Setting the correct exposure is one of the most fundamental of photography. With the inbuilt light meters in our camera’s, this becomes a piece of cake as we no longer need to work by the Sunny 16 or any other gothic rule. However over dependence on these inbuilt meters have meant most of the amateur photographers not able to count exposure mentally in terms of stops.
This ability to increase or decrease the exposure by stops comes in handy when one is trying his/her hand at really long exposures. Once you put a dense enough Neutral Density(ND) filter, you will need to count back in stops so as to determine the correct exposure. Depending on the density of your ND filter, this may demand to count back up-to 10 or more stops. Now if you’re sound of your knowledge about the aperture & shutter-speed scale, then you’ll breeze through. Else you might go for the trial & error method. However, the trial & error method would take sometime before you figure out the correct exposure. Instead, use ‘Exposure Calculator‘.
Exposure Calculator is a nifty android application which allows one to calculate exposure for long exposures. One needs to simply input the current correct exposure settings(indicated by your camera’s inbuilt meter) in the top part of the application after which you input the density of your ND filter in stops & you’ve your new exposure automatically calculated for you at the bottom. Makes sure you input the correct settings in the first place else your exposure will be skewed.
That’s it! Now if maths was not your favourite subject in high school, simply use the ‘Exposure Calculator’ & give all the worries of your calculation to your maths teacher.
With the advent of digital photography, we are no longer shackled by the ’36 exposure’ limit which plagued the film. However with digital though one is bound by another limit, that of a battery. If the battery of your camera discharges completely you can’t do much than stop shooting. And this has the canny ability of happening at the most unfortunate of moment. So in order you do not lose the shot, be prepared. Take serious heed of the things I put forth & you’ll never run out of battery charge.
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Picture Styles is one of the option found in Canon DSLR’s which allow the users to process their photographs straight out of the camera so one can shorten their digital workflow. There are inbuilt presets for most common photography scenarios already programmed into the camera viz. Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Faithful, Monochrome etc. Apart from these inbuilt presets, the user can even download new picture styles from Canon’s website & install them on to the camera using the provided software onto the CD.
A photograph straight out of the camera where I changed the default picture style to ‘Landscape’ alongwith a few in-camera adjustments.
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If you want to be a good photographer, develop the habit of getting up early in morning. Its the best time to shoot outdoors. I had this particular shot envisioned & I got up early today to shoot it. The result? I not only got the shot I wanted but much more.
I got up early even though the weather was chilly. Its a good time to cuddle under your blanket & sleep for some more hours but one should not take the excuse of bad weather for not getting up early. It just takes a small push at the beginning & once you do that, you will be on a roll. So I get up & once I’m done with my preliminaries, I leave home with my tripod & off-course the camera. The shot I wish to make today, is that of the Ganesha Temple at Shivaji Park. I had seen once how magnificent the marble shines in the darkness of the night. Its a spectacle.
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With the advent of Digital Photography, printing photographs have taken a back seat. I no longer see people taking out photo prints & preserving them in an album to enjoy later. This has been replaced by archiving all the pictures onto an optical media & forgetting them after a while. However, there is some magic a print casts which a digital cannot replicate. Forget replicate, do nothing at all.
With prints, one can take the album & have a good time anywhere. You may argue that so can be their digital counterparts transported across phone, tablets, laptops, photo frames etc. But do you feel the photo on these digital devices? Its there one moment & in the next it goes off. The feel of handling a photo album is unique. It somewhat helps you in reliving the moment at your ease. No hurry. When you’re satisfied soaking up into the photograph, you can turn the page. With digital you cannot do so(those digital flip albums are not even close to the real thing) & often there is not much of an emotional connect. A printed photograph is way too powerful. It can bring lot of emotions which seldom come out when gazing the same photograph on a digital device.
Prints are good but huge prints are great! Select one of your favourite photograph & have it printed large(anything above 12*18 inches). The bigger the better. Now just take the print in your hand or lay in on table or frame it and take a moment to look at it. Just look at it without thinking of anything. Slowly you’ll feel the emotions. As your eyes run across the print, you’ll begin to realize what you’ve been missing with the same image projected on a digital device. These feelings are indescribably. Every-time you look at the print you will feel better. In my home, I have close to half dozen of frames lined up across the wall opposite my bed. So whenever I open my eyes to a new day, they are the first things I happen to see. It brings pleasant feelings to me & my day gets off to a kick-start. At times, I feel soon I’ll have to purchase a bigger home to add more.
To photographers, a huge print even functions as a learning aid. You get to notice the composition, the details, the story of the photograph clearly. So from time to time its a good idea to print big an image or two of yours. Its one of the reason the photo contests ask the participants to submit images printed in larger sizes.
Once you print your photographs big, I bet you will derive a new outlook towards seeing photographs, one which will dramatically change your perception of photography.