Night Macro Photography Workshop @ Pulau Ubin, 28 May 2016

10 May 2016

The workshop has concluded. Read about what happened here.

Night Macro Photography

Night macro photography is undoubtedly much more productive and exciting than in the day. After the sun sets, nocturnal creatures emerge from their hideouts to hunt. At the same time, diurnal critters are significantly less skittish due to the lower temperatures. To top it off, it is definitely more comfortable than hiking under the sun! Many beginners to macro photography are unaware of the advantages of night macro photography and have absolutely no idea how to start.

This workshop is held in conjunction with Pesta Ubin 2016 — a month of activities on Pulau Ubin led by the community to highlight Ubin’s unique charms. The workshop is ideal for those starting out on macro photography, and for those who have field experience but have never tried macro photography at night. This is the perfect opportunity to meet like-minded photographers and learn from highly experienced photographers in night macro photography. I personally do almost 50 night macro photography sessions per year, and it is definitely incomparable to any day trip.

Workshop Details

  1. Date/time: 28th May 2016, 7pm to 12 midnight, arranged boat will depart from Ubin Jetty at 12:30am
  2. Location: Pulau Ubin
  3. Workshop includes 1 hour presentation, DIY flash diffuser construction and a 3-4 hour night shoot
  4. Topics covered:
    • Searching techniques
    • Focus stabalization
    • Light diffusion
    • Field ethics
    • Group dynamics
    • General tips
    • Introduction to some nocturnal critters of Ubin


  1. Keen interest in insects, spiders and all other small creatures
  2. Basic photography knowledge
  3. Some experience in macro photography would be ideal
  4. Camera and lens with ability to focus at 1:1 (ask in comments if unsure)
    No need for tripod, try to avoid using focal lengths beyond 105mm.
  5. External flash/speedlite mounted on hotshoe
  6. Able to hike and shoot for 4 hours
  7. Search light and focus light (see below for add-on options)
  8. Extra batteries for equipment to last 4 hours


  1. Email to register with the following details:
    • Name
    • Contact number
    • Emergency contact
    • Equipment details: camera / lens / flash / close up adapters / extension tubes, if any
    • Description of your macro photography experience, provide links to your online macro album and a photo of your current macro setup (if any)
    • Any optional add-ons (see below)
  2. Registration fee includes (price available only before workshop):
    • Night macro photography workshop
    • Materials for flash diffuser
    • Chartered night boat to return from Pulau Ubin to Changi Point Ferry Terminal (Changi Village)
    • Boat from Changi Point Ferry Terminal (Changi Village) to Pulau Ubin will be at your own time and cost (S$3)
  3. Payment, meetup and other pertinent details will be provided upon registration
  4. Workshop seat is only confirmed after receipt of payment via bank transfer
  5. Participants will be required to move in groups for safety reasons. You are encouraged to sign up with friends, or make new friends. 🙂
  6. Full refund for cancellations on or before 21st May 2016. No refund for cancellations after that.

Optional Add-Ons (to be confirmed)

In my past workshops, many participants did not know the type of lights to buy and had no idea where to get them. For everyone’s convenience, participants may opt to purchase the following items for the trip. These are not the cheapest, but are priced lower than what you would get at local retail shops. Participants should order the items when registering, and collect them during the workshop. Limited stock available on a first-come first-serve basis.
  1. Search Light (S$50)

    Good search lights are essential for night macro photography. This is the exact torch that I am using, so you can expect it to be as bright as some others that cost over $100.

    Uses 1×18650 battery (basic rechargeable battery included) or 3xAAA batteries

    Includes Panasonic 18650 3400mAh Protected Battery X 2

    * Due to shipment problems, this will not be available in time for the workshop. Those who order this will have to collect at a later date instead.

  2. Focusing Light (S$20)

    This is a less powerful light that will be attached to the camera to aid in focusing at night.

    Uses 1×18650 battery (battery NOT included)

About the Instructor

Nicky Bay is a prolific macro photographer from Singapore whose works have traveled across the globe through magazines, books, newspapers, television segments and numerous online publications. He has conducted extensive photography workshops in jungles around the world with participants from five different continents. Nicky’s photography style is diverse, approached with continual innovation on his techniques and equipment setup.

With weekly field trips, he has a massive collection of arthropod photos and is currently co-authoring a book on spiders of Southeast Asia. Nicky blogs about his field trip discoveries at

Night Life in Pulau Ubin

This is a small preview of the kind of arthropod life to expect at night in Pulau Ubin based on my previous trips. As with every macro photography trip, there is no guarantee to find any specific subject but there is always the possibility to find something new and unexpected! I am partial to spiders, so expect to see more spiders as well!

    Huntsman Spider (Heteropoda lunula?) - DSC_1721
  1. Huntsman Spider (Heteropoda lunula)

  2. Huntsman Spider (Pandercetes sp.) - DSC_1757
  3. Huntsman Spider (Pandercetes sp.)

  4. Huntsman Spider (Pandercetes sp.) - DSC_0922
  5. Huntsman Spider (Pandercetes sp.)

  6. Huntsman Spider (Olios sp.) - DSC_1793
  7. Huntsman Spider (Olios sp.)

  8. Huntsman Spider (Gnathopalystes sp.) - DSC_2158
  9. Huntsman Spider (Gnathopalystes sp.)

  10. Spiny Back Orb Weaver (Gasteracantha sp.) - DSC_0813
  11. Spiny Back Orb Weaver (Gasteracantha sp.)

  12. Scorpion-Tailed Spider (Arachnura sp.) - DSC_0550
  13. Scorpion-tailed spider (Arachnura sp.)

  14. Kidney Garden Spider (Araneus mitificus) - DSC_0931b
  15. Kidney Garden Spider (Araneus mitificus)

  16. Pseudo orb web spider (Fecenia sp.) - DSC_0561
  17. Pseudo orb web spider (Fecenia sp.)

  18. Tree Stump Orb Weaver (Poltys sp.) - DSC_0640_text
  19. Tree Stump orb weaver (Poltys sp.)

  20. Ogre-Face Spider (Deinopis sp.) - DSC_0845
  21. Ogre-Face Spider (Deinopis sp.)

  22. Wrap-Around Spider (Talthybia sp.) - DSC_0864
  23. Wrap-Around Spider (Talthybia sp.)

  24. Darkling beetle (Tenebrionidae) - DSC_0871
  25. Darkling beetle (Tenebrionidae)

  26. Weevils (Hypomeces squamosus) - DSC_0884
  27. Weevils (Hypomeces squamosus)

  28. Twig Spider (Ariamnes sp.) - DSC_1961
  29. Twig Spider (Ariamnes sp.)

  30. Lynx Spider (Hamadruas sp.) - DSC_1978
  31. Lynx Spider (Hamadruas sp.)

  32. Giant shield bug nymphs (Pycanum sp.) - DSC_1159
  33. Giant shield bug nymphs (Pycanum sp.)

  34. Velvet worm (Onychophora) - DSC_1203
  35. Velvet worm (Onychophora)

  36. Crown Wasp ovipositing (Stephanidae) - DSC_1676
  37. Crown Wasp ovipositing (Stephanidae)

  38. Sweat Bees sleeping (Halictidae) - DSC_2011
  39. Sweat Bees sleeping (Halictidae)

  40. Mango Longhorn Beetle (Batocera rubus) - DSC_2093
  41. Mango Longhorn Beetle (Batocera rubus)

  42. Robberfly (Asilidae) - DSC_2185
  43. Robberfly (Asilidae)

  44. Crab Spider (Boliscus sp.) - DSC_5970b
  45. Crab Spider (Boliscus sp.)

  46. Wide-Jawed Viciria (Viciria praemandibularis) - DSC_6104
  47. Wide-Jawed Viciria (Viciria praemandibularis)

  48. Heavy Jumper (Hyllus sp.) - DSC_0756
  49. Heavy jumper (Hyllus sp.)

  50. Net-Casting Spider (Deinopis sp.) - DSC_2180
  51. Net-Casting Spider (Deinopis sp.)

  52. Scorpion (Liocheles australasiae?) - DSC_6035
  53. Scorpion (Liocheles australasiae?)

Interested? Send an email to now to register, and don’t forget to share with your friends who may be keen!




Hi my name is Nicky Bay. I am a macro photographer, instructor and book author, travelling the world to document the vast micro biodiversity that nature has to offer. Follow my updates and discover with me the incredible beauty and science behind our planet's micro creatures!

Copyright Notice

All images © 2008-2024 Nicky Bay unless stated otherwise. Reproduction of any content without permission is prohibited. Please read the Image Use Policy and contact [email protected] for licensing requests.

Mailing List

Like the content here? Get notified for new posts, stories, workshops and book launches! Your email will never be shared with others.

Like the content here? Get notified for new posts, stories, workshops and book launches! Your email will never be shared with others.