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.
Often you’ll find some applications not available in your OS repository/third party repository or you need to install a recent version than the one in your repository. Whatever the case might be, you’re left with no option but to compile & install the application from the source tarball provided from the application’s project website. Beginners might feel this process to be intimidating but its not that difficult. Once you repeat it a couple of times, it will become a second nature to you. I’ll outline some basic steps which will help you to install the application from a source tarball.
View full article »
Using lenses having Image Stabilization(IS)/Vibration Reduction(VR) is a great way to ensure you get sharp pictures. Most often, there are two version of the same lens – One having the Image Stabilization & one without it. Off-course the image stabilized version cost more over the non image stabilized. This puts a consumer buying lens in dilemma as to which version he/she should go for. Is IS/VR worth the extra cash? Does IS/VR works when the camera is mounted on a tripod? Does IS/VR helps when shooting moving subjects? Does one needs IS/VR on wide-angle lenses? I’ll answer all such queries in this post.
View full article »
Diwali, the festival of lights bring in a wide range of opportunities for photographers. You can shoot macros, shoot long exposure, shoot candid & much more. However one needs right techniques to make good shots considering the conditions are demanding & even dangerous during the festive season. Here are some of my recommendations to come back home this diwali with a memory card full of beautiful photographs.
View full article »