Finally, some Photoshooting.

And it’s a rewarding one.

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The past few days have been pretty boring for me, I didn’t pay much attention to the weather outside and hasn’t been shooting for days. So today, with a regretting feeling I picked up my camera bag and tripod and walked around my grandparents’ house for some walk-around photoshoot.

It was only 5 p.m but the light was slowly turning good. Since I just got my Photomatrix Pro software (thanks to Sean Beh), I’ve tried out some HDR shooting. I’ve shot 5 exposures of the same scene and merged them in Photomatrix at night. Unfortunately enough, I chose the wrong scene- that’s because the scene does not contain a high dynamic range (in other words, low contrast). Thus it ended up my HDR image looks un-HDR-ish.

DSC_5506-1_07-1_08-1_10-1_11-1-1-2 (Medium)The not-so-HDR HDR.

One thing that I’ve noticed when taking multiple exposures of the same subject is that when the camera is on tripod, VR actually helps to create movement rather than reducing it. Perhaps that is the reason why all of the first photos in all 3-exposures-bracketing-sets are misaligned with the rest of the sets.

DSC_5564-1_HDR-1 (Medium) The successful set.

Although this merged photo does not look like a HDR image, but do note the richness of colour of the highlights and shadows- it’s not possible to do it in a single shot, given the scene’s moderately high contrast- except in film (which is one of the reasons why I love film).

Shooting HDR is quite cumbersome. I’ve discovered that, when shooting HDR I often forget about the quintessence of a good photograph- composition and interest. Perhaps that’s why most people’s HDR sucks. A good photo is not about dynamic range (that’s the unimportant technical part of a photo), but the lighting, composition, and perspective.

After trying out with HDR, I wandered around the garden aimlessly because I found nothing interesting to shoot. Suddenly, a stroke of genius hit me- and I took out my 50mm 1.8 and shot macro using reverse-mounting technique. I’ve made a few shots with an aperture of f/11- damn, shooting macro is really hard using reverse-mounting as I have no way to focus but to move my whole camera in and out, also because of its paper-thin depth of field even with f/11. This means that the distance between the camera and the subjects are always the same, and thus the field of view remains the same.

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Guess what?

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And all of a sudden I saw a dragonfly resting on the tip of a twig. I quickly mounted my 50mm (forwardly) and took some shots of it from a distance. I am aware that insects are very sensitive to movements, thus I closed-in very slowly like a slug. I was quite surprised that the insect didn’t fly away when I was so close to it that I’d reached my lens’ minimum focusing distance (0.45m). Perhaps it was too scared.

Right after shooting the dragonfly I saw another bug in the garden- a butterfly. I used the same approach, and reached the 50mm’s minimum focusing distance in no-time. Here’s a close-up shot of it (cropped). Note the very busy bokeh.. that’s just 50mm.

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When post-processing, I used Gaussian blur to smoothen the bokeh for the first photo above. Due to the large out-of-focus area of it, the bokeh was very busy, just like the photo here. In lightroom, I played with the temperature slider and got this alien bluish colour. Adding the nasty bokeh, the photo looks really dreamy.

P.S: I’m starting to grasp a little about photoshop...


  1. walau...not fair lo..how can u shoot so nice!!

  2. Lol.. inherited from my mother haha