Last evening was the first time i encountered lightning scene while i was doing a personal photography project on a high ground at Bukit Batok, Singapore. I notice the lightning was occurring very frequently, why not try to capture this phenomenal moment since i did not try before.
Basic equipment i have that time:
-Remote shutter release
-Wide angle or telephoto lens
Quickly set up my tripod, used a 70-200 F4 lens, mount it and adjust the composition i desire. Not sure how much time will the lightning keep striking. The camera setting was put to BULB mode, F/16, ISO 200 and expose it for 73 seconds. Below is the 2nd exposure result. My adrenaline starts to kick in!
I changed to a prime wide angle lens and capture the scene again. Still in bulb mode, adjust camera exposure to F/13, ISO200 and expose it for 38 seconds. However i did like the walls on the side of my frame. Hence i decided to use 70-200 for more shots.
Making correction during the process
Now am pretty sure the lightning is going to keep occurring at that particular area after observing how frequent the lightning strike. I re-adjust my composition a little more and shot a few frames landscape mode, realise i was missing out the lightning high up. I turn my camera to portrait/vertical to have more space on top. Over a short period the strikes of lightning start to slow down. I don’t want to expose my shutter for a long time. Hence i set my next exposure to F/8, ISO 320 and expose it for 35 seconds. Below are the most amazing result i got after my composition correction!
29 seconds exposure
Once you decides the composition, set your lens to manual focus. Auto focus might jump off or struggle to focus when the auto focus point is aiming at a dark spot in the night. How i get my focus was pointing the auto focus point on the transmitter tower, once it is fixed i push the button to manual focus on my telephoto lens.
Set your exposure time to around 20-30 seconds would be good, unless you know the lightning is striking so frequently, adjust your exposure time accordingly to your need.
Initially you need to conduct a few test shots to get your exposure correct, i share my setting here is not a guide line to follow but a reference for you to understand.
Editing lightning image
Post process is usually one of the fun part to let your imagination be as creative as possible, i transfer the images to Lightroom and did my tweaking.
Original RAW files from my 5D Mark III which looks unexciting.
Adjusted the white balance to my ideal final image. It looks more dramatic in this sense, making the lighting ‘pop”.
Stacking your lightning images
If you are lucky, you can get multiple lightning in a single exposure. Not all the time lightning occur so frequently in every few seconds. By stack up the images 3 & 4 in photoshop to get the dramatic result i want.
Hope you like my experience sharing here.
Singapore finally had a natural museum! Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum is located at NUS. This museum strives to be a leader in Southeast Asian biodiversity – in research, education and outreach. The architect is Mok Wei Wei from W-Architects Pte Ltd
Witnessing it progress for several months since late last year, the building finally takes shape. Through the news to learn that the museum is open to public. I took time off and headed down to photograph the musuem. Here are some of the pictures during the evening time.
I was in NTU last week to do a bit of photo exploration and it happen to be the university open house. I came to NTU Learning Hub near Nanyang Business School who i had client working with in the university. Back in 2013 i saw the construction of this very unique architecture in progress. I thought it would be interesting to see the final work when it is completed. Now, the structure stood before my eyes.
I spoke to the worker who is working on the final touch up. i was thrilled to hear the building going to be officially open soon. I think the students would be very excited to make full use of this facility.
Interesting name i heard from the students was that they call it the “dim sum building”. It reminds them of stacked dim sum steamers. A cute nickname i would say, for sure there will be no steaming bao (bun) inside to fill your empty stomach.
The architects who design this is by the name of Thomas Heatherwick. One of the feature of the building is the 3D drawings on the walls, working with an Italian illustrator Sara Fanelli who did 700 drawings, the amount of time spent is really tremendous.
There are 12 different entrances to access the building rather than the conventional single entry, this let the air to flows freely throughout. Is a fantastic idea for environmental sustainability.
Do head down to NTU to check it out!
Captured some interior photography pictures of Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (YSTCM) at National University of Singapore few weeks back. The staff were very kind enough to allow me to “work” there, as i did a night shoot of their architecture previously. The building is design by architect Mr Liu Thai Ker from RSP.
Click on the link to check out the rest of my interior photography of YSTCM.
I was escalated to learn from Ricebowl Photography Bookstore that Michael Kenna will be in Singapore for a Lecture, Q&A and book signing on 16th May 2015. In case you guys got no idea who is this man. He is a photographer who is well-known for his intense black and white landscape photography. He had held many exhibitions in many countries and constantly update on his Facebook page
I was talking to the staff in the book shop to find out more. I heard it was MK first trip to Southeast Asia and i was surprised to hear that, i mean he is such a well travelled person and he has yet been to this region. He must have dedicated much of his time in many other places he wish to focus on, because landscape photography is a very long period commitment to get the best picture.
Early Bird: $250
Initially i thought the price was a little bit steep. Thoughts of meeting the person in real life, flipping pages after pages of his photo books for many years. I think is worth the “investment” to meet the man and hope to learn some insights about his photography’s journey.
What i like about Michael Kenna images is it brings me the feeling of peace and surreality due to his long exposure techniques. He is shooting in film on a hasselblad camera, nowadays high and low end digital cameras is flooding the market each year. He truly appreciate the value of photography by sticking to his belief and creation.