Category: Photography


Battery Monitor in Canon DSLR

Canon DSLR’s offer a way to monitor your battery. A feature unknown to many. It is a simple but effective system. It lets you know whether the battery requires to be replaced. It also provides the number of shots taken since the battery was inserted.

Canon DSLR Battery Monitor

To access this feature, simply go under the menu option “Battery Info” on your Canon DSLR. Once within, you will be able to see the battery inserted along-with shots taken and its health. Now press ‘Info’ & then select register. Now your battery will be registered and you can monitor it time and again. This way you can register multiple batteries. This also helps when you swap batteries with someone and are unable to identify the two, as the batteries are registered by the system via their unique serial number. This might not work if you are using third party batteries which do not have the smart chip within. I always recommend to use original spares from the manufacturer.

Yongnuo is known for its budget speedlights. These speedlights offer great value for money and have been proven reliable over the time. The brand is also known to offer identical features as found in the big manufacturer’s arsenal. Today after a long period of using the company’s latest speedlight, the Yongnuo YN-600EX-RT, I put down my views on the same.

Yongnuo YN600EX-RT

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Tilt & Swivel LCD screens had made appearance on cameras long ago. Now every other camera in the market including the professional ones offer this feature. Some find this a marketing gimmick but I will tell you why I feel it isn’t one.

IMG_2488

 # Convenience – The number one benefit offered by a tilt and swivel screen is that of convenience. Gone are the days when one was required to get low in the dust or take an overhead shot praying for it to turn out good. A tilt and swivel screen addresses these problems effortlessly. There have been times when I have put my camera under a wire mesh with a hole in between and used the tilt screen to help me aid compose. Without that, it would have been a spray and pray affair.

# Discreet Shooting – Tilt and swivel LCD screens are so useful when it comes to discreet shooting. Those candid moments can be captured as one is unaware that he is being photographed. Hip shooting is suddenly no more of a guess work game.

# Cinematography – With video on DSLR becoming main-stream, it is easy for the camera operator to turn the LCD as per his convenience. There is no need again to crank the neck and be in discomfort for extended period of times.

# Selfie – Though it was definitely not why camera manufacturers implemented a tilt & swivel LCD screen but it can be put to good use to take a selfie. Simply turn the screen towards the lens side and you can take a selfie making sure the frame is as per your desire. I use this feature for selfies but also for videos where I have no camera operator and I am one man army.

# Protection – There are times when you simply don’t need to review the LCD screen. At such simply flip the screen and let it rest inside to prevent exposure from outer elements. This also comes handy when storing the camera.

Movies have a tremendous amount of planning and execution behind the scenes. Often the scenes which appear simple can have tremendous amounts of production behind it. There is often more than meets the eye. My team & I, went ahead to recreate one movie still from “Wake Up Sid”.

wakeupsid_original

The above was the original shot from the movie which we set on to recreate. Following is what we accomplished.

wakeupside_recreate

The lighting for the shot was a strip & a grid from male’s actor shoulder and couple of cutters to avoid spillage. The grid illuminated the female’s face too along with providing a slight edge light to the male actor. Behind the female was a light on grid pointed at male actor’s face and another light with a snoot for hair light on female. Editing was to crop in a similar aspect ratio along-with basic adjustments. The scene was shot at f/8, 1/50th at ISO 100.

I can see a room from improvement but this exercise taught me a lot. It requires proper planning and execution even for light which feels simple. Kudos to the film production, lighting, art direction, DOP & various other team which work in cooperation to produce such good to watch films. Even if you are a photographer, it pays to watch films. You can learn a great deal about lighting from movies. At the end of the day, they are simply 24 stills(fps) encompassed in a second.

Optical Slave Unit

Optical Slave Triggers – a piece of accessory which is tremendously useful if you work with strobes/speedlights. These are tiny in size but can help you accomplish wonderful photographs. It simply is a light sensitive sensor within which senses the light and triggers the circuit which then ultimately triggers the attached strobe or speedlight.
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