Asian Glossy Starling

Using Canon 5D Mk3, EF 100-400mm Lens, ISO160, F/9.0, 1/1600

This Asian Glossy Starling is one of the commonest resident at my residential area.  As the name suggest, the feather even is black in color,  it will look glossy green when light shine on them.

Given it’s size about 20cm,  most other small birds, like sunbird, flowerpecker, even burbul also afraid of them where feeding.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis) is a species of starling in the Sturnidae family. It is found in Bangladesh, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical mangrove forests. There is also a huge number of this species inhabiting towns and cities, where they take refuge in abandoned buildings and trees. They often move in large groups and are considered one of the noisiest species of birds.


Brown-Throated Sunbird (Female)

Using Canon 5D Mk3, EF 100-400mm Lens, ISO1600, F/9.0, 1/125s

This female Brown-throated Sunbird can be seen regularly around my house, feeding on fruit (like the rape mango), insect, and nectar.  This mother has been very busy these days as she has 2 young chicks to feeds.

Didn’t managed to get a good shot on the male, which is more colorful.  Insert below is an image of the male. Copy taken from Wikipedia.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis), also known as the Plain-throated Sunbird, is a species of bird in the Nectariniidae family.

The Brown-throated Sunbird is a relatively large, heavy sunbird with a thick bill. Measuring some 14 centimetres (5.5 in) in length, it has a mass of 7.4–13.5 g (0.26–0.48 oz), with males averaging slightly larger than females.

Like most sunbirds, the male Brown-throated Sunbird is more colourful than the female. The male has iridescent green and purple upperparts with chestnut on the wing-coverts and scapulars; it is primarily yellow below. The female is olive-green above and yellowish below.

The Brown-throated Sunbird primarily feeds on nectar, but it will also take small fruits and berries. Juveniles are fed with insects.

Taken from Wikipedia.

Scarlet-Backed Flowerpecker

Using Canon 5D Mk3, EF 100-400mm Lens, ISO1600, F/9.0, 1/640

This bird was taken this morning at my backyard.  It flew to the mango tree and perch there for a while with enough time for me to take a clear shot on handheld.  This common resident is about 9 cm in size.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum) is a species of passerine bird in the flowerpecker family Dicaeidae. Sexually dimorphic, the male has navy blue upperparts with a bright red streak down its back from its crown to its tail coverts, while the female and juvenile are predominantly olive green. It is found in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and occasionally gardens in a number of countries throughout South and East Asia.


Using Canon 5D Mk3, 800mm Lens, ISO640, f/10, 1/400 -1/3Ev

This was actually a birding trip to Mt. Alab, a place which we have missed for sometime since the last visit.  The weather was cloudy and drizzling.  Birds are no where to be found.  While waiting, we saw this insect hanging on the barbed-wire. It’s body is about 3 inches long.  (Haha, shooting macro using a big lens, still my first time)…

Then we saw this green spider. In fact, there were many such spiders around the brushes.

Using Canon 5D Mk2, 100-400mm Lens, ISO400, f/8,1/500

Then another type of insects.

Using Canon 5D Mk2, ISO400, f/11, 1/125s

Sunrise at Guakon

Using Canon 5D MkII, 24-105mm Lens, ISO100, f/16, 10s

This morning we started as early as 3:30am, picked up by my brother at about 3:40am, and then another friend.  3 of us headed to a small town called Tampaluli for breakfast.  We arrived 10 minutes earlier before the shop is opened for business at 4:30am (The only shop that open so early in town).  We had a quick breakfast and started our journey to the shooting spot deep in the village, about 10km away from the town.  Just when we have set up our camera, we wasted no time as the first light is appearing at the horizon.  Above was the photo taken at the early moment.

Guakon, is a photographers’ favorite spot as we can photograph the Mt Kinabalu, at the sametime has the sea of cloud as foreground.  The weather was very nice to us and the cloud above the mountain was very pleasant for shooting.

We continue shooting, and the sky’s colors become richer, more and more colors started to appear. The mist below the mountain starting to evaporate. Below was how it look.

Using Canon 5D MkII, 24-105mm lens, ISO100, f/13.0, 1/30s

Canon 5D MkII, 24-105mm Lend, ISO100, f/13.0, 1/3s, +1/3EV

When the sky was brighter, we turn our focus to the mist in front of us.

Some closeup shots

Here is the mood when the sunlight catches the mist.


One of the shopper at Tamu

Today is a fruitful day for me as I have explored a new area of photography, i.e. street photography and portrait.  My first location is at the Tamu (Sunday open market) at Kota Belud, about 110KM from Kota Kinabalu. At the Tamu, you can find all sorts of people, young and old, arriving here to do their ‘shopping’ and find a meal or snake at this open market.

After trying out photographing wildlife, bird and landscape for sometime, it’s exciting to pick up a new area, which I personally feel not easy to master.  upon arriving at the open market, my worry is how do I interact with the people I want to photograph and will not be rejected by them.

To avoid close contact, I choose my Canon 5D Mk II with 100-400mm Lens thinking that I can take pictures from a distance of the subject. I followed my 3 other friends who have a lot of experience in this area and watch how do they do it. I soon put my worries behind my head as the people there are friendly, some even don’t mind asking their children to post for you.

Following are some of the tips I gathered during this trip:

1) Look for older people as most of them have deep wrinkles which add to their facial expression;

2) Get a friend to talk to the store keeper, pretending to buy something from them, so that the store keeper with not pay attention on you take their picture and this will make them looks more natural;

3) If need be, buy something from the store keeper and they will be happy to let you take their photos;

4) Approach and ask nicely if they allow you to take a picture;

5) Look for people making their conversation;

6) Don’t forget things that are on sale…etc.

During this trip, my focus is on portrait, and have overlook on things that are on sale. Anyway, following are some of the photos which I feel nice…


I have also converted some photos to black & white


Using Canon 5D Mk II, 24-105mm Lens, ISO200, f/13, 1/80

Silhouettes are a wonderful way to convey drama, mystery, emotion and mood to the viewers of your photos and often stand out in an album because of the combination of their simplicity but also the story that they convey. I love them because they don’t give the viewer of a clear picture of everything but leave part of the image up to their imagination to wonder about.

For today’s sunset, we went to Tg Aru beach, where the beach has a flat and open view.  There are many people at the beach playing and waiting for the sunset.  As there is not strong subject as foreground, I tried capturing human figures as foreground.

The basic strategy you’ll need to employ in taking silhouette shots is to place your subject (the shape you want to be blacked out) in front of some source of light and to force your camera to set its exposure based upon the brightest part of your picture (the background) and not the subject of your image.

In doing this your subject will be under exposed (and very dark, if not black).  I like some of the shots below.

Using Canon 5D Mk II, 24-105mm Lens, ISO200, f/10, 0.6s

ISO200, f/8, 1/250

Need to watch out for the shutter speed, as slower shutter will give a blur images on both people and plants as follow

ISO200, f/10, 1s

Not forgetting today’s colorful sunset…

ISO100, f/14, 30s, focal length 35mm

This beautiful sunset has attracted many to stopover and enjoy it at the beach.  Including this lady who used her handphone to record the moment.

Crab-eating macaque

The crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis) is a cercopithecine primate native to Southeast Asia. It is also called the “long-tailed macaque”, and is referred to as the “cynomolgus monkey” in laboratories.

The scientific name of the crab-eating macaque is Macaca fascicularis. Macaca comes from the Portuguese word macaco, which was picked up from makaku, a Fiot (West African language) word (kaku means ‘monkey’ in Fiot). Fascicularis is Latin for ‘a small band or stripe’. Sir Thomas Raffles, who gave the animal its scientific name in 1821, did not specify what he meant by the use of this word, although it is presumed it had something to do with his observation of the animal’s colour.[3]

Sunrise at Mengkabong, Tuaran

This sunrise series were taken this morning at between 6:00am to 6:30am.  Sunrise at Borneo is later (i.e. after 6am) in early of the year.

In order to overcome to different brightness levels, i.e. sky, mountain and the foreground, and not using ND filter. I tried out staking 3 photos taken using Canon 5D Mk II, 24-105mm Lens, at 75mm focal length. Manual mode, ISO250, speed 1/8, and at 3 different aperture at f14, f18 & f22. These 3 photos was later processed using HDR function under Photoshop CS4.

The above photo was a result of merging 4 photos together using Photomerge in Photoshop. It was taken using Canon 5D Mk II, 24-105mm Lens at focal length at 40mm, on manual mode, ISO 160, f14, and exposure is fixed at 2 seconds.

Another HDR below.

Following is just a close-up shot of the mountain. One shot using Canon 5D Mk II, 100-400mm Lens at focal length of 100mm, ISO250, f13, 2.5 seconds exposures.