Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My East Coast Sunrise

Shot just before sunrise at East Coast Park, Bedok. We had our VEC2 Caregroup getaway event. Lots of food, drinks, fun and fellowship in the Lord. Lots of fun but little sleep (for me at least). I just to wait for dawn and see the sunrise in this part of the world and it was good. (Below - photo of sunrise by the beach). Both shot with 50mm. The 50mm is a great walk around lens for me, so far, may it be night or day. Just have to adapt to the very shallow depth of field at large apertures.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Light Subdued

It took only less than two minutes to have an opportunity to capture this shot. The rest of the day was sunny and cloudless, when all of a sudden this huge puff of cloud came into view and seemingly engulfed the sun. A minute later the sun shone brightly again. Good thing I was out practicing shooting with my CPL. I love moments like these.

Side note: I'm actually dressing up a new blog, ShutterMAX. It's still under construction but will be up soon, maybe.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Spanish Village

I looked out the window and I saw the beautiful blue sky, enticing me, taunting me to go out for a walk with my camera, Dates (haha, just thought of giving it a name). But where would I go? I was undecided. So, I just stayed put and took out Dates and shot from the bedroom. This is the Spanish Village as they call it. This is a low-rise condo just across the street from where I was standing. Took this practice shot using a CPL filter. There aren't much clouds so the sky turned out really blue. I'm still getting the hang of it. It took me about 30 seconds to figure out this shot. My first shot had great contrast but the buildings were quite underexposed. So I adjusted the exposure bias by +0.3EV and got this shot. It is very easy to underexpose a picture with a CPL filter on. Anyway, I'll continue to practice. More photos to come.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Marina Bay Skyline

Marina Bay Skyline. Shot both photos at the same day. Basically waited until around 8PM before it got dark enough to shoot a night photo. Anyhow, I was blessed with a beautiful day when I went out for a stroll and a photo-op down at Marina Bay. The sun is up and shining. The clouds and the blue sky makes it one fine, perfect day. Actually I decided to shoot to see my circular polarizing filter (CPL) in action. The photo above was captured with a CPL. What I noticed was the beautiful color contrast that it gives compared to a photo shot without CPL (sorry, wasn't able to provide comparison, my observations are based on previous landscape photos shot without CPL). Reflections were also reduced giving the water a clear, mirror-like texture. The night shot of the skyline (below) was taken with the CPL on. I've read from other websites that it is not advisable to shoot at night with CPL on, but I guess I was too lazy to take it off so I just left it on. This night shot was tricky. I had no tripod so I had to find a stable surface to put my camera. Shot this at ISO-400, 24mm, f/8 and a 4-sec. exposure.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Haw Par Villa - Tiger Balm Gardens

Haw Par Villa. The Tiger Balm Gardens, located along Pasir Panjang Road, is one the "free" sightseeing spots in Singapore. So, if you are on a tight budget and would love shooting in Singapore for SGD 5 (for your bus fare, max.), this is the place to be. It was fun coming here since somehow I got reconnected to my chinese heritage by viewing the different tableau exhibits scattered all over the garden. There was also a special exhibit, the Ten Courts of Hell, which costs SGD 1.00. The exhibit depicts the ten courts of hell that you would need to pass through for the punishment of different sins committed before being reincarnated into another being, but this is for another post, I think. I personally do not believe in that but still it was worthwhile to view it and learn more about the culture. The photo above is the pagoda view near the main entrance of the garden.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Understanding Bokeh

Bokeh, derived from the Japanese word bokeaji, meaning "blur". Bokeh is the photographic term for the out-of-focus area in the photograph produced by a camera lens rendering a shallow depth of field. Different lens bokeh produces different aesthetic qualities in out-of-focus backgrounds, which are often used to eliminate distractions in the background giving more emphasis on the subject (definition quoted and paraphrased from Wikipedia), usually seen in portraits, macro photos and nature shots, such as the one above. Actually I have only encountered this term while comparing specs for 50mm f/1.4 and f/1.8. They say f/1.4 has better bokeh, better blending of colors, and why not, it is far more expensive than the f/1.8 - about 2 to 3 times more expensive. If you're gonna pay more money for that, it must definitely give you better results. Anyway, just wanted to post this to show "bokeh". This photo actually is part of the "50mm - Daylight Series" post.

Friday, September 5, 2008

50mm Edition - Daylight Series

What a great way to start my September series. Pictures shot purely at 50mm focal length. Well what's so special about it? I have never been forced to shoot at a fixed focal length before, because I got so much comfort in using the zoom lens that instead of moving forward or backward, I just let my lens do the work. By the way, this is entitled daylight series since all my photos (more photos here) were shot before 5pm. This picture is one of my favorites. I shot this flower while strolling down the Heliconia Walk of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. You may notice that I always post pictures taken from this place. It just so happens that I have visited this for several times already since this is one of the few places in Singapore that has free admission. But not to worry I will post pictures from other places in upcoming posts. It is a very tiring but rewarding experience. It trains you to think about your composition really well before shooting. It was tiring because instead of the zoom function, you are doing the zoom manually. Good thing there were not much people around, otherwise they might think I'm weird. More photos to come. Side note, I really love the 50mm f/1.8. The money you pay for it is justified.


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