Photographing Ginger | Jewel of the Rainforest of Southeast Asia| 2 day photography course workshop Singapore
The group of plants botanist called Zingiberales includes ginger, bananas, marantas and heliconias. Ginger in particular are special to Southeast Asia. This family comprises 1200 species of which 1000 occur in tropical Asia. In southeast Asia, there are about 600 species. They are very diverse and used extensively by people of the region. The Singapore Botanic Gardens has developed a Ginger Garden to exhibit the beauty and diversity of this group of plants. Ginger flower of Southeast Asia is one of the wondrous inhabitants of the rainforest. Not only it has vibrant and intricate flowers but edible roots as well, a vital ingredients in Southeast Asian cuisine. As a fervent nature photographer, I have captured gingers in lowland rainforest in Taman Negara Malaysia to mountain forest of Fraser’s Hill in Malaysia and Gunung Gede in West Java, Indonesia. Here is short journeys and tips in photographing ginger, jewel of the rainforest of Southeast Asia.
Wild gingers normally grow in shady corners of the forest where light is dim. It is very challenging to capture ginger flowers in the rainforest. The most common mistake is that ginger is taken with a strong and overpowering flash light which created the unwanted harsh shadows and making the background totally dark (as if you are out in the forest at night). Another interesting element to show in the picture is the surrounding environment where the ginger is growing.
Photographing Ginger | Jewel of the Rainforest of Southeast Asia| 2 day photography course workshop Singapore. Image above: Left to right: Beehive Ginger (Zingiber spectabile) West Malaysia, Etlingera solaris ( Gunung Gede , West Java).
Photographing Ginger | Jewel of the Rainforest of Southeast Asia| 2 day photography course workshop Singapore. Image above : Left to right. Crimson sunbird on ginger (Singapore). Globbeae (Fraser’s Hill, Malaysia)
Here are a 3 handy tips to take better and more natural looking ginger flower, the jewel of the rainforest:
1.Tripod for lowlight condition:
This will allow your camera to shoot at a much lower shutter speed without the blur caused by camera shake. With a tripod, you can shoot comfortably even at shutter speed of 1/2 second without shake provided there is no wind.
2. Image stabiliser for slow shutter speed
What if you are equipped with image stabiliser ? Can you go as Low as 1/2 second ? Depending on the lens that you are using. Lets assume that you have a 50 mm lens, without stabiliser you must shoot at 1/50 sec. But with the stabiliser turned on, you can go 4 stops lower, so that will be 1/3 second. You can refer to the article on “ How good is the image stabilised ?” If you are equipped with the stabiliser, make sure you turn it OFF if you use with tripod otherwise the stabiliser could blur your image.
3. Using flash or reflector to fill in the shadow:
The use of flash or reflector helps to fill-in those dark shadows that will not show the details of the intricate flower. The technique is called “Fill-in light ” technique which can be used with a reflector or remote flash. The secrete of using the “fill-flash” is not to do too much as it will make the image unnatural.
You can learn more about Photographing Ginger| Jewel of the Rainforest of Southeast Asia
The 2 day photography course workshop Singapore can guide you in the understanding of the use of image stabiliser and tripod in the Basic Photo Course WS 101 while the Intermediate Photo Workshop WS 201 will cover in more detail about “Fill-in Flash Technique. If you wish to go closer to the flower, the Macro and close-up photography course WS 203, will enlighten you on the different creative ways to approach the subjects without breaking your budget.