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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).

Also, although there are alot of different species of Orchids, I still prefer the “usual” flavor..
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For the less common (still pretty common) ones.
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*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.

Technical Stuffs

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..

Regards,
YK

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