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How To Shoot Bunga: The Paklan Style

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  • How To Shoot Bunga: The Paklan Style

    Disclaimer a.k.a Early Tai Chi:

    1. You can call this a write-up, tutorial, reading material, bible, whatever.
    2. This write up will act only as basic guidelines to those who are interested in shooting close ups/macro specifically flowers.
    3. This article is solely based on my personal experience and observations made.
    4. This article is written for fun reading while learning.
    5. This article may contain lots of images. Don't bother opening if you're on TM's 1515.
    6. No reproduction of this content is allowed without consent of the author any anyone officially appointed by the author. Failure to do that will lead to some serious complications which include a complimentary stay at Kajang Prison which then can make you walk like a penguin upon check out.

  • #2
    Re: How To Shoot Bunga: The Paklan Style


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    Q: What is it about Bungagraphy?
    A: it's about how to take good/better photo on flowers

    Q: Is this a manual?
    A: No, it's not. This is just a guide about how to approach Close ups/Macro, specifically on flowers.
    This write up will cover on what you need in order to produce better-than-a-PNS photos.

    Q: Are you a sifu?
    A: No lah. I'm just a GWC.

    Q: Then why waste doing this write up?
    A: Sharing is caring. I always got these requests to take apprentice lah, do macro outing lah and whats not. Most of the time, I found out that the photographers themselves are not ready to venture in this genre. Some even totally out in terms of technical.

    Q: So you're a sifu lah. Why so humble one?
    A: If I'm a sifu, galleries would call me up to do exhibition already. As of now, even the mamaks also pay no attention to my flower photos.

    Q: Then do outings lah, rather than do write up.

    A: Yeah, right. So that I can drag my dry box to the taman and let everybody use my gears like those are theirs. Even CF card also have to sponsor.

    Q: What is so good about flower photos?
    A: Who say it's good? Flower photos are for gays. Nature close ups normally sit slightly above the snapshots at the very bottom of pyramid of photography.
    If you're looking for glamor, go shoot leng lui. If you want to be a sifu fast tracked, shoot leng lui with film.


    • #3
      Re: How To Shoot Bunga: The Paklan Style

      Thank you for the pointers. I'll move this to Techniques & Tutorials.


      • #4
        Re: How To Shoot Bunga: The Paklan Style

        Q: What do I need, sifu?
        A: **PAANNNGG!!!** (Give a slap). I told you I'm no sifu.

        What you need:
        1. Attitude
        2. Gears
        3. Subjects

        1. Attitude
        - Patience. Lots of it. Be it shooting in studio or on location. You go find some good subjects. You found it and come back tomorrow. When you arrived, it's raining cats and dogs.
        Or, you already set up all your equipments. And nature loves you so much that the wind blows.
        Or, you bought you subject for some studio shoot, only later you when you want to shoot, it layu already......
        You need patience. And I believe it's ditto for all genres.

        2. Gears
        To make things simpler:
        If No Money: Kit lens will do. Kit lens can also produce stunning photos if you know how to utilize it properly.

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        **All 3 photos above captured using the kit lens**

        If Have Money: Invest in a flash, mini soft box and a dedicated macro lens.
        If Have More Money: FF bodies, 2 flashes, mini softbox and pro grade macro lens.
        If Have So Much Money Until Don't Know What To Do:
        - H4D 60
        - Profoto strobes with big-big soft boxes and battery packs
        - Hassy macro lens
        - Pay me to shoot and later claim it's yours
        If Lazy But Still Want to Be Sifu: Copy works from others in Facebook and paste here. Claim that those are yours.

        3. Subjects
        Almost all flowers would make good subjects. it really depend on your imagination and creativity to execute.
        Some would go all the way to flower shops, some just go search in the nearby bushes. It really doesn't matter, as illustrated below.

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        Master Bedroom

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        In Front of a restaurant

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        Tepi jalan on my way to the favorite mamak

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        Boh Plantation, Cameron Highlands

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        Along the road up to Cameron Highland

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        At an Ah So's front yard


        • #5
          Re: How To Shoot Bunga: The Paklan Style

          It could be totally me, I see great images of flowers, now know exactly what gear I need to have, but the how to .. ? I could not find it. Tolong me, lah ..
          Portfolio / Blog / Photography Course | Instagram | Twitter


          • #6
            Re: How To Shoot Bunga: The Paklan Style

            Q: OK, now I understand. Next?
            A: **PAANNGGG!!!** (slap again). Why so lansi???
            Next, before you start, make sure you know your gears.
            Know the button layouts, what's the aperture settings, why people shoot with RAWs instead of JPEGs, how to mount lenses etc.
            I won't touch that in this write up.
            If I do, better I write a book and sell at Amazon.

            Some reading:

            Q. Ouch! That hurts. I thought you going to do a 100% spoon feeding thingy.
            A: Yeah, right. I do spoon feeding and later you go tell everybody you learn all these by yourself. Banyak pandai......

            Some Common Checklist
            1. Set your file to RAW. Why RAW and not JPEG? Go ask Unker Google or aunt Wiki.
            2. Tripod: Bring it along. Use or not use that's different issue. Don't be so lazy. You have to put some efforts in doing things, even masturbation.
            3. Dust: Clear those off from your sensor and lens. We shoot small apertures here. Dust is an issue. Don't know how to clean? Sell off your gears and play kite.
            4. Flash: Refer to No 2 above.
            5. Your potential girl friend. If you want to impress her. Who knows, if she became kesian with you, later can bring you go check in at the hotel.....

            Q: Like that ah...Aiyah, I don't have girl friend leh...
            A: That also have to teach ah? Ngong koi...

            In general, I usually follow the RO3. This is to bring balance to the Force, so that there will be no paksi kejahatan sitting on my photos.
            Besides that, you have think in advance about these:
            1. Some subjects do stand put in their environments.
            2. Some have very nice stamens but ugly petals.
            3. Some have very nice petals but the kambing already ate the stamens.
            4. Some have nice leaves instead of the flowers.
            5. Some have nice bud (not butt)

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            **Photos shown above to illustrate examples**


            • #7
              Re: How To Shoot Bunga: The Paklan Style

              Originally posted by pointblank View Post
              It could be totally me, I see great images of flowers, now know exactly what gear I need to have, but the how to .. ? I could not find it. Tolong me, lah ..
              Wait lah...not finish yet....


              • #8
                Re: How To Shoot Bunga: The Paklan Style

                a good share .. flower king

                where are those shoot with 24L ?
                [URL=""]liewwk Nature Photography Blog[/URL][URL=""] [/URL][URL=""]


                • #9
                  Re: How To Shoot Bunga: The Paklan Style

                  "Q. Ouch! That hurts. I thought you going to do a 100% spoon feeding thingy.
                  A: Yeah, right. I do spoon feeding and later you go tell everybody you learn all these by yourself. Banyak pandai......"

                  Eh mcm tau je yg nih
                  |Limited Gears|


                  • #10
                    Re: How To Shoot Bunga: The Paklan Style

                    Also, most of the time, you need a secondary subject to complement the main subject. This is important if you want to convey a story or modd, metaphorically (which is my favorite).
                    The secondary subjects can be anything that can complement, be it a bee, wasp, other flower, leaf, cow dung, your middle finger or even your Mr. Flamingo also can.

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                    Q: Can I shoot senget-senget photos like those in weddings and portraits?
                    A: Can! But if kena tembak in you answer yourself lah......


                    • #11
                      Re: How To Shoot Bunga: The Paklan Style

                      anxiously waiting for the next steps.
                      i always love to shoot bunga.
                      Your 1st 10,000 shots are your worst - H.C. Besson; thank god for memory cards.


                      • #12
                        Re: How To Shoot Bunga: The Paklan Style

                        On this issue, nature photographers were divided into 3 camps:
                        Camp A: Greenpeace
                        These photogs strict themselves to available nature light only. You'll see them during the golden light hours.
                        Sometimes they also cheat by using reflectors.

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                        Camp B: The Scott Kelbys
                        This breed of photogs use CLS. The most gila ones will apply the same setup lighting for studios.

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                        Camp C: Don't-Care-As-Long-People-Call-Me-Sifu

                        Ahhhh...they apply extreme HDR and Dave Hill effects onto the photos.

                        If you in Camp A and/or B, the best light is diffused light.
                        If you want some dramatic lighting, you can just follow the studio lighting (i.e the 45 degrees, fill, etc, etc)
                        Don't know jack about lighting? Join Camp D, which is the Snapshooters. If you lucky, you get good photos. If you not lucky, you get lousy photos. Simple.
                        Or go learn about lighting. After all, photographers do paint with light, no? Unless you're a GWC like me lah.


                        • #13
                          Re: How To Shoot Bunga: The Paklan Style

                          this is very, very helpful. thank you, paklan


                          • #14
                            Re: How To Shoot Bunga: The Paklan Style

                            Depth Of Field
                            When shooting close ups and or macros, you need to have sufficient DOFs to make your subjects stand out from the rest.
                            Normally, we use apertures from f8 to f11.
                            In some situations (i.e shooting only the stamens, which requires extreme close ups) we need to stop down untill f15 - f20.

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                            Shot at f/1.4. Stupid.

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                            At f/20

                            Shutter Speed
                            I normally set it at the minimum of 1/100s even on tripod.
                            Why? Subject movements due to breeze.

                            Q: How do you shoot those bug in flight photos?
                            A: That I cannot teach you laaaa....
                            Simple actually:
                            1. Identify your bug.
                            2. Look for the pattern of it's movement.
                            3. Visualize your end product.
                            3. Set your camera to burst mode, AI Focus.
                            4. Spray and pray.

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                            • #15
                              Re: How To Shoot Bunga: The Paklan Style

                              thanks for the write up paklan