Saturday, December 26, 2009

Some of my personal favorite macro shots of 2009

Just some of my personal favorite macro shots for the year of 2009. Happy New Year everyone :)

Mostly taken with a Canon 40D, Canon MP-E65 1X-5X Macro Lens and Canon MT-24EX Twin Flash.
2009 fave macros

If you would like to view any of the images above larger, click the corresponding links below :). Happy viewing!

1. IMG_3393 copy, 2. IMG_3180 copy, 3. My hair looks nice? (IMG_2394 copy), 4. IMG_0264dt copy, 5. Hover fly - Let's Dance series (IMG_9077 copy), 6. IMG_9157 8 9 stack, 7. IMG_8458 copy, 8. IMG_7897 copy, 9. IMG_7287 copy, 10. IMG_7598 copy, 11. IMG_7004 copy, 12. IMG_6683 copy, 13. Microdon auroscutatus Curran IMG_5491 copy, 14. Crimson Dropwing, male (IMG_4916 copy), 15. IMG_5001 copy, 16. Weevil taking off (IMG_4672 copy), 17. Pink Is In series 1/3: IMG_8385 copy, 18. IMG_1856, 19. IMG_9349web, 20. pink dragon reflection, 21. IMG_4549 copy, 22. 4" away from a wild snake :D (IMG_4318 copy), 23. Trap jaw ant (IMG_3940 copy), 24. IMG_3943 copy, 25. IMG_0103 copy

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Too Warm. Too Cold. Too Green. Too Magenta.

I am talking about the white balance, of course :D. If you're familiar with ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) or other RAW processor, you'll know that there's a Temperature slider and a Tint slider.

I've prepared a few seriously exaggerated samples for the ease of explanation. First, the Temperature slider. At this point, we leave the Tint slider as it is.

White Balance As Shot
as shot

Too Warm. Happens if you move the slider too much to the right. You'll get somewhat similar result too if you shoot under tungsten light with AWB.
too warm

Too cold...notice everything becomes bluish? Even the green leaves. Also note that the water lily petals have clipping in it i.e. loss of details and/or textures in the petals. AWB under fluorescent light will give you similar result.
too cold

Now the Tint slider. Leave the Temperature slider at As Shot position.

Too green if you move the slider to the left. Green cast in everything.
green cast

Too magenta if you move the slider to the right....
magenta cast

However, all these won't mean a thing if your display is not calibrated. I use Spyder2Express to calibrate my display at least once a month. How you calibrate your display is crucial too. Make sure there's no backlight or better still, have it done with shades down and lights off.

Even though my display is calibrated, I try not to comment on WB unless it's really really really way off.

If you shoot in RAW, it's quite easy to correct the WB. Just play with both the Temp and Tint sliders until the image looks right to you. Or if there's a white area in the image, use the White Balance tool and click on the white area and that should get you to the ball park. You can then further fine tune from there. Theoretically, the WB Tool works best on an 18% grey area.

However, in the real world, you don't always find a white spot or light grey spot it's back to manually adjusting the sliders until what you see is what you like :D

In my 40D, I have the White Balance on Custom, manually set at around 4600K. Seems to work much better than Auto WB.

I use Spyder3Epxress for my display calibration

If you shoot with natural light, it will help if you use a white balance cap or white balance card to obtain more accurate white balance.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Dragon Smooch!

Oh no...not another animation?'s yet another animation. LOL. With a dragon so cute, how could I say no? :D

All images shot with a Canon 40D, Canon MP-E65 1X-5X macro lens and Canon MT-24EX Twin Flash

Animation: dragon kiss

The tutorial on creating animation has been posted before:

How to create animation.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day Trip to Sungai Congkak Recreational Park

A group of us went to Sungai Congkak last Friday. It was a public holiday in case you were wondering why we didn't have to work:D

Sungai Congkak is only like 35km from Mid Valley city and takes around 45 minutes to get to. Check out this google map for direction/location.

All landscape shots were taken with a Canon 40D and Tamron 17-50mm on tripod. All macro images were taken with a Canon 40D, Canon MP-E65 1X-5X Macro Lens and Canon MT-24EX Twin Flash.

View Larger Map

Although we left town at 7:30am, by the time we got there, the sun was already too high and harsh for any decent slow shutter waterfall shots :(. Lots of irrecoverable blown highlights. The only way to avoid it was to just shoot the water and rocks and avoid the land altogether. Only managed a couple of boring shots before i decided to switch to macro mode :D

IMG_3079 copy


Lovely red and hairy beetle
IMG_3110 copy

a raft spider(?) with jumping spider as prey, and a few jackal flies(?)
IMG_3161 copy

IMG_3180 copy

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Maestro!

Ladies and Gentlemen, i present you ........The Maestro!24
Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Lite Flash for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

All images shot with a Canon 40D, Canon MP-E65 1X-5X macro lens and Canon MT-24EX Twin Flash

the maestro

She sure has beautiful eyes, doesn't she? :D...too bad the mouth is so hideous..but that's out of the scope of of this post here.

Creating an animation like this is so easy. Just check out my previous post on it:

How to create animation from still images

Unfreez is a freeware. Try to play around with the Frame Delay to get the effect you want.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day Trip to Kellie's Castle and Ipoh old town

I went to Kellie's Castle and Ipoh with a pal of mine and three new friends yesterday.

(From Wikipedia)

Kellie's Castle (sometimes also called Kellie's Folly) is located near Batu Gajah, and is about 20 minutes' drive from Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. The unfinished, ruined mansion, was built by a Scottish planter named William Kellie Smith. According to differing accounts, it was either a gift for his wife or a home for his son. More here.

More about Kellie's Castle here.

All the images were shot with Canon 40D and Tamron 17-50 and Hoya Pro CPL

Kellie's Castle from the front
IMG_2988_89_90_91_92_tonemapped copy

View from the back
IMG_2937 copy

from the side
IMG_2965 copy

the corridor

Ipoh old town:

An elderly gentleman riding a trishaw

Phang Kwi - an old rattan furniture shop in old town, Ipoh

Mr. Phang, a kind and friendly gentleman who not only allowed us to shoot, but chatted with us quite a bit too.

Mr. Phang repairing an old furniture


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