22 August 2009

Some basics terms-Photography

Hello All,
I was thinking of starting the ball rolling somewhere and finally choose to start talking about some of the basics terminologies of photography. Here are some of the terms which could be handy while some of you try to grab the basics of the camera. Hope you have a good start on learning.

An example of using different apertures to control depth of field. See a bigger version here

Aperture: An aperture is a hole or an opening through which light travels to the sensor of your camera. This is the opening which sets up how the light travels down and the appearance on the image plan looks like. The Aperture values which show up on your camera are also referred to as F-stops. The more the aperture value, the smaller the hole size, and the more the depth of field.
For example:
F1.8 would mean a larger hole which would give you sharpness around the focus area and rest blurred.
F5.6 would mean a smaller hole and sharpness around the focus and it’s near by areas increasing the depth of field.

Shutter speed: Shutter speed also known as exposure means the time for which the shutter is open to create the image on the sensor. Often the shutter speed which is displayed on your camera means that portion of
a second. For ex: if you go out in the light and the shutter speed of the camera shows 800, then it means the camera would expose for 1/800sec to create the image.

ISO: ISO in layman terms means the sensitivity of your camera sensor towards light. The higher the ISO value, the higher sensitivity is induced towards light. ISO is used in the cameras to increase the exposure during low light conditions.

White Balance: White balancing is a variable to control the casting of different colour tones in photos. where our eyes see and adjust automatically, cameras have a variable called White balance which helps you to control any undue casting which might come into your picture. For example: your camera is set to Tungsten white balance and you go out in the morning and click a picture of the lake. It would lend a bluish tone to the photography and you would immediately say that it’s not how it looked like there. You can play with the white balance to get the desired appearance and remove the bluish tone from the image.

Composition: Composing a photo or a composition means how to you place the subjects in the image which you plan to click. Most often we view through a viewfinder or a LCD to click a shot. The act of setting up an image is known as composing an image.

Metering Modes: Metering basically means how a camera determines the exposure of a particular shot. Our eyes are again excellently designed to understand different lightening but the camera sensor works on algorithms to find out the best exposure. In most of the cameras metering modes like evaluative, or matrix mode, partial, center weighted and spot metering modes are available. I shall discuss the usage of metering modes in a different article moving forward.

Focus Lock: Most of the cameras are designed to lock focus on the subject as we half-press the shutter button. Basically we are telling the camera to set focus on the subject. Cameras even provide you options to lock and then track the subject as they move around.

Exposure Lock: Cameras not only can lock the focus but also do lock exposure reading. This helps you to get the desired exposure and focus and then re-composition of your image.

Do share your thoughts or any other terms which you feel could be the part of this Thread. You are also open to pose questions which i shall try to answer or at-least refer to some website.

18 August 2009

Glimpse of Ganeshas getting ready

I was dying to shoot through the whole week and kept a close watch on the any events lining up in my club and friends circle but not much action seemed to come through.
Where on one hand I wanted to stay a little wary about crowded places due to Flu being spreading in the city now, I wanted to still click some shots on the eve of 15th august.

I contacted few friends but most of them seemed busy this weekend or were out of town. Somehow I had made up my mind to go out and click.
15th aug, I got up and it was still drizzling. I was a little delayed in starting up since i preferred to enjoy the morning cup of tea from my balcony enjoying the rain. Soon i got ready and packed my gear.
As I moved out of my place, it struck me that I could try Bengali association before going to pottery town. I was alone so little skeptical about if they would let me in. On the front of the Bengali association, there were some preparations beginning for the 15th Aug celebrations and I smiling asked that fellow if I could take some photos inside where the artists would be working. He in turn smiled and said "go ahead, jus let arun know". I went inside and asked for arun. Arun dada, a senior artist, in his matured way told me that we don’t let people take photos apart from press, though, you can take some. He also told me not to take photos of some of their processes which I was happy to agree to. Inside, there is a huge compound where it felt like being amid army of gods. Hundreds of ganeshas, durga and bal hanumans rested around and kept an eye on my activities :)

I started taking shots and also could discuss with the artists about how much time would each one of them would take. I would cautiously move around, so that I don’t disturb them or don’t break anything.

The amount of concentration their work requires is enormous though it might look too colorful to an outsider. I spent some 20 mins and then took leave off arun dada. The time was now 8:30. The rain had stopped but it was still overcast. I decided to move towards Pottery town from here.

The sky opened up by the time I reached there. The place looked revamped this day. Huge stalls with life-sized ganeshas could be seen around the pottery town and most of their usual pots and lanterns were given backseats, since this is ganapathi time. I choose a shop and clicked ready ganapathis there. He told me that they finished making those some days back but in the ground near the school, some more might be coming up. By now, I was feeling quite happy to have some shots done, but was looking to catch shots of artists working. I got my opportunity soon.

Near one of the tents in the school grounds, artists were working on putting up finishing touches to the ganapathis and I could shoot those scenes. It was inspiring to see them work so hard and yet be so creative.

I finally could quench my thirst for shooting and returned back home by 10 am. Do tell me how you liked the pictures and talk about your experiences if you were shooting or seeing some of these works going on in and around the city.