AtoZ Challenge: N – Normal Lens

A normal lens is one which produces images corresponding to the normal viewing span of a human eye. Generally this focal length is taken as 35-50mm. So, photos taken at focal lengths beyond the range are termed to be wide or telephoto and hence the wide and telephoto lenses.

The 18-55 mm kit lens, despite popular disregard, is one the most versatile lenses out there and can be used for shooting landscapes to portraits with ease and still produce quite amazing results.

Bandra Worli Sealink, 18 mm

Bandra Worli Sealink, 55 mm

The photos above have been shot at 18mm and 55mm respectively from almost similar viewpoints.

Comparing the results against dedicated lenses for the same is not a fair game though. The dedicated lens, such as a 35mm or a 50mm F1.8/1.4 are meant to be high performance and have immense light gathering power, but they lack the versatility of a zoom.

The photo of Laxmi here shows why it is worth investing in a prime lens, despite whatever limitations it may have.

Portrait, 50mm

All said and done, a normal lens is not fit for shooting landscape while I would go about shooting portraits on a normal lens all day long happily! Tell me what do you think about the judgments in the comments.

Last time, N was for Noise Reduction.


AtoZ Challenge: A – Artificial Horizon ( Virtual Horizon)

Artificial Horizon (Virtual Horizon)

The AH feature is prevalent in aeroplanes, gliders and also on ships. The main objective being an instant cognizance of one’s orientation by a glance. It uses a gyroscope for the attitude indications.
While taking photographs, if there is a single horizontal reference that we wish to measure against, it is the visible horizon. We take the horizon to be a flat line and orient our cameras accordingly.
One may use a level tube indicator for the purpose, but it cannot be integrated into the camera. Hence, the gyroscopic sensors!

Artificial Horizon, Lenovo K6 Power, Nikon D7200, Level Indicator

Shown above is a view though the screen of my Lenovo K6 Power’s camera, which features a AH indicator, focussed at the AH indicator on the Nikon D7200. These are useful tools when you are trying to shoot a photo with precision.

So, go ahead, switch on the AH feature on your phone, or your camera and shoot straight!

Last time, A was for Aperture!


Sometimes we come across natural beauties, so amazing, that we need some time, a little more than a moment to take it all in and enjoy the view. How one chooses to enjoy the moment varies, some would love to share it with friends, some would like a little solitude.

Two worlds, wrapped into one, here goes!




And, I just noticed a thing, all three photos are on the east coast of India, Chennai, Pondicherry and Shanakrpur, in order.

This is for Blogging University: Developing Your Eye I and II, Solitude and Landscape.

TTL: Velas

This post is special.
Special because it is about an event which has so much of risk, uncertainty and struggle that you must marvel the outcomes.

This post is about the tiny Olive Ridley turtles of Velas, Maharashtra.

Every year, thousands of female turtles swim their way from across the world to this little known beach in Maharashtra. They make nests, lay their eggs and wade back into the sea towards an uncertain future. Over time, the eggs hatch and baby turtles make their way into the sea on their own. The interesting thing is, all the females which would be born at Velas, would come back to the same beach to lay their eggs.

We made an overnight trip from Pune. About 200 kms to Velas, took us about 5 hours through the hilly,twisty turny roads of the western ghats. We made occasional stops and then we reached the spot, early morning.




Since the hatching of the eggs is a natural phenomenon, we missed it. The day we went, the turtles didn’t hatch and we couldn’t see them. We were a bit sad about it, and with some heavy heart, we made our way to Hariharishwar beach, spent some time there and then we came back to the Velas beach once more to have a look at the rock formations and the landscapes that are there.








Our trip ended the following night as we drove back home.

A few days later, one of my friends went, and she was luckier than we were and got some amazing shots of the turtles as they made their way from the sands to the sea.




Special thanks to Medha for letting me use the photos. Am happy that you got to see them babies and you shot them.

The turtles can be seen during the months of October to December as they come to lay the eggs and from end February to mid April as the babies hatch out. The months are based on general observations and they do vary. So does the hatching. It may be so that you make a trip today and see no hatching while your friend who went a day earlier saw a basket full of them. Most people spend the weekend over there, which generally guarantees some sightings.

To the travelers out there who have not yet been to this place, go on, make a trip. The route, the location, the beach, they are worth the distance. Its a tiny village, about 50-70 homes, some offer homestay facilities too. Have a look at the MTDC website for further information.

Have fun all. Next trip, next outing, should be interesting. See you all later.


What type of photog am I?

A question has been often posed at me, what kind of photographer am I? Today, I ll try to answer it.

I am in pursuit of photography with some seriousness, for the past two and a half years now. My peers, who had started along at the similar time, have become specialized. Some shoot only portraits, some are landscape guys while some are wildlife fellows. They have expanded their arsenal with better bodies and lens…and then there is me.
I have not managed to settle down to just one genre yet.
I like shooting portraits.

 DSC_4403  DSC_5801-13

Also enjoy shooting landscapes.



I am not averse to shooting macro




And even the streets appeal to me just fine.




And sometimes, I do shoot purely technical shots too.



I guess, I am just not cut for the strict regime of just one type of photography. Some might say that I am straying and that I must stick to a certain genre, but I’d rather shoot things that appeal to me,even if they belong for different genre. It brings out the me in the photos. This my calling, whats yours?

If things go according to plan, as they rarely do, next week, I shall be travelling to Velas, Maharashtra, to visit the tiny turtles hatch and make their maiden journey to the sea. Stay tuned.


10. Filters – ND

Hey there all, its been quite sometime for me since I posted in something new, so here goes!

A filter, in definition is something, some device or contraption, which will restrict or modify transmission. In terms of a camera, optical filters, are used to selectively transmit light depending on the need. There are various types of
filters in use, special effects, close up, Neutral Density(ND), gradient, etc.
I ll talk about some of them here.
The most commonly used one is a UV filter. Expected to cut down the incident UV rays, but at times, is responsible for unwanted reflections and lens flares. I use it mainly as a lens cap.
The special effects ones, provide a variety of different effects to the photos. They can shapes, words, starbursts etc
that are the results of the special effects one. Few examples

 DSC_5465 DSC_5585

and a DIY here…

The close up filters are basically magnifying glass. Check the post here…

The other type, the ND filter is a particularly useful too if and when used during the day time where you want to both depict or soothe out motion. I know it sounded confusing, how do i depict motion and also soothe it out. Well, we dont do both in a single photo. Suppose you take a photo of a fountain and there are people moving in front of it. Use the filter, decrease the shutter speed and there you have it, the moving people are hardly visible. On the flipside, as the people are soothed out, the water too, will become smooth and flowy. You wont get the sharp droplets anymore, it ll become more of a dreamy smooth and flowy substance.

So, what the ND filter basically does is, it cuts out the incoming light without changing the color balance of the scene, a sunglass to your lens.
Gradient filter is a type of ND filter where half of the glass is darkened, this is commonly used while shooting
landscapes to darken out the sky, helps in proper exposure of the complete scene. Another costlier filter variation of the ND filter is the circular polariser filter. Here the strength can be varied by rotating the polarised glass discs.

In the following photos, observe the difference in shutter speed before and after using the filter.

  IMG_20141110_113600   IMG_20141110_113734


These photos should explain how the end result is. In the first one, the outline of the car is visible.


In the second set, water ripples are visibly reduced  in the second shot.


I hope you, my dear reader will take amazing shots using this type of filter. Do share.

The ND filters are not cheap things to come by…but you can always make one for yourself! How?? Check it out on the DIY page, Innovation Corner (