Tag Archive: Tips

Setup a Tripod Correctly

Having a tripod helps in capturing sharp & steady photographs. However, it is just as crucial to know how to setup a tripod properly to get the steady photographs in the first place. Even with a tripod, photos can come out shaky/blurry if one does not pays proper attention to its setup.

Proper Leg Position – As you setup a tripod, how many times have you paid attention to its legs? Ensure the next time you setup, the out-stretched leg make a ‘V’ towards you as the third leg goes parallel to the lens ahead. This positioning ensures you can move freely without accidentally tripping or inducing blur due to tripod shake.

Proper Leg Grounding – As you lay your tripod on the ground check if all the legs lay flat on the ground and not on stones, pebbles, greasy land or slope of any kind. If the tripod is not on a proper ground, it will shift during exposure or may even fall off being imbalanced. If you can find three small flat stones, use them below each of the tripod’s legs to ensure a good grounding. A proper grounding helps in a sturdy shooting experience.

Proper Leg Lock – As you extend your tripod’s legs, make sure the leg locks are secured properly. Whatever the type they may be, pull out & lock or twist & tighten – make that they are tight and there is no shift in their position due to the weight.

Proper Bubble Level – This is a no-brainer, yet most ignore it. Ensure the bubble in the bubble meter is centered. This ensures the tripod is properly levelled & there is no tilt. Also check if your camera is properly levelled on the head to ensure straight axis & other lines in your frame. If your camera has electronic level meter, make use of it.

Proper Head Lock – Ensure the head is locked securely in the shooting position. Check if there is any visible change in the head’s angle due to the weight of the camera. This happens when the lock is not secured properly which causes the head to rotate in the axis due to the weight of the camera attached. This is crucial as long exposure magnify even the tiniest of movement.

Proper Camera Plate Lock – The quick release camera mounting plates ensure a peace of mind yet they need to be checked properly. At times, the camera can move if the mounting plate is not properly secured in its mechanism. Check this before you go ahead and shoot. If your camera has a neck strap attached, roll it over the head to prevent it from wind and causing vibrations.

Proper Center Column – Most of the tripod’s allow you to raise the centre column to gain additional shooting height. However, the center column when raised to the extreme tend to get imbalanced as the centre of gravity changes. Even light breeze can induce shake. I recommend not to raise the center column but in case you require it, raise it only to the absolute minimum you can, never above half of its length. Ensure it is tightly locked when raised.

The Good Old Hook – If in-spite the measures you feel the need for additional stability, use the good old hook on the tripod. Attach your bags/sandbags to this hook to keep the tripod secure when shooting in windy conditions.

Now go ahead and capture breath-taking fireworks on the upcoming Independence day or some nice landscapes. Choice is yours. :)

Food photographs often are shot with careful plating, selective styling & generous lighting arrangement. However, one can even shoot food photographs with relative ease using absolutely basic resources at disposal.

If one is just beginning in food photography, most often he/she won’t have an array of crockery or extravagant lighting equipment to use. In this case, I recommend shooting the food in the same crockery you’re using to cook them.

Batata Bhaji

The above photograph you see, is a simple example of how one can create beautiful food photographs with limited resources. Here, the light used is window light. The food rests in the cooking pan in which it was cooked. To be honest, I did not even took the cooking pan from the cooking range as we have a window just above the kitchen platform providing beautiful light. I just added a spoon to the pan & took this from an top angle. I slightly controlled the light streaming from window in this case but not to a large degree. Editing was kept to minimal. Isn’t this mouth-watering?

So, get into the kitchen & shoot some beautiful shots with the limited resources you have. Happy Photography Day. :-)

Food photography requires the viewer to salivate over the photograph. A good photograph always succeed in the viewer wanting to have the photographed food. However, since photography is static, we need to shoot it so that it tricks the mind into believing the underlying motion. Take for example, the steam captured in the food photograph makes the viewer feel its warmth & the steam also incites a ‘want to have right now’ feeling from the viewer. Believe it or not, a simple steam is a major element in food photographs. However creating steam is not a piece of cake. Here I’ll show you how can you create steam in your food photographs easily to make them more vibrant & appealing.


One can use the incense sticks(agarbatti) found at home to create steam. Simply light a few incense sticks & place them strategically in the frame so that they do not show up. The waft of steam from incense stick is pretty weak, so you’ll need at-least a couple to get the thick steam you desire. Also since, the burning incense stick outputs steam in a typical slender pattern, you’ll need to sculpt it with a paper fan. Alternately, one can even use dhoop sticks(thick incense sticks) to create a lot of steam. However, do note that incense sticks emit ash & that can mix easily with the food you’re photographing. Even the aroma of incense stick can mix with your food. So if you’re going to consume the food after photographing, using incense sticks is not a good idea. Also since the incense is burning there is always a risk of fire or props getting burnt, so be careful while placing & do monitor it time & again as you shoot.

Actually, creating steam with incense sticks is the most economical way to produce steam. Yes, it takes a lot of work to get the shape you desire & at-times it can be impractical for some foods. However, it does has the capability to spice up the occasional food shot. Off-course there are more better ways to create steam in food photography but that I’ll leave it to discuss for some other day.

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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Digital photography has been a boon to photographers since one can shoot to heart’s content since the cost is nil compared to film days. However this has also lead to a down-fall as most amateur photographers do not think twice & keep on spraying(on shooting spree) the shutter in hope to capture a good shot. However, if you put a few simple things into consideration before shooting, it will do a world of  good to your photography. Here is a small check-list.

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