Ad

25 June 2011

Name etching!

This morning, while i went out for a brief shoot, never did i know that my destination, Hebbal lake would turn out to be a spoiler. We resorted back to a company park, in the vicinity of Ramamurthy nagar, a nice locale on the outer ring road. 
Where the park, was very nice and was located at a beautiful location, something peculiar was at the heart of it. A magnanimous, and quite old banyan tree. Normally, if people make fuss about a banyan tree, it has to be for its huge size, like the biggest one on the globe, gracing Bangalore. This looked so peculiar, for all the love Graffitti, etched into it. I dont know if there is any such competition or record already in place, but if there shall there be one, India would top it. From public toilet doors, to our national heritage monuments to local bus seats to our walls, and some specially chosen trees like this, one first chance, we love to leave remembrances there. Surveys suggest that Indian men are much conservative when it comes to expressions, but i am not sure if the people who reported that, did consider these symbols of our expressions. Not only does people leave their names and their love interests names, etched into the surface, some even go a step further and make absurd diagrammatic representations of their unison. 
I guess these people derive pleasure out of this, or possibly that's the only thing they could achieve after failing in love. I am not going to bother much about unraveling the secrets behind such foolishness, but just bringing out an observation. As Our natural environment gets contaminated by throwing chemical wastes or non-biodegradable around, similarly such social contamination also maligns our social environment and leaves a bad examples in the society and for the kids to follow. 
Let the trees be alone, they already are loosing their majority!


18 June 2011

At a construction site-A photo collective

Today morning, i shot for a while at a nearby construction site. A four story apartment, where construction has been in full swing, was my capture. The contractor, with a team of atleast 20 daily wagers was at the site, propelling them to this day job. On such constructions, which are primarily contracted jobs, the onus lies on the contractor to finish a certain job in certain time, who which he has committed and billed for. Hence, he ensures that he minimizes the cost, by ensuring that the labourers dont waste time talking, and that the rented machinery be kept for least time as possible.
The laborers, a mixed set of men and women assemble for this job. Women, normally do the job of bringing piles of sand, stone and cement to the mixer, wherease men are manning the position which eaither require even harder physical effort or where they are just contractors and keeping a vigil. There are kids of these laborers who come along, and spend a day at the construction site, playing with anything that catches their attention. as soon as the mixer is started, the contractor shouts and all the labourers hurl up with their jobs to fill the mixer.with a run to the mixer and making a full load, when the mixer is stopped, thats when the labourers catch a breath and talk within themselves. a very labourious task, of a daily wager, on the construction site.

12 June 2011

5 points to buying your camera


Often, people while buying their cameras, are bogged down by analysis and confusion about what to buy. Truely so! I felt the photograph above is quite related to this topic. There are so many options in the market and they all look and claim to be the same. Wish it was as easy as peeling a banana off and moving on!
The market is loaded with options of all sorts.Where the SLR industry has been growing and touching new heights with technological advancements, the point and shoot,semi pro cameras segment have been overwhelmed. Not only the resolutions are getting better and better, but the features on-board are tempting. Ranging from complete photo editing onboard to making panorama photos with a pan can make taking photos a breeze. Full HD video recording with optical zoom could itself be the biggest game changer when you come across two choices.
So, here are my top five points for you while you decide to make a pick. Consider them as filters to apply on whatever set have you been considering:
1. Cost: The most important factor here would be cost. If i were to make a choice, i would set aside a budget first. You can not go shopping for a camera without anchoring around a certain budget else, you are entering a dark maze. So, first point to look at would be to formalize a budget. This would not only make your job easier when in market, but also ensure that you do not compare apple of oranges. Many folks would talk about comparing the features on-board on the likes of a canon 5d and a 40d when the price difference could be more than double. By most case, the companies too strategically position their products in pricing brackets and thats when comparisons would make the most sense.
2. SLR/Non-SLR: Well, this considering could even be done before costing aspect of it. Also for most of the folks, the point of inflexion between SLR and Non-SLR doesnt come during buying the camera. It happens after landing onto either side. In maximum cases, after you land into a SLR zone, seldom does one go back to the P&Ss, though there are exceptions. Think about this early if this a consideration for you. Comparisons should be much easier after you have chosen on this arena.
3. Usage/Application: This is where i believe most of the thinking needs to come into. What kind of photography does one want to get into. Ofcourse you can tackle that with the kind of lenses you would use later for an SLR, but if decided earlier, investing in a better body should go a long way. If you do a lot of night time photography, investing in a better body will provide much better light sensitivity. If you are into sports or bird photography, you should be looking at a body which has a better frames per second. Some might counter saying that they bought faster lenses to achieve similar results, but nothing can beat a combo when the body itself supports your goals. So, think about it!
4.Features: For lot of people, this does matter. For lot of situations, this does matter too. Where a simple requirement could be to get a camera to take some good photographs, having a small feature of doing basic edits to your photos on-board, can make you smile. Better ergonomics could come in handy during long shoots. advanced metering options to different photography modes to panorama builds...list is endless.Often while comparison cameras, you would land into this features battle. P&S cameras as loaded on that front. So, dont get bogged by whats on offer. First make a list of what requirements you have and then target the appropriate segment. See, what brands fulfill your needs and then get down to the bonuses you might be offered on top of those requirements. after your need is met, finding the best fit with lot of other features would be handy.
5. Future: Finally, as a word of advice, do buy your camera with a little bit of futuristic view. Though technology is changing on daily basis and there are better gadgets coming out everyday, you can beat that by buying something that should meet your needs for sometime to come. There would be no point buying something today and selling it for much lower price in 3 months period. the advancement of technology has made the resale value fall down drastically for lot of electronics, since there are better ones coming with similar or lower price tags. I would always recommend that if you can, choose a better body, buy extra memory cards or that camera bag with couple of extra spaces. These are good investments and if wisely made, should make the future and the present, a nicely captured time of your life.
Happy buying! do share what you thought about the article.

07 June 2011

5 reasons why you might not want to sell your Point & Shoot

I have been quite often, asked about this, from many of my colleagues and friends. Not that I am a tech guru or the most known photographer in town, but maybe I happen to be the one around the corner, when the thought bubbles to them. Seeing someone holding an SLR suddenly makes lot of people think that they might be making excellent images and chain of thoughts from there. Lot of people also feel that buying an SLR is a step which is going to change their photography for good. They see this as a natural succession and hence their trusted P&S camera feels like a mediocre gadget, a blocker in their way to stunning pictures.

Here are top 5 points on why I think you should not give up your P&S and jump into SLR world:
(One of my award winning photo titled "Faith & reality", shot with H50)
Understanding art: This has been said many times in different ways, but cameras don’t make good pictures. The eyes do! The photographers do! Buying a Ferrari doesn’t mean the having the best driving skills, a professional knife doesn’t mean the best food. If this point is understood by an individual, the other aspects are relatively easier to understand. The perspective lies in your eyes, in the way you see things. Camera and other gear is just a medium. So, preserve your P&S and experiment with it. Work and try new things. You would understand its qualities and limits. Get to know it better. You would surprise yourself.

Motive & quality comparisons: Majority of the times, we use the images and share them only on the internet. Very few times, we go out and print 4*6 or max out at 8*10. Rarely does someone print photos in larger sizes. Where latest P&S are not handicapped in printing sizes (thx to 14MPXL cams everywhere in market), only when used for professional purposes, the difference might be felt or visible. So, why get into the rat race for SLR! See the motive behind it. Enjoy your creativity rather than sulking on gear.
(Street shot, using sony h50)
Mobility: While you enjoy using your P&S today, with a SLR, mobility becomes an issue. You would eventually be carrying a camera and set of lenses which take quite a bit of space, handling and care. Now imagine, all of this compared to a small bag tied to your waist with a 14 mpxl P&S. Mobility is definitely a point you need to consider when you are thinking of moving away from your P&S. carrying 6 kg bag with camera, lenses all day around could be an hassle when your purpose of moving to SLR might just be for fun.
(Bird Photography @ Hebbal lake, Shot with H50)
Ease of shooting: The ease of shooting is what I have enjoyed the most with P&S. While shooting birds, I have made lot of photos with patience and using my p&S effectively. Where my older h50 camera would give me 465mm optical zoom in a jiffy, my fellow friends would be either changing lenses or just be contented with a 200mm lens. The detachable live view in some cameras makes taking macros and shots in awkward position a breeze. 
(Street shot, Shot using h50)
Moollah: The last and may be the most important part is the cost aspect. I am not trying to say that costs can deter you, but just adding a perspective. A P&S, say Sony h50 costs me around 20k. It gives you a crisp macro of 1:2 ratio (Sure!) and a length of 465mm optical zoom. Now consider a simple comparison with a SLR. The body with a basic kit lens should start from 20k. Now, add a macro lens, not a top notch but just a basic macro which can give you 1:2 ratio and length (ex:canon 55-250), that should cost you 11k.And this is just one lens which suffices length and basic macro. The whole point is, that you would be buying different lenses to suffice your needs and that’s an arena which gets really cash hungry.


In the end, the whole point is to bring a perspective on the table. Are you buying it for a specific reason, or is it just that everyone is getting it and so are you! This is still your personal decision, but if I can fire up some thinking with the perspective and shots shown here, I would be happy.



© SAURABH MITTAL
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
If you would like to buy this photograph for commercial use or would like to buy rights to this photography, contact me at quitefar@gmail.com for further details.
Use without permission is illegal

06 June 2011

5 things that motivates me to photography!



I have written a lot of articles and some of them have been huge. I am now shifting this towards writing smaller pieces and write them more often. Hope that turns out to be interesting and useful to my readers.
My family has been very supportive but often is amazed by the commitment I have towards photography. I am often asked as to what motivates me towards photography. I have made statements that if I am going to quit my job, this time it’s going to be for photography as a full-time thing, I am asked, what makes you think so! 

My 5 Reasons

Hence here are the 5 reasons which motivate me, and hopeful top reasons why people are motivated towards photography:
  1. Express yourself: It’s an old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. Photography gives you a creative medium to express. It could be capturing the beauty of nature or capturing peoples on the street or using it for journalism. For me, it’s always been about capturing something I see it and being able to express it in my photos. I love to shoot people, their emotions, and expressions. I love to narrate their stories via my pictures.
  2. Get creative: Photography is an artistic medium and there are no boundaries. You can delve deeper into any category, any form, any discipline to realize the depth is infinite. Every day millions of photographers push those infinite limits by being creative. It could be learning light painting or HDRs, using a zoom lens to make panoramas! It could be using the same technique and implement in a different form! It’s always fun and there is no end to it.
  3. See places, enjoy moments: Photography, in its vast form, makes you move around. You travel, you get to visit a lot of new places and see a lot of things which you otherwise might not be doing. For a lot of people, travel is their job so photography gets added as a result, but it happens the other way for most of the rest. I love the opportunity my camera provides me, with which I always am in search of new places to shoot. It could be the busy market in the city heart or a distant tourist spot, a photographer always finds a new place.
  4. Make a difference: Photography does provide you a chance to make a difference in someone's life. One could do photo stories and spread awareness about the nearby school in bad shape or old age homes and the lonely life elderly spend there. There have been many photographers who have involved their art for community purposes. In a very simple way, while we have shot a couple of local markets, we have gone back with the printed photos, tracked back those people, and given them their photos. I can’t explain how it feels when they see their photo and thank you! For lots of them, maybe their first photo printed after the one on their ration cards or driving licenses.
  5. Make money: Photography again, if pursed seriously can turn out as a career option as well. If not for a career, you still can make money as you win contests, sell photos as Stock galleries or do local exhibits. I involve in all of them and can say for sure, that it’s not bad at all if done properly.


Do share as to what motivates or pushes you towards photography! Would be really interested to hear from people.




© SAURABH MITTAL
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
If you would like to buy this photograph for commercial use or would like to buy rights to this photography, contact me at quitefar@gmail.com for further details.
Use without permission is illegal

Ad