Esther having a Hokkaido Cheese Toast and loving it.
Had a pasta burger at Mos burger which was not too bad but nothing to shout about.
There were huge replicas of a Starbucks cup and a Vitagen bottle at the zoo of all places.
Kind of odd to go to the zoo without the kids. But here we are, just the two of us. And we had a great time walking around and taking photos.
Pauline is so cute. She brought me a pillow stating that I was a good husband. So nice of her.
I had an interesting birthday cake which was a Nasi Lemak cake. So it was both the birthday cake as well as the dinner.
Since I had a day off for my birthday, I decided to go to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve to have a good walk and take the opportunity to take some photos.
The walk up the slope was horrible, I am so out of shape, I thought that I would die 🙁
But up the slope I did and was rewarded with some nice pictures of insects. Shooting the insects with one hand holding the camera and the other the flash was not really that bad. Especially since the flash allowed for really fast shutter speeds (1/250), I could hand hold the camera for the shots. Auto-focus was actually useable and probably more accurate than my manual focused shots. There was a bit of hunting but if I can focus on something contrasting nearby and then the bug, it was not too bad.
Besides the insects, I saw a troop of monkeys. There were mothers with the little ones clinging on.
One insect deserves a special mention as it appears to have mastered the art of irritating photographers. Each time I had a focus lock and between the time the shot actually firing off and me pressing down on the shutter release, the bug will fly away. So all I got was a sharp picture of a leaf. This must have happened dozens of times or more. There was just no way for me to catch the guy. Somehow it manages to read the situation and fly off just after the shutter was depressed. Of the dozens of shots, I got just one to show for the effort (and a blurry one at that).
I woke up this morning and found a dead bug at the entrance to my room. Thinking that it might be interesting for a macro shot, I kept it and did some macro work in the evening with a remote flash I got today. It was an Olympus FL-600R which was not crazy expensive at four hundred plus. But was a difference did it make.
I was reading Robin Wong’s blog (https://blog.mingthein.com/2017/08/06/insect-macro-photography-techniques-an-ongoing-experimentation-part-i/) and he had an article about the set up that he uses. After reading it, I thought that I would have a try and got the flash. After some fiddling (with a head scratching moment trying to figure out why the TTL was not working, it was due to the flash not sitting in the hot shoe proper resulting in a bad contact), I got the remote firing working which was actually quite easy. Just put on the EM-1 supplied flash and set RC to on in the flash menu and the same for the remote flash and you are done. As long as the remote flash can see the on camera flash, the remote flash will fire. Really quite easy once you know how it works.
The results are rather good I thought. Of course this is a dead insect which is not quite moving and I could take the time to get a good position. In the field with one hand holding the camera and the other holding the flash, I am not sure I can do so well.
Pauline got a new Panasonic GX9 and we went off to the Flower Dome at the Gardens by the Bay for a photography session.
It has been a while since I did photography and boy was it therapeutic 🙂