Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Choosing Nature Photography - Birding

I have great respect for nature. I always felt that more can be done to preserve the flora and fauna of Singapore. This tiny Island of ours is never a boring place to live in. It is ancient and it is rich with biodiversity only until the last 100 years or so. More should be done to conserve what is left. And just in case the younger generation didnt know what inhabits this Island besides the humans, I will collect whatever evidences i can find in terms of pictures and perhaps some anecdotal records.

among the creatures that are surviving the great singapore extinction event are the birds. though they are never immuned to it. I will try to photograph the birds I can spot wherever and whenever possible. Birds are simply amazing. Their tiny size defies the challenges they face namely, loss of natural habitat, hunting, lack of food supply, diseases and invasive species. they taught me how to be patient and be persistent in facing gargantuan challenges in life. If tiny birds cand do it, so can we.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Updated equipment list

As of today's date I have the following equipment

Canon EOS 7D
Canon EOS 550D
Panasonic Lumx FZ-18
Sigma 10-22mm f/4-5.6 EX DG HSM
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
Canon EF 70-200mm F/4L IS USM
Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L IS USM
Canon EF Extender 1.4x II
Nissin Di866

Sigh... So much good equipment but so little time...


Saturday, May 1, 2010

The 7D

The 7D is the camera I would like to have. I intend to buy it at the end of the year. However by chance, I got hold of it by exchanging my 50D and my Canon EF-S 10-22mm. The High ISO performance is fantastic! No more irritating vertical banding!

The 7D is heavier than 50D... To a point I'm getting tired of the weight around the shoulders. So heavy till I decided to let go the battery grip that I usually love to have. Later I missed my wide angle lens terribly. I then bought a second hand Sigma 10-20mm EX HSM for $ 690 to compensate my earlier lost.

The guy who got hold of my 50D - I felt that he regret it. Too bad, I'm not going to return the 50D to him. I am now contemplating to sell my 7D. It will yield cash that can buy 2 DSLRs! I sometimes need two DSLRs when shooting important events. But then again I'm quite emotionally attached to my 7D. Its the best DSLR I've ever owned at this point. Whichever decision I made, there is always points that make me unhappy.

So how.... Allah may be joking at me. I asked for 100-400mm IS USM lens he gave me 7D...

Friday, January 1, 2010

The craving begins again...

I now crave for the following lens...

(a) EF 50mm F/1.4 USM - SGD 580
(b) EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L IS USM - SGD 2600
(c) EF 100mm F/2.8L Macro IS USM - SGD 1600

Total burn: $ 4780

(a) I was wondering what kind of bokeh and background blur the 50mm can produce. How fast the lens can be (1.8 vs 1.4)? It would be a great portraiture lens on my 50D.

(b) The 100-400mm is the longest focal length zoom lens Canon has made. It would be extremely useful for my nature shots. Hopefully it can fill up my frame with small colourful birds. The weight will definitely create more muscles for me.

(c) This is the newest macro lens canon has to offer. It has a newer generation of image stabilization. I want to see how 1:1 magnification really works. It is extremely sharp and can do portraiture as well.

I dont have this kind of money yet. Have to wait...


Thursday, December 24, 2009

New Equipment...

New Equipment I got hold of lately... Alhamdulillah!

Canon EF 70-200mm F/4L IS USM
Canon EF-s 17-55mm F/2.8 IS USM
Canon EF Extender II 1.4X
Nissin Di866 Flash
Lens Hood for Canon EF-s 10-22mm F/3.5-4.5 USM

The equipment above will be my main weapons from now onwards.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

a new chapter

today marks an important event in my journey as an amateur photographer. I got hold of my very first L lens, the ef 70-200mm f/4L is usm. It costs sgd1850. I bought the ef extender 1.4x mark ii. It costs sgd470. And finally the best low light, constant aperture ef-s lens, the ef-s 17-55mm f/2.8 is usm. Cost me sgd1550. I will now be able to use ambient light in low-light situations that does not require to freeze subject's movement.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A short on-the-field review of Canon EF 75-300mm F/4-5.6 III USM

The EF 75-300mm F/4-5.6 III USM is undeniably the cheapest and longest telephoto zoom lens that Canon made available to the masses. It comes with the 1000D as a bundled lens together with the 18-55mm. If you read the reviews at the following websites:


...you realise that this Lens got pretty much bashing. Cheap, light lens with mediocre image quality.

I recently used this lens for the SANA Zoo outing. The outdoors is very dark thanks to the weaker evening sun and layers upon layers of grey clouds. Thank goodness it doesnt rain. The Lens needed to be stopped down and it makes my job very difficult to shoot at slow shutter speeds. In order to get higher shutter speed, at certain situations, I have to jack up the iso as high as ISO3200. Very grainy... At ISO3200, only 1/3 of the pics can be used.

The image stabilization feature present in my damaged EF-S 55-250mm IS lens is deeply missed. As well as its sharpness and lack of chromatic aberrations.

However, with great struggle, the following pictures are taken. Its not that good but its also not that bad huh? If you want me to describe how to attain it using this "mediocre" lens let me know.

[1] a detailed sculpture of a crocodile

[2] an otter relaxing

[3] the vigilant meerkat on sentry duty

[4] the tamarind

[5] the majestic man-eating white tiger

Anyway I find the whole experience very challenging. I enjoyed it. I wish I'm at the zoo a little bit longer.