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Friday, 12 February 2010
Day Break
Category: Birds 'n Animals

Rooster's crowing at the break of dawn is a romantic idea that was used by many poets. The experts say that they crow as much during any other time of the day!

We were on our way to Siddarabetta, just past Dobbaspet, when we saw the sun rising to our right side. I kept driving for some more time looking for something to frame the sun with and spottedthis handsome bird perched at the top of a haystack. The pic is taken with the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L tele photo lens, handheld, in Av mode, f/6.3, ISO-100 for a 1/1000s exposure.


Posted by usandeep at 12:01 AM
Updated: Saturday, 20 February 2010 6:42 PM
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Monday, 8 February 2010
The Sunset Couple!
Category: People 'n Portraits

These two were sitting outside the Bannerghatta national park as we were walking towards the parking lot. I dont know if they are a real life couple, but the sun was surely setting when I took this shot :)

The pic is taken with the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L (macro) lens, handheld in Av mode, f/6.3, ISO-400. I used a -1 Ev exposure compensation, since the light was not that good. Even with the exposure compensation, the exposure time was 1/160s, slightly lower than ideal.


Posted by usandeep at 12:01 AM
Updated: Tuesday, 9 February 2010 11:28 AM
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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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