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  wild thoughts:
Photographing nature in Singapore

My main interest is in sharing the wonders of Singapore's wildlife. My favourite way of doing this is through personal guided walks. But I have found that photographs are a very powerful way of sharing as well. This is really the only reason I take photos of nature in Singapore. My photos are shared on wildsingapore flickr.

Tips for photographers?
If I have a tip for photographers, it is this: be aware. Aware of your impact, aware of why you are taking the photos and how your photos can help give something back to the nature that you so love.

In my wanderings through wild places, I have met many other nature photographers. Some take photos mainly for the pleasure of taking photos. They don't really share the photos that they have taken with many others. Often, they do things which are not best for the wildlife or wild places, in order to get the perfect shot. Perhaps, this is just another facet of nature awareness that needs to be highlighted. I am sure these photographers will do the right thing if they can be shown how to take good photos with minimal impact. More importantly, if they realise how their photos can really make a difference to the nature that they so love.

How can photographers make a difference for nature?
Share your photos!

Share on the web so others can see the full spectrum of our natural splendours in glorious, perfect shots. If you keep the size and resolution small, you will have no worries about people "stealing" them for publications to make money without sharing any with you. At most, some people may "borrow" your photos for their websites or powerpoint presentations, which are invariably about nature. And more websites about nature in Singapore can only be a good thing, right?

(PS. To those who "borrow" photos, please acknowledge the photographer and add a link to the photographer's site. Nature photographers go through a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get the shot and at least deserve mention for their effort).

Share with groups who desperately need good photos to make quality nature awareness publications, pamphlets, flyers. These include volunteer groups as well as NParks and others involved in protecting and promoting our nature places. All will credit you and some may even pay you or a worthy cause of your choice.

Encourage other photographers to minimise their impact on our wild places and to share their photos.

Yah, yah, but what about technical tips?
I am not a Real Photographer. I hardly know what an f-stop is, and have no interest in bokeh. Because I'm such a photography failure, I buy the best equipment I can afford, so as to minimise the time and impact on nature. I also rely extensively on post-production to maximise the value of the photo: "Photoshop, the bad photographer's best friend" is kind of my motto :-)

If you really want to know: my main field gear now is the Nikon D3 and D2X with the 105mm, 60mm and 18mm lenses (I'm addicted to prime lenses). These each have the SB800DX speedlight. This set up is ideal for the closeups that I concentrate on. I leave the manly shots (like birds) to the Real Men who can carry All That Gear.

But if you have any "technical" questions, do email me and I'll do my best to help. Be warned though, I'm quite useless; mostly what I learnt from trial and error; error being the way I usually learn things.

these blog entries were first uploaded on MoBlog Singapore! Celebrate Singapore NDP 04
website©ria tan 2004