Tips: Night Sky Photography

1. Search for a location on the ground from where you can see the entire sky. The best option may be a huge terrace where you can frame the sky. Make sure there is no obstacle coming in between such as buildings or trees.

2. Mount the camera on a tripod (or a firm support). Mounting the camera and setting the speed.

3. Set the ISO to a lower speed (around 100)

4. Set the mode dial to shutter priority mode. You can set the shutter speed to the bulb setting, or can set it at a range of settings between 15 and 40 seconds.

5. Turn the auto focus mechanism off and then manually set the ring of the lens to infinity.

6. Position the camera and start shooting. It is better to use cable release/remote control in order to minimize the distortion. Alternately, you may set the timer mode and shoot image without a shake.

 

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Tips: Which Shooting Mode should be used in DSLR

After a few of my friends have also picked interest in photography and posed several questions to me, I have decided to start a series on tips of using DSLR and as result this is the first in the series.

All DSLRs have creative modes for Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Program Mode. In Canon cameras these are denoted by symbols M, Av, Tv, P and as M, A, S, P in Nikon cameras.

Program Mode (P) – While you are learning to get grips with a D-SLR, the point-and-shoot Program mode ensures you will be able to get great shots from day one because with Program mode, you are allowing the camera to take control of everything. However, unlike Full Auto mode, the Program mode allows you to set the white balance, ISO speed, AF mode, Metering mode and flash firing. The drawback with this mode is that this may actually bias the camera towards a faster shutter speed and this would be more appropriate for action shots (too slow shutter and you will get blurred images from subject or camera movements). In summary, this may be a mode for starting but isn’t the way to go with.

Shutter Priority (S or Tv) – Shutter Priority mode gives you the control to create movement effects such as frozen or blurred i.e. by using a long shutter speed will gives you the effect of blurring water or light trails and a fast shutter speed to freeze the water splash. You can select the shutter speed regardless the brightness level. The range of shutter speed varies depending on the camera model and make, however, generally it ranges from BULB (shutter will remain open as long as u keep the shutter fully pressed) to 30 seconds to 1/4000 of a second. The faster shutter speed will enable to freeze the action and slower shutter speed will give effects of flow, blurring of water, light trails.

Aperture Priority (A or Av) – Aperture Priority mode put you in control of the zone sharp focus (Depth of Field) in a shot and because it will always give you a usable exposure setting. Nevertheless, Aperture Priority mode isolates your main subject and create professional-looking portraits. Moreover, use this mode and a large aperture setting for a shallow depth-of-field and blurred background. Aperture Priority mode is dependent on the lens fitted and as a result, it will always give you a setting that can take a picture. Hence, use this mode as a ‘Default’ shooting mode, which is most recommended for everyday shots! Most of the times I keep Aperture mode as default on my camera. It enables you to control focus area in your shots, leading to greater control on your end shot. It’s widely useful when clicking portraits, landscapes, group photos and when you want to isolate the subject from background or foreground.

Manual Mode (M) – Manual mode gives you complete control over your exposure settings. It is necessary with studio flash, in low-light conditions or if you’re after a specific effect like ‘painting with light’, but it’s too slow to set-up for everyday use. Use this mode when you have grown in confidence. To master this mode will take considerable amount of time and practice. My suggestion is to move to this mode only after you are comfortable with previous listed modes.

Travel Photography – 10 Tips, 10 Pros

I picked up travel photogrpahy as my latest interest area, precisely because I feel I am very bad in this area. To understand this genre of photography its my way of taking notes of my learnings and as such this is second post in this series. I am compiling below few tips I came across from 10 pros considered masters in this genere of photography.

1. Don’t just take photos; create them by planning your shoot. “If you plan a photo session in advance, no matter where you travel, you’ll shoot images you’ll be proud of nearly every time”  – Michael Doven

2.  Odd numbers are more interesting than even numbers. For example, opting for three trees in a landscape, instead of four, “is more visually appealing”  — Wendy Connett

3. Take note of what’s behind your subject. “The background is just as important as the foreground in the final look of the image”  — Larry Louie

4. Engage your subjects by talking to them – or using gestures if you don’t speak the language. “When you create a feeling of intimacy … with your subject, you can shoot stunning portraits” — Chase Guttman

5. In popular tourist spots, go out early in the morning when the locals are going about their business, but before the tour groups arrive  — Mitchell Kanashkevich

6.  Practice “situational awareness” to anticipate what’s coming. When doing ski photography, for instance, get into position before a storm in order to capture the best post-storm light.  — Marc Muench

7. Be patient. Compose a shot and then wait for action to enter the scene   — Nadia Shira Cohen

8. Know your camera. Great travel photographers are a mix of “an artist who can make the ordinary look beautiful and a geek who understands a camera and all its settings”  — Tom Robinson

9.  Snapshots record memories. Photographs tell stories. “A great picture is one where we don’t know if we like it better because of the aesthetics or the content” — Jesse Kalisher

10.  When photographing an object in motion, follow it “with your body and camera while you’re snapping the image. You’re freezing the image as it’s moving, but the background relative to you is moving at a different speed, so you can capture the feeling of speed and exhilaration.” — Peter Guttman

Travel Photography – A skill yet to be mastered

 

Its been long since I have written anything on photography on this blog, and now I am here

Category:Wikipedia requested photographs of ph...

Category:Wikipedia requested photographs of photography (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

to pen down certain thoughts on Travel and Street photography. Over last few years, I have tried several genres of photography including macro, monuments, portraits, wildlife etc. and the one which I feel I am not good in and struggled a lot is with Travel photography, Street photography and Environmental portraits. Over last weekend I stumbled upon a you tube video lecture by Ashok Sinha on travel photography and here are certain learnings and key takeaways to practice in this genre.

Travel photography is one of the most challenging genres of photography and probably falls in same quadrant as wedding and street photography. The challenge in this type of photography is to get the right shot, both technically and aesthetically. There is definitely a luck factor included to be at right place at right time to get that right shot, but it’s also about the approach and your individual qualities, about being able to sense the place, culture and people turning this even more challenging.

So, what is that one should always keep in mind while shooting on travel…….

1. Do not shoot ambiguously each and everything. Just think why you want to shoot a particular picture and what is the communication you intend to provide.

2. To get aesthetically correct pics, you need to understand… understand the culture, people and environment. There can’t be a good pic unless it conveys a story

3. Walk around the place before you start shooting, if possible come back again to same place.

4. Dont crib about bad weather, bad light, washed out sky etc., yes these are constraints, but good travel photographers have won over these by working with patience and changing odds in their favor.

5. Appreciate what the place is all about, observe what is happening around, a good shot is the one which can capture the true essence of the place, people. Appreciate the surroundings whether they are dirty, chaotic, cluttered, beautiful, crowded, secluded or whatever. Things may be of not your liking but that’s not the idea, rather the idea is to capture the essence of surrounding.

6.  In every photograph, human element is a must. Yes, do not forget to include human beings. Too many people or a single person, that’s something you need to decide based on what you are shooting.

7. Shoot from varied angles but not from human eye view. Shoot from hip, or get high, or get very low. This will actually create a lot of impact to the photos.

8. Try not to shoot postcard photos, they are already available for few cents. The idea of getting a different perspective is very important. There are millions of photographs of any monument say Taj Mahal, but what needs to be seen is how differently you can shoot the same monument. Some examples could be to include humans in foreground / background doing something, include human to bring the effect of scale or perspective.

9. Shoot in layers. Try to bring different elements in the frame. A frame can be divided into separate 3 -4 layers. Try to place something striking is in each layer. Example, some elements in foreground, middle of the frame and background of the frame or on the right side of frame or left side of frame or in the sky or in reflections

10. Keep in mind rules of photography like rule of thirds, leading lines, composition techniques, geometric patterns, shapes and effect of lights.

11. Frame your scene and wait for the right moment. Look into your frame and think what more addition or deletion or different placement can bring an impact. Remember patience is key. A lot of patience is needed, a lot….

My first Photoshoot

Recently I got an opportunity to get on with a Photoshoot for newly launched online dress accessory store. This was a lot of fun and I enjoyed so much that now I am hungry to get more such assignments. Some of the shots from assignment are posted here.

All the product featured are property of theshawlfactory.com and can be purchased online at their website.

  

 

 

20111105-103856.jpg

Royal Bengal Tiger

IMG_2917 by Retvic
IMG_2917, a photo by Retvic on Flickr.

This is one of my favorite photos, clicked on a cloudy day at Nehru Zoo, Hyderabad. People at zoo call this tiger as Bhima and he was just 1.5 years old on click day. The above shot is taken on Canon 1000D with Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro lens.

Great Photoblog resources

 

Category:Wikipedia requested photographs of ph...

Category:Wikipedia requested photographs of photography (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The shortest and best way to learn a new thing is to just do it.. Ya, learning comes best by practicing and photography is no exception. However, you must always look for various sources for inspiration. Personally, I get really charged whenever I visit any photoblog on internet and it always inspires me to try the new things. I believe reading about others experiences also add a lot of learning and value to self. In this page I am compiling few of my favorite blogs which are really truly inspiring as well opens new windows of learning.

 

1. The PhotoArgus  – (Great compilation of tips on wide range of photography subjects)

 

2. Digital Photography Tutorials ( Some technical stuff , very good for beginners and understanding basic of photography)

 

3. Photo Composition Article – (A very nice article explaining about Depth of Field, Perspective, Object Isolation, Compression)

 

4. Studio Portraits – (White Seamless Background or Dark Black Background)

 

5. and the world-famous Storbist blogs for the one who love strobes.

 

Well, I hope these resources will help you in sharpening your skills and provide right direction to work on. Do post your comments what you learnt from here or share your experiences or provide links to blogs what you have on interesting subjects related to Photography.

 

DSLR Newbies.. Learning starts here..

 

This image shows a Canon EOS 350D digital sing...

This image shows a Canon EOS 350D digital single-lens reflex camera with a Tamron 18-200 f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD lens. Thanks to Andreas Böttger for allowing me to make this photo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I got inspiration to write this post when one of my colleague showed his interest in learning photography techniques and asked me if I can share some resources to start with. My excitement level to share some knowledge inspired me to create a page where I can compile some resources from web and my experiences which can serve as a start point for photo enthusiasts. There are a lot of websites and huge amount of material available on net, however in midst of this, the dilemma is how and where to start with… so I am here with Capsule 1

 

Ansel Adam has said that “You don’t take a photograph, you make it”.

 

When someone looks at your pictures and says, “your camera takes nice pics”, you make sure to be offended.

 

Imagine telling a good painter,”your paintbrush makes very beautiful and lifelike paintings”. The tool is useless unless it is used effectively. Similarly, it is the photographer and NOT the camera that makes the picture good. Expert photographers with a point and shoot camera can make better pictures than a novice with a DSLR.

 

The below resources will help to set you on your path to good photography. From there on you can find your way to GREAT photography on your own.

 

1. A Fantastic site to start with your learning experience is Digital Photography School.

 

http://www.digital-photography-school.com/digital-photography-tips-for-beginners

 

You can start with ISO, Aperture and Shutter Priority Modes, Learn about Exposure, move to introduction to white balance and spend some time in understanding Histograms .

 

2. Refer to the below link also, which explains the basics and is written very well.  Bang start of beginners.

 

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials.htm

 

3. What better way to learn than to attend a classroom session sitting back at home. See the videos on this link and you will DEFINITELY have a better understanding of your camera and photography. It even solves some MYSTERY pics which many beginners consider to be genius, but are in fact simply photography techniques.

 

http://www.dslrtips.com/workshops/DSLR_workshops_tutorials_tips.shtml

 

Reading so much stuff may sound too much, and could lead to over dose of information, but the key is to keep it slow and going back to your camera then and again while you read. Any how, as some one has said, the best learning can happen only if you go out and click, click and click….

 

Extra Dose:

 

I am also posting here a Fantastic video to understand Depth of Field from a scientific prspective….for beginners.

 

http://provideocoalition.com/index.php/freshdv/story/video_tutorial_understanding_depth_of_field/

 

In my next post I will try compile more resources for next level of photography studies.., till then just click and enjoy..

 

 

 

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