27 May 2009

The weekend that was!

Cruising at 50 mph, unending expanse of deep blue lake in front of you, cool breeze beating against your face, hair flying everywhere, eyes watering, adrenaline pumping..bliss!!!

20 May 2009

ghoomna firna

The long weekend (though I did have to look up what the holiday was for!) is round the corner! Its really gonna be like an oasis in the desert. It was just yesterday that I actually started feeling the excitement of my trip to California. Not that this is my first trip to the land of sun and sand, but its going to be my first to Yosemite and Lake Tahoe! yay!! So, the excitement setting in, I went off for a round of shopping after work yesterday. I was in bad need of some comfy clothes, and have been planning on shopping for almost 2 months, but never found the time or enthusiasm to do so (I am not counting in a small bit of shopping I did in NY last weekend ;-) ). Pretty happy with my purchase yesterday, though all I bought was a smart black t-shirt and shorts, which I will need while hiking at Yosemite. Now the only thing left to be done is packing my bags, and before that, doing laundry that has accumulated over the ages!!

11 May 2009

is all I can say :-)

08 May 2009


This month is my and my sweetheart's one year anniversary. It was in May last year that i purchased it, with the tax refund i had got. One of the purchases I have actually been proud of, and not once regreted. I will not spend this post singing praises of my Nikon-D80 (Though it is not the BEST of the SLRs they have in market, its still a pretty good one, and my 'dil ka tukda' in the real sense), but will try to put forward some of the things i learnt about photography in the past year. Let me say that this is not a technical post, nor am I qualified enough to write about the technicalities of photography, but will put my point of view of photography, and how i see it. This is not about SLRs and cameras, but the magic they weave.

  • There is one thing that changed entirely, the way I look at photography. It was an article I read by Ken Rockwell (who is my self appointed guru, when it comes to photography). The article said that the photograph should take you to your sweetest memory, or any memory for that matter. It should arouse some emotion in you. It should take you back to some place, to some time, to some phase in your life. I guess, every form of art should do that, and does. A particular song reminds you of something, someone, some incident. Like Himesh bhai's songs remind you of that time in India, when the electricity would be cut off and the dogs in the neighborhood would collectively start howling till it came back. A good painting of say a sunset will remind you of a particular sunset which you have imprinted in your mind. Likewise, in photography its very difficult to achieve this (as per the article) and a very few people can actually paint such a photograph with their camera. Good photos, everyone can take, but there are very few masterpieces. I was so very motivated when i read this. I hope atleast once, I can take a photograph that would arouse some emotion in atleast one living soul.
  • Photography is very little engineering and maximum ART (Again, something i learnt from guruji, and kind of agree with). True, If you have a high end camera, you must know how it works, what are the different controls. Whats the use of a good camera if you cant exploit all that it provides? But all said and done, I have seen people take awesome snaps with their cell phone cameras. Some better than the ones taken by SLRs.
  • One of the most important things while taking a photo according to me is its framing. How big the object is, how is the plane of the picture divided, how much sky you have (Snita would know, coz i bugged her a lot recently to take my snap with the right amount of sky), how much empty ground you have. A photo divided exactly at the center, with half part sky and half of it land would rarely look effective. Likewise, the size of the main object shouldnt be too small (otherwise it would not catch attention) or too large (there should be a conversation between the object and its surroundings). Making use of depth of field to create 'depth layers' in the photograph, so that your attention is eventually guided to the point of focus by the way the space of the frame is divided. This is probably the easiest way to ensure that the picture looks good, and you dont need an SLR for that!
  • The lighting. I feel, this is where the SLR comes handy as opposed to a point and shoot. You can control the exposure. The amount of light you want to have for a particular setting. And there are so many combinations of the aperture, shutter speed and ISO one can use to get the desired light and the effect. Of course you can always post process it to some extent using picasa, photoshop etc.
  • The photograph should have a rythm. A motion. Even if its a snap of just trees and mountains, there should be a kind of rythm in the lines. (by lines, i mean the main lines that divide the frame). This is kind of similar to the above point.
  • You really have to look around you, keep your eyes open, for sights that you can capture with your camera. If there is nothing around you that looks good to your eye, even the best of photographer cannot take an effective snap. Photography is not about making boring objects look good in photos, its about making interesting objects look the way they appear to your eyes. I personally feel, that our eyes are the best cameras. (And this is technically true too, i think). I guess all the cameras are designed to meet the specifications of the way the eye sees a particular object.
  • Last but not the least, best way to take good pictures is to enjoy doing it!! Take pictures because you love doing it, and not because you want to create masterpieces.

Heres wishing my Nikon a happy anniversary! My life has been much more productive, creative and informative with you around! cheers :)

03 May 2009

Slap in the face!

I am tweaking the incidence a little bit, to protect the identity of the person.
So, a few days ago, a friend (well someone i knew from india, and we had kind of drifted apart) of mine saw me after a long long time, and said something spontaneously.."gosh! you look so beautiful now". I couldnt help but feel mildly annoyed and also pretty amused at this comment (how much ever true or otherwise it may be). I know he/she meant well, and was giving me a compliment, but common, i would have been better off without that "now" in the compliment :| . You dont really have to speak everything you have in your mind do you!

Its just one of those things when you are unsure whether to really feel pleased about the compliment!

02 May 2009

blog makeover

This makeover is a result of me being a friday-night-no-life-person! What a thing to do on a friday night!! gosh, I miss my grad days.