Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Yelagiri Tour -- Macro World! (Part II)

Some more clicks from Yelagiri.... Canon 100mm Macro lens at work here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Yelagiri Tour -- Macro World!

Thanks a ton to Guru for lending his 100mm Macro lens to me.... I had one of the best times with this lens.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Kancheepuram -- The Temple town of South

Here are the photos from our trip to Kancheepuram. It is a fascinating place and the architectural marvel of this place is something that needs to be seen to be appreciated. The Ekambareshwarar temple is where I usually find a lot of photographic subjects. The temple is so huge and you even get streaks of light if you go to the temple early in the morning.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Koyambedu Market -- Take Two

A few more shots from Koyambedu market.This person was aware that we were there with our cameras and I had to wait sometime before he could turn to face the camera. The rose flowers that he was selling, the soft light that was streaming through making him bathe in a rose light and the entire ambiance of the place was what made me click this shot. The red and green polythene covers in the right hand side corner not only blocked the harsh light but also helped in giving a balance to the composition. No post-processing (PP) has been done on this one except to resize the image for the blog.

Again, the light was the major factor why I clicked the shot. This seller was engrossed in a discussion with his fellow sellers and the silhouetted lady was busy buying some flowers. The scene seem to depict the mood of the place so well that I had to click it.

During PP, I first tried out a monochrome image and was quite satisfied with the way the light was brought on the face of the seller. Even after that, I kept playing in LightRoom and that is when I stumbled upon this idea of not completely de-saturating the image and adding just a small amount of color.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Koyambedu Market

Shot during my weekend photography trip to 'Koyambedu' market. It is a wonderful place for shooting pictures as there is excellent lighting that is available and the vendors there are so used to people taking photos of them that they almost ignore us.... (Well, if you don't consider the fact that some people do come and ask us to take their photos!!). Am planning to write a tour report but I am so lazy to do it.... Hopefully, I will get down to writing it this weekend.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Yelagiri Tour -- Photos

Pic #1: Hide the head competition

Pic #2: A back-lit plant & a few bokehs

Pic #3: Purple Sunbird Silhouette

Pic #4: Gateway to a red garden

Pic #5: Monkey tricks

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

That crazy thing called 'Bokeh'!!!

In photography, bokeh is the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur,in out-of-focus areas of an image, or "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light." Differences in lens aberrations and aperture shape cause some lens  designs to blur the image in a way that is pleasing to the eye, while others produce blurring that is unpleasant or distracting— "good" or "bad" bokeh, respectively. Bokeh occurs for parts of the scene that lie outside the depth of field. Photographers sometimes deliberately use a shallow focus technique to create images with prominent out-of-focus regions. (Source:Wikipedia)

I have become crazy about bokehs ever since I learned what that term means. It is such a beautiful thing and I can go on & on about this wonderful element in photography.Here are a few images that stand out for the way in which the bokeh has been rendered. These are not the best images in terms of composition and I am presenting them here as an example for what a bokeh means.

How to: One of the easiest ways to create an image with a wonderful looking bokeh is to shoot with a wide open aperture. I have used the 50mm prime lens with aperture set at f1.8 to get this effect. A wide open aperture, a nearby object as the primary subject and light (Or water) at a reasonable distance of 1 meter would give you the perfect bokeh. I am yet to experiment with multi-colored artificial light bokehs but trust me when I say those days are not far!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Child Labor -- A sad state of affairs

Had been to Besant Nagar beach last weekend and when I started shooting, I got this idea of covering children working in the beach. Somehow this is one area which has greatly affected me and I wanted to bring out that mood in my pictures. Here are a couple of those pictures which I clicked there. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wayanad Pictures -- Part II

Picture #1: The Wayanad magic continues with some stunning images from the Meenmutty falls. This is one of my favorite compositions with the sun rays cleanly starting from the right side top corner and hitting the mountains perfectly on the forest. Incidentally, that spot is where the 'Golden Rule' of composition would have been put! 
 Picture #2: The clouds form a beautiful canopy encompassing the forests below and giving the scene a surrealistic atmosphere.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wayanad Pictures

Picture #1: Meenmutty falls at Wayanad at its splendid best during sunset. The sun was trying to hide behind the cloud from us photographers when I clicked this.

Picture #2: The amazingly beautiful Banasura Sagar dam. This location is just 500m from the dam and is a place that needs to be seen to appreciate the beauty of it. The calm river flowing in between the mountains nestled by tall trees is really spell-binding.

Picture #3:The sun decided to play nice guy with us and gave us a playful little peek and to provide us with his divine rays, enhancing the entire landscape and turning our photo-shoot into a really worthwhile effort.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Smoke Photography

I always had this desire to try out 'Smoke Photography' and I also had a clear idea inside my head on how the photo should come out. The smoke photography in my mind had an old man with a white beard smoking a cigarette as black & white composition. I got lucky when I went to my wife's office to shoot some pictures. Here was an old man working on something and when he took a break, he took it the way I had envisaged it. A couple of clicks and only this one came close to my 'vision'. I will sure keep trying till I get the right image, though.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chennai Sangamam -- Part II

Lightroom is one cool Adobe tool and I am really happy that I started using it now. I would not call it as being as powerful as Photoshop but it is nevertheless a very handy tool and the tones that you get out of this software is just amazing. Also, it does not appear as intimidating as Photoshop & hence any user can learn the ropes very easily. One of the other things that I found to be super cool with Lightroom is the ability to use the 'Presets' feature. There are some 15 presets that come packed with the software and then there are a whole lot of presets that have been developed by people around the world that can be downloaded and used. Even though these presets may not a perfect fit for the photo you have, they will surely be a good starting point from where you can start tweaking around to get the tones you have in mind. Given below are a couple of photos that I took in Chennai Sangamam processed using Lightroom.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Week #2 of 52

 During the second week, my wife found a gift that she had with her as the subject for the 'Project 52' shoot. It was a bottle with a glass ship inside. The carving was so beautiful and I immediately knew that it would make a very good subject. We tried shooting it with the normal tube light illumination but the image that we got were very flat and did not impress us. Again my wife came with the brilliant idea of using candle lights for the lighting. It turned out to be a great choice and the resulting photos were pleasing for both us. The photo that I posted had the right amount of lights and shadows and hence made it to flickr.

The harder part of course was on making the choice for the posting. There were at least a couple of images that were good and the one above is something I loved a lot. The composition was spot on with the candle lights being placed in the corner showing the source of the lights and the shadows were also good. The reflection on the wall of the flame was the sore point and I felt it was distracting. Even Post Processing (PP) would not save those bokehs and hence the reason to reject this image.

Landscape Photography -- Tips & Tricks (Part #1)

Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer; and often the supreme disappointment – Ansel Adams

When Ansel Adams, The Master of landscape photography, talks about landscape photography in this fashion, it makes sense for all of us to take care of some basic aspects when taking landscape photos. Thankfully, taking care of a few aspects would make sure that the photos that we take are visually pleasing and compositionally brilliant. In the coming articles, we will look at these techniques to take small but significant steps towards becoming better landscape photographers.

Tip #1: Scout the spot for different angles
Our first instinct when we come across a picturesque location would be to start shooting without actually looking around for the perfect angle & composition. We would be better off if we can hold off our instincts for sometime to find an ideal location; a location where we can use the angle of light, patterns or textures, lines or curves for making our composition even better.
Tip #2: Make use of the golden hour
Early mornings (½ hour before sunrise & 1 hour after sunrise) and late evenings (1 hour before & ½ hour after) are the best times to capture the mood of the place. The light is not too harsh and offers great play of lights to be captured.

Tip #3: Always use a polarizer
Polarizers help in cutting down reflections and enhancing the colors. Sky colors are darkened and dark skies offer a great background for landscape shots. The usage of a polarizer filter is different from the other filters and the important point is that it needs to rotated, the frame checked for color enhancement and then the picture clicked. Not rotating the filter would leave the possibility of getting enhanced colors entirely to chance and not choice!

Tip #4: Carry a tripod around
The pains of carrying a tripod will vanish the moment you capture a stunning picture which would have been impossible to take without a tripod at hand. It is not only useful for taking photos without shake but also to expand the creative possibilities like slow shutter speed shots, panoramic shots or multiple exposure shots that are used in generating vibrant looking HDR’s.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Chennai Sangamam

 The chennai sangamam 2009 proved to be a great success not just for the organizers and the people participating in it but also for photographers like me. There was a whole bunch of opportunities for people photography in the parks where these events were being organized and I came back with some images that I was very pleased with. My Canon 50mm lens provided very handy in these low light conditions and the only thing that I regretted is about attending just 2 days of the celebration. I have decided to make much more use of the chance presented in Chennai Sangamam from the next year onwards.

Many of these shots would have found its way into my flickr account if not for my decision to post only nature photographs in my stream going forward. There will be people in my shot but they would be there to add value to the shot & not as the main subject. This left me with the option of posting those candid shots (which I click occasionaly) in my blog here.

These are unedited shots(except for resizing).

Click #1: A kid enjoying the show (He is sitting on the shoulders of a person!)
Click #2: A family enthralled by Kadri Gopalnath wield his saxophone like a magical wand

Monday, February 8, 2010

Guindy Children's Park -- Teaser trailer

Couple of our photography friends had gone to Guindy park for a photo shoot during the weekend and there were this beautiful ducklings that were present in one of the cages. It was a  treat to watch them always walk around their mother following her wherever she went and within a distance of 5 inches. 

Stay tuned! More photos are on the way.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The great 'Miss'!

There is nothing more irritating than finding that a photo which could have easily become a great shot turning into a damp squib for the simple reason that you failed to hold the camera steady. There could be 'N' number of reasons on why I could not hold the camera steady at the moment I pressed the trigger but those does not qualify as consolations for missing out on a great shot. The photo given below was taken at Vaitheeswaran Temple and the streak of light was so good to be missed. We were running late in terms of completing the darshan of all the important deities and so I had to be very swift when taking this photo. Unfortunately, I failed miserably and I still rue about the missed shot.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Starburst -- How to?

Even though there is Photoshop to give us a perfect starburst effect for light sources, one of the chance discoveries that I made when shooting against the sun is that we get the same star burst effect when we have a smaller aperture value. An aperture value of F11 or above somehow always gives me a star burst effect. Given below is one such photo where I got a decent star burst effect with the above technique. If there are other ways, please let me know and I would be greatly interested in trying.

Week 1 of 52

The first 2 weeks of any new project are the toughest. It is almost impossible to decide on what to shoot and there is also the nagging doubt of whether we are good enough for doing such a thing. The trick is to begin and hope that you will get the inspiration to continue. Believe it or not, the moment you commit to something, things seem to naturally fall in place.

I was forced to shoot tabletop photos because of the tight schedule at office which made me frantically search for subjects at home. This watch belongs to my wife & this was something that I really liked the moment I saw it. I had not considered it as a 'Subject' at that time but when I started searching for subjects at home, this was the second subject that caught my attention. Wait a second. Did I just say  it as the second thing that caught my attention? Yes indeed. The first thing that caught my attention is a 'Tanjore Doll' that was given to us during the 'Nalanku Ceremony' of our marriage. I used this doll with a background of our window screen to shoot a whole lot of pictures and some of these pictures came out real good. I always like to have choices and hence decided to shoot this watch as well just in case the pictures of the doll did not turn out to that good in the computer.

For this setup, I closed our window with a brown screen and allowed only a little bit of sunshine to pour in. The placement of the watch was tricky for it was never able to stand on its own and I had to struggle with it before it could be setup like this. The reflections were the ones that I really concentrated on and getting the focus right turned out to be a bit of a problem for the glass and the silver color of the watch frame made it tough to find a focus point.

Given below is the picture of the 'Tanjore Doll' that did not make the cut in flickr for Week #1. The color of the doll's face always gave it a soft feel and that left me a bit unsatisfied with the result. Also, a comparison with the watch picture made us (Myself & my best half) to decide it in favor of the watch. 

For a new beginning

Photography has completely taken me by storm and there is not a day when I don't think of photography or editing or the place to which I need to go for the next photo shoot. There is always something that I keep learning about photography every day and I intend to use this blog to share what I learn during this fascinating trip. To expect to learn a lot from this website would be mere foolishness for I am a novice myself and all that I intend to do is share my 'WOW' moments with you all.

The second thing that I want to use this blog is as a place holder for the 'Project 52' photos. Behind every project 52 that I post in flickr, there are a whole lot of photos that I clicked during that week that did not make it to flickr. The reasons could be several:
1) A composition that is of lesser appeal than the one posted 
2) Did not find it to be the best for that week. 
3) Did not fit the criteria that I might have set to myself for that week.

 I intend to post those photos here to get your comments and feedbacks. This would be one of the primary objectives of this blog.

Last but not the least, to post the photos that I loved taking to only realize later(After seeing the picture in the PC)  that I had messed up something with my camera settings. The settings could be a slow shutter speed that created a camera shake or a high ISO to produce undesired amount of noise or an overexposed picture that could not be redeemed by PP.

Let the journey begin....

Shot Ready, Action, Camera!!!