AtoZ Challenge: V – Vignetting


In the olden days, when the lens and the film quality were not as amazing as today, the edges of the photos would become dark. With advent of better technology and processes, now a days, one has to to critical search to find vignetting occurring natively in the photos. Where we see more of its use is as filters.

This photo above, has been edited using a vignetting filter, for my camera in this case, a Lenovo K6 Power, doesn’t have vignetting issues.

Tell me about your views on vignetting in the comments section.

Previously, V was for Vibration Reduction.


AtoZ Challenge: L – Latitude


This is here is a term which is used to describe a range. Common usage being, a certain camera provides more/less latitude than another one. The range in question is the exposure range, over which one can produce acceptable results.

Mumbai Skyline, Clouds, Sun

The above photo is “As shot” +2 exposure value, while the one below is -1.

Mumbai Skyline, Clouds, Sun, Silhouette

So, one can say that the latitude from -1 to +2 for the camera. The definition is subjective and shall vary from person to person and on their opinion on what acceptable means to them.
Latitude is not the same as Dynamic Range. DR is the range in which, either in highlights or in shadows, details can be obtained before they white or black out, respectively. They are instead related in the manner that, a sensor with a higher dynamic range shall produce photos which have a wider latitude. I had covered basics of High Dynamic Range photos earlier, here!

Last time, L was for Lens Distortion.

Go ahead and produce some amazing photos, and let us all know about it.


AtoZ Challenge: I – Infinity Focus

Infinity Focus

Often we hear the term “Infinity Focus” being used while shooting landscapes or during astro photography. What it actually means is, the focus plane to be such that maximum light rays which focus on the sensor shall be in parallel plane.

While shooting landscape photos, we focus at a plane, where the infinity of the lens is within the hyperfocal distance; but while shooting in astro photography, the focus is at infinity. This post elaborates more on the point.

In practice, sometimes, due to ambient conditions, the camera may not be able to focus correctly and give results of the following kind.

Hazy photo of a landscape

This is where the infinity focussing is useful. Since the object is far away from the lens, focussing in a manner where the subject is in the hyperfocal infinity, yields a better result.

Clear Photo of landscape

The infinity markings on the lens are found in the following ways

Infinity markings on lens

Go out there and shoot beautiful landscapes and amazing star trails and milky ways and never worry about soft focus any more.

Last time, I was for ISO.



AtoZ Challenge: H – Hot Shoe

Hot Shoe

It is a mounting arrangement found on the top of the camera bodies for mounting external flashes, commander modules, GPS modules etc. The hot shoe is generally found in a standard form and the various compatibility issues arise due to the different firing voltages which trigger them.

Nikon D7200, Hot shoe, Black and White

One may not find daily use of the hot shoe but it sure is an indispensable bit of the camera.

Tell me in the comments what do you generally mount on the hotshoe!

Last time, it was Hyperfocal Distance.


AtoZ Challenge: E – EXIF Data


It is a condensed form of Exchange Image File format which is basically a standard format set to report the various parameters of a photograph. The data that are captured mostly include the make of the camera, shutter speed, focal length, the aperture, ISO. When suitably available, location coordinates are also available in the EXIF data. Extra information as to whether the flash fired or not, or the shutter count of a camera can also be found by studying the data.

Long Exposure photo, Fire works, Cars, Lighttrails, Mumbai

The EXIF Data for the above photo is shown here below as a screenshot from my phone.

Exif Data of the photo

This data is immensely useful if someone is trying to learn and take cues from other photographers as to what settings to be used in particular situations.

Do you check the exif data of other photogs?? Let me know!

Last time, it was Exposure Bracketing.


AtoZ Challenge: D – Double Exposure

Double Exposure

The origin of this interesting bit of art probably occured when someone, while shooting film, forgot to forward the roll to the next empty slot. As they shot, the already exposed negative got re-exposed and the photos superimposed creating something interesting and Voila! double exposure is born.
Now a days, we dont need to fiddle with the films, maybe just a bit in the digital darkrooms to get ourselves a nice double exposure photo. Some cameras and apps on phones allow you to take amazing double exposure shots.

Bike, Open Roads, Double Exposure
The shots here are proof of concept shots of double exposure.

Man, Moon, Double Exposure
The thing about double exposure is that one must be able to blend the photos and make some sense out of them.

Go ahead and make wonderful surreal photos and share them away!

Last time, D was for Depth of Field.

AtoZ Challenge: C – Colour Temperature

Colour Temperature

Hot objects emit radiation. If the radiation were visible, say visible light, what would be the temperature of the body emitting the radiation? For example, for soft white light, it is accepted that the body must be at about 3000K. This 3000K is the colour temperature.

The usefulness of this knowledge in photography? Immense, unless you want to spend hours in the darkrooms making the photos look natural. The two photos below shall explain better.

Pug, Yellow Light, Cute, Unrealistic Colour
This one is a no colour correction photo, while the one below is with proper colour temperature settings dialled in.

Pug, Colour corrected, Brown and Blue , Realistic colours
Notice how the colour is realistic now. Since the place was lit by dim yellow lights, everything had a yellow tone, which is not the natural colour.
The settings that need to be tweaked within the camera to get realistic colours is the white balance. Dial in the on which matches your setting best, and shoot away.

Last time, it was Composition.

AtoZ Challenge: B – Bulb Mode

Bulb Mode

Normally, a camera shall let us slow down the shutter speed till 30 seconds, but suppose we need an exposure of a minute, what do we do then?? We use the Bulb Mode.

30 Second Exposure setting on Nikon D7200
This mode shall keep the shutter open for as long as the shutter button is pressed. Ideal for use with astro photography and shots of milky way!
Bulb Setting on Nikon D7200

Go out there and shoot some milky way shots. I want to, someday soon, I will.

Last time, B was for Bokeh!



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!

A to Z Challenge: Dec 2017

Hi there all,

Writing enough blog posts, after a 7 to 9 (pm that is) job is a tough thing, as I have come to know, and also you, my dear readers, by the meager number of posts. Now, I decided to pile up some more of the difficult stuff and do another A to Z Challenge. Check out the previous one here!

For the new joinees here, A to Z Challenge is a month long blogging marathon, where you blog letter by letter. Begin at A, finish at Z. Simple as that. Now, how you choose to blog and what you blog is entirely upto you.
I have friends who blog poem after poem, for 26 days straight and then there’s me, who picks up a word and expands on it.

Since I am a photographer, my challenge prompts shall be from the world of photography, pretty much like the last time. I shall try to keep the topics as varied as possible and avoid repetitions. I will backlink the same lettered posts from the previous stint in the upcoming ones.

Do follow the series as it unfolds, and let me know of your views and takes in the comments 🙂

Cheers!! Lets Begin!

Bokehs and Starbursts!

There are some amazing things one can shoot during night. Long exposure shots of light trails, amazing bokehs, starbursts, star trails, and much more.
Tonight, like many before, I was at office past sundown, and I had camera with me. Had a concept to try out too. So, off I went to the terrace to try out the shot.

Western Express Highway at night, bokehs of the lights

While I was up there, the Mahim bay glittered and tempted me to take the long exposure shot. Looks damn nice, right? Worth climbing up to the terrace for a peek!

Long Exposure shot of the Mahim Bay, Bandra Worli Sea Link in background

Something I noticed, while processing the photos, if you suspect that there may be some dirt on your lens, shoot a bokeh at night, the dirt ll show up as a shadow in the orb!

Guess I need to clean the prime!


Meeting Mother!

It had always been a dream to meet “Mother”. She has taken care of her boys in rough weather and inhospitable conditions, gave them a deck to fly off and rain hell on enemies and hover back to safety of her hangars. She could carry 2100 men and supplies at 28knots and in wartime scenarios, she had commando transport facilities for 750 men and a fleet of 26 aircrafts, all ready to take the fight to the enemy. She is none other than the erstwhile INS Viraat.

The flight deck of INS Viraat

INS Viraat has served the Indian Navy since 1986 and has been formally decommissioned in 2017. After serving for 3 decades, now she is docked at the navy docks of Mumbai. 
Due to some friends, I got a rare opportunity to take a tour of the ship. The first thought was… she’s huge. HUGE! I haven’t been on any other carriers yet, so I can’t compare, but she’s bigger than any machine I have ever seen. True, there is rust on her LCVPs, and all armaments are gone, but it hasn’t done anything at all to reduce the grandiose of the ship. 

We climbed up to the deck and it was a feeling beyond expressions. For the first time, in a long time, I felt elated. I stood there, slowly gulping in the feeling, I was standing on the deck of one of biggest machines that exist in the world. We walked the entire length of the deck and then climbed down to the hangar. A single sea harrier adorns the floor today, but once upon a time, there would be a total of 26 aircrafts and helicopters. I was interested to go to the boiler rooms too but then, that takes quite a while, so the idea was parked for a later visit someday. 

I did not take my camera along, not knowing the permissions that I may be given. Had the mobile phone though 🙂

Sea Harrier inside INS Viraat

This was an experience that shall be in my heart for ever.

Me and a few friends, we went on a trip a few weeks earlier. An account of that shall follow soon.

Till then, cheers and Happy Diwali to all.