Thursday, April 30, 2009

Self-sustenance: help needed

I think everybody knows by now what my current passion is. For the past few months, ever since I got my D60 I can't stop going around and snapping pictures: from candid photos of random people in the streets of Kuala Lumpur, kids playing Malay traditional games, sceneries, silver clouds, silhouettes and sunsets to macro shots of bugs and flowers. I've been shooting pics of everything that caught my eye: even ants crawling on the ground couldn't escape me.

But as a college student, this hobby can be quite the uncorked hole in my income barrel. One of the reasons I was attracted to this hobby, apart from being able to zoom in to the compound eyes of dead flies, was how it can potentially be a self-sustaining hobby. Selling your work, you can make some income, maybe small, but may as well be as big so as enough to sustain your need for improvement (in terms of accessories and gear). But, as any self-sustaining hobby, it requires some startup moolah, some kind of starting customer base, maybe some networking, some assets (in this case, my gear and my photography), and time. So far, I am almost nowhere in all of the mentioned requirements. But I have to start somewhere.

I'll be taking that first step this weekend. I will be tagging along a friend of mine who has a photography assignment for a matrimonial reception event. He has kindly let me follow him and be his shadow of sorts - I'll be snapping the events alongside him and gain some experience while learning how to do the works. At almost no cost. This way I'll learn first hand the how-tos and whatnots of event photography, maybe not all, but some fraction of what I will encounter once I'm a bit more than knee-deep in this industry.

I only have a kit lens in my arsenal, and I know at least an external flash is required for events such as this. And since a good flash unit is expensive (and not that available in the market these days), I've rented from my good friend Elly (who's going to be away for 3 days) a Nikon Speedlight SB-900, specifically for this weekend's events. With no experience whatsoever with a flash unit, I have less than two days to learn how to use this thing, at least, for outdoor and indoor event photography.

I downloaded the manual online. It's 149 pages long. I don't have that much time.

So I'll be checking this blog in about one day from now. I hope that by then, anyone with any knowledge of how to use a flash for event photography have left me with some tips and/or guidance.

I'll thank you in advance. I'll be back in about a day... again, thanks for your help!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dead fly

Dead fly, originally uploaded by ihsankhairir.

This was one of my first attempts at macro photography using the reverse lens technique. For people who love taking closeup shots but don't have enough lettuce in the fridge for a dedicated macro lens, this is one of the cheapest ways to achieve to a certain degree the kinds of shots a camera with a macro lens can capture.

This is a photo of a dead fly. COD is pesticide spray. Place is a white tile floor of a kitchen.

For this shot I used a handheld reversed 18-55mm kit lens on a Nikon D60 camera. Aperture was set at maximum (F3.5 manually using the index finger on the aperture lever). Flash was built-in popup flash so there's a bit of shadow on the bottom of the pic that I cropped out. As for the focal length I'm not sure since the lens was reversed, but on the lens itself I set at somewhere between 40-50mm. Not sure that translates to how much with the lens reversed.

Since I was just holding the reversed lens with my hand, the shot was difficult to take. I am now looking to see if I can get a Nikon F-mount 52mm reverse ring. Once I get my hands on that piece of accessory (plus maybe an external flash) you can expect the return of the bug shots from me. For now, this will do.

Friday, April 03, 2009

From Flickr: Sunset clouds

Sunset clouds, originally uploaded by ihsankhairir.
People see silver linings in clouds. I do too.

But during sunsets, I see gold.

Sunset clouds are breathtakingly beautiful. Subhanallah.

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