Friday, 26 July 2013

Using Auto Exposure Lock with Spot Metering for better exposed portraits

Auto Exposure Lock is something that has been there on our DSLR camera for a long time but many are not aware of it's use or how it can be used properly. Hopefully this article can help you understand it's function better.

Have you ever taken a portrait outdoors only to find that your subject's face looks like they are standing in deep shadow while the surrounding is perfectly exposed? That is because you are probably using the Evaluative metering exposure mode on your camera and it's calculating exposure using the whole scene instead of just a small spot on your frame to get the correct combination of ISO, aperture and shutter speed.

One way to get a perfect exposure on the subject's face is to use Spot metering to read the exposure value off the subject's face and then dial it in using Manual mode while you compose the scene. A better way is to use the AEL (Auto Exposure Lock) button at the back of your camera to lock in the exposure while you focus and recompose your shot. This way you do not have to switch to Manual mode for shooting while still getting the correct exposure that you want everytime.

How do you use it? For me, it's simple.

  1. Set the camera to Spot metering and manual focus on the subject first.
  2. Make sure the subject is at the center of the circle in the viewfinder and then press the "*" button on the back of my camera to lock the exposure.
  3. Recompose and snap the shot.
Try it out and give me some feedback if it helps you out.

** Got a good feedback from Andrew Boey of Nikonian Academy **
The above only applies in full Auto or semi automatic modes like Aperture or Shutter priority modes. It will not work in Manual mode.

And if you want to know more about Andrew, do visit for more information.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Recognition on Viewbug

This has to be the happiest day of my photography life so far. Came back from a working trip to Penang, sat down at my computer only to find that one of my images has been selected as a favourite by the judge of an online photography contest that I entered.

Now, that is what I call a perfect start to a great weekend. :)

Friday, 14 June 2013

Milky and landscape shooting in Bali

Wow!!! Bali is such an amazing destination for photographing landscapes and of course my favourite, the Milky Way. Although it was a little cloudy when I was there, we were able to capture the Milky easily when the clouds broke in between as the environment there is just so clean with no haze and relatively very little pollutants in the skies.

Luck was definitely on my side as I managed to capture 2 awesome frames with shooting stars and meteors passing by the earth's atmosphere in my shots.

Milky in the sky with shooting star         

Milky in the sky with meteor and shooting star

This shot was taken at Jatiluwih at the rice terraces. It was cloudy and misty but it was absolutely possible to get the Milky just when the clouds cleared a little bit.

Milky over the shed

This was taken from the porch in front of my hotel room at Amed. At that moment, it was even possible to see the Milky with naked eyes and it just makes it so much more easier to compose the shot.

Milky Way above our hotel roof

Two more shots of the Milky at Bali. According to our guide, it was a rare sight to see the peak of Mount Agung in the 2nd pic so clear at night without cloud covers. Got lucky again I guess. :)

Milky over the treeMilky above Mount Agung 

This is Mount Agung in daytime. Don't it look grand?

Gray Sunset

More of my nightscape shots can be found here.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Sorry for being away for so long

I would like to put forward my utmost sincerest apology for being incognito for so long. Truth to be told, I was busy attending workshops on portraits and did not really had the heart plus time to update this site.

Will be away in glorious Bali from 6th to 11th June for some nightscape shots so for the meantime, I would like to share some of the latest portraits that I have shot in the past few weeks.

Further to that, I will be planning a portrait photoshoot package for those who want some profile pictures taken or even customised themes if you are so inclined. Check back here next week for more information.

Lady with many faces

Friday, 26 April 2013

How to get infinity focus using kit lens (or lens without focusing meter)

A quick tip for night scape hunters out there who are using the original kit lens that came with the body. Since the lens does not have a distance focusing marker on it, it is a bit of hit and run trying to set the lens to infinity focus. The trick is to use your camera's auto focus on something really far away then switch it to manual focus without moving the focusing ring after that.

The best way is to do it way before you go on site and make a mark across the ring and the body so that the next time you are on site, all you have to do is to align the marks and you are done. Happy hunting.

Make a mark after focusing on distant objects

Thursday, 18 April 2013

How to locate the Milky Way on site

Just like to share the 2 favourite Android applications that I use when I'm on-site shooting the Milky Way. Couple these applications with Stellarium on your PC desktop, now you will practically be able to plan ahead where you intend to shoot and what is the best time to shoot as described in my previous article.

1. Google Sky Map
With a simple interface this application is easy to use. I particularly like the feature where I can search for the constellation Scorpius and the time travel feature to allows me to plan ahead of time where the Milky will appear a few hours later.

2. Planets
A visually pleasing application that shows more than just the Milky Way on the screen. Does not have a search feature. Supports time travel too like Google Sky Map. Available for both the Android and iOS devices.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Sometimes Mother Nature will make a statement too

Just came back from a Milky hunt over the weekend with 29 (yes, that's correct, 29) of my friends and this time Mother Nature decided that she has had enough of us hunting down the Milky Way and decided to make the day cloudy and dull for us.

However, we were determined to try to at least get 1 shot so we stayed almost for 4 hours at the location until it started raining. Well, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. There's always a next time.

At 2:15am

At 3:35 am
At 3:54 am