April AtoZ Challenge: PH – Reflections!

This is probably the last post of the April AtoZ Challenge of 2015 on my blog.

I ll take this opportunity to reflect upon some of the things that I learnt and experienced during the month  which will help me improve in future.
To begin, planning. When doing a post-a-day challenge, planning ahead about what is to be shot and how it is to be done, is of paramount importance.
Then, being crisp. Unwarranted long descriptions are not welcome. The shorter, simpler and crisp the post is, the better it is.
Doing the research is very important. If I want to write a shorter version of a deep, difficult topic, I should be able to grasp the topic properly, before proceeding to explain it.

Doing this challenge was fun. Producing a word limited post, putting the essentials such that they are lucid, yet informative, and posting a post every day, it was hectic, but no doubt fun.

Next time I do a AtoZ Challenge, it ll be even more fun, because, I’d have to come up with something different, useful and unique once again.
During the course of this challenge, I came across a few exceptional blogs which I thoroughly enjoyed, by Karen Anderson, Parul Thakur and  Bob Byrd. Do have a look!

In case you want to check out my April AtoZ Challenge series, head right here.

Thanks a lot to the AtoZ Challenge team for dropping by often and boosting the confidence and morale.


April AtoZ Challenge: PH – Z: Zoom Burst

for Zoom Burst

This is a photographic effect which is achieved in camera, during the shoot. Essential is a lens that can zoom. We start the exposure, and then zoom in or out during the exposure. This creates interesting trails, and if done correctly, delivers exceptionally different photos which stand out immediately. Its really easy. Set a long exposure, click, zoom, done. This is how an example looks.



This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. For the complete set of all 26 letters, click here.

With this, I come to the end of the April AtoZ Challenge in PH (Photography). In this month of intensive blogging, I realize the importance of planning ahead is paramount. Thanks to the challenge, I now know how to make meaningful gist of long post and keep it short and crisp. Thanks to all who helped me along and thanks to all who loved my posts.


April AtoZ Challenge: PH – Y: You

for You, yourself!

Call me narcissist but I feel, a post should be dedicated to You! Here, I ll dedicate it to me :p

It isnt easy doing a AtoZ Challenge, find the words, bring the definitions into compact less than 100 words gist, and then arrange the photos that explain each of them. Using own photos do pose certain issues, but then, it feels better too. But, in the end, it feels good to be able to complete this challenge, Z is all set up, so, am happy!



This is part of April AtoZ Challenge. Upto letter X can be found here!


April AtoZ Challenge: PH – X: X-Process

for X-Process (Cross Process)

This is a throwback to the old film processing days. Cross Processing was a case when developing solutions for a certain type of photo was used, either by mistake or intention to a different one. The results used to unpredictable and fairly in consistent, and in a lot of cases, made the photos distinct and appealing. Now, with softwares like Picasa and mobile apps like Pixlr-o-matic, cross process photos are easy to make. Dont over use this, but once a while, they do liven up the photos.


DSC_6338 (2)-1

This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. Previous entries can be found here.



April AtoZ Chellenge: PH – W: White Balance

for White Balance

This is a in-camera option, for setting the color tone correctly while shooting under varying light conditions. Generally, options like cloudy, direct sunlight, shade etc are available along with the Auto mode. The Auto mode suffices mainly, but be advised, during shooting HDR photos, or making a timelapse video, change it to some other setting other than Auto. This is because, in the Auto mode, the white balance might change between the subsequent shots, something that is not desirable while shooting in a series. For flexibility, I shoot in RAW format, and fix the issues in post processing.

 DSC_1577-1 DSC_1577-1-3


This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. For the rest of the series, head here.


April AtoZ Challenge: PH – V: Vibration Reduction

for Vibration Reduction (VR)

VR, is also known as IS (Image Stabilization) in Canon lens, is a system of arrangement of lens and motor which constantly moves the lens elements to compensate for the tiny hand vibrations. It becomes visually significant in slower shutter speeds and at extreme telephoto focal lengths. Normally they allow for 2 or 3 stops worth of stabilization. On the downside, when taking long exposure photos, on a tripod, the lens may try to compensate and actually cause blurring. Contrary to certain beliefs, keeping the VR mode on, hardly drains the battery in an excess, but the advantages are immense.




This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. Previous letters, right here.


April AtoZ Challenge: PH – U: Underexposure

for Under-exposure

The photographic condition, when enough light is not received by the photo, we term it as an under-exposure. The overall photo appears to be darker and needs corrective tweaking in post processing. Most likely causes being high shutter speed and/or small aperture values. In some cameras, the RAW files capture more details in the shadows than in the highlights, hence having an under exposed photo is more usable than an over exposed one. When in doubt, under expose the scene by one stop, that’s my suggestion.



This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. Rest of the preceding letters can be found here.


April AtoZ Challenge: PH – T: TTL Metering

for TTL Metering

TTL is for Through The Lens. This is a type of auto metering where the camera decides the exposure values and white balance etc based on the incident lights, measured through the lens, hence the name. It is also used for flash metering, where a pre flash is fired and the response acts as the deciding value for the flash power. In a fix, Auto mode works fine, but often we want more control and this setting is left untouched. Do explore it though, might come handy someday.




This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. The other letters can be found here.


April AtoZ Challenge: PH – S: Shutter Speed

for Shutter Speed

This is one of the basic stuffs that is required for a photo to be correctly exposed and also for unleashing the creativity. As the name suggests, this is the measure of how fast the shutter will actuate. Denoted in terms of parts of second and notation is 1/250, 1/500, 1/2, 1′ etc. Faster shutter speed freezes motion, while slower will blur things out, both with specific uses. It is imperative to learn to master this aspect. A fully detailed and better post can be found here. Check it out, and you ll be able to do these!!

 15s 1/250



This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. The letters upto R can be found here.


April AtoZ Challenge: PH – R: Rear Curtain

for Rear Curtain

Rear Curtain is a term used to describe flash setting when the flash is fired at the end of the exposure. In general, the flash is fired at the beginning. In a fast shutter speed, it doesnt really matter, but in the slower ones, having a rear curtain flash has very interesting effects. It shows movement, and then freezes at the end moment. On the flip side, is the front curtain, which also shows movement, but in a different form. I suggest all to try these out. A full detail post can be found here.

Rear Curtain
Rear Curtain

This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. The letters up to Q can be found here.


April AtoZ Challenge: PH – Q: Quiet Release Mode

for Quiet Release Mode

I ll be truthful about it, I couldnt find any other describable photography related word with Q, so here goes. Quiet Release Mode is a shooting mode, available in Nikon DSLR bodies, not sure about the others though, which significantly reduces the sound of the shutter slap. It may be used in sensitive environments, such as in a museum, or when taking a close up of a sleeping beast maybe. It acts similar to the single shot mode, but is a bit slower too. In my camera, its the least used mode.



This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. Letters upto P, can be found here!


April AtoZ Challenge: PH – P: Post Processing

for Post Processing

Any editing or tweaking done, after the photo has been taken, is called Post Processing (PP). This includes changing the contrast levels and conversion of RAW files to JPEG to editing parts of the photo in softwares like Photoshop. This is analogous to the developing phase of the film rolls. It is to be kept in mind that, even though, most of the photos can be tweaked during the PP phase, its always a good habit to take a proper shot right in the camera. No point becoming complacent or dependent on it. In detail, here.

 Raveena Raja 20141030_093512 919893097638_Anne_Burn_Dirt

This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. Letter upto O, can be found here.