Despite having two essay assignments due by this coming Friday, here I am typing this blog entry. I guess I just need a break from all the reading and essay writing. Anyway, I went to Hort Park last Friday to do some macro photography. Yes, I’m becoming quite the macro freak myself.

Hort Park is more to being a gardening hub than your playground plus lovebirds sitting on benches around kinda park. They have mini gardens with different concepts here including one with a Wizard of Oz theme. There are also glass houses where various plants are cultivated. There are also rooms and places for people to rent to organize functions. Don’t have any photographs of the place as I was busy looking for critters to shoot.

Anyway, I tried the correct and proper technique to shoot macro which is:
1. Manually focus the lens to 1:1 magnification
2. Move forwards and backwards to achieve focus on the subject

This was definitely a lot more challenging for me. I had to control my breathing to ensure that my body is stable and not swaying too much. I had to look through the tiny viewfinder to see if I got things in proper focus – in this case, sharpest focus on the insect’s eyes. This proved to be challenging as I don’t really have the best eyesight there is. Some of the shots turned out soft and out of focus while the rest were alright.

Four Lined Tree Frog - Polypedates leucomystax

Eventually, I decided to go back to using the auto focus. My technique is not the correct way to shoot macro hence my magnification ratio is not entirely 1:1. Here’s what I did:
1. Autofocus on the subject.
2. Move closer until the autofocus fails.
3. Move back slightly to achieve focus again and shoot.

It’s not the proper method but I’m happy with the results. On an unrelated note, my midterm break is coming up starting next Saturday. Will be staying in Singapore this time. Hopefully to study for the midterm exams after the break. But I will be indulging in some photography as well (hopefully macro).

Four Lined Tree Frog - Polypedates leucomystax


9 thoughts on “Technique

  1. “1. Autofocus on the subject.
    2. Move closer until the autofocus fails.
    3. Move back slightly to achieve focus again and shoot.”

    i do this too. i didn’t even know there was a proper technique. grin. great shots. is the solid black background post-processed?

  2. steph: Thank you! πŸ™‚ No, the black background was not post-processed. I shoot macro with flash and a high shutter speed. Since the background is further away to the camera (compared to the subject), the light from the flash will take a longer time to be reflected back onto the camera. And when it does come back, the fast shutter speed would not be able to capture it. Hence, the result is an underexposed background.

    Hope my explanation isn’t too confusing. Haha πŸ˜€

  3. steph: You’re welcome. Glad that I could help πŸ™‚

    Some people actually dislike the black background as it gives the impression that it was shot at night. Hence they prefer to shoot with a tripod and lower shutter speed.

  4. Nicholas Leong: Thank you! Hort Park is in the western part of Singapore along Alexandra Road. There’s a whole network of parks in the area actually. A macro haven indeed! πŸ˜€ Thanks bro! πŸ™‚ I’m not so sure about Sony’s lenses. But third party macro lenses such as the Tamron 90mm and Sigma 105mm are both excellent and very sharp macro lenses. You might wanna try either one of them – I personally prefer Sigma though for the extra 15mm.

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