into photography and would like to take a photo like this, these are a few pointers that will hopefully help you:

  1. Bring a tripod. Period. You have just got to use a tripod for long exposure photography like this.
  2. Set the ISO to a low setting, perhaps 100, so that your photo is squeaky clean (this one was taken at ISO 200).
  3. If you own a dSLR, bring a remote shutter release. This is to prevent camera shake that could happen when you press the shutter release button. If you don’t have a remote shutter release, use the timer function. Again, the idea is to prevent your hand accidentally shaking your camera when you press the shutter release button.
  4. Set a long exposure time (this photo was taken at 30 seconds). If you have a remote shutter release you can even set it to bulb (this is a setting where the shutter remains open as long as you keep the shutter button pressed). If you’re on a fully-featured point-and-shoot camera, I’m pretty sure it has a setting where you can set the shutter speed manually. The longer the shutter remains open, the brighter your photo will turn out to be.
  5. Set the aperture according to your need. f/8 should be fine (the Helix photo here was taken at f/11). If you want the ‘star’ shape of the light source (a lamp, for example) in the photo to have longer ‘hands’, open up the aperture a bit more. Just remember that opening up the aperture more might result in overexposure in some parts of the picture, especially where the light sources are. Try not to open up the aperture more than f/8.
  6. Try to experiment and find a good combination of aperture and shutter speed setting, especially if you find that the photo result is a bit too dark/too bright.

These are just the basics that I know, and to tell the truth I still don’t know much. However, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to take long exposure night photography. An entry-level dSLR (or maybe a fully-featured point-and-shooter), a tripod, and a decent wide-angle dSLR lens are enough for this. A bit of patience definitely helps as well.

I’m quite sure that even though you’re only beginning, as long as you follow these basics you’d be able to come up with a photo like the one above. So for those of you into photography, keep shooting.

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Anyways, there you are. A new header. Yay.

The cook even said that she liked it a lot better. Double yay.

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(P.S. I’ve changed the header for quite some time actually, but I decided to make a post just to, ummm, celebrate the occasion. And I want to get the ‘star’. What star, you ask? Well, you see, WordPress promised me to give another ‘star’ on my 20th post and this post is in a way just an excuse to get myself closer to that milestone 😀 Anyways, I sincerely hope the photography tips are useful so that this won’t just be ‘post number 18’)