Vaishakhi Lahoti

Photography

Imperfect is perfect!

Imperfect is perfect!

So everyone has a digital camera now. Most of us have more photos than we can care for. A lot of us want photos that are perfect. Not having to worry about film rolls is great..   and in the search of that one perfect photo it’s so easy to miss out on some not so perfect  but really beautiful shots.
Here’s an old example. These were my pre-SLR days. I was getting married (yippie) and wanted some nice shots of myself. Here is a shot that came out really well

Here is one that did NOT come out well

As you can see, the photo was over exposed, and bit of my head got cut off. But I kept wondering about how I could make the best out of this?
Enter the crop tool. People often do not realize how powerful this tool is. A small portion of an otherwise cluttered photograph can be more expressive than the whole photo itself. But more on that later.
Here all I had to do was to tweak it to make it look like the photo was intentionally taken to highlight the eyes. Picasa was the tool of the trade then (it still is for general touch ups) and using some glow and tinting effects, I was able to get the photo below.

This was my avatar for a long time and surprisingly, a lot of people appreciated it.
Okie, here is another example of how a little work on your photos can work wonders. Another photo from my pre-SLR days; it was my birthday and I had just received a bunch of red roses from hubby dear. He took a photo of me in a crowded restaurant and although the photo was nice, it didn’t highlight me or the roses.

Lost in the Crowd

Tools of the trade this time were a little more complicated – Paint Shop Pro in my case. GIMP would do the same for no money and Adobe Photoshop would probably burn a hole in your pocket to do the same. All I did was to remove the background, brighten the photo and leave the lovely reds with the flowers. Result below

Red3

Red Roses and the Birthday Girl

Not too bad ha? Remember these were taken a long time ago, with my 5 Megapixel Canon Powershot A420. (That camera served me real well. I still have it with me even though I don’t use it at all.) The same principles of correction/enhancement/highlighting apply to any photo. Today while I edit my 24MB/18 Mega Pixel Raw images in Lightroom, it’s still these basic concepts that make the difference between a good photo and great photo..

My First

My First

We all start somewhere, some time. I tried to think of my first recollection of a photo, and this had to be it. I love this photo, its my five year old sister playing dress up in a Saree. I had just received my mom’s almost broken Yashica Lynx Rangefinder with serious light seepage issues. With a black and white roll film (that I can swear was bigger than a 35mm film) I had just so many clicks to play with the camera. Out of all the photos I had taken this one was the only one that survived the light seepage issues. Funnily the vignette on the corners was either the film being very old or the lens having an issue. I’ll never know! The texture was finally a very brushed steel kind of look and in the end, it still remains one of the photos I remember often..

Happy Birthday my SLR!

Happy Birthday my SLR!


I should have celebrated today. Its been exactly one year now that I got my SLR and its been one hell of a journey! From being an absolute novice who didnt know the diopter settings to somebody who has fun giving SLR tips to other newcomers, it’s been there with me through thick and thin. I must have taken atleast 15000 shots with it by now. And as the counter moves on what stays is the passion to do more with it.
Today I see things very differently, appreciate good cinematography, understand colours, lighting and many more things. What I know more is that I am still to learn so much. I often think of this becoming a serious hobby. now that I have some money to spare, I could always buy some additional accessories (I am already planning my next lens) and expand my craziness.
I think it atleast deserved me getting some mini muffins 😀
here goes my first and the latest pic till date IMG-0001

Flower Mania

Flower Mania

This I have to write about..
my latest fad- Flowers..
yeah yeah, I’ve been crazy about flowers forever but after the Gangtok trip I was hell bent on finding out the names of some of the flowers I’d photographed. It was irritating to see an awesome flower and not know what its called.
So…. lets bring flickr to the rescue. That place is a gold mine. Initially I left a few photos to be identified by others, and some good samaritans (this guy is the best ) left notes about the flower types. Some myths were dispelled and I put my little foot in to the vast field of botany.
OH MY GOD.. there are soooo many flowers.. and so few of them we know of and even when we see one we have no clue what they are called. Sure we probably know their local names, but this is different. In one week I know more about flowers than I have in all of my life. I wish I could post all of the names here, but I think I’ll find a better avenue, a e-scrap book for flowers 😉 yeah I am crazy. That’s for certain.