Tuesday, December 29, 2009

... it's always good to look close 14 - Lacewing ...

saw this bug @ Cibodas , Java , Indonesia where we are leaving (decide not to go for Bluetail Trogan .. it is too far and we (photographer) were just too slow ....)

1st time meet this bug and it never move, think it should be good model for us

the metallic green eye look amazing
it's always good to look close 14 - Lacewing

full body view

Sunday, December 27, 2009

How I shoot Macro - Natural Light or Flash ???

I am using full flash, fill flash and natural light for my macro work. and how I differentiate and decide which one to use (some how this related how I get my BG as discuss in http://liewwk-macro.blogspot.com/2009/02/macro-pp2-how-i-control-background.html...ok let discuss

always follow rules below

1. Natural Light is my 1st priority
- if environment light is good
- environment allow me to use monopod (for 1" - 1/30) and tripod (>1")
- wind (this is main killer for my NL)... I will discuss how I over come this in future post
- bug is not move or move slow

Why ?
- NL will bring more BG color compare to other
- will not scare the bugs away

sample of fill flash
i. sample one to compare
Natural Light or Flash ???

ii. this is how I get the clean BG
24.7 Plant bug

2. Fill Flash
- what this mean using manual flash (small normally I refer to 1/32-1/128) to fill in the minor under exp
- if environment light is good
- environment allow me to use monopod (for 1" - 1/30) and tripod (>1")
- wind (this is main killer for my NL)... I will discuss how I over come this in future post
- bug is not move or move slow
(same as above and why I need fill ?)
- there are occasion, I still use flash but all above requirements meet where I should use NL instead .. why ?
i. shadow ..a sample I got for this
- a sample of shadow I refer

with fill flash
Natural Light or Flash ???

Natural Light or Flash ???

ii. some bug (dark color)tend to have too much shadow while shooting NL so I will fill the light onto it's body to resolve the shadow concern

lucky day

this dark blue beetle is a good sample but too bad I failed to capture it without flash

iii. fill flash object tend to be more saturate in color. this is not really my good reason as I can easily add saturation @RAW-->Jpeg

a same sample across 3 methods I discuss
Natural Light or Flash ???

3. Full flash, some time I mean using TTL , eTTL ... and this don't matter what FEC [flash exposure compensation](hmmm this is CANON term and not really sure what other call ... ) ... as long as we let the body decide what do use mean it is call Full for me ...

- this is good to freeze the moment where include wind, handshake, bug move ...
- need small aperture for more DOF so slower Shutter speed
- tend to more sharp ? (not really but then as more DOF and avoid those movement so picture definite look sharper)
- lost BG , just like below
Natural Light or Flash ???

anything else ? may be I missed out something you want to know .. always drop me a message so I will reply you

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

planning for new MACRO lighting ... any idea to share ???

am planning to get better MACRO lighting ... and studying other's and going to test it out on next week long holiday ... but then ... should I temp ignore my mt24 ??? with the flash too close to the object actually I can't do much ...

hmmmmmmmmmmmm... any idea ?

... it's always good to look close 13 - Wasp ...

a dangerous bug to get close ... recently wasp keep few kids in Malaysia a blog talk about it@http://kampua4life.blogspot.com/2009/11/sarawak-killer-wasps.html .. but I am pretty sure not what I have here ... but then if it stink u .. mean you going to be hurt

not easy to get close but if can find it in the evening or early morning will be easy to get close as they are not really active this time

it's always good to look close 13 - Wasp

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

... it's always good to look close 12 - Cicadas ...

this known to be very noisy bug which normally attach on tree body :D ..

the closeup show this bug actually really beautiful

it's always good to look close 12 - Cicadas

- is a shy bug and not really easy to get close ...

whole body view
it is noisy but beautiful

Monday, December 21, 2009

Landscape Spot 3 - Pantai Jeram

a beach or fishing village not far from Kuala Lumpur (~1-1.5 hours drive from city), and this is good for sunset and it direct facing west... you may need to check on the tide level as it give different view and capture mood ...(pictures will share below)

- from Sungai Buloh toward Kuala Selangor
- after pass by Ijok
- arrive to a T junction
- turn right to Kuala Selangor, Sekinchan ...
- but we going to turn left toward klang
- keep ~5-6KM there is a signboard show Pantai Jeram with "Ikan Bakar" on your right

- a easy sunset spot where drive there and walk less than 10m
- but not much foreground ... while high tide

high tide
... losing my path ...
... Losing my Path ...

low tide
... Reflection ...
... Reflection ...

... stop here ...
... stop here ...

... it's always good to look close 11 - Lantern Bug ...

this is a rare and beautiful bug ... and normally found on the tree body ... so far I only saw it 3 times and managed to capture 2 ...

It's long nose normally attract most of the viewer interest so close-up will be on it head -nose
it's always good to look close 11 - Lantern Bug

the whole body view

lantern bug

and previous found of this rare bug
26.1 lantern bug

Thursday, December 17, 2009

.. it's always good to look close 10 - huntsman spider ...

a huntsman spider ??? thanks myrmician for the ID ....

this spider is really big compare to normal one we meet .. it is bigger than my 24L ...
it is longer than my 24 L ...

- stay still
- can easily get close but not sure it is poison or not .... aiksss worry while shooting ...

and the closer
it's always good to look close 10 - huntsman spider

it's always good to look close 10 - huntsman spider

so .. enjoy ...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How I shoot Macro - Different Approach

I am thinking to get different MACRO/Close-up shooting approach ... and here is one new - wide angle to shoot the object with it's environment... but this is only apply for big object ... so far I managed to get 2 types of suitable model (horned frog & Stick insect)

for standard macro
... different approach ...

what I trying to get now
... different approach ...

... horn ...

What do you see ? prefer standard macro or the new one ?

so now ... I need my 24mm in my beg while macro outing ...

Monday, December 14, 2009

MACRO PP - Do I crop ? and why I crop ?

I seldom crop my macro picture for magnification (make it big purpose) but I do crop for few reasons

1. make it little out from center ... not sure why but most of the people don;t like too center ... make be this is call rule/art ...

e.g. of crop one
a beautiful Robberfly ...

and original uncrop version
Crop or not Crop ?

2. make it center, for some situation e.g. some symmetry shot need to be center so minor cropping will help to do this

eg. this had been crop ~10% from left so to make it over center to make some attraction

... did u ask for permission to snap my picture ?

3. this is the one keep border me where I am using FF. to get same DOF of same magnification with APS-C body ... I just need to crop (FF 1.6:1 ~= APS-C 1:1 and bigger magnification will have less DOF this had discuss @http://liewwk-macro.blogspot.com/2008/10/what-depth-of-field-dof-you-have-while.html

not only the magnification but as the diffraction concern, I normally use bigger aperture (smaller F number) to shoot bigger magnification to maintain the sharpness so I do lost more DOF while shooting bigger magnification as compare to APS-C (but actually I got the similar frame picture)
shot ~3 :1 without crop
Crop or not Crop ?

shot with 1:1 and crop close to ~3:1
Crop or not Crop ?

so should I corp ? or should you ?

it is depend personal preference ... I do not prefer to crop but stack so I shoot multiple focus and stack it together as discuss @ http://liewwk-macro.blogspot.com/2009/12/macro-pp-why-i-need-to-increase-macro.html

and you ? just shoot and enjoy whatever way you enjoy the shooting and the output instead other concern ...

... it's always good to look close 9 - Stick Insect ...

found this from a prefer reserve jungle (Ulu Bendul), and at same trip we found 3 different stick insect ... and this is one I never meet once ... as usual this is like other stick not moving .. we can do what ever close up we want as this

it's always good to look close 9 - Stick Insect

- ~3-4:1 with MPE65 + handheld + 5dm2

and a full view of it
Stick Insects

... it's always good to look close 8 - Blue Tiger Beetle ...

I was like hit the Jackpot where manage to get 5:1 of sensitive Blue tiger beetle last week... it seem like hurt but then I found few hurt before they still jumping around instead flew off while we are feets away

this is a very shy/sensitive bug , normally not easy to get close as 1-2 feet to them ...

it's always good to look close 8 - Tiger Beetle

~4:1 non crop

and full view of this "tiger"
lucky day

... it's always good to look close 7 - Long Snout Weevil ...

there is nothing special about this weevil except it look lazy and long snout ... the side view of it's face will be better compare direct face and the DOF will never display it's snout correctly

a weevil move slowly, not shy can handle with hand but take note as it will playing/pretend "dead" after we touch it

it's always good to look close 7 - Weevil

a full view

Friday, December 11, 2009

MACRO PP - Why I need to increase MACRO pictures DOF

just another sample to share why I need to increase my MACRO pictures DOF or PP and I was discuss How I increase the DOF @ http://liewwk-macro.blogspot.com/2009/01/how-i-increase-my-macro-picture-dof.html

there case 2-3 bugs in a single frame and there are not possible to have all bugs align or focus in single frame so "stacking" will come in to increase the DOF ...

without stack these are 2 original shots (without any stacking)

i. while I shoot, I had this plan out and focus on top (male) tiger beetle
IMG_5112 copy

ii. immediately I need to move my focus point fast (try my best without changing the magnification (distance), then I focus on the bottom (female ) tiger beetle
IMG_5113 copy

by using technique discuss above or here
I will spend ~5min to stack it to make both male and female in focus within single frame as below

... never get bore with this tiger ...

... it's always good to look close 6 - long leg Weevil ...

this was also use for how I shoot macro @http://liewwk-macro.blogspot.com/2009/12/how-i-shoot-macro-composition-angle.html

this is a really cute weevil with really long leg and feel it is good to view from top to see it's long leg
this is a long-legged weevil :D

and for get close to weevil this many be good angle but it is good to look close as you can see it's cute face

it's always good to look close 6 - Weevil

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Found - Horn Frog !!!

my first time seeing wild Horn Frog and this was from my Cibodas trip

it is so quiet and beautiful and think I should do more frog shooting. This was using Ultra wide angle and other closeup , macro will share in my flickr later

... horn ...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How I shoot MACRO - Composition, angle ...

think I never share this beside keep telling my gang, how I shoot MACRO (my version of composition shot)

It may different or same with other people view but I am sure I am still shoot based on these rules up to today :D

1. story/actions
every photographer is always look for story for their picture and me too .. but if I only base on this then I may have <5% of my total shot up to today ... as bug/wild life is not just controllable by us and we just don't know when it will eat, fly ... communicate .. stand at right position .

But this is a primary point I look for my pictures

2. beauty of the bug
this applied on majority of my pictures. As I always try to show the beauty of the insect/wild life in best angle that I can approach and again this is not controllable by us. but I am just trying my best


angle 1
is this angle ok ?

angle 2
is this a good angle ?

angle 3
this is a long-legged weevil :D

for above pictures
- I rarely shoot @angle 1 & 2 except rare bug and the only possible angle
- to shoot this "long-legged" weevil, I will prefer shoot from top as this will show how the leg length compare to the it's body
- but then this is very subjective, some people will feel the beauty of the bugs may in different angle .. so .. Just shoot it, if you think... it is good/best angle for you to see the object .....

3. standard shot
I call this standard shot or science class picture, as this will show the view where help you to recognize of the object. But I will normally shoot this as I want to ID and sick of bug/insects pictures collection :D

is this angle ok ?

4. close-up
some people call magnification shot, this is another favor from me as this show something that human eye cannot see


face of the little jumping spider
... it's always good to look close 1 ...

face of the same weevil
it's always good to look close 6 - Weevil

- without close-up we may not imagine how it look like
- may look easier, but it is not easy for me as for the magnification 3-5:1. We need really close to the bug and limit but very thin DOF and with difficult control of lighting
- someone will say, just crop it lah, why shoot with closer and difficult lighting ... but then this is different people preference... I am ok with crop :D .. but for me closeup no crop more than 10% for sure else I will go re-shoot

there are few more general thing that I look at which apply for all above
i. green/clean Background
- yeah this is important to have but not a must for me ..
... let take this, I think this is what you all looking at ...

6.2 Bee ... Just woke up !!! ...

the picture "a" meet action/story shot but I just can't control the Background as it may scare the spider to leave the prey away ... and I decide to capture one shot then follow but the other with BG control (how I control the BG had been discuss before @http://liewwk-macro.blogspot.com/2009/02/macro-pp2-how-i-control-background.html ... but then "a" still my preference compare to "b" which have clean and green background

ii. more Depth of Field
It is definitely a main concern of MACRO shooter where the DOF is always not enough (and what DOF macro shooter looking at was discuss @http://liewwk-macro.blogspot.com/2008/10/what-depth-of-field-dof-you-have-while.html

sometime less dof mean OOF for the picture, so we need minimum DOF on the "eye" to consider the focus picture .... but as long as it focus on the important part of the object. then DOF will not be a must archive point for my case

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mount Gede Pangrango National Park

was away to "Mount Gede Pangrango National Park"

where locate in west Jawa, Indonesia.... it is ~2hour flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Jakarta, Indonesia and ~2hours drive from Jakarta (airport) to Cibodas (1500m), weather is ~15-25C.
It have plenty of home stay around depend budget and location ... prefer home stay is "Fika Villa" think is best around the walking distance to the National Park (~5-10min) uphill.

no worry if you don;t want to walk .. it is taxi (yellow van) running 2 ways every 1-2 minutes (and fare is ~1000 rp per trip)

there are 2 main visit point here
1. National Park
- hiking (not really tough) with stair case(rock)
- not really steep
- avoid weekend, the path will full of people as this will disturb you to enjoy the wild life
- other information can check here
- fee 6000 rp per person
- good for birding & macro
- and landscape for the waterfall (again weekend will full with ppl)

2. Cibodas Botanical Garden
- long walk .. thinking this is jungle walk instead garden
- not much macro model
- but good for birding (according to the information)
- fee 6000 rp per person

General info
- food are same across the area, fried rice, mee, kuih teoh ...
- speak Indo, very close to Malay (we can understand each other)
- whenever buy any thing bargain price for ~30%
- 10000 rp ~= 1USD (up to Dec 2009)

more reports and picture will be upload later
or picture slowly update here
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