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Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Bubbles for Sale
Category: People 'n Portraits
I saw this lady as soon as we got out of the van, after the grand safari at Bannerghatta:

I quickly changed the lens to Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L (macro) lens and started shooting. Only later I realized that I forgot to change the settings chosen for the 400mm f/5.6, which was Av mode, f/6.3, and high ISO-800 for a 1/500s exposure. I should have switched to ISO-200 or so and used a wider shutter for a lower DoF. Nevertheless, I liked what I got!

Posted by usandeep at 12:01 AM
Updated: Thursday, 4 February 2010 1:48 AM
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Friday, 29 January 2010
His Majesty!
Category: Birds 'n Animals

The easiest way to see wild-life without a zoo-like cage around them, around Bangalore, is in Bannerghatta. Though, it is nothing like spotting them in the wild, the animals are left here to roam around in a small compound with some vegetation. And yes ... hopefully they are fed well and looks healthy.

Look at his menacing eyes! No wonder, he is called the king of beasts!

The pic comes from the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L telephoto lens, handheld in Av mode, f/6.3, ISO-400 and 1/500s exposure.


Posted by usandeep at 12:01 AM
Updated: Sunday, 31 January 2010 2:51 PM
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Monday, 25 January 2010
Rose Rose!
Category: Macro World
This is one more picture from Leela Palace, Bengaluru, where we had a team get together:

The rose was kept on a table, with the dark night outside giving me the perfect black background. The picture is taken with the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L macro lens, mounted on a Manfrotto 728B Digi tripod. In the first trial, the camera's metering system got it completely wrong and horribly over-exposed. Switching to partial metering mode didnt help either. So, I finally moved to the full manual mode and used ISO-100, f/8 and a 3.2 second exposure.

Posted by usandeep at 10:17 PM
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Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Yet another Stack
Category: The Abstracts

This time it is a stack of glassware from Leela palace, Bengaluru, where we had a team dinner:

The pic is shot with the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L lens mounted on the Manfrotto 728B Digi tripod. I used the Av mode, with ISO-100, f/8 for a 1s exposure.


Posted by usandeep at 12:01 AM
Updated: Thursday, 21 January 2010 1:13 PM
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Friday, 15 January 2010
Sun or Moon?
Category: Nature 'n Landscapes

After taking a few pictures during the solar eclipse (Jan, 15th, 2010), I could not help wondering, if I've photographed the moon or the sun. Check it out yourself:

I was at Palakkad, when the event happened and rued not driving to Thiruvananthapuram (aka Trivandrum), which is abt 6 hrs drive, to watch the full annular eclipse :(

I used the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L telephoto lens for this shot, mounted on a tripod, in full manual mode. I had an X-Ray film folded in to two to avoid over exposure and used the thinnest aperture (f/32) and the shortest exposure time (1/4000s) available. Ofcourse, I am not happy with the sharpness of the picture and lets blame it on diffraction caused by this very thin shutter - may be, I should have folded the film in to four! I also cropped the pic (3888px -> 1500px) to remove too much of empty space around the sun.

The second pic was taken with the same lens and setting - minus the X-Ray film and the crop.

Posted by usandeep at 12:01 AM
Updated: Monday, 18 January 2010 8:02 PM
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Monday, 11 January 2010
Stacks of Coconut
Category: The Abstracts

Saw this at Kadampuzha, a famous temple town in Malappuram district, Kerala - stacks of coconut kept at shops outside the temple complex for offering to the diety by devotees:

The pic is taken using the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L (macro) lens, handheld in Av mode, f/8, ISO-100 with a -1 exposure compensation for a 1/400s exposure.

Posted by usandeep at 12:01 AM
Updated: Tuesday, 12 January 2010 10:23 AM
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Wednesday, 6 January 2010
Swami Saranam!
Category: Macro World

Visiting the Sabarimala temple was enlightning, as well as a humbling experience for me. One has to observe many austerities and regulations for about a month, to be even eligible to visit the sacred hills. Add to it, the rigours of walking barefoot for almost 48 kms from Erumeli till the Sabarimala, via the hilly and forest terrains of Azhutha, Karimala and Pampa. In olden days people used to walk from their homes and faced the risk of running into wild animals en route to Sabarimala. Now, with good roads all the way upto Pampa, good crowd and basic facilities all along the route, its actually become much easier.

Even nowadays, there are people who walk long distances and pass via many temples before reaching Sabarimala. Infact, on our way to Erumeli, I saw a lot of devotees walking along the highway, expected to reach only after days. A good amount of people start from Erumeli and reach Sabarimala via Karimala. For me, walking barefoot in a route filled with sharp stones was an extremely difficult exercise. But, it was an experience to see people placing their belief and faith ahead of everything else and overcome the pain and suffering. The whole philosophy is embodied in the chanting - 'Swami Saranam, Ayyappa Saranam', which practically means that come what may, lord Ayyappa is there for the rescue of a true devotee:

What you see in the pic is the facial features of a small Ayyappa idol, made of white metal, kept at our 'puja' room. The portion in the picture is really tiny (little more than an inch) and is photographed with the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L macro lens from a distance of about half a meter for a full life size macro shot. I used a Manfrotto 728B Digi tripod and set the camera to Av mode, f/8 and ISO-100 for a 6s long exposure. The thin DoF even at f/8 should give an idea of how tiny the frame is.

Posted by usandeep at 12:01 AM
Updated: Thursday, 7 January 2010 1:53 PM
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Friday, 1 January 2010
Welcome 2010!
Category: People 'n Portraits

Wishing everybody a wonderful 2010. I hope this will be a peaceful and terror free year internationally.

The pic is taken with the Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8L wide angle zoom lens @ a focal length of 21mm, handheld and aided with bounced light from the Vivitar 285HV strobe. Exposure mode was manual with ISO-100, f/5 and 1/320s. I used a black sheet for the background and flattened the color curve a little bit at the bottom, using GIMP, to completely eliminate the small wrinkles in the sheet.


Posted by usandeep at 12:20 PM
Updated: Friday, 1 January 2010 12:24 PM
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Monday, 28 December 2009
Blackbucks @ Chennai IIT
Category: Birds 'n Animals

On a visit to Chennai, when I was told by Sridhar and Mili that the best place to spot blackbucks was the IIT campus, I did not believe it! I have only myself to blame to reach there late on a cloudy day. What awaited me there was someting amazing ... herds of blackbucks and spotted deers, a mongoose and many birds, a sparring pair of stags, an albino male blackbuck and the opportunity to get so close to them without scaring them.

When I went to Maidanahalli a few months before (see 'Blackbucks @ Maidanahalli'), the blackbucks there were a scared bunch and ran away at the first sign of a human being approaching them. I guess, the measures adopted by the IIT authorities to protect the blackbucks have been very effective and also made them fearless and hardly bothered about the crowd. I waited for hours to get one of these guys to look at me with a raised head ... and they were least bothered and went on grazing!

The light was really bad and though I had a tripod, most of the shots were blurry due to their fast movement ... as they were shot at 1/8s ... etc.

My chance came on our way back, when Sridhar turned the car around with the head light directly on to a male blackbuck. The animal raised its head and stared at us for a while and with the tripod on I got a shot I liked.

The shot is with the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L telephoto lens, mounted on a Manfrotto 728B digi tripod. I used Av mode for this shot, with a -2 exposure compensation, f/5.6, ISO-800 for a 1/4s exposure.

I am defenitely visiting the IIT campus, earlier in the day, when I visit Chennai next time!


Posted by usandeep at 12:01 AM
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Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Ettina Bhuja
Category: Nature 'n Landscapes

Sharing some more shots from our trek to Ettina Bhuja:

Almost halfway to the peak, we were at a grass land wading through shoulder-high thick grass. This valley offered us a good look at the vertical rock face of Ettina Bhuja, right ahead of us. The trail to the top of the peak goes around its rim, before going up from the slanting side.

I carried only the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L wide angle zoom lens for the trek and this shot is taken at its widest focal length. I used A-Dep mode for this shot @ ISO-200 and the camera returned f/9 with a 1/50s exposure.

We were helped with very good climate at the top of the peak, next day morning. The blue sky had, just the right amount of white clouds. The sunshine was also just the way it should be - not too bright and not too dull. This pic is, once again, shot with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L wide angle zoom lens at its widest focal length, in A-Dep mode, ISO-100 for a f/6.3 and 1/800s exposure.

Here is an up close shot of the Ettina Bhuja peak, from its slopes, taken on our way down. This pic also comes from the 16-35mm lens, at its widest focal length, ISO-100, f/4 and 1/1600s exposure, as chosen by the A-Dep mode. The peak visible on the left side of Ettina Bhuja is Amedikallu, our next target!


Posted by usandeep at 12:01 AM
Updated: Thursday, 17 December 2009 7:28 PM
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