Monthly Archives: June 2008

Fuel Price Hike: Time to face new challenges

June 5 2008 – the news came when the government announced the price of petrol to increase from RM1.92 to RM2.70 per litre – an increase of 78 cents, and for sure the prices of many other goods and services will follow suit.

A bowl of noodles now costs 50 cent more, from $3.50 to$ 4.00. A chicken rice vendor in the Section 14 food court recently increased the price of a plate of chicken rice from RM3.50 to RM3.80. In some other places they have increased to RM4.00.

My wife told me that the price of chicken keeps going up. It has gone up to RM6.70 per kg and that is a little too expensive.

We have to change our lifestyle. Maybe it is better to stay at home, enjoy home cooked food and quality time with the family than go out.

I read with interest in the post by David Lind “Save Money On Gas/ Dealing With The High Cost Of Gasoline” on his Viginia Breeze site. He talked to his friend Eddie about ways to save money on gas when it went up to US4.00 per gallon. I don’t think I am able to follow Eddie’s ideas.

Malaysians today are bracing themselves for the challenges ahead and try to prevent a bigger hole in their wallets. They have to learn to save petrol and food in some form to cut their expenditures.

June 5, 2008 is also The World Environment Day. Some celebrated the Green Day and I choose to stay at home with my family to save cost. I went through the photographs of our holiday trip which we celebrated during the World Environment Day in Janda Baik last year.

It was an hour drive from Kuala Lumpur to reach the resort. The resort is a perfect holiday destination for the city dwellers to get away from the bustling city life.

It has a swimming pool, a hall for dinner, a convention hall and a small office With a clear cool stream flowing just along its compound and with its own fruit orchard the resort was simply enchanting.

The resort is also thickly forested with trees, jungle plants and wild flowers.We enjoyed the beauty of its natural surrounding.

Here are some pictures which I took at the resort.

janda baik

janda baik

janda baik

janda baik

janda baik

janda baik

The flower and the bee

The flower and bee

The flower and the bee

The flower and the bee

This is a full bloom water lily with star-like, pale blue flowers about 15cm wide, and distinctive yellow stamens.

Color and scent are often the driving forces in attracting insects and bees to the garden in search of pollen and nectar. The lotus or water lily blooming in the pond at the Kuala Lumpur Orchid Garden

It was just like the movie The beauty and the beast, they love each other. The flowers need the bees so that they can bring their pollens for cross pollination. The bees visit the flowers to collect pollen and nectar for food for themselves and their young.

The story of this flower and the bee encapsulates the delicate but beautiful balance of nature and the importance of keeping eco-systems intact

These images were taken on Canon 30D mounted with EF 100mm Macro Lens. It cropped and enlarged to the size and lucky it still hold the quality.

The flower and the bee

The flower and the bee

The flower and the bee

The Perfect Flower pictures

orchid

orchid

Flower photography is a great photographic pleasure. Flowers can’t look any better than in color. In my opinion not all flowers are the same, some look like they are easy to be photographed but it may difficult to get all the details.

Flowers in tropical and temperate countries are different in size and color. Some look so fantastic and geogeous that the picture just comes out looking exactly how you want. And then some look average and uninteresting, but when you get in close, it will be a surprise to get all the curves, lines, colors and the finer details..

When you are taking pictures of flowers in the garden, you have to look out for flowers with good blossom and also take note of the form, color, lighting and background.

Concentrate on what you see in the viewfinder, and recompose the picture until it looks the best to you.

The composition is the most important even if you have the right tips and technique of shooting flower pictures. Take the time to try low angles, high angles, or moving to the right or left. A wide lens aperture (a lower-numbered f-stop) will enhance this effect by softening the background.

Don’t be afraid to shoot a few extra pictures. Try different angles and different lighting. Also depict your subject from several different viewpoints.

As I mentioned I made mistakes in my flower shoot and I know the mistakes. I always ask myself “What went wrong?” If you study your mistakes, you will be rewarded with a greater number of successful photographs.

Choosing the right lens is extremely important. There is the question of Canon 70-200mm zoom vs 100mm macro lens – which lens is better or to buy if you have a limited budget?

You can have a look at the flower pictures on the posting Taking Better Flower Pictures. I used a Canon 30D fixed with 70-200mm F2.8 zoom while in Taking Perfect Flower Pictures I used 100mm F2.8 macro lens.

I know that the Canon 100mm macro is the best macro lens in close-up photography but the 70-200mm zoom will provide me with the most versatility in the short term. If you are a Newspaper photographer, I think you will prefer to buy the zoom but if your main focus is macro work, then buy the macro.

My suggestion is simple. Save and buy both. Both Canon 70-200mm F2.8 ( with or without IS) and 100mm F2.8 Macro lens worth to invest.

orchid

wild orchid

orchid

Taking perfect flower pictures

I revisited The Kuala Lumpur Orchid Garden yesterday as I wanted to figure out and experience how to take perfect flower picture Thanks for the tips provided by the three experts, Bonnie Bruno Photo Buffet, Bo The Seeded Earth and Bernie Kasper BFK photography.

I went there in the morning when the Orchid Garden opened at 9am.The morning sun was rising and I started to look for my targets, orchid flowers with rich colors are what I want to shoot. I walked around the Garden and could feel the morning sun glow and warmth. Unexpectedly there was a slight breeze. It could be because the Garden is located at higher ground with trees surrounding it.. Bonnie Bruno and Bo did confirm that morning shoot is the prime time for shooting perfect flower pictures

The morning has a vast difference from the afternoon as I noticed that there are dews on the flowers and this makes the flowers better and fresh looking .But the morning also attracts many tiny insects to the flowers. The bees and butterflies were fluttering around the flowers for the nectar.

Unlike Canon 70-200mm zoom lens, the use of Canon 100mm Macro lens at a closer distance makes it easy for me to spot the insects and thus less mistakes. Bo’s advices made me more careful and I avoid it in the shoot. The result this time is better with less mistakes of insects being seen in the pictures.

If you want to be serious with flower photography or close-up photography, Bernie Kasper recommended shooting with an extension tube specially fixed with a 70-200 zoom lens. The result will be fantastic. Sharpness is the most difficult part in close-up photography and patience is another factor. If you want to take a perfect shot and the photo was not sharp and out of focus, then you will regret not bringing the tripod..

To be frank, some of my shots are out of focus possibly due to lack of good eye sight, reflection, unsteady hand clicks as I didn’t bring along a tripod….lazy…..troublesome..

When photographing flowers outdoors, be aware of sudden slight breezes that might set the flowers in motion. Likewise, breezes can be caused indoors by the opening of a door or the brisk movement of people. For sharp pictures, you must be prepared to wait for all movements to cease before releasing the shutter

Lets have a look at some of these flower pictues taken on a Canon 30D fixed with a Canon Macro lens 100mm F2.8


orchid

orchid

orchid

orchid

orchid

orchid