It was late Friday afternoon that I took notice of a night macro outing organized by Amir, who loved to hunt for spiders at Kemensah Forest reserve which is located behind Zoo Negara. I have been there a couple of times before, here, here and here. Desperate for some macro actions, I decided to join Amir and a group of macro crazy people for this adventure into a jungle in the middle of the night. We started around 10pm, and came out from the jungle after 1am.
Instead of flooding this entry with dozens of photographs, this time I shall only showcase the few that I really like. I have become more picky on my final presentation lately, hence I shall not spam this place with digital junk.
All photographs taken with Olympus E-5, Zuiko Digital 50mm F2 macro, and FL-36R flash being fired off camera wirelessly. For more information of my macro setup and techniques, please kindly refer to my previous entries on macro.
1/60 second, F/8, ISO 200, Wireless TTL Flash fired Off-Camera
1/80 second, F/14, ISO 200, Wireless TTL Flash fired Off-Camera
1/80 second, F/13, ISO 200, Wireless TTL Flash fired Off-Camera
I do admit the above shots have a lot to be improved. It was not easy, because those blardy spiders hid in the darkest, most obstructive and difficult to photograph corners. It was a challenge getting the lens near the subjects without disturbing the adjacent leaves and branches that could induce vibrations that can alarm the subjects and scare them off. It was even more difficult to get the lighting to hit the right spot, to create an even lighting but at the same time without creating too much highlight and shadows.
I love macro. No matter how I try to ignore this, macro photography, especially insect photography will have a special place in my heart. Opening the world of the unseen and unknown is an indescribable feeling once you have nailed that one shot. There was so much activity in the jungle in the middle of the night, and most spiders are nocturnal, hence more action shots opportunities shooting at this ungodly hour.
This was probably the first time I went into a macro hunt in the middle of the jungle WITHOUT applying insect repellent. Big, big mistake. I was practically being eaten alive by mosquitoes, that attacked every inch of my skin. This was also the first I went to this jungle without being bitten by a leech. Now this was good news. Also, all my previous trips here, I was wearing my 4 years old running shoes, which did not provide me much traction along the slippery pathways of the wet rainforest's floor. Now, instead of using any of my shoes, I brought my construction safety boots from site, and boy, was there a HUGE difference in maneuvering myself along the treacherous slopes and muddy walkways. It was also more comfortable, and reassuring to my ankles since the shoes were rather stiff.
Any macro shooter doing crazy stuff in the middle of the night? Kindly share your experience !! Perhaps we can go out and do some crazy stuff together some day.