When Anston called me up and asked me for a shooting session at the Orchid Garden, I hesitated in the first place, because I have made plans with another group of friends to go street shooting on the suggested Sunday morning. Nonetheless, it turned out that the street hunting plan got canceled and together with Anston, Fattien and the great Jasonmumbles, we attacked the Orchid Garden, KL with our various DSLR cameras (there were Canon, Nikon, and of course my Olympus). In case many of you wonder, yes, I usually do shoot with non-Olympus users, and they are really admirable photographers too.
All images in this entry were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko Digital 50mm F2 Macro or 50-200mm F2.8-3.5 mk1. External Flash FL-36R used in some images, as mentioned.
A moth or butterfly? This dude is really tiny.
I do have phobia of bees or wasps, or any insects that can fly and sting. Macro photography has taught me to overcome this fear.
Fountain at the back.
Just your ordinary garden orchid.
Found a bird walking on the ground.
Searching for material to build a nest?
orchids. Thats why we were here, for the orchids right?
I don't think this is orchid.
A type of herb, cat's whiskers.
Green is green.
Closing in with my favourite new telephoto lens, the 50-200mm. Gosh, at 200mm F3.5, the shot was tack sharp. Marvelous lens !!!
Headshot of a boy who stared into my 50-200mm telephoto lens.
I prefer the previous shot's composition and direct eye contact, but I just cannot leave it monotone. Olympus colors and skin tone are just too nice it is a crime to not show it.
Frozen water, not ice.
One of the caretakers of the shops in the garden actually has a scorpion as a pet !! Scary
the great Jasonmumbles and Fattien
Another weird looking orchids. I know there are too few orchid photos, but if I posted everything orchid, it would have been rather boring, right?
Shooting flowers is not exactly something I can do very well. I believe that to be able to bring out the best of your subject, you need to know it well, and see the beauty of it. Come on, only girls like flowers, guys hate them. We have to spend ridiculously expensive sum of money just to buy something that would not last for more than a few days. No matter how beautiful the flowers may be, put it in front of my lens, I will never reproduce the beauty it deserves, because I just plainly do not see it. I think girls would generally fare better in shooting flowers. If I do not like flowers in the first place, then what the hell was I doing in the Orchid Garden? Open your eyes wider, and you will see a lot of other photography opportunities surrounding flowers.
Photography opportunities are always abundant, wherever you are, all you have to do is bring your camera with you, and start shooting away when the chance pops out.
I came across a very difficult shooting situation. There was a bee, hiding inside a white flower, as shown in the photograph below.
The shadow in the middle of the flower, was a bee.
Since the bee was hiding inside, it is impossible to shoot without flash (even if you bosst up to ISO 6400 you wont achieve enough shutter speed for small aperture use, say F/8-F/11 to achieve sufficient magnification factor in macro photography). However, it was not that straightforward, mounting your flash on your camera, surely the flash will not be able to reach the inside of the flower, because the flash head is on top of the camera, not being able to illuminate the inside of the flower. The best solution for this problem is to use ring-flash, where the light source fires directly from the edges of the lens.
Quick thinking (with some practical sense) suggested the use of off-camera wireless flash, hence placing the flash directly besides the macro lens, allowing the flash to be channeled straight into the inside of the flower, illuminating the bee. I managed to pull this off, with the following settings: Manual exposure control: shutter speed 1/80sec, Aperture F/11, ISO200, manual focus, TTL Flash (off camera wireless). The shot was not perfect, but it was good enough for me, for now.
The advantage of using wireless flash in macro photography, is the ability to bend the light to whichever direction you want it to go to.
A tighter crop from the previous image. The bee was collecting materials to make honey? Someone please share your knowledge, what do you think the bee was doing?
I know some people would keep arguing that "flash photography is optional, and is a preference" while proclaiming the fact that available light photography is the way to go. Seriously, the sooner you realize flash is NOT your enemy, and the wonders it can do for you and your photography, you will be opened to a whole new world of amazing photography opportunities. I have just demonstrated how crucial having an external flash around can be.
It was a slow Sunday, and my only day of rest for the week. I shall not over stress myself and just let the day pass by as I enjoy my shutter therapy with some good friends. Who cares if the shots are not praise-worthy or anything near technical perfection, there are times we get serious in nailing down that killer shot, there are times we just want to enjoy clicking the shutter button.
Photography is not a race, there is no finishing line. Photography is not a competition. I learned these wise philosophies from a good friend not too long ago.
How true, don't you agree?