Saturday, August 29, 2009

Kite Festival 2009

Received an invitation from Olympus Singapore for the photo shoot out at West Coast Park about two weeks ago. Since I have never shoot in this kind of activities, so I sign up for the trip.
We meet at Olympus studio for refreshment and some tips on photography, we set off at 3.00pm by coach to West Coast Park. It was a very hot afternoon, quite challenging to shoot in this kind of harsh condition but if you did, you got a nice blue sky!
This is the 1st photo that I shoot. Long strand of kite with the nice blue sky.
I like this very colourful frame.Another shot around the same area but with man in action.
This is the widest angle that I can get since I don't have a fish eye lens. Just look at the number of kites on the sky!Another try on fish eye effect without fish eye lens.Every body can fly a kite, no problem at all for this boy!
All kinds of shape and form that fly high at West Coast Park this afternoon. Such as this monster/dragon.
Not flying carpet but flying mattress.Merlion, squid,...
Not forgetting shark!Entanglement?
Everyone with a smiling face. A very hot and happy afternoon indeed.
While I was busy shooting, there are stage performance playing traditional Balinese music. I must say that I'm surprise to find out that the performance are by a group of people that the least I will expect them to play. I will upload some of the video once I have converted it.
I'm very happy with today shooting, nice weather, brilliant colour, and nice performance! Thanks Olympus for organising this trip, Act 3 International for organising this event & the sponsor NTUC Income!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Semakau Walk on 23 August 09

The sky was clear and the weather was perfectly good for an early morning walk when we arrived at Semakau on Sunday morning although it was flashing with lightning & thunder roaring the whole night before.
I'm guiding students from Dunman High on the rich biodiversity of the inter-tidal area at Semakau. It was still pitch dark when we walk to the entree point which is about 2.5km from the Visitor Centre. The sky is bright when we reach the forest entry point and we have no problem walking through the forest without turning on our torch light.
This whelk with the siphon fully extended actively sniffing for food when we reach the inter-tidal area.
This is the first time for many of the students to step into an inter-tidal area, it is also an eye-opener for them to get to know the rich biodiversity of our local shores. All of them were very enthusiastic!
The word adaptations, camouflage, predator, prey, habitats, conservation suddenly become hot topic for the rest of the morning after I show them this little Flathead that blend in with the substrate and almost invisible when it is not moving.Cowry is another fist sighting for many of the students and it has become very rare over at the mainland due to over collection. It has now can be found mainly only over at off-shore island such as Semakau.These are some of the sea cucumber that we saw yesterday at Semakau. Most sea cucumber are mildly toxic and must be processed properly before consumption.This is the underside of the spider conch, beautiful right? However, spider conch is another master of camouflage. Just look at the colour of the shell and the seaweed that is growing on it. It just look like a piece of rock when it is on the normal position.The Common sea star that no longer common over at the mainland. They too are now can be found mainly only over at offshore island.
Another piece of rock look-a-like creature. This hairy crabs blend in well with the substrate, is very difficult to spot them if they don't move. When in water, the hair will break the outline and will achieve the same camouflaging effects.
Another beautiful creature that we saw at Semakau - flatworm
Different from the flatworm, this Marginata nudibranch is having the exposed gill on the back. This is how they got their name of naked gill (nudibranch).This giant clam seem to grow bigger compare to my last visit.The students are delighted to be able to see one of the largest and sea star in Singapore - the Knobbly Sea Star.Not sure what happen to this fish, it was motionless on the dry area when we saw it.We have been seeing this juvenile cushion star for the last 2, 3 months.
Another common relationship on the reef is this commensal relationship. The anemone shrimp are protected from predator with the help from the anemones.Another group photo before we end the walk on Semakau. With the cool weather, it was indeed a very refreshing and fruitful trip.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'll Follow You Whereever Yo Go

Is the 2nd month since the Kapok tree at Singapore Botanic Garden started fruiting. It was like snowing under the Kapok tree. The whole floor below the Kapok tree turn white as the result of the cotton from the fruits.

Among the cotton on the floor, there are lots of stainer bug and I found this pair of Stainer bug busy making baby and nothing seem to be able to distract them.

I was testing the video feature of the new ePen from Olympus. The video is awesome!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Birding at Bishan Park

CS Ling got her 500mm lens last week so we decided to try it out at Singapore Botanic Garden. We starts our trip on the Bukit Timah Core but later decided to move to Bishan Park when the weather changed and starts drizzling. I saw this pair of Sunda pygmy wood pecker pecking on the tree trunk for breakfast.
This oil palm tree seem to be support a variety of animals of the park which include this squirrel.
Below the tree was this Magpie Robin bird that like to sing.The Asian glossy staring also pick on the palm fruit that left behind and drop to the ground by the long tail parakeets on the tree.
Competition for foods is fierce on the tree too. These 2 parakeets are fighting for this bunch of oil palm fruits.
On the other side of the park, this squirrel is having fun with this sign.
The weather changed and it started to drizzle so we decided to move to Bishan Park to continue our exploration.This was the first bird that we saw when we arrived at Bishan Park - a nice flower pecker!The Sunda pygmy woodpecker are found at Bishan Park too.
The Common lora was feeding on the fruits that is abundance in the park.
A very cute White eye bird is feeding too.
This Dollar bird perched high on the tree top looking for flying insects for food.
Do you have a feeling of autumn with this thick layer of dried leaf on the floor?
The dark cloud starts forming over Bishan area so we end our trip with comparing the 2 lenses. Just look at the huge 500mm lens compare with the 80-400mm lens on the right!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bird Watching at Singapore Botanic Garden

Most people choose to go for short trip oversea whenever the holiday falls on week end. Instead of contributed to the jam at the check points, I went to Singapore Botanic Garden instead. I went there twice, once on Saturday and re-visit it again on Monday. However, I have to cut short the Monday trip due to the rain.

With the unmistakable gold colour on the back, this is indeed a Common Goldback woodpecker. (Yan, this is just for you... )

Another woodpeckers that I saw were this Brown-capped or Sunda Pygmy woodpecker, there are quite number of them in the garden.This bird with bluish tinge on the throat is a Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)Long tail parakeet that taking a nap when I took this photo.Another one that is happily munching the oil palm fruit.Could this be the juvenile Long tail parakeet? This Rock pigeon have a very unique colour morph!
A rather small bird - an Ashy tailorbird
A flock of Lesser Whistling duck that is circulating the pond.This water hen was having fun feeding near the pond edge.On the other side of the pond, juvenile (black colour) were following their mother to search for food.The big snakehead fish is not chasing the small fish, the small fish is the juvenile fish swim with the parents (the other adult not in photo) for protection.
Is one of the good place for bird watching minus the irritating mosquitoes that you usually get when go to forest. Planned to go back there again this coming week end.