Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Last day before the holidays

Last Wednesday was our last photo session of the year. I had high hopes of getting some nice photos...

Unfortunately during lunch time the sun was too bright and exposure became my main problem. The texture of the flower petals (especially whites and yellows) were hard to capture due to the amount of glare.

Taking better photos will be one of my New Year's resolutions~ ^_^

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sunny Thursday - a lesson in camera exposure

Yesterday I went to the garden in the morning as well as at lunch (the first 3 photos from lunchtime and the last 2 from the morning).

Morning is definitely better for photography during Summer, the dew drops (or water from the garden's sprinkler system) hangs on the leaves and flower petals, the morning breeze and long shadows are also lovely incomparison to the harsh sun during midday - I was scorched during lunch, it was wayyyy too hot :(

I discovered how to adjust exposure while photographing and was playing with this particular setting all day long. This extra step reduced the amount of overall photos I took but at the same time, I liked how I could adjust the amount of light in a photo just by increasing or reducing the exposure setting. As a result, I took a lot of photos where I would normally have to give up due to the light being too dim or bright.

I don't think I've mastered the technique after one day though, most photo still turned out either over or under exposed, but I'm excited to learn this new feature.

More experimenting is required of course but I'm hopeful that my photos will get better and better.

From next week onwards I am going to try to set my camera photos to one size larger - currently shooting in Small/Fine setting which yields photos of 2352x1568 pixels - cropped/reduced to 1600x1200 (suitable to be my PC's wallpaper). The new size will be 3456x2304 which will allow more detail and allow for more creative cropping.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The cats again

Took these shots a few days ago with the new camera. A rare shot of Shadow when he was finally not moving too much.

Unfortunately there was just simply not enough light in my apartment to take pet shots properly without flash. I had to thrink these photos a bit so that the blur is not as obvious. These won't make good wallpapers but good for a scrapbook someday I guess? :P

Lotus season!

The flower that I have been highly anticipating finally came into season this week! The lotus is the "other" flower born from the water and like the waterlilies before, it only flowers in Summer.

Since my morning photo session last Friday we decided to make this a regular thing, so on Friday morning, Marjon (whose blog is here) and I woke up extra early, hoping that the morning session will yield some nice photos, especially now that I am more familiar with my new 500D.

After walking through our usual route, we walked towards the lotus pond which we have been keeping an eye on for the last 2 weeks. The flower buds have started to appear so long ago and each time we've been there so far we've had nothing but more buds and leaves to photograph which were quite disappointing.

As we walked around a bend, I was aiming my camera towards an oleander bloom when I noticed Marjon picking up her pace and started to run towards the pond. I knew then that some lotus flowers must be blooming! I quickly finished my shot and started running as well.

The pond was filled with blooms and there were 2 coloured varieties. The flowers and leaves were raised at different heights by their stems and completely covered the pond. From a distance it almost looked like the lotus flowers were floating on a sea of green leaves. The sight was breath taking...

I'm quite happy with my photos this time. I love how the petals stack and the way the sun's light penetrates each petal, leaving faint shadows on the one below. I hope the flowering will continue for another few weeks so I can take more photos :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

In the beginning...

In the beginning, there was a Canon IXUS 70...which for the last few months allowed me to photograph various flowers, leaves, insects and more. I looked forward to my photo session every week and last week even did 2 sessions...

I said I was going to meditate on the idea of getting a real dSLR camera, well so much for that. I got my brand new dSLR yesterday after almost losing sleep over the idea! (health > money is my argument and I'm sticking with that!)

Anyhow, after a fiddling with my camera (Canon 500D with 18-200mm IS lens kit) for 10 minutes and without reading any part of the menu except how long to charge the battery, I was dying to take my new toy out for a test shoot. Since the battery only required 2 hours to charge, an after work photo session seemed like a great idea at the time.

What can I say...10 minutes is definitely not enough time to get to know a new camera, not to mention I was trying to jump from a compact camera to a dSLR. An hour and a half photographing and 150 shoots later, I came home to inspect my day's "harvest".

I guess the only word I could use is horrible in this case. only 1 photo out of 150 was somewhat in focus and the rest were all either too dark to see anything (there was no sun yesterday and the afternoon got dark quickly) or too blurry because of slow shutter speed combined with low light. Le sigh~~

Thankfully, a few home photos of cats turned out okay for a 1st try (after I got home and got better acquainted with the 500D). Shadow was hard to photograph as always with his non-stop moving and twitching. Echo on the other hand was much easier to work with. :)

I hope one day I will be able to capture the personality and beauty of both my cats in my photograph.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A morning @ the RBG

We found the flower bud of the Torch Cactus yesterday in the succulent the look of it I was guessing that the flowering time would be today.

I woke up extra early this morning (which is more difficult than you think - I even got up b4 the cats!) and off I went...I missed my station on my way over due to drowsiness so had to take the train back...good thing I still had an hour or so left for photos before I had to work.

Just as I thought, the Torch Cactus was in full bloom!! it is so big and extravagant that you can't capture the whole flower properly on the macro setting that I love...I took around 20 photos of the bloom before I moved on. Cactus flowers die quickly after they bloom but I saw several new buds out today, it will take those a few days to form so hopefully we can take a few better photos next week.

The morning light was something quite different to the midday blaze, it's much softer and the angle of the light allow the formation of interesting shadows

Unfortunately the morning breeze today was stronger than normal and most of my shots turned out blurry. All in all though I was glad I went to the garden this morning and able to witness the bloom of the Torch Cactus.

Photographic Jackpot!!

Today is my lucky day!! I finally took the best insect shot ever by me (dragonfly above)!!! The decision to take larger photos and crop was definitely a good one, I am so glad that this shot turned out so well (tribute to the other 5 that didn't make the cut)~~ I'm afraid this is the limit of the Canon IXUS 70 though...

The thought of purchasing a better camera has started to appear every time I go on my photo sessions now and I am now seriously considering getting a new camera more so than ever before.

I'm so pleased with my shots this week I even tried to put a small marker on them - I made them really faint so hopefully won't distract from the photo themselves ^_^

Phew what a day, I am very very pleased!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Echo & Shadow on a hot day

Hrmm carpet not cool enough to sit on anymore ^_^