Flowers at Penang hill

Here we are again for another Photo review, although this time its about flowers and not human models.

Most of these were taken using Tamron SP90 90mm f/2.8 AKA the best 3rd party macro lens I have ever used.

I particularly like this shot of a Dahlia because I like how the flower is tack sharp while everything else is rendered out of focus or into bokeh. The only drawback here is that I didn’t use the ample space on the left side. I seem to have this problem where I would always position the main subject following the rule of third even though it might not be a good idea to do so. Which in this case creates an empty vortex on the left side of the picture. Perhaps I should have shot a portrait instead of a landscape frame picture. Either way, I should learn that sometimes it is okay to throw the rules out the window and just focus on the main subject or target.

This flower here was taken along the hike up Penang Hill (there are a lot of flower nursery along the hike up due to the fact that the hill provides a very good clean environment away from the pollution of life at ground level) so anyone hiking should find a lot of opportunity for macro shots although I would recommend that you go very early in the morning say 6am or so as you have a lot of ground to cover before you encounter the flowers.

Still that doesn’t mean the scenery is something to sneeze at (although I did sneeze a few time when I was going up). You can expect a lot of beautiful mountainous landscapes for you to take so bring either a very good LIGHT tripod (it’s a long hike up here) or a camera with VR/IS/OS/etc as well as some ND filters. For this trip I did bring some but I was so tired out that I could barely hold my camera that I didn’t bother to use them at all.

But once you get to the flowers you can pretty much forget about the landscape as the sun should have risen high enough to make landscape a no no while shooting at flowers becomes a yes yes. So my tip here would be to bring a wide angle lens as well as a macro lens. Like the one I brought, the Tamron SP90.

Its reasonably priced (when compared to original camera macro lens) as well as light and performs well although it can’t hold a candle to pricier models like the Nikon 105mm VR but then considering it’s price you can’t go wrong.

This lens can be quite sharp if used properly but then anything used properly always performs outstanding so don’t expect something to churn out perfect photos just because you blew a heap of cash on it. You need to first learn how to use it before it can perform well.

I usually call this period “adjustment” not for the equipment to get you to you or for you to tune it, but for YOU to get use to it’s working. I’ll be honest here, I’ve had this lens for more then 6 months already and I still find myself learning new things about this lens.

Next we have this picture of a flower that seems to make better use of the background as the background that has been rendered out of focus seems to look like it leads from the left of the picture out to the mountains further away so its not a waste at all. But the main subject is not the background but the flower in the foreground. It had rained the night before so usually this can mean 2 things, a lot of bruised flower (which is 98% percent of the time) and or if there are any flowers not bruised, water droplets on flowers (we don’t get mist here so no hoping for morning dew) this provided me the chance I’ve always wanted, although I had wished that the water droplet was hanging out of one of the flower petals instead of it’s stem. I had even contemplated adding a drop there but my previous experience tells me that I’m more likely to have made the scene worse then any better since I didn’t have any kind of water spray to help create that effect.

So another thing to remember when going for flower shots, remember to bring a small spray bottle of watered down glycerin which helps to keep the water droplets from falling off too quickly.

Now we have the final one for this review, when I took this photo I thought it looked good but now after a few days later I find it very plain and normal. Why? first while yes the bokeh looks nice, the flower is in sharp focus but how many times have you seen shots like this? For me well enough times to not give it nothing more then 2 or 3 glances then move on.

Second you notice that the picture cuts of right above the top of another flower at the lower left side of the pic? This seems to disrupt the compo, I will perhaps have to crop that part out to improve the composition. But otherwise this is a very simple and overdone style. Photographer is not only about capturing just the moment, it should also be about capturing the moment which can bring people back to see it and not get bored of it.

So this end another photo review, pleasant dreams

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