Wow... have not uploaded for so long! Been really busy with work and stuff, not much time to fool around. This photo was taken en route home from Fraser's Hill after the Bird Race. It was a good outing :)
The not-so-much-fun part of photography, I have discovered, is post-processing. It's fine if you have miraculously captured something that is so spot-on, it needs little processing like this one.
However, much of the time, you get things which are "ALMOST THERE" and you have to fiddle with it to get the whole thing right.
It's one thing for your friends to gush about how pretty your photos are. But the guys at Getty's are not going to pay you a single red cent for blurry, vignetted photos like this.
It's good enough for Facebook, but even your local photo club guys aren't going to pay much attention to it. And at the end of the day, after creating awareness etc, you need the photos to pay for your gear.
Right now I'm struggling to find a suitable Photo Editor which won't cost me extra money. One came with the camera and I've installed it on the netbook, but it's rather slow and I suspect the netbook is ill-equipped to handle the workload.
I'm used to using Microsoft Photo Editor which can do most simple editing like cropping and brightening, but it's not much help with underlit, grainy photos etc. And it can't handle RAW files.
Lightroom is a favourite among photographers, it seems, but I would need to pay a monthly subscription. It's not too expensive, but again, it jams up the netbook, and I can't install it on the office computer because Mr IT guy blocks every freaking thing. And right now, it's not a great idea to pay more money for a new laptop. Yes, I HAVE thought about it :P
There's an online version of the Lightroom, but it's even slower than the desktop version. I now have like 4 days to decide on buying the thing or not. I suppose, I need to figure if I will ever learn how to use the thing correctly and if it is worth paying for at the end of the day.
The other cost of photo-editing is TIME. Like seriously. I go shoot in the morning, stop by the mall for lunch and groceries, come home and conk out for a few hours. Wake up and do laundry + clean house + cook/eat whatever. THEN try to find time to edit the morning's bounties. With all the jamming I've had to deal with, it's a real pain.
And I still need to spend time on "homework". Which is work I have not completed and brought home, with the intention of catching up over the weekend.
At this juncture, my room and study are dusty and needs cleaning. Kitchen is a disaster zone and my job is on the line. I'd better stop now and get my act together. Ciao!
I REALLY need to refrain from taking shots of objects/subjects a mile away with my relatively short lens... This Black-thighed Falconet was sitting on a dead branch so far away, I should have known better than to waste time shooting it. It's not as if I was desperate for a shot! Saja mengada-ngada.
This yellow vented bulbul was sitting on a stick in clear view. But it was the middle of the day and the lighting was not THAT great. Le sigh. Try again next time...
Another futile attempt. The bird was sitting on top of the apartment roof. Should just wait for it to come down!
Sometimes, just SOMETIMES, images are fixable. But they're still blurry and grainy. Obviously I need a 600mm lens to do this job right. A 300mm is good enough for birds at close range, but if your eagle is a mile up in the air, just forget about it.
Hmm... bila la pakcik tu nak let go of his 600mm zoom lens. Kalau setakat amek gambar KLCC, tak payah ler beli lens mahal mahal. Sedekah la kat orang2 yg memerlukan macam saya ni.
But sometimes, it does help with ID. Operating as a scientist who is more keen to identify various flora and fauna, photos don't need to be at NatGeo level all the time. Sometimes even silhouettes and grainy photos can help. Case in point, my swallow photos.
Obviously, trying to shoot speeding swallows in flight in very low light is a dumb idea. But thanks to the terrible photos, I realised why the swallows looked bigger and different. Because they ARE different. The photo on top showed a forked tail - typical of barn swallows, Hirundo rustica. While the bottom is quite obviously the more common Pacific swallow (Hirundo tahitica) at rest. You can always get creative and colour them or something. If you really have nothing better to do. Heh.
It's a long holiday and I've been dying to go out and shoot. So I headed out to FRIM yesterday morning. Photography is helping my quest to get fitter because I have to walk around carrying bins and camera gear.
I was all prepared to pay for entry and camera; but when I told the guard I was going to MNS Centre for birding, he let me in without having to pay anything. Hmm... so is birding the magic word? I always thought it was the MNS car sticker.
So here are a few highlights.
A brahminy kite flew in and soared for a while so I got pretty good shots. A million of these were useless, but I will learn to post-process the almost good ones. Will try to shoot in RAW and learn editing.
Soaring - edited
Initial shot of black-naped oriole. Used continuous shooting - not a great idea if subject is not moving. Photos came out dark and poorly focused.
This is edited by me. Not bad. Auto-correct often pumps colours like crazy.
Later got the crested serpent eagle near the MNS Centre.