Sunday, July 11, 2010

Macro Photography

I just ordered from eBay a macro flash "O" ring that fits my 430ex II. So basically my "cheapo" macro setup are all compatible attachments:

1. Canon 50mm f/1.8 USM with a macro filter attachment (doubled with a wide-angle add-on for normal use to make an effective range of 40mm - much better for portraits)
2. Flashgun extension that channels light from my 430ex through the "pipes" to an "O" ring extension that latches to the front of the lens.
3. My monfrotto tripod.

The flash is still on its way, but its a good $40 as compared to $300 that I'd normally have to fork out.

Will take some close ups soon.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Taking & Making the "Bak Zhang"

Lightroom and Bak Zhang-3, originally uploaded by Mervin Chiang.
I couldn't think of anywhere else to put my notes on this one so I decided to put this here. It is not entirely non photography related. I did learn one thing:

The low lamp of our dining table actually makes quite a good "studio-styled" lighting.

Ok back to the Bak Zhang. I learnt this from my grandma 3 times in the past and have always been too lazy to make it. Today I had a craving and decided to make it. This one is unique and only my grandma makes it this way. That is why I had to do it myself and cannot buy it... So here are my notes to myself so I don't forget if I decided to do it again:

1. Must soak the glutinous rice overnight with salt.
2. Then drain and mix with "more" oil and sesame oil, salt and also five spice
3. Marinate the fatty pork (belly) with five spice, salt, sesame oil and soya sauce.
4. Green bean, with five spice and salt
5. Chestnut
6. Salted egg yolk
7. Bak Zhang leaf and string (bamboo leaf I think)
8. Boil for 3-4hrs (More salt in the pot - more than 2 teaspoons of salt)

How to wrap here:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Black & White + 1:1 frame formats

I started a little mini series to take shots of cities and citiscapes in monochrome and mainly black and white. This one was taken on a rainy Melbourne morning to try and capture the Melbourne city mood going to work. I also tried to experiment with the "square" format 1:1.

Lessons on B&W:
1. Never use the preset black and white on the camera. Always do the change in post processing.
2. I did this with a blue filter on to add the dynamics...

And it got featured in!