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Friday, 9 October 2009
Playing hide and seek @ Somnathpur
Category: Cities 'n Architecture

Well ... its not me who was playing hide and seek, but the evening light!

The portions on the left side of this picture is almost pitch dark, when viewed from a little away or at an angle. Its clear only when you come closer to the screen. Infact, when I shot this, I was fooled to think that I had a very clear black background :)

The pic is shot at the Channakeshava temple of Somnathpur, near Bannur in Mandya, Karnataka. I took a small ride to Somnathpur on a sunday afternoon and came back mesmerized with the beautiful intricate carvings around the temple - and ofcourse, with loads of picture. Could not help sharing a couple of them :)

I used the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L (macro) lens for this shot, handheld in Manual mode, f/3.5, 1/250s and ISO-400 exposure. The exposure is abt 3 stops darker than what the camera suggested.

The second shot is inside the temple complex, where it was very dark. A tripod could not be taken inside without special permission and I had to shoot this (also) handheld. This was shot with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L wide angle zoom lens. The camera was set to Av mode, ISO-400, f/2.8 and -1 step exposure compensation for a 1/25s exposure.


Posted by usandeep at 12:01 AM
Updated: Tuesday, 3 November 2009 12:17 PM
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Monday, 5 October 2009
Lights and Fountains at Brindavan
Category: Lights 'n Shadows

Brindavan gardens in Mysore is a beautiful place, especially once the lights are turned on. I was there recently with some of my relatives and had a gala time shooting the lights and fountains:

I used the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L wide angle zoom lens for this shot, mounted on my Manfrotto 728B digi tripod. I've noticed that the camera meter usually does not give the optimum exposure for these long exposure shots. So, I started of with the Av mode and then ended up adding an exposure bias of -2 steps. This pic comes at f/10, ISO-100 for a 3.2s exposure.

The same settings were retained for the second pic as well, but this time, the exposure time was 8s. I also cropped the lower portion of the image to remove some over exposed regions of the image.

Note: Thought I'll add some notes seeing the first two comments querying about tripod, trigger mode ... etc

  1. Tripod is a must for long exposure shots.
  2. Even with tripod you need to be very careful to avoid motion / blur.
  3. I usually use timer or remote trigger for long exposure shots
  4. Remote is suited even for telephoto action/candid shots since there is no time lag and there is almost zero movement. A Canon RC1 is good enough for most Canon entry level SLRs.
  5. ISO-100 or lower is best for long exposure. Noise gets accumulated with long exposure and with higher ISO, this can reach unacceptable levels.
  6. A not-too-wide shutter is better for night / long exposure shots, since its tough to get the focus right in dark. I usually opt for something like f/10 - f/16, not too thin to allow diffration to reduce the sharpness.
  7. For exposure times higher than the camera allows, use the Bulb mode. In Canon SLRs, set to Manual mode and increase the exposure time until the camera settings show 'BULB'. In this mode the shutter will stay open as long as you keep the button pressed. For practical usage, use Canon RC1 or a cable release for both opening and closing the shutter.

Hope the notes helped :)


Posted by usandeep at 9:48 PM
Updated: Thursday, 8 October 2009 3:00 AM
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Sunday, 27 September 2009
Happy Dasara

Wishing everybody a wonderful Dasara celebrations and weekend:

The pic is taken with the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L macro lens, back in my hands after suffering a small dent in the front element and spending four months at the Canon service centre. I used Av mode, with the camera mounted on a Manfrotto 728B digi tripod and timer triggered. ISO-200, f/6.3 with a -1 step exposure compensation for a 1/3s exposure.


Posted by usandeep at 11:33 AM
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Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Flower Mermaid @ Lalbagh
Category: The Abstracts

One of the main attraction in this years Lalbagh flower show was the flower mermaid:

The shot is taken with the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L telephoto lens, handheld in Av mode, f/6.3, ISO-800 with a -1 step exposure compensation for a 1/320s exposure time.


Posted by usandeep at 12:01 AM
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Friday, 11 September 2009
Lalbagh Flower show
Category: Macro World

Lalbagh flower show is a treat to all those who love to take macros. But, I didnt have my macro lens when it mattered. This forced me to try out something new:

This shot is from the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L ultra wide zoom lens, handheld at 35mm. The focus is obviously at the rightmost flower and the rest of the flowers are used for the background, with the wide angle allowing such a wider perspective. The camera was set in Av mode, f/2.8, ISO-200 and -1 stop exposure compensation for a 1/1250 exposure.


Posted by usandeep at 11:03 PM
Updated: Saturday, 2 January 2010 11:01 PM
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Monday, 7 September 2009
Snacks at Barachukki
Category: The Abstracts

A sponsored trip to Sivanasamudram with colleagues on a working day was sure going to be memorable. Ofcourse, we made the most of it ... a lovely lunch with a view of the Gaganachukki and a great time frolicing at the gush of water near Barachukki falls. On our way back from the falls, it was hard to not notice the fried fish and snacks kept on one side of the footpath. I did what I should do - ate the fish and took the shots of the snaps and maaza combination:

The shot is taken with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L wide angle zoom lens at 30mm, handheld, set in Av mode, f/5, ISO-100 with a -1 step exposure compensation for a 1/40s exposure.


Posted by usandeep at 12:01 AM
Updated: Tuesday, 8 September 2009 12:58 AM
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Wednesday, 2 September 2009
Happy Onam from the little one
Category: The Abstracts

Life has become more interesting after the arrival of the little one! And ... he wishes a Happy and prosperous Onam for each and every one of you:

The pic is shot using the Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8L wide angle zoom lens @ 35mm, handheld in manual mode, ISO-800, f/5.6 and 1/25s exposure. The black background comes from a black cloth held behind.


Posted by usandeep at 3:30 PM
Updated: Wednesday, 2 September 2009 4:12 PM
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Saturday, 29 August 2009
Lady with Marigold
Category: People 'n Portraits

I was on my way home for lunch, when I spotted this lady carrying a basket of yellow marigold flowers. The camera was in my bag as always and with her colorful dress and basket I had to take it out:

With the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L telephoto lens fitted on to the camera, I could easily maintain a safe distance and take a few shots. The above shot is handheld, in Av mode, f/6.3 and ISO-800 for a 1/2000s exposure.

A little later, with a customer looking to buy flowers from her, she sat in the footpath and bargained with him. This was the opportunity and I walked past her and stayed on the other side of the road for a shot from the front.

Looks like she had a good bargain ... isnt it :)

The settings and the lens is same for the 2nd pic as well, 400mm, handheld, Av mode, f/6.3, ISO-800, but since she was sitting in the shade, the exposure was selected at 1/800s.


Posted by usandeep at 10:20 PM
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Sunday, 23 August 2009
Painting the Ganesha
Category: Vintage India

On my way to Maidanahalli, just after the village of Puravara, I saw this bunch of Ganesha idols getting ready for the Ganesh Chaturthi and the man who made them doing the finishing touches:

The pic is taken with the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L telephoto lens, handheld in Manual mode, with the settings of ISO-200, f/6.3 and 1/1000s. The lighting was a bit harsh and I could not get the man's face properly exposed.

Wishing a happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all!


Posted by usandeep at 10:23 PM
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Monday, 17 August 2009
Indian Roller aka Blue Jay
Category: Birds 'n Animals

The trip to Maidanahalli was productive not just for the Blackbucks, but also for the amazing variety of birds present within the sanctuary. One of them was the Indian Roller aka Blue Jay (scientific name Coracias Benghalensis). I had seen these birds earlier at Bandipur, but failed to get a shot. It had the same bright blue color as the Kingfisher, but obviously it doesnt look like one and I kept wondering which this bird is.

While driving around Maidanahalli, in search of the Blackbucks, I spotted th same bird once again and this time I managed to get a shot with the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L telephoto lens. Its a handheld shot at ISO-400, Av mode, f/8 and 1/1000s.

A little while later, I saw another bird of the same kind and took a few more shots. The settings this time was Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L telephoto at Av mode, ISO-400, f/6.3 and 1/800s with a -1/3 steps exposure compensation.

As soon as I downloaded the pictures, I sent them to the expert, Gowtham, for the identification and the reply came promptly (as usual). Thanks again, Gowtham, for providing all detailed information!


Posted by usandeep at 1:04 PM
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