Monday, June 30, 2008

Photo of the Day

Potted plant against wallpaper
20 Jun 2008
Canon EOS 400D, Canon EF-S 17-85mm F4-5.6 IS USM, 48mm
1/4s @ F4.5, ISO 400

Potted plant with wallpaper in the background under indoor light at the Hotel Splendid, Cagnes sur Mer. The plant was at the top of a staircase, was well lit from light from lower right also.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Photo of the Day

Flower and buds
20 Jun 2008

Canon EOS 400D, EF-S 17-85mm F4-5.6 IS USM, 136 mm
1/400s @ F5.6, ISO 400

Flower in Tende shot near the Musee Des Merveilles. The Musee Des Merveilles hosts several artifacts from the Vallee Des Merveilles amongst others. The Vallee Des Merveilles (Valley of Marvels) is situated at the heart of National Mercantour Park and has over 40,000 symbolic rock engravings.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Photo of the Day

Diving into the Mediterranean
21 Jun 2008

Canon EOS 400D, Canon EF-S 17-85mm F4-5.6 IS USM, 136 mm
1/200s @ F8, ISO 100

Found these kids diving off a rocky ledge into the Mediterranean sea near the Nice port. This is one of the many interesting photos that I got of them, will post the remaining ones later. Maybe I should have used a higher ISO to result in a faster shutter and stop motion, however, I do like the slight motion blur especially around the fingers.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Photo of the Day

Artist performing at Fete de la Musique
21 Jun 2008

Canon EOS 400D, Canon EF-S 17-85mm F4-5.6 IS USM, 136 mm
1/60 s @ F5.6, ISO 1600

Every year, on the 21st of June, France celebrates the Fete de la Musique. On this day, which also happens to be the summer solstice and the longest day in the northern hemisphere, any artist is allowed to play on the street for free. It is also free for the audience. First organized in France in the year 1982, now it is a worldwide phenomenon and celebrated in over hundred cities around the world.

I caught this band performing French and English songs next to the beach at Cagnes-sur-Mer. There were lots of other bands and DJs performing in Nice and its surroundings.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Photo of the Day

Ruins of the Castle of the Lascaris
20 Jun 2008

Canon EOS 400D, Canon EF-S 17-85mm F4-5.6 IS USM, 29 mm
1/400s @ F/14.0, ISO 400

Part of the wall of the former main turret of the Castle of the Lascaris in Tende, France. The castle was built in the 14th century as protection against the attacks from the Count of Provence, Charles d'Anjou. All that remains of the castle now is a circular tower converted into a clock tower in the 19th century and this ruined wall. The Castle of Tende was destroyed in 1692 by the troops of Louis XIV who sent Marshall Catinat to destroy all the fortified sites that might cast a shadow on his authority.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Photo of the Day

15 Jun 2008

Canon EOS 400D, Canon EF-S 17-85mm F4-4.5, 27 mm
1/400s @ F/14, ISO 400

Villefranche-sur-Mer is a French commune overlooking the Mediterranean Sea around 20 minutes by train from Nice accessible on the Nice-Monaco-Menton-Ventimiglia train line. The beach is at very short distance from the station whose tracks can be seen in the lower right corner of the picture. It is also easily accessible by car or bus from Nice.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Photo of the Day

Blue Bulbs
14 Jun 2008

Canon EOS 400D, Canon EF-S 17-85 mm F4-5.6 IS USM, 136 mm
1/400s @ F/6.3, ISO 400

Cropping the image to give a more pleasing composition can dramatically alter the feel of a photograph. This is one area where a sensor with high resolution helps, even after cropping you are left with enough pixels to make a quality image.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Photo of the Day

Motorcycle stunt man
14 Jun 2008

Canon EOS 400D, Canon EF-S 17-85mm F4-5.6 IS USM, 136 mm
1/2000s @ F/5.6, ISO 400

Found this young man practicing stunts on his motorbike near Saint Laurent du Var in Nice on the French Riviera. He would accelerate and then brake sharply to do both front and back wheeling. The little kid was riding by on her bike and stopped to watch the show.

Would have preferred a longer lens to work with, and regret not attempting a panning shot to induce motion blur in the background. Was standing on a rock and shooting over a chain fence to get this shot, there were lots of obstructions including a basketball fixture in the way.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Photo of the Day

On the banks of the river Kaveri near Bheemeshwari
18 Dec 2004

Canon A80, 40 mm
1/500s @ F/5.0, ISO Unrecorded

Bheemeshwari is around 100 KM from Bangalore and is a popular destination for a day trip from Bangalore. It is the location for Cauvery Fishing Camp by Jungle Lodges where one can fish for the great Mahseer, reputed to be the largest tropical sporting fish known to man.

The sky to the right is blown out, it was afternoon and I did not have many options to get a better exposure. An option if using an SLR is to use a graduated Neutral Density filter to reduce the light from the sky. Here is a list of tutorials on usage of ND filter garnered off the net:

Bookmark - A Small World

An interesting collection of macro photographs is displayed at A Small World (Flickr) including some really funny ones. See here for the 50 most popular shots from the same photographer.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Photo of the Day

Shanghai Skyline at Night
24 Sep 2004

Canon PowerShot A80, 40 mm
1/2s @ F/2.8, ISO 100

A night shot of Shanghai's famous waterfront, The Bund, along the Hangpu river. The Hangpu river divides Shanghai into two regions - Pudong (east) and Puxi (west). The Bund houses 52 buildings of various architectural styles including Romanesque, Baroque, Gothic, Renaissance, Neo-Classical and Art Deco.

Kept the camera on a ledge to stabilize it (was not carrying a tripod), set a slow shutter to capture motion, ISO 100 to reduce noise, enhance detail and assist the slow shutter.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Polaroid PoGo

Polaroid is set to introduce an ink-less instant photo printer, the PoGo. This relies on technology from Zink that uses heated heads to produce colors in special paper.

One day, photo studios will become redundant, at least for "ordinary" prints of small sizes. The combination of simple digital cameras with DirectPrint (or its equivalent), cheap, good quality photo printers (inkjet or inkless), and extremely simple to use, but very feature rich photo editing software will make them so.

Guess the day is not far when printers will come built into cameras (like the Polaroid) so that one can get post card prints directly off the camera. Of course, there is a long way to go before we get prints that are as good and durable as the ones you get from the professional studios.

Photo of the Day

Factory spewing smoke in Oulu, Finland.
16 May 2004

Canon PowerShot A80, 119mm
1/1000s @ F/6.3, ISO Auto

I believe this is the Stora Enso paper manufacturing plant in Oulu. Oulu is the largest city in Northern Finland and the sixth largest city in the country and is situated by the Gulf of Bothnia at the mouth of the river Oulujoki.

For more information about Oulu, visit Wikipedia, City of Oulu or

Monday, June 09, 2008

Photo of the Day

Kids walking on pipe in Pondicherry.

I saw these kids walking along the pipe with the lighthouse in the background and the flowers carpeting the ground. Quickly got down to a low viewpoint and fired off a shot to exaggerate the perspective and use the pipe to lead the eye to the kids and the light house.

Canon S2 IS, 16 mm (96 mm in 35 mm)
F/5.0 @ 1/1000s, ISO 200

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Photo of the Day

Orchid in a Vase

Canon EOS 400D, 1/8s @ F5.6, ISO 400, 136 mm

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Photo of the Day

Inside the food court at Sigma Mall, Bangalore.

Canon EOS 400D
Canon EF-S 17-85 mm F4-5.6 IS USM Lens @ 85 mm
1/8s @ F5.6, ISO 400

This is from amongst the first set of photos since I began shooting RAW instead of JPEG. Post processed using Canon DPP, white balance set using color picker to set white point on the left part of ceiling. Sharpness & Saturation increased, Picture Style is Standard.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Photo of the Day

I have always liked this sunset photo that I took in Gokarna in 2006. So when I saw that Imaging Resource has a Photo of the Day contest, this picture the obvious first choice to try my luck.

Canon S2 IS, 106 mm, ISO 200, 1/500s @ f/4.0

Under the entry guidelines, they had mentioned that "The image may be edited, enhanced and modified as you see fit", so I decided to try and post process it to make it better. Since the image was short under low light at higher ISO on a small sensor, the noise levels were quite high. So I used the excellent Neat Image to create an auto noise profile and applied it to remove the digital noise in the picture. The end result is a bit softer picture, but the noise was visibly reduced to acceptable levels.

Next, I used Picasa to crop the disconnected rock on the left side of the picture and tighter around the lady's shadow. I left the right side as such because of the whitish clump of clouds that added detail to the sky. Although the warm red color of the setting sun established a certain mood, the image lacked punch, so I used the "Color Temperature" to see if I can warm it up a bit more. However, instead of the reddish hue, I found that the cool blue suited the picture better and resulted in a much more pleasing image to the eye. I also adjusted the brightness/contrast a bit to bring out the light highlight around the lady more and darken the shadow areas, especially in the waves.

Here is the final picture that I submitted to Imaging Resource site on 4th June, 2008 ...

Canon S2 IS, 106 mm, ISO 200, 1/500s @ f/4.0

This serves as another reminder that in digital photography, like in film photography before it, the photographic process does not end at the press of the shutter - in fact that is just the beginning. However, I have also learned that the key to getting a good photograph lies with the clicking of the shutter - if you do not have a good photograph then, no amount of post processing will make it great.

I am only now learning to appreciate and conceptualize making of a photograph as a work flow that begins with the capture of the photograph. In the future, I will be concentrating more on making a complete picture by paying attention to the entire process from concept to capture and post processing.