Kingfisher

Date Taken: 23 June 2012 | Place: Ranganathittu, Karnataka, India.

Catch It! - Brahminy Kite

Date Taken: 08 July 2012 | Place: Sangama, Karnataka, India.

Let's Make Our Planet Green

Date Taken: 23 June 2012 | Place: Ranganathittu, Karnataka, India

Over Everest

Date Taken: 21 Apr 2012 | Place: Kathmandu, Nepal

Rowing On The River Ganges

Date Taken: 17 Apr 2012 | Place: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

President's House

Date Taken: 27 Apr 2012 | Place: New Delhi, India

Taj Mahal

Date Taken: 25 Apr 2012 | Place: Agra, India

Bangalore at Night

Date Taken: 20 May 2012 | Place: Bangalore, India

Uttarakhand - Simply the Heaven

Date Taken: 05 May 2012 | Place: Uttarakhand, India

22 April 2015

Digital Photography - Recovering bad looking valuable pictures using free photo editing tools


Here comes the comparison between the actual RAW picture and the processed one.

In digital photography presentation is very important, so most of us do post process before presenting the picture in any media. Most of the time I do very minimal post process when the lighting and other factors are good in the actual RAW picture.

But in this case as you can see the picture on the left side is not good for presenting as it was shot in early morning lighting (around 6.00 am) So I had to post process the picture to the presentable extend. By sharing this I would like to inform that do not scrap the picture if it looks like the one on left side, by doing simple post processing you can recover the pictures or give actual color and lighting to the picture I have even recovered even worse looking pictures to good looking pictures.

Pictures could look bad for two reasons:
1. Due to wrong lightings
2. Due to wrong aperture and shutter speed set in camera (Read more about Digital Photography - Shutter Speed + Aperture + ISO = Exposure)

This above picture has wrong lighting while the camera settings were correct as per the available natural light.

One thing I would like to mention before ending. If you think that post processing pictures is costly or doable only with premium softwares like photoshop, lightRoom, ect then you are wrong. Post processing that you see in this picture is not done using any professional or premium softwares. I have only used the basic or free photo editing tool available for Mac OS like: iPhoto and Photos and Fotor which are freely available for Mac users. I am sure there will be many free softwares for Windows OS too. I'll share the best free photo editing windows softwares once I test them. In case if any of you know the best free windows softwares please mention them in the comments below.

The picture below is the second reason of how we end up clicking bad pictures. Due to wrong aperture and shutter speed set in camera:
In this case there was no problem with the natural lighting available on the subject but it was my camera setting which screwed up the picture, yet I was able to recover it too.

This picture is recovered using a Photoshop software, but now when you compare both recovered pictures there is no big difference.


So folks don't be sad if you end up clicking such bad pictures, you can always recover them in Digital Photography using best free and premium softwares.

Please leave your comments below and let me know if you need me to write about any other photography related topics. 

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13 November 2014

A Word About Mother Nature


There is no game without boundary... Every game has a end point which decides the winner. 

Everything which is invented by humans will only last long, but not permanent. But there is a game called LIFE in which we all are participating and trying to win or achieve something, but again we humans aren't permanent.

Next thing comes to mind is our planet and our solar system, but our solar system is also not permanent, after few millions of years there will be just space left.

We may not know what our future is but we have power to know the future of our solar system, yes just close your eyes and turn around, what you see is just how the space would be after few millions of years.

Mother Earth is saving Us, so please save her too and make her last longer. And become a winner!!

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Basics of Digital Photography



Digital Photography Focusing Tips

1. Shoot with single point AF, the time when you have all the focus points enabled camera focuses on the brightest spot of your frame, so when you have single point focus you are taking control of your camera to focus on where you want to focus on plus the auto focus will be faster.

2. Shoot with AI SERVO so that your camera continuously focuses on the subject even while your subject is moving.

3. Camera focus speed also depends on the lens you are using. Use high speed lens to improve focus speed.

4. Have a external flash with Auto focus assist (AFA). AFA on your flash will help to improve auto focus speed in low light conditions.

5. Take advantage of live view mode. While using live view mode, zoom in using the zoom buttons in your camera do not zoom using lens to check if you have focused exactly where you wanted to focus.

I hope above five tips will help you in improving your focusing technique.

1. Determine how much you want the subject to be in focus (DOF)
2. Learn how to control your camera
3. Avoid shooting in harsh lighting
4. Try to frame your subject with clearer or darker background
5. When you are shooting close ups focus on eye, with single point focus.


1. Don't think about the camera that you are using.
2. Delete your photos only if there is technical faults.
3. Think about the lighting before you compose a shot.
4. Be selective about photos that you share.
5. Check the background while you are framing your subject.

1. Use the viewfinder's light meter in camera to adjust aperture and shutter speed once you have focused on a subject.
2. Use beanbag to avoid camera shakes.
3. Use right lenses based on the distance between you and the subject.
4. Frame your subject using rule of thirds to present your picture.
5. Just like distance, cameras height also matters to make your subject look proportional. Set your camera height to the eye level of your subject.

1. Always set the ISO below 400 to reduce grains in the picture.
2. Change the White Balance based on the availability of natural light.
3. Set AF Mode to AI Servo so that the focus changes/locks to your moving subject.
4. Set Drive Mode to High speed/Continues mode so that you don't miss the actions.
5. Use Tripod/Monopod to avoid camera shake.

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28 January 2014

Digital Photography - Shutter Speed + Aperture + ISO = Exposure

In Digital Photography a person or a photographer who understands Shutter Speed + Aperture + ISO he/she will defiantly improve photography skills in very few days. Exposure is the quality and amount of light reaching the camera's sensor as determined by shutter speed and lens aperture and ISO.

There are various types of exposures eg: long exposure, fast exposure, etc which  refers to a single shutter cycle to allow certain amount of light to pass through lens and to the sensor.
Here are couple of examples how exposures is used in various circumstances:
1. Photograph of a Honey-Bee using a faster exposure
2. Photograph of moving traffic at night with long exposure.
Let's get little deeper and understand how to use Shutter Speed and Aperture and ISO in a digital SLR camera. There are various modes in the camera, I recommend to select the Manual mode (M) in your camera because using this mode you will be able to set the shutter speed, aperture and ISO as you wish and a good option to experiment with. Lot of online articles have much in-depth or elaborated explanation on shutter speed, aperture and ISO, In this article I'll let you know when these three to be used to compose a better picture and to become a better photographer.  

Shutter Speed 

Shutter speed is the length of time the camera's shutter is open when photographing a subject. In other words, shutter speed is responsible for freezing an action or blurring the motion.
If we consider the above two pictures as an example, the image 1 has the action freezed and the image 2 has a motion blurred.

Before photographing any subject you need to know what should be the shutter speed?
When you need to photograph a sharp looking moving object you need to have higher shutter speed about 600 to 1000. When photographing a motion less or still object you need to set the shutter speed to 60, make sure not to shake your camera if you are shouting hand held or better use a tripod. You can use 60 to 125 shutter speed while photographing portrait and landscapes. Also make sure there is good amount light on the subject.

Aperture 

Aperture size from larger to smaller rate
Aperture is the size of opening in the lens when a picture is taken/exposed. When the shutter release button is hit in your camera a hole in a lens opens to allow image sensor to record the subject that you want to capture. Changing the aperture also varies on the depth of field, the area around the object which is in focus. The smaller aperture will help to focus most of the area in the picture the larger aperture reduces the depth of field and blurs the foreground and the background.

Smaller aperture: Larger f-number like f/16 to f/32 is required when you need the subject and the foreground and the background of the subject  to be sharp thus when the depth of field is increased. Use small aperture while photographing landscapes and architecture. You need to also think about the amount of light available to set the aperture. For indoor photography since there will not be enough light, you need to reduce the f-number to 5.6 (The max value in some of the kit lenses) to allow more light to pass into your camera. When you set smaller aperture when there is not enough light the picture will become darker you may need to use flash light in those conditions.

Larger aperture: Smaller f-number like f/3 to f/2.8 is useful when you need the foreground and the background of a subject to be blurred therefore the depth of field id reduced. While photographing portraits you can set the larger aperture so that the background of the subject is out of focus and the subject only will be sharp. Larger aperture is also useful in macro photography as it lets more light to pass into the camera and helps the camera's sensor to capture the subject much sharper.

ISO

ISO is the level of sensitivity of your camera's sensor to the available light. Increasing the ISO value will add more noise and grains to your image. ISO is an important aspect of digital photography to have an understanding of if you want to gain more control of your digital camera. When you are shooting outdoor in a bright light always use lower ISO 100 to 300 this will reduce the noise fully. Even when you are doing wildlife photography make sure to set the ISO as low as possible to produce a better quality picture.

Increase the ISO value only when you really need to shoot is low light situations though it adds more noise to your picture it allows your sensor to capture the subject you need.

Finally now you can take your camera out and shoot with manual mode to practically set and understand how Shutter Speed + Aperture + ISO helps each other in producing a better picture.

Points to remember:

  1. Always photograph by mounting you camera to a tripod when you have set lower shutter speed
  2. Do not increase the ISO more than 400
  3. Use flash in low light conditions so that you could still use lower ISO value
  4. Use Smaller aperture to photograph landscape
  5. Use Larger aperture for portraits and macro
  6. Review the pictures on computer for better understanding on how the various values of shutter speed, aperture and ISO works.

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31 December 2013

Photography is a Game of Lights

There are so many aspects in photography but most of the time some of the basic aspects are forgotten in the excitement of photography. One of the main aspects of photography is lighting.


If we take early days when photographers used to use black and white films to photograph, those days people used to see the object in color but the photographed pictures were black and white, it used to be very difficult to calculate the light on the object according to object's position. But still there were great legendary photographers those days who have done great job in producing great pictures.

In Black and White world people used to play around with the foreground contrast of the object/person with a darker background. If we look at some old black and white movies, they were composed so well that the actor was given so much preference in the frame of the screen and the background was never getting mixed up with the actual subject.


In today's world we are so lucky that we capture what we see through the camera which includes all the colors. Since we have moved into this colorful world, it is much more tougher to work with light for the object/subject with natural lighting in the outdoor photography. Especially we see so many photographers struggling with lighting in the field work while capturing landscape and wildlife or flora.


Simple points to remember in outdoor photography.
  1. Always make sure the sun light is falling from behind you.
  2. Since you are shooting in outdoor, make sure to set proper background for your subject. Outdoor provides various backgrounds it's your creativity to select as per the subject.      
  3. Photograph will look good when they are shot in the natures Golden light, which is between morning 6 am to 8 am and evening 4 pm to 6 pm. The other times is the day either will have strong sunlight or it gets dark. When there is strong sunlight the pictures are over exposed and the light is falling from the top, which is not good for photography. 
  4. The low light in the morning session which falls from the side is also good when you use it as a backlight for a subject, like the picture of a Pelican n top.

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20 December 2013

Concepts of Photographer



Photography is not only about wildlife or limited to any other category. According to me photography does not have any boundaries it depends on one's talent and lifestyle.

How is photography dependent on one's lifestyle?

  • A person who is a traveler will always like capture his/her moments and adventures. 
  • A wildlife enthusiast like to capture the animals and birds in their environment in different perspectives. 
  • A journalist and  conservationists would like to document and evidence their photographs. 
  • Scientist would like to photograph for their research.
  • And for a professional photographer its the business.
Each one of them can produce their own beautiful art. The concept of a photographer is attached to passion and lifestyle. 

It does not matter what type of camera you use, you could still produce good pictures when you are aware of basics and pre-process the concept in your mind before you click it. 


Concepts are everywhere you just need to frame it and click it.

When you travel around streets look for interesting subjects, Specially in the evening time of the day look for lighting in the street, vehicles traffic jam, amusement parks,  vibarent and saturated colors of the wall can make a good concept and  the formation of clouds with the sun set will be beautiful to capture. In simple words look around your surroundings when you are out with your camera.

Today's digital cameras offers variety of modes to shoot with so the simplest way would be to try with different modes. Each mode in the digital camera will give you different type of results.



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19 December 2013

Using Scanner as Digital Camera


  • Are you feeling bored by using your digital camera? 
  • Did not plan for a photography trip? 
  • Are you willing to do some experiments using your digital gadgets? 
  • Would you like to create some digital art?
Try using your scanner as a digital camera for your next experiment. Yes, your home scanner can be used as a digital camera to scan some interesting objects and create a digital art out of it.

You can scan anything that will fit on the scanning glass of your scanner, but take care not to scratch or damage the glass in any way. Ideal subject for scanning include essentially flat, nearly two dimensional objects such as dried leaves or flower petals, embroidery, textiles, textured papers or fruits and vegetables.
Other small objects also can be scanned like: jewelry, sea shells, insects, seeds rice, etc.

Being designed to record two dimensional objects, flat-bed scanners have only a limited depth of field. As a result on the parts of objects in contact with the scanner glass will be sharp and it wold look like a macro photography. While scanning the objects you will need to experiment with different type of background like colored cloth, textured paper. If you keep the lid open the background will be completely black. If you need a white background, either you can close the lid or use a white plain paper to cover the object.

Post scanning the objects using Adobe Photoshop software you will be able compose the picture as you wish. You could try plenty of color tint variations and you can also try to merge multiple scanned objects and make them as one picture.

Experimenting with scanner will test your creative mind, you will start producing digital arts which you would have not even thought of doing. It will be very interesting to see the post processed pictures.

Note: In the excitement of testing various objects you may damage your scanner glass, so do not try to scan anything that is damp or wet, as the moisture or the water may enter into your machine and machine may stop working.

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18 December 2013

How to Start Photography

Point No 1: Know About Yourself.

Before starting photography you need to know if you are really such kind of person who is capable of spending time indoor and outdoor without thinking of what other people may think about you. Yes photography is such a hobby you will get so passionate about. It makes others to look at you. You need to have lot of patience and right attitude. And also creative mind.

Point No 2: Decide on what type of photography you would like to do.

Photography has variety of categories and each category has it's own set of equipment and rules to be followed. Though the basic rules are still the same. Once you start photographing you will learn more.

Point No 3: Start with smaller camera first.

Yes initially to start learning it is better to start with camera which has minimal options and more automatic. Because at this stage you will be learning on how to use the camera and how to frame a shots. Be creative minded and try to photograph anything that you feel good about. Like photographing toys, food, landscape, anything that you feel like framing.

Point No 4: Reading Books.

Start reading books, magazines, online articles, etc. This will really improve your basic knowledge and you will get more ideas on various type of photography and technicalities.
Learn the basics and concepts of photography.
Photography is a art just like painting. Camera is just an equipment to support your talent, all the concept and how to select a subject if fully depends on your talent. Read books and refer to great photographers work and try to understand how the subject were framed.

Point No 5: Select your field of interest and buy equipment.

At this stage you will be aware of how much you are interested in photography so it's fine if you are not willing to go further in this field. Because if you are not confident enough it is not good to invest more money. And if you are confident start selecting and upgrading your equipment. Be careful about the budget and buy only equipment which are essential.

Point No 6: Build Your Network.

As you invest on new equipment, attended photography workshops in your city so that you'll start meeting new people who are also passionate about same field. This will help you to learn from others and gives chance to exhibit your talent and art. You will also make new friends and do some field works. Participate in photography competitions, this will make you feel good and proud of your own art and you will start loving it.

Point No 7: Start Experimenting and feel the camera.

This way you will start learning how to handle your camera and the best way to know how your camera behaves in different conditions. Start experimenting with lightings on a subject and understand the foreground and background of the subject and adjust your angle accordingly.

Point No 8: Ask Experts.

Photography is all about the perspective of a person. Once when you have good set of photographs present them to an expert photographer and get feedback. Doing this will help you to know the minor issues or mistakes.

Point No 9: Practice.

Visit the same places and photograph the subjects again. This allows you to try the tips and tricks you received from experts. And will help you correct your mistakes.

Point No 10: Don't Forget Past.

Photography is a never ending art which gives you chance to explore new places, experience different conditions, express new creative ideas, and to meet new people. So do not forget you past experiences. Past may not be perfect, but past experience helps you becoming perfect.
Each time when you go out to field work remember all the problems you faced in previous trips and correct them next time when you get a chance.

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05 December 2013

Leopard at Bandipur Forest


Bandipur National Park, established in 1974 as a tiger reserve under Project Tiger, is a national park located in the south Indian state of Karnataka. It was once a private hunting reserve for the Maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore. Bandipur is known for its wildlife and has many types of biomes, but dry deciduous forest is dominant. [From Wiki]
Bandipur National Park is around 217 Km from Bangalore and takes 6+ hours to reach by car. This an excellent place for all nature and wildlife lovers, as this forest is filled with wildlife.

We had Jungle Lodges pre booked for Nov-30-13 to Dec-1-13. As usual my dream of sighting and photographing big cats was only minutes away. 

Day 1-Nov-30-13: Around 3:00 pm the safari started and we were taken in to the forest, just after reaching shot distance into the forest the vehicle driver spotted the pug marks of a female Tiger and started tracking. After few minutes driver received a phone call from another safari vehicle, our driver was informed that there was a Tiger spotted in the near by area. And we ruched through the jungle road to the area where the tiger was spotted but we had not luck of spotting. The search for Tiger continued till 6:30pm, between this time all we saw was Gaurs and Deers in the forest and plenty of time was spent in tracking the pug marks. Finally it was dark and we were heading back to camp and on the way we had a surprise waiting. It was a Tiger cub doing the evening royal walk and marking the territory. Since it was very dark none of the photographs were good, and even the video is also worse. But I was not bothered about the pictures at all. 

As this was my first tiger sighting I was really exited and was congratulating my friends in the safari vehicle. It was the moment when my dream came true and unforgettable time of my lifetime. We sighted this tiger for about 5 minutes. Our vehicle was only few meters following the Tiger from back and this experience was really awesome. 

Day 2 - Dec-01-13: The safari started at 6:00 am, After entering into the forest it was more of birding in the morning and as usual lots of deers and gaurs was sighted. There was no evidence of any fresh tiger pug marks. While moving forward the vehicle driver stopped the vehicle and started pointing towards a tree and told us there is a Leopard on the tree, It was such a intense moment there were so many trees around and the Leopard was around 600 meters away from us. Thanks for the experienced driver and guide Mr.Kiran who spotted the Leopard. This Leopard was on the tree looking around for its morning meal. The sighting happened for very few minutes and the leopard got down from the tree and disappeared in to the bushes. As we were hearing the Langur calls we planned to stay in that point for another 20 minutes waiting for the leopard to cross the road but the Leopard had different plans.
As we entered the deeper area of the forest there were few pug marks where three tigers were marched together, but the pug marks looked 30 to 60 minutes old. But there was no sighting of Tiger this morning and since we were running out of time we returned back to the camp.


Here are the pictures of this trip: (More pictures will be uploaded later this week)





















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19 November 2013

Ranganathittu Birds Sanctuary for Photographers

Ranganathittu Birds Sanctuary is one of my favorite place for birding. It takes around 2 hours 45 minutes to reach from Bangalore. It is around 130 kilometers. The Bangalore Mysore highway is one of the best road to do a weekend day trip. Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary also known as Pakshi Kashi of Karnataka. A Bird Sanctuary in the Mandya District of the state of Karnataka in India. This sanctuary is located on the banks of river Kaveri.

The park is well maintained by the government authorities, it has all sorts of facilities for tourists like Hotel, Parking area.. etc. The lush green park welcomes you into the sanctuary. A peaceful place to spend a day with family members.

Roughly around 170 birds have been recorded here in great numbers over the years. Of these, birds like Painted Stork, Asian Openbill Stork, Common Spoonbill, Woolly-necked Stork, Black-headed Ibis, Lesser Whistling Duck, Indian Shag, Stork-billed Kingfisher and other common birds like egrets, cormorants, Oriental Darter, and herons breed here regularly. The Great Stone Plover, and River Tern also nest here. The park is home to a large flock of Streak-throated Swallows. During the months of January and February, more than 30 species of birds are found. About 50 pelicans have made Ranganathittu as their permanent home.

The best season to visit Ranganathittu Birds Sanctuary is from November to June. This is one of the best spot for fresh photographers to spot and learn how to photograph birds in action. Lot of amature photographers too visit this place to get some great shots.

Below are some of the photographs which I could capture in the month of November 2013.

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