Hiking @ Ulu Bendol

Located at north eastern of Seremban town, and approximately 75km from Kuala Lumpur, Ulu Bendol Recreational Forest is one of the favourite hiking spot for trekkers and nature lovers. This natural heaven also offers a lot of unique shooting subjects, especially for macro photographers.

ISO 1250 | 1/20 | f5

Regular hikers may takes around 3-4 hours to reach the summit of Gunung Angsi (823 metres), one of the mountain peaks around Ulu Bendol. The first hour hike is a moderate flat trail until you reached a stream crossing. From there, it will be a steep climb all the way up. For photography purposes, it usually takes me 2-3 hours to reach the stream crossing and I will turn back from there.

ISO 1250 | 1/20 | f5

Shooting macro at this kind of location, shaded by large trees and often in low light condition. My advise for beginners are you need to prepare to shoot at low angle, get dirty and wet. If possible, bring the following gears with you:

  • Tripod (those that can get low)
  • Shutter release cable (or remote shutter)
  • Speed light (or flash unit)
  • Ring flash adapter (if you have it)
  • Reflector (not too big)
  • Rain coat (in case you need it)
ISO 400 | 1/10 | f2.8

Spider’s Webs @ Tabur West

During January of each year, shooting spider’s web at Bukit Tabur is very rewarding, at least to my experience. Some articles I found through Google explains that arachnid likes to spin web when the weather is not too wet and not too dry. If that were right, this explained why, because January is post-rainy season in Malaysia.

ISO 200 | 1/250 | f5

In order to capture dew on the web (like the one above), you have to get up early in the morning (before sunrise), and hike up to Bukit Tabur. You will generally find these orb-weavers and their spiral-shaped web lying around small bushes and tree branches. I would not recommend a tripod when shooting webby as they are prone to movement even of a slight wind. It’s even more difficult if you want to narrow the depth of field to isolate the background.

Another good tip when shooting spider’s web is to use manual focus. After you have pre-focused your subject, you may want to move back and forth a little bit to get the perfect focus before clicking the shutter button. If you are lucky, you may sometime find a web with it’s owner resting in the center! This might be your catch of the day.

ISO 200 | 1/250 | f3.8

Typically when you are shooting these silky webs, you may want to adjust your shooting angle or composition so that the background is darker. This will create a contrast for your subject to stand out in the shot. If you got a macro lens, use it to focus close up and fill the frame. The result will be surprising!