The clock seems to tick quicker as I get older. To me, 2015 was incredibly fast-paced. We are now just few hours away from 2016 already!
2015 has been a good year for me, photographically speaking. I was fortunate to win a few photography awards both locally and internationally using my nature images taken in 2014:
- PhotoVivo Singapore International Photography Award 2014/15, Projected Image Nature Section, PhotoVivo Bronze Medal
- Singapore Garden Photographer of the Year 2015, Merit Winner
- 62nd Singapore International Photography Award 2015, Digital Nature Section, FIAP Gold Medal Award
- 62nd Singapore International Photography Award 2015, Digital Nature Section, PSA Honorable Mention Ribbon Award.
It is time again that I go through my best photos captured in the last 365 days. Here are my 12 favourite nature images, all made in Singapore, arranged in chronological order.
#1 – Double Twins
Leaf-footed bugs often stay close together when they are young and small which make them look bigger as a group to scare away any potential predator. This is a twin perching on a pair of beautiful wild flowers. Aren’t they look adorable?
| Zhenghua Forest | 1 February 2015 | F8, 1/60s, ISO 400, fill flash |
#2 – Jumping Spider in Pink
A simple shot of a cute little jumping spider resting on an attractive backlit leaf. This image works mainly because of the fine composition, interesting colour contrast of the subjects and the lighting is appealing to the eyes.
| Rifle Range Nature Trail | 22 February 2015 | F8, 1/30s, ISO 400, fill flash with backlight |
#3 – The Dancer
The curve of the plant goes well with the shape of this tiny long-horned hopper nymph. A friend commented that the plant resembles a dancer! The nice natural lighting helps to hightlight the colours of the green hopper and the pink flowers which complements one another. The super long feelers are always problematic and often lead to compositional compromises. I chose to cut off one of them to reduce negative space.
| Mandai Green | 28 February 2015 | F13, 1/20s, ISO 400, natural light |
#4 – A Complicated Scene
This is quite a crazy image where it has so much activities involving a female crab spider having a bee as breakfast, 2 competing males fighting for the right to mate with the female, while many busybody flies wanted to have a share of the breakfast. A behaviour shot that is hard to duplicate.
| Dairy Farm Nature Park | 26 July 2015 | F11, 1/50s, ISO 400, fill flash |
#5 – The Babies Sitter
A good fun shot where a group of 8 newly hatched leaf-footed bugs was with a bigger brother giving a false impression that it was babies sitting its younger siblings.
| Zhenghua Forest | 20 September 2015 | F11, 1/50s, ISO 400, fill flash |
#6 – Dewdrops Keep Fallin’ On My Body
I love to shoot morning dew. The two big water droplets with its reflection make this shot stands out from the many dewy images that I photographed this year.
| Zhenghua Forest | 11 October 2015 | F16, 1/10s, ISO 400, fill flash |
#7 – Red Shield Bug Nymphs
I had not seen this stunningly beautiful shield bug nymph since November 2011! So, it was really great to find two at Kent Ridge Park. A sweet image where the strikingly red bugs complementing well with the bright green leaf. The backlighting enhances the lines and textures and gives the overall image an artistic feel.
| Kent Ridge Park | 17 October 2015 | F16, 1/50s, ISO 400, fill flash |
#8 – Love is in the air
Another pair of bright and vibrant insects but this time it was two cotton stainer bugs having a Sunday morning delight! It has nice contrasting colours between the leaf and insects with soft background. Take a closer look and you would notice an interesting pattern on the back of the bugs’ shield. Did you see 2 human faces?
| Zhenghua Forest | 25 October 2015 | F16, 1/25s, ISO 400, fill flash |
#9 – Failed Moulting
Leaf-footed bugs go through five moults resulting in five instars before becoming an adult. The nymphs moult as they grow, looking more like an adult each time. They are most vulnerable during the actual moulting which usually takes about 15 to 30 minutes. First time seeing a failed moulting disrupted by a predator, the lynx spider. An unusual moment of natural history image captured with nice light.
| Zhenghua Forest | 25 October 2015 | F16, 1/20s, ISO 400, fill flash |
#10. Sex Competition
One of my wish list is to get a shot of 2 pairs of mating leaf beetles in a single frame which is not impossible as it is common to find a few pairs in the early morning at Zhenghua Forest. I have no luck so far but this image of two mating species upon the same perch is something beyond my imagination.
I first spotted the mating leaf beetles but they flew off when I tried to get too close. It was a blessing in disguise as they landed on a perch where a pair of grasshoppers were also having an imitate moment, some 3 metres away. The grasshoppers didn’t bother by the intrusion, it was the beetle pair that was a little uncomfortable where they moved & paused along the perch and sometimes, under it. I was fortunate to get some decent shots before the beetles flew away again.
| Zhenghua Forest | 30 November 2015 | F11, 1/100s, ISO 400, fill flash |
#11 – Delicious Breakfast
A praying mantis can catch other insects with its strong front legs. The front legs are lined with spikes and close in a certain way to have a firm grip on the prey. They are commonly found in Singapore but strangely, this was the first time that I had the opportunity to photograph a giant praying mantis with a grasshopper as prey. I was lucky to find a good angle to get at least both their eyes in focus.
| Zhenghua Forest | 13 December 2015 | F16, 1/25s, ISO 400, fill flash |
#12 – “White Flowers”
These are tiny white mushrooms where their caps are smaller than 5mm in size that grow on dead twigs or dried leaves. They look ordinary with our naked eyes and are therefore often overlooked by us. However, when taken up close, they are simply a sheer delight to see. The backlit effect again helps to bring out the lines and beautiful details of the gills.
| Zhenghua Forest | 17 December 2015 | F22, 1/15s, ISO 400, Backlighting |
Thank you for taking the time to read all the way to the end of this post! I must apologise for the misleading title as these are certainly not the best nature images of 2015. They are just my personal favourites that I photographed in various parts of Singapore. I hope you enjoyed viewing these images as much as I enjoyed making them. Wishing all a Happy New Year and I look forward to more adventures in 2016!
Related post : My 12 Favourite Nature Images of 2014