When I was starting in Photography, I had no clue as to how shutter-speed, aperture & ISO affect the exposure. I had no idea as to why or when to one open up aperture or to raise or lower the ISO. Gradually with trial & errors along-with some reading up, I got grasp over these three elements of the exposure triangle. As the adage goes, when your basics are strong you can make better progress. I often feel most amateur photographers just blindly shoot without learning these basics as they feel them to be boring. Its partly true but that does not mean one should ignore them as every great photographer has these three elements deep sculpted in his mind. With “Right Click”, one can now no longer make any excuses for learning the ABC’s of Photography.
Right Click is an Android application which teaches you the basics of photography. It has two modes – View Mode & Read Mode. Under View mode, one can see the effects of change in aperture, ISO & shutter-speed. All illustrated by amazing visualizations. Under read mode, you can read in brief about them. The best thing about this app is the camera interface which mimics the Canon & Nikon DSLR’s screens so beginners will feel right at home. Apart from the basics, the app also briefs you on various genres of photography which I recommend reading. If you’re a beginner chances are that you’ve not yet found the genre of your liking in photography. Even if you’re not, each genre lists some handy tips which will help you shoot the particular genre with ease.
With the popularity of Android smart-phones, this application will find many takers. However there are a few typos within the read mode which need to be resurrected by the developers. Further I would like the application to provide some challenges to users like throwing up a scene & letting users set the ISO, exposure, aperture for the same. Furthermore expanding on the read mode will be a great addition. Also when user goes into read mode, the orientation changes from landscape to portrait which can be irritating. Else nothing much to complain. This tiny application will come very handy for someone starting with manual photography. And did I say, it offers all this for Free? If you’re beginner in photography & have an Android smart-phone, Right Click is an app you should definitely install.
Its a human tendency to lust on luxurious things. Photographers are no different species. Their wish-list is often filled with high end camera bodies & further high end fast glass. If you happen to go through it, you’ll find most of lenses having a fast aperture of f/2.8, 1.8, 1.4 or even 1.2.
The thing is, they believe owning these fast lenses will make their job easier. They will be able to shoot in lower light, get more creamier backgrounds & come close to making photographs like their role model photographer. However, there is also another aspect to this thinking. No doubt, one will get benefit of shooting at lower ISO’s with these fast lenses or getting creamier backgrounds. But has anyone given a thought to the shallows DOF’s provided by these fast lenses?
The shallow DOF commands the photographer to be very perfect in his shooting technique. Since the DOF is very shallow(and get even shallower at telephoto ranges), a photographer must be adept at his focusing technique. A small lapse in focusing and the picture will go straight into the Trash Bin. Here amateur photographers are better off with consumer grade lenses which offer medium apertures & conceal any mistake of the photographers when it comes to focusing. Also not to forget professional lenses like 70-200mm f/2.8 weigh a lot & if you’re not build like a tank, you’re going to get fatigued which will ultimately result in shaken pictures. In worst cases, you may prefer to keep such lenses at home & shoot with your normal consumer lenses which defeat your original purpose of getting a fast lens.
So as you see, its not that simple. Before you go out to buy those fast professional lenses, take a quick look at your capability. Ask yourself – How accurately you focus? How often you need to shoot Wide open? Do you really need the f/1.4 or a f/2.8 or f/4 lens will suffice? Its a case of, “With Great Power comes even Greater Responsibility”. Its better to hone your basic camera skills with your consumer lenses for a year or two before you take the path of getting fast professional lenses. This does not only applies to lenses but to any high-end photography gear. Any high-end photography gear might make your job simpler but will also magnify any of your shortcomings. So first measure your photographic capability before splurging.
Every photographer craves for razor images. Have you ever wondered out of focus images can sometimes be good than razor sharp ones? Fascinated with blur in digital photography, I thought what if I blur the subject? I love the kind of hazy cinematography portrayed in movies showing the vision of a drunken character. I thought if it did wonders on video it should do the same in still photography too. I went ahead & the results were a treat to watch.
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You love photography. The journey began when you picked up a camera casually & slowly as time progressed, you were engulfed by its charm. As time progressed you became familiar with the ins & even outs of photography.
From a small point & shoot camera, you graduate to a prosumer one. Now you could do more creative photographs. As time passed, you got serious with photography & decided to pursue it as a serious hobby or with a view of prospective professional photographer. So you sell off or in rare instances keep your current camera and jump onto the DSLR bandwagon.
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Most often its not the case that you have only one application open at a particular time on your computer. With hardware becoming cheaper & faster, multi-tasking has become a norm. Its a common sight today to have a media-player, web browser, chat client & an image editor all running in real-time on one’s desktop. Though the computers can handle such multi-tasking the user’s productivity most often than not gets crippled. Blame it on to the cluttered desktop for the decrease in productivity. Half of the user’s time is wasted in finding the right application window. Grouping similar windows is handy but still not too much either. However, most of the user’s are unaware of the feature called ‘Workspaces’ in Linux Desktop Environments. Almost all desktop environment offer this feature enabled by default. It is set to 2 or 4 workspaces by default but can be altered to provide many more.
The logic behind workspaces is to shift the applications across multiple virtual desktops. A virtual desktop is identical to your default desktop. With Workspaces, you can divide the open applications across different desktops(virtual). For e.g. You can group all Internet programs like Browser, Chat Clients, Torrent Clients, FTP Clients etc on Workspace 1, Media Players & Image Editors on Workspace 2 & so on. Applications can be shifted from current workspace to other workspace in many ways but the simplest is to right click on the panel where the running applications are listed, right clicking on them & then selecting “Move to another workspace” under GNOME.
You can switch between different workspace by clicking on the tiny boxes(Workspace Applet) which appears at bottom right on panel in GNOME or next to K Menu in an KDE environment. Alternately, press “CTRL+TAB+Right arrow” to shift to right workspace or “CTRL+TAB+Left arrow” to shift to left of the current workspace(The shortcuts may vary & you’re advised to check the applet’s settings for default shortcut setting). Workspace behaviour can be altered by right clicking on the workspace applet on GNOME panel & selecting “Preferences” from the sub-menu. The options there are self explanatory & so I leave it for you to explore & set as per your preference. There you have, an organised & clutter free desktop to work on with improved productivity.