Sunday, October 14, 2012

Grapes on a vine ...

EOS 60D, F/3.2, 1/250s, ISO-400, 24-70L @ 70mm + 580EXII + DIY softbox

A day out to test and learn how to use the small DIY softbox made a week ago. The whole Malaysian community in Chiba (almost) had decided to go for budougari (grape picking in Japanese). This is the time for me to let out the DIY softbox from the closet. The grapes as a bunch is still smaller than the front panel of the DIY softbox.

The first on brunch grapes pictured above was actually not yet ripe. There were still the protective sheet around it. Making use of the DIY softbox placed to the right of the camera and very close to the protective sheet will make the whole rig as a huge softbox (compared to the grape). The light was all around the grapes as can be seen from the picture on top. This is one more how to use the DIY softbox in my lists. You could actually use a bare speedlite but still the outcome will not be the same... maybe...

Here is two more photos of the grapes but with only the DIY softbox. There were no protective sheet around the  grape but still quite a soft light.

The first picture was taken at 1/250s to make the background darker than the subject being taken. By carefully adjusting the flash and DIY softbox, the light spill is controlled from entering the background. Since the grape is it self is dark in color, the dark background does give some feeling to the picture. 

EOS 60D, F/5.6, 1/250s, ISO-100, 24-70L @ 70mm + 580EXII + DIY softbox

The second one was composed so that the background greenery could be pictured as well. Thus the shutter speed is drop down compared to the first picture at 1/60s. It does compliment the picture in MHO. 

EOS 60D, F/2.8, 1/60s, ISO-100, 24-70L @ 70mm + 580EXII + DIY softbox

Now I'm hungry... Hmmm. Where did I put the grapes...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

In house soft light.

EOS 60D, F/5.6, 1/200s, ISO-400, 100L + 580EXII + DIY light modifier

I was looking for a light modifier to soften my harsh flash light. Was thinking about buying LumiQuest III or Rogue. I was'nt sure if it will work for me... or do I have to work for it? Instead of buying and then trying, why not trying and then if it works for me then buy.

DIY time. With a cake box, scissors, tracing paper, tape and other nick naks, I build my first flash soft box. It looks similar to the LumiQuest but with the a small downside. Its not durable but do-able for now hehehe. It increases the light source to about 4x the speedlite flash area. Here it is. Not a preitty sight hehehe.

The above picture was the first test using the in house soft light. The spider above is actually larger than the one that was taken previously. Lighting it with a bare speedlite give a very harsh shadow. With the DIY light modifier I could take a bigger critters. Just need to remember that the light source needs to be bigger than the subject and must be near. Will post other tests with this light modifier.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Star Burst

EOS 60D, F/5.6, 1/25s, ISO-800, 18-135 @ 18mm

Just wondering, how can you get a star burst effect on lights at night like the picture above? Does increasing or decreasing the shutter speed get you a star burst or does increasing or decreasing the F-stop will get you there? Been reading and viewing some photographic content on the net. Got the answer but I need to proof it to my self that it is correct... It is more fun to test it out than just believe heheheh, Typical me... 

Tonight I had some time to go out and went to a park near my house. I brought with me only the EOS 60D and EF-S 18-135. Shoot some photos of a street lamp handheld in hoping to find a star burst... So, I took around 6 photos. All photos was taken at 18mm and ISO-800... The first set of photos was taken at different speed but at a constant F-stop... Here is the first set of picture at 1/20s, 1/10s and 1/5s. 

As you can see, nothing changes. The light on the street lamp is still the same with only a small start bust... As the shutter speed is lowered, the star burst is still the same...

The second set is captured with a constant shutter speed. Only the F-stop is changed. Here is the second set...

Aaaaa.... This is more like it... The star burst increases in size as the F-stop is decreased...

Oh ya forget to mention, for proper exposure, when increasing the shutter speed, the F-stop needs to be decreased and vice verse... The pictures above has been edited in Photoshop. I only increased the Exposure and nothing else so that all picture is almost the same.

Oh well. That proofs it that increasing the F-stop does give you the star burst effect... Happy shooting... photos that is... 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Super Wide Angle On The Go...

EOS 60D, F/5.6, 1/500s, ISO-200, 24-70L @ 24mm panorama.

Went on a family trip a few weeks ago. Brought a lot of camera equipment with me (I wish... ). Mostly, I brought my EOS 60D (my one and only body), three lenses (EFS18-135, EF24-70L, EF100L), speedlite 580EXII (my one and only flash), gels, batteries, chargers and filters. Did not use the filters actually. Did not have the chance to stay still without my family trying to drag me...

The only two lens that was used most of the time during the four day trip was the EFS 18-135 and EF24-70L. The EFS18-135 was mostly used at 18mm. Did not quite like the quality of image the lens was producing but I still need a wider lens than a EF24-70L can give me. EF100L was always in the backpack.

There was a time during the trip that using EFS18-135 at 18mm is not wide enough. Did not want to move back since it will let in distraction into the picture. Remembering one of the show that I have watch on AdoramaTV in youtube, I did my first panorama... I take a picture of my hand then a series of images by panning from left to right.... considering how much overlapping I need on each image and finally took another image of my hand. Did this for two times... Here is a sample of the image before the stitching process. Did it with the 24-70@24. You could use the 18-135@18 but did not like the image quality.

Put all this images in Adobe Photoshop. Hey presto, I got this image...

This is a very-very large image. Reduced the size by two times and export to Adobe Lightroom. You can do what I am going to do with Adobe Photoshop but I am used to do picture editing in Lightroom... I crop the image and add vignetting to the image. The final image is as seen atop of this page.

Here is some more panorama shots on that day.

EOS 60D, F/4, 1/1250s, ISO-200, 18-135 @ 18mm panorama.

EOS 60D, F/5.6, 1/640s, ISO-200, 24-70@ 24mm panorama.

Did you notice the difference... Yes the picture is different but did you notice where the picture starts to bow... It seems that the line that start to bow is where you focused on and pan... Need to take that into consideration when doing panorama. I don't actually like doing this since it took me about 30-40 minutes to do it on my computer... or maybe I need a new computer Hahaha.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Side Note

EOS 60D, F/7.1, 1/250s, ISO-200, 24-70 @ 70mm

The side view of the 2nd gate before entering Todaiji. You need to pay here to enter Todaiji... Just would like to take a picture of the gate from other perspective... The long hall on the each side of the gate makes this picture seem 3D.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Photography: The Beginning...

It is almost 11 month since I have started a new hobby: Photography... So far how does it feel? Marvelous... Still a lot to learn as you can see from my old post... and yes, I am also new at blogging...

So how does it began? Well, I used to and still am in love with electronics. I was interested in electronics since I was in lower school. Trying out some small electronics project and all. Then later on in life, I could say my work is my play. Hehehe... But still, when your work is your play, your spouse will always say you are working... That kind of hit the sour spot. Yes, I admit, with electronics, it is quite hard to get your family interested in it.

Almost three years back, I went abroad to continue my studies. My wife had to take unpaid leave from work for three years. At first she was OK with not working and all. But as life goes on, she became board to the bones. She started to bake and also blog. You can read her blog by clicking at the fnf-simple-life link at the PAGES section or just click here. Its in Malay (Malaysian Language). 

Her early entry pictures was taken with a point and shoot (P&S) camera. I shoot it by the way. She was not satisfied with the pictures. She kept comparing the photos with the photos of other blogs whom uses DSLR. She kept nagging at me to buy one. But as always, I said the P&S is enough. Nagging after nagging, at last I could not say no anymore. I bought a Canon DSLR. Why Canon?... Well that is also another loooooooooong story. Maybe in another entry... Since then I love the DSLR and also photography. With photography, I can enjoy my self in the hobby as well as let my wife and children do what they want to do. I just shoot them... in a photography sense...  

My wife still nags but about me buying expensive photographic equipment hehehe...

OK. I did not took the picture above. A friend of mine with his DSLR did. Its me from the back. Hehehe

Saturday, September 8, 2012


EOS 60D, F/7.1, 1/500s, ISO-200, 24-70 @ 27mm

This is a walkway to the entrance of Todaiji Temple... Just learning how to compose correctly... using the right side fence as a means of moving the attention of the viewer to the Temple Gate... 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hunting Time

EOS 60D, F/4, 1/160s, ISO-100, 24-70 @ 58mm

Taken in Narakoen... They are not afraid of humans...

Friday, August 31, 2012

Nice three wheeler...

EOS 60D, F/8, 1/125s, ISO-200, 24-70L @ 54mm

Driving back from the embassy, we were fortunate to see a three wheeler which seen from the front seems to be a motorcycle but seen from the back seems to be a car. How fast does this three wheeler goes to need for it a spoiler at the back? Hmmm.

The picture was taken from inside the car through the side mirror. This is a time when a zoom lens is useful since you cannot move during driving. (Unless you drive forward or backward ;P);

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Behind and yet inside ...

EOS 60D, F/8, 1/800s, ISO-400, 24-70L @ 24mm

This picture was taken at the back of the embassy. There are a small garden where we sit and enjoy our food. Like the scene of all three buildings from where we were sitting. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

It's a happy day ...

EOS 60D, F/4, 1/4000s, ISO-400, 24-70l @ 30mm

This is a picture of The Malaysian Embassy in Shibuya, Japan. We went here on Eiddul Fitri day (its like Christmas for Christian but for Muslim its Eiddul Fitri - a day after 1 month of fasting). A very huge building. We ate here (its free :D), pray and meet other friends from all over Japan. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wet day, great pose...

EOS 60D, F/8, 1/160s, ISO-100, 100L + 580EXII + ROGUE 1/2 CTB gel

It has just stop raining for an hour or so. With my sons, we went to the park near the house. While my sons were playing an almost dried swings, I went for a bug hunt. I found this wasp clinging on a brunch of a bush. It did not twitch or fly off even when I got near it. It seems that its wing is wet. This is a joy. I got to shoot a wasp without worrying it will fly off in a second.

On the flash, I use a Rogue 1/2 CTB gel to color correct my flash. I use not to use gel and correct the color in post processing. In post processing, to color correct is not simple when you are shooting in the shade using flash. I usually got a yucky tint which I had to spend hours try to correct. Sometimes luck was not on my side. Some pictures were not able to be color correct. In the end the picture were deleted. :(

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Screeching Singer Pt II

EOS 60D, F/13, 1/160s, ISO-100, 100L + 580EXII

Cicada cocoon. The cicada has already discarded its skin. What is that white stuff coming out of it?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Screeching Singer

EOS 60D, F/4, 1/160s, ISO-100, 100L + 580EXII

When I first came to Japan, in summer time, I was so intriguer with the sound of a particular insect. I have not heard of it prior coming to Japan. It sound like a screeching ghost. Hehehe. Remind me of those time when we were a child and telling ghost stories especially abount Pontianak (Vampire in Malay language). The sound was actually from a Cicada (pictured above). Some times the sound is quite deafening.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Diamond in the forest Pt. 2

EOS 60D, F/8, 1/160s, ISO-100, 100L + 580EXII

Was not please with the picture taken a few month back (can be seen here), so I tried again. This is more like it. But I think I can improve it a little more....

Friday, August 17, 2012

He's looking at you...

EOS 60D, F/4, 1/160s, ISO-400, 100L

Just wondering around in the bushes again hehehe. Found this Damselfly. First time seeing it close and personal.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


EOS 60D, F/5, 25s, ISO-100, 24-70L @  35mm + flash light

Just another ordinary night. I thought to my self "why not try a night shot". The first idea was to take a picture of my son's flower pot (can be seen partially here) with a background of stars. Unfortunately it does not work out. Did not have a wider lens. 24mm on a crop sensor is still not enough.

Thus a detour. Trying to do a simple lighting technique using flash light (not to be confuse with a speed light). The idea is to have a subject (in this case an ointment) lighted up and other object being under exposed. All lights is turned off and just the light from the flash light is used to light up the scene. The flash light is set so that it bounce the light of a corner of the room. First, I set the shutter speed so that the ambient light is underexpose by two stops. Second, I use the same flash light to try to paint some light on the subject. It seems that the flash light left behind some light painting trail. Although not going to plan, the picture seems interesting. To me anyway.

I should have taken a picture of my self doing so. Oh well, maybe next time.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Two is better than one

EOS 60D, F/4, 1/125s, ISO-200, 24-70L @ 30mm

Railway? What Railway?

EOS 60D, F/7.1, 1/500s, ISO-100, 24-70L @ 24mm

The railway line is behind the rows of sun flowers. Sorry but could not link a location. Some error came out. This is taken near Kurosunadai, Chiba, Japan

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Up Close and Personal...

EOS 60D, F/4, 1/30s, ISO-100, 24-70L @ 68mm

I guess I was lucky this time. Broke the rule of handhold-able speed.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Flower of the Sun...

EOS 60D, F/2.8, 1/160s, ISO-100, 24-70L @ 70mm

Went for a walk with my family around our house near Chiba, Japan. There are a train railway near the house. Along its line, the sun flowers blooms. As I took this photo, my son was drawing it.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Purple Project...

EOS 60D, F/7.1, 1/160s, ISO-400, 24-70L @70

A flower from my son's flower pot. My son's school project.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What happens when you cross a ball, a boy and a waterfall?

EOS 60D, F/7.1, 4s, ISO-100, 24-70L @ 24mm + Kenko ND400

The answer: An exciting day heheheh.

Update on 20 July 2012: This is my first time using ND400. What I did was first take a picture without ND400. The scene is the same as the image above. The setting is the same but the exposure time is 1/100s for proper exposure. I multiply the exposure time by 400 (since ND400 is being used) to becomes 4s. Add the ND400 and shoot. I guess I was right. Maybe this will be true for ND8 and ND4.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012


EOS 60D, F/2.8, 1/125s, ISO-200, 24-70L @ 70mm

This bird was perching on a chair beside where we were eating. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

I see... Icy...

EOS 60D, F/5.6, 1/80s,  ISO 200, 24-70L @ 24mm

Ice sculpture competition outside EUNO zoo. Very interesting event.

Monday, July 2, 2012


EOS 60D, F/2.8, 1/160s, ISO-100, 24-70L @ 35mm

Smaller than the one shown on anime. Equal to almost 5 story building. Hmmm. Wish I can ride it hehehe.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Full Length...

EOS 60D, F/4, 1/15s, ISO-800, 24-70L @ 24mm

Actually almost the full length of the Rainbow Bridge. Did not bring the tripod thus the railing of balcony is used instead. Taken from the 6th floor of Aqua City, Odaiba. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

It Bring Back The Child In Me

EOS 60D, F/2.8, 1/100s, ISO-400, 24-70L @ 45mm

This character is one of my favorites. I do have a lot of favorite characters. Hehehe.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


EOS 60D, F/2.8, 1/1600, ISO-100, 24-70L @ 62mm

Overcast day. Nice to slow down your life for a bit but quite a crazy light to shoot in... Runnnnnn....

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Glass and steal?

EOS 60D, F/8, 1/250s, ISO-100, 24-70 @ 48mm

The future transport is here....

Monday, June 11, 2012

Land? No...

EOS 60D, F/4, 1/640s, ISO-100, 24-70 @ 51mm

By sea is another way to get around Tokyo.... Much nicer way...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Hunter Part 2

EOS 60D, F/5.6, 1/200s, ISO-100

The hunter hidden in its lair... Waiting for the catch of the day...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Memory Keeper

EOS 60D, F/4, 1/640s, ISO-100, 24-70 @ 54mm

What does people see in a rose? Is if for its beauty or for its thorns? To me, the rose is a memory keeper. Some are beautiful as its petals and some as painful as its thorns. Both are the essence of life. Some gather it from its petals then the thorn will appear. Some gather it from its thorn then the petals will appear. None can have only one. MasyaAllah.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Silent Hunter.

EOS 60D, F/7.1, 1/100s, ISO-400

Waiting for its pray... It is still as a twig... Doesn't look like a spider. Hmmm