Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kulkami Summer Day 2011

Steven had to check out some equipment in their family farm. It was a great chance for me to take photos again of this peaceful place.

Bees were flying around the property. Dozens of colonies can be found in the sheds and inside the house. I was lucky enough to witness a bee getting mauled by an army of ants.

The sun was golden as it started its slumber and as it woke us up in the morning. Its light, together with the ample amount of rain we received all year round, nourished flowers and weeds around the property.

But water and light also ate away the numerous abandoned machines. Plants have taken over and seemed to make tons of metal and rubber part of them.
a massacre

the biggest honeycomb in the world

bush for an engine

automotives are good fertilizers
Mary had a little lamb

the sun starting to do its job
I will tell you about what happened at night on the next post.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Kapunda Cemetery

After watching "Exorcism of Emily Rose", I was inspired to do a photo shoot in a cemetery. Fortunately, Steven and I were scheduled to spend Christmas in Barossa Valley so I decided to do it in Kapunda Cemetery.

It is an eerie place because it is surrounded by vast farmlands and some of the graves are more than a hundred years old. There are also claims that spirits lurk in that place.

It is unmistakably  the most picturesque cemetery I have ever seen in my life and I will definitely take more photos in the near future.

The Visitor

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Body issues

2003 (25 years old)
When I was younger, I used to think that I had a big tummy. I wanted to look like the models that I see on gay porn and mainstream fitness magazines. I just wanted to look perfect.

A few days ago, I stumbled upon the photos taken during those years that I thought I did not look nice. Boy, I was mistaken--my body actually looked smashing! What was I thinking?

I do not think I have outgrown this insecurity because I still catch myself pinching my own tummy and looking at it in the mirror. I should have appreciated myself more back then or else I won't be this insecure.

2004 (26 years old)

2004 (26 years old)

2003 (25 years old)

2004 (26 years old)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

DIY diffuser for macro photography

Shooting macros is a big dream of mine and I am trying my best to produce great photos with the limited resources (MONEY) I have. Macro lenses are extremely expensive and Pentax lenses are rare in Australia as the brand is not popular.

First, Steven bought me a macro extension tube from ebay. It is a hollow tube that fits between the body and the lens. It helps me get closer to my subjects so it is a good alternative to those lenses. BUT it has no electronic components so I have to focus and set the aperture manually. I also have to use artificial light because there is a huge distance between my sensor and the lens.

And this is when I get creative: I made my own light diffuser for macro shots. You just need the following:

a pair of scissors
plastic milk bottle
whiteboard marker

You just have to cut a flat piece of diffuser from the bottle and use the marker to trace an opening for your lens. Then you cut out the circle--that is all!

You just have to fit the diffuser around your lens and pop up your flash. The light is still a bit too harsh and too cumbersome to use but it will do for now. I think I have to shell out 50 dollars to buy a proper (still cheap) macro light from ebay.

Anyway, here are the results of my constant fiddling so far.

Clumped pistils

Reaching pistils

Spring and web

Monday, December 12, 2011

Not A Christmas Party 2011

It is supposed to be summer but the wind is still warm. My friends and I thought that it would be a great idea to spend an early Sunday evening in Semaphore but we ended up being covered from head to foot.

Because the weather was not that inviting, it was easy for us to get a picnic spot for a barbecue.

But the weather was not really inviting so we decided to go back to our place to drink more soda and munch on some colorful cookies. We played Spoon and Uno and I won the latter game devilishly and went to bed to bed with a smile on my face.

Looks summery, right?

Amir (middle) and his sunset

Shane-a happy camper

Thanh and Rob (another happy camper)

Rob's normal face

Sinfully good

Concentrating on the cookies

No more cookies

Sunday, December 4, 2011

DIY flash diffuser

I have been very hesitant to take photos of night party events because I do not have the proper flash and diffuser yet. Built-in flashes are always too harsh when it comes to taking indoor photos so I have always turned them off. But if I turn them off, my photos end up being blurry because of the slower shutter speed.

Finally, I was able to read a tip from Digital Photography School website. It includes 11 DIY light alternatives and the light diffuser is one of them.
Here are the things that I used:

a white business card
a pair of scissors

On the narrow side of the card, cut flaps that are wide enough to fit the card to the sides of the built-in flash. You can bend the card upwards so that the light will be bounced to the ceiling. Voila--instant diffuser!

Here are sample photos with and without the diffuser with the same settings. Thank you Steven for agreeing to be my guinea pig!
with the diffuser

without the diffuser

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mini Toy Camera

I bought my pink Pentax K-r from T-Dimension. It is an online retail company based in Hong Kong and they specialize on cameras and camera accessories.

A few weeks ago, they were giving away free toy cameras so I submitted my name and address. I was very ecstatic to see my new gadget.

I wish Australian retailers were as generous to their customers.