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All blog post images copyright by Edwardson Tan unless otherwise noted

Monday, February 25, 2013

Bright red flower

Canon Powershot A480, 1/160", f/3, ISO 100, lens @6.6mm super macro mode

Post processed the JPG image in Adobe Camera Raw. Added vignetting and adjusted hue, saturation and luminance of red, orange, yellow and green. And did the usual stuff--boosted clarity, contrast, sharpness. Cropped into a square format.

Full moon at its zenith

Canon T3i, 1/60", f/11, ISO 100, EF 75-300mm III @300mm

100% full moon


I initially took a series of bracketed shots at f/10. Heck, I thought I'd push the depth of field just to be sure of focus sharpness--lens' sweet spot be damned--and closed the aperture down to f/16. Canon T3i, 1/40", ISO 100, EF 75-300mm III @300mm. Autofocused using Live View at 10x magnification. Cable release to trip the shutter. Cam on a Benro A500FBH1 tripod. Used only Adobe Camera Raw post processing and nothing else. False color temperature--pushed it toward yellow and magenta.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Jupiter and our moon

Was some 15 minutes from home in a parking lot when I happen to gaze up and saw the moon. I nearly yelled "Shit!" Jupiter was just a hairsbreadth away! Got home and grabbed the T3i, mounted the 75-300mm, plugged in the shutter release cable, switched over to manual mode and set the aperture to f/10, turned on auto bracketing with +/- 2 stops, and ran outside with my new Benro A500FBH1 tripod. Focusing was as always a hell of a chore. Used Live View and tried autofocus but it kept hunting so I took over.

Turns out bracketing wasn't necessary for the planned pseudo-HDR. Turns out HDR wasn't at all even necessary! My concern was Jupiter would be too faint when I had a good exposure of the moon and so given the various exposures I would take a frame with a correct exposure for each and then just mask out Jupiter/the moon on one of the layers. The image below is a single frame. According to the histogram there are no blown out highlights.

You won't fail to be bothered by the fact that the moon has a halo. That's because there was haze blanketing the sky. Just my luck. Arrgghh!!

1/10", f/10, ISO 100. Ha! All decimal values. Must be some lucky number series :)

If you want to read up here's an article about today's Earth's moon and Jupiter pairing

Friday, February 15, 2013


Well, not really. Just a macro shot of a boiled saba banana. Effect created by hand tearing the fruit instead of cutting with a utensil. Used the #2 extension tube and an EF-S 18-55mm II @55mm preset to f/16. Lit using a Yongnuo YN560-II set to 1/128 power, zoomed to 105mm, and positioned about 4 inches away from the subject. No diffuser was necessary at that distance and with such a small subject (diameter of around an inch). Triggering via Yongnuo R-603. Shutter: 1/160"

Sprouting a new crown

That tree that had shed its yellow leaves is now quickly getting a new crown of greenery. I saw the plane quite too late and quickly snapped a shot. I got lucky--it was flying parallel to the branches. But I wish I had that bird a little more to the left and out of the twigs. Unfortunately I wasn't expecting it and was completely caught off guard. I should've taken another shot right after but didn't, not least because I wasn't even sure what I had captured and wasn't aware how the plane was fortuitously pointing in the same direction as the branches. 

By the way it's an Emirates. At first I thought it was Cathay.

Cano T3i, 1/160", f/10, ISO 100, EF-S 18-55mm II @55mm

Monday, February 11, 2013

Terminalia catappa

Well, at least that's what I think is the name of this tree that's shedding its leaves by the ton. Soon it'll be barren and will be sprouting new greens.

It was a sunny day with just a hint of clouds. I wanted the hard light of the sun so that the leaves would "glow" as I shot from underneath.

Increased the saturation of the yellows, oranges and blues. And moved the hues a bit.

All images: Canon T3i, aperture priority, ISO 100, EF-S 18-55mm II @18mm.

1/100", f/11, noon

Stopped the aperture down to f/16 to get a sunburst. The lens flare isn't too bad.

1/60", f/16, 10AM

1/30", f/16, 10AM

1/160", f/8

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Playing with macro

Had all three of the extension tubes on the Canon T3i and then mounted an EF 75-300mm III that had been preset to f/16. Took bokeh shots and some "regular" ones. All images were heavily processed in post. 

Leaves of a tree, 1/50", ISO 400

Pink bougainvillea flower and sky, 1/50", ISO 800

Tree with yellow leaves, 1/100", ISO 800

 Ixora flower of 1/60", ISO 800

Grass, 1/100", ISO 800

Ixora flower, 1/50", ISO 800

Funeral or cannibalistic feast?

Just got a set of extension tubes. China made. Fully manual--no electrical contacts, not even for aperture. So to set a particular f-stop in Canon cams you first dial in the aperture and then while holding down the depth of field preview button remove the lens. That locks in the f-stop. After taking the lens off confirm that the aperture has in fact closed down by looking through the lens.

The set came with three tubes. For the shots below I mounted all three on the cam and used an EF 50mm f/1.8 II. Total extension length from body to lens is 2.5". No idea what the equivalent magnification would be. I chose an aperture to f/16 but even then the depth of field was frustratingly very shallow. And with the aperture closed down the view through the viewfinder was anything but bright. I was hand-holding the cam and focused by moving the camera forwards and back. Given that I had moving subjects I switched over to continuous shooting and sprayed away. Fortunately these couple of shots had decent sharpness.

I didn't use flash and relied on the fickle sun (yeah, it's actually the clouds' fault) for sufficient light. Both shots were taken at 1/100". I wanted to bump up the shutter speed but I was already at ISO 800 and noise was going to be a problem.

Shown below are the extension tubes and the adapter rings for the camera body (top left) and for the lens (top right).

The tubes and adapters all threaded together:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Chinese panorama

Saw this Chinese New Year decor at the center of the mall and wanted to take a pano. Only had my Canon Powershot A480 with me. Was at the topmost floor. View wasn't optimal. When I moved down to the third level I saw that I could lay the cam on the guard rail to steady it and get the full length of the streamers without tilting the cam up or down--that's best for a distortion-less pano. I had the cam in portrait orientation so as to maximize the top to bottom coverage. Shot at the the cam's widest angle. I positioned myself directly across the elevators to create a symmetric pano. I had the A480 on P mode and selected ISO 200 to get a decent shutter speed. Exposure was of course automatically selected by the cam. Fortunately it looks like the exposure on each frame is more or less the same. Took 10 shots with around 30 to 50% overlap to make life easier for Photoshop. Didn't bother enabling CHDK. Actually, for some reason when batteries are running low the cam shuts down when I try to switch on CHDK. No idea why.

And yes, I wish I could've moved that dang lantern obscuring the text on the streamer.

Palette on a leaf

Took the leaf photo and created a color balance adjustment layer. Played with the cyan-red, magenta-green, and yellow-blue sliders for the shadows, midtones and highlights until I got a look I liked. I then added a curves adjustment layer to bring up brightness a tad without blowing the highlights.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Landscape of a leaf

Lone leaf in the litter that carpeted the garden which isn't dessicated, brown and brittle. Love the deep red magenta color. I knew I wanted to get it sidelighted so as to bring out the textures, particularly the veins.

Gingerly washed the leaf and dried it. Placed a black felt paper on the floor. Laid the leaf on top. Placed a YN560 II about half a meter away and angled down about 30deg. Gobo-ed the top of the flash gun with a black cardboard to prevent light spill from getting into the camera lens. Set it to 1/64 power. Mounted an EF 50mm f/1.8 on the T3i. Shutter speed at 1 sec to let in a wee bit of ambient (had some warm CFLs on the ceiling). f/5.6 to get a decent depth of field (apparently insufficient since part of the image is soft!). ISO 100 to get least noise. 

In post, I cropped and used luminosity masks and targeted contrast enhancements using soft light blend mode on the expanded midtones. Lightened the basic midtones with screen blend mode. Pulled down the brightness of the highlights via multiply. 

I like both the horizontal and vertical versions.