When someone told me, “It is summer now!”, I don’t really feel it as I am coming from hot and humid country. Summer is pretty much all year long in Malaysia. From here, you get to see many people start to locate their bikini and rush to beaches for sun bathing.
We, Malaysian always try to find ways to stay in OR hide behind air-cond car just to make sure that our skin WON’T burn out! Common excuse that we always say is, “So hot out there! Later get skin cancer laa..” .. I used the similar excuse when I am home BUT now, I am not HOME
To join the big crowd, I spend time going to beaches, walk on street under unfriendly Mr. Sun and guess what, walk the park too! All these are something I will not do in Malaysia. No.. I am not turning into romantic guy ..
While walking in the park, I noticed this flower. Coincidently, my macro lens was just within my reach. Instead of “ala-romantic-guy”, I turned into typical “geeky-macro-photographer”. Patiently, my mom waited for me. How satisfying when I can compose this photos.
AND this too! Believe it or not, I did not “photoshop” these two photos. Cool isn’t it. Rather than posting bugs la, insects la, geli stuff la, I decided to calm your eyes by seeing at the Black Eye Susan. Nice leh.. fuyoh.. kns.. now I self praise pulak..
I might not get the recognition from you, my fellow readers but guess what, my mom say it is nice.. I mean she really say, “WOW, these are all so nice.. can’t believe you take it yourself. With that sorta recognition from my mom, I guess it worth more than anything else..
OK.. so, do I qualify myself to get 1dx or just need to practice more?
Macro-photography is never easy. One needs to equip with patient, steady hand, right gadgets and more importantly, the subject. All are easy except the later one, the subject. The subjects, mostly insects will not fly to you but you need to look for it.
I might look strong from the outside but I am kinda soft on the inside. Aiks, that does not sounds right? What I am trying to say is, I am not a fan of small crawling creatures. So, hunting for them is definitely not in my equation.. but well, sometimes, TikkoSS can be unpredictable
While hunting for spidy lately, I found this ladybird. As a self-proclaimed macro photographer wannabe, I will not let a single opportunity goes away just like that. Considering that ladybird is one of my favourite childhood clothing brand (wonder what happen to it now), I decided to make it my MODEL.
Now only I get to see lady bird in close up and I can confirm that it is neither lady nor bird alike. I hardly even distinguish its gender. Maybe it is gay like me virtually . From the glance of it, lady bird is like carrying a shell at the back like turtle too!
But if you look closer, it is like a split wings hiding below it. The problem with this type of wing-ly insects are they fly. Which is why makes macro photography much more challenging than any other type of photography (I will try not to compare lightning photography).
This looks like a priceless shot as you get to see the “bird” expanded its wings before it takes off. Not to brag on my skills but YEA, I AM GOOD! Anyhow, I felt this shot is a lot simpler than My Dream Shots : Dear Mr. Mozzie …
And both have the same ending, both fly away .. I guess now my rooms started to harvest all these small little creatures by accident
You must be wondering why TikkoSS is kind of slow in updating post lately? Not because my interest towards blogging is fading or I am stuck in rural area that do not have access to internet. All because I spent most of my time hunting this little creature..
In conjunction with new Spiderman movie, I thought it would be interesting to include something interesting in my blog. Of course this is not an easy task especially if you are in colder place like here! BUT TikkoSS did not give up.
After long searching, I finally get to lure this Mr. Spidy to my so called, “trap” ! Ok, let’s be real.. I am not a fan of spider so I didn’t really prepare a trap but snap it instantly. Walla.. it works. Guess today is my lucky day as I suspected the Spidy is in hibernation mode.
Gosh, this is such an ugly and disgusting one. I did not know that this millimetre small insects can be such colourful yet hairy-ly scary. It seems like my macrophotography skills help me to see something my bare eyes cannot see. So, tell me how do you think of this photo?
If you follow my tweet, you will probably realize that I tweeted “I just achieved my dream” (If you are not, do follow me @tikkoss). You might wonder what I meant. Previously when I bought my camera, I told myself, “If one day I can shoot a photo of a lively mosquito and it stays alive after that, I will be extremely happy and will label myself as decent photographer”.
Why? You need to have certain skills, patient and speed. It is a dream and I just achieved it! This is ultimately the first time I managed to achieve my dream in reality because to TikkoSS, dream is so perfect that can only be achieved when you are sleeping. Hehe..
Ok.. Let’s see the first shot. This is quite easy to snap as the mosquito is pretty much dead. So I wouldn’t claim my credit in this photo. I have to admit that the photos here are not so good or crystal clear as I have resized and downgraded the photo quality but the actual one is like “Wow!”
Maybe I am a bit “self praise” over here but that is not the point! First, you will see that the foreign mosquito is brown in color instead of black or zebra stripes. Of course, it is a lot uglier than I thought with hairy tentacles. Yuks!
The second one requires some ‘expert’ skills. I will not tell you what skills are that because I don’t quite know as well. All I know is find a way to ensure the mosquito did not fly away (which is one of the toughest things to do on earth). Even tougher than dating playboy celebrities..
So, I sneaked from the back of the mosquito and silently candid shot it. You can see the puzzled million dollar expression from the mosquito face which I personally think it is a priceless moment. Not much time to play with the camera as this photo is taken in split of the second and you only have one chance.
The last one is kind of cool as I managed to capture while it is preparing to take off! Phew.. I have the impression that this mosquito is having 5 sec “stunt” moment or probably saying “cheese” to me.. I tried to communicate by saying “don’t fly” but I suspect the mosquito don’t understand English..
Well, I DID IT! If any of you are interested in to take this kind of photo, I have tips for you. Starting from now, don’t breathe (insects don’t like bad breathe), stay cool n look macho (this is to not scare off the insects ) AND stay in jungle (they will think you are friend) ! Tough isn’t it? This is just the beginning..
Guess what happen next? DUH.. the mosquito fly away laa.. what else.. hahaha
Photography skill is an art that is close to impossible to acquire overnight. Many might own DSLR but not many can take good photos. Owning a full frame camera and pro lenses do not make you a pro. It only shows that you are rich.
You do not need to be rich to be a good photographer. Having said that, taking photography as hobby can be very expensive as the lens itself can cost up to few thousand dollars. The ability to buy the hardware is one thing and improving the end product is completely different ball game.
Learning about photography is getting easier nowadays with DSLR. Not like ancient film SLR where you need time to develop the photos to evaluate the outcome. Now, you can see the result instantly and alter the parameters by previewing over the LCD screen. It gets even easier with Live View.
Alternatively, majority will go to photography courses or join the field photography group to learn the fundamentals, tricks and sharing their perspectives. Contrary to popular believe, I decided to take up this challenge and learn everything myself from scratch.
Building the learning curve leads me to a lot of try and error. More like hitting my head and learn. I bet that is what many say, failure is a ladder of success. In my own defence, I was at wrong time at wrong place.
Let me share this and I considered this as one of the most memorable moment in the history of my photography adventure (<6 months). I bought a 77mm CPL (circular polarizer filter) recently for my 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM. I did not go for B+W but rather a local made as it was meant for experimental.
After spending about few hundred dollars, I am so eager to try out the filter but at the same time, I am too busy with my ‘daily commitment’ and only free after 8pm every day. So, I decided to give it a try to shot a light tower from my balcony window.
Not long before I realized that my CPL filter did not improve the photos at all and I can still see glare from the viewfinder. I also cannot see the different contrast and not even close to get a nice shot. I told myself, “I should not resort in cheaper filters or maybe I got cheated for a lousy piece of glass instead of filter!”
After few weeks, I read this, “CPL filter only works on day time as it filters out light polarized perpendicular to the axis of the filter. By having the filter, it will reduces the reflection from some surface, darken the sky and saturates the image by eliminating the unwanted reflection.”
So, I have learned a lesson that I wish to share here. Photography is not about stealing the show on who can produce the best photos or what you use to shoot it. If you don’t have the photography skills and knowledge, your style with cool camera is just for demonstration and the outcome is not for presentation.
My advice is, “Learn from expert and never buy anything without knowing what it can do or what is the limitation.”