It was some time since I’ve shot anything in the Singapore Botanic Gardens… Most of the time when I was there, I didn’t have the mood to be shooting the flowers or plants in the big garden. And it was only recently that I went into the Orchid Gardens..
Unlike most parts of the outdoor gardens, this garden is quite well maintained (since there’s an entrance fee of $5, I would expect some form of maintenance). And there are really alot of species of Orchids which I’ve not seen before.
And even though it’s a small garden, I didn’t really manage to walk the whole garden before my body gave way and need to rest (shooting at almost every 10 steps can be very tiring).
*I should have noted down the names of the Orchids… My memory always fails me when it comes to names -_-*
Asides from shooting Landscapes and Cityscapes, flowers is one of my favorite subjects for photography. It kinda provides me the break I need when I get tired of shooting Cityscapes in Singapore. Some may find that shooting flowers is nothing interesting. But personally, I see beauty in the flower and also shooting flowers to be quite a challenge.
One of the reason why I find it to be challenging is because of the question “How do I present the flowers to the viewers”. I often make the ‘mistake’ of going too close (into the macro zone, nearing 1:1 and shooting pollen) when shooting a flower which does not really show the beauty of the flower as a whole. But stepping backwards to see the whole flower does have it’s ‘natural’ problems as well, with distracting backgrounds and/or distracting branches/leaves/flowers from the sides.
But in this particular case of the Orchid Garden, it’s relatively easier to get a cleaner shot (as compared to the natural outdoor), since these are kind of potted plants in a controlled environment.
The ‘trick’ I see in showing a flower as a whole is to isolate the flower(s) itself. Bokeh is just one of the many ways to isolate things, and it’s my favorite… But by doing so, I require either a large aperture lens and/or a long telephoto lens.
For my case, I have taken a liking to use my EF 50mm f1.8 (pretty affordable ~S$120). While for telephoto, I would have brought the 70-200 f2.8 if not for the it’s weight, so usually I will just bring my EF-S 55-250 along (nowadays it’s seeing lesser action).
Throughout the shoot, I will choose to either switch to my FF body or my crop while still using the same 50mm (with and/or without Raynox) depending on the focal length and the amount of “bokeh” I need to isolate stuffs.
Despite what others says and claims about 50 f1.8 producing soft images at it’s widest aperture, shooting wide open at f1.8 is one thing I like doing :p
I think this will be a flora week for me, visiting the French themed Garden at the flower dome soon. Hoping to get some different perspective from what I’ve always been doing..