New year…new targets

It has been ten days into the new year. Had this been a few years back, you would have found me going all bat shit crazy with photos of new year celebrations and fireworks and what not….guess I kinda became lazy 😛

Anyway, my dear readers, Happy New Year! Happy, for the fact that we are having a home to live in, we have clothes to wear, food to eat, some money to spend and internet to blog 🙂

On this first post of the year, I would like to share some stats with you.
My blog started in the late 2014. That year, I posted 33 posts. In 2015, I posted 142 and in 2016, 54. The viewership increased at 1064% in 2015 and 154% in 2016. Now, the numbers may seem  deceptive, but when you compare it against the number of posts, one thing becomes very evident, you, my dear readers, have liked my content. You have followed me, and you have come back for more. This, makes me happy. Thank you to all of you.

I have tried out a few themes, made some variations, clubbed categories, made new ones…now its time to evolve one more bit…to get a new domain. The steps towards the same are being taken and finalized as you read this post and hopefully, by the end of the first fortnight of the year, you shall see a new domain.

It is, with your continuous support and immense love, that I find the impetus to carry on. Thank you again.

Since, you read through the entire post, here are couple of pictures of a Golbat, which has kindly agreed to be my model for a few shots.

Pokemon Golbat cutout in light and shadow

Pokemon Golbat looming over a cup of coffee

Cheers!

 

AtoZ Challenge: PH – I: ISO

for ISO

ISO, in terms of the camera settings and use, is the measure of the sensitivity of the sensor. More the ISO number, more sensitive it is. More sensitive means more light gathering capacity with allows you more latitude while manipulating the other essential camera settings for the shot. But, there’s a trade off too. With increased sensitivity, there comes, increased noise. The camera software works upto a certain limit to suppress the noise, but then, it becomes a bargain between more light or more sharpness. Keeping a low ISO, is recommended for a crisp photo.
Details, here.

ISO400

ISO12800

 

This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I are done. Rest soon.

Cheers!!

AtoZ Challenge: PH – G: Grain

for Grain

Grain, is the old age, film days term for what we know as Noise now. Since most of us, wont see grains in photos anymore, lets talk about the Noise. When we increase the sensitivity of the sensor, we make it responsive to stray signals too. Being increased over a certain limit, based on the cameras, the extra signals start to show and reduce the image quality. Often noise is evident in low light photos, and/or when highly tweaked. HDR gets around it often, but if it doesnt ruin the photo, leave it be.

DSC_a-3046

DSC_a-2592

This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. A, B, C, D, E, F, G are done. Rest to follow.

Cheers!!

2. ISO

Hi all…today, the first basic concept of the image…ISO
Some of you might know and remember ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization and they set some standards, namely, ISO12232:2006, for determining sensitivity of a camera sensor, hence the name ISO. Not going into all the technicalities, long story cut short….ISO lets you change the sensitivity of the sensor.
Lower the ISO number (say ISO 100/200, even up to 400 on some cameras) better will be the clarity of the picture, this is kind of a thumb rule. So, why would we want to rise from these numbers at all, set the camera to the lowest ISO and snap away…we always want the sharpest of pictures right? The argument is true, Yes, we do want the sharpest photos but every now and then, we are in situations where we do not have decent amount of light. Bumping up the ISO, lets us deal with this issue. When we are increasing the ISO number, we are increasing the light sensitivity of the digital sensor. The ISO system today, in digital cameras is equivalent to what film speeds were in the film cameras. Remember the numbers written on the film rolls, and how a 400 or a 800 speed film would be pretty costly and hardly be given to us, when we were younger, while the 100 or 80 speed ones were cheaper and more dispensable. Back then, the film speeds reflected how sensitive the film were to low light conditions, more sensitive, more pricey.
But, the sensitivity comes with a trade off too…noise, digital noise. Digital noise is what causes tiny grains to appear on the photos. Sometimes we do put on a film-grain effect on the photo to make it look different, but if they come up in the original photo, it is undesirable. Now, with increase in the sensitivity, the noise also increases. To counter this, the cameras generally have a noise reduction system in them. These systems, take care of the noise till ISO 800 with ease, some take handle it up to ISO 6400 too, but beyond that, the noise overwhelms the anti-noise system and they appear in the photos.
Below are a few photos, which are almost 200% crops of bigger photos, taken of a pillow cover at various ISO to show the difference. Notice that in ISO 100, 400, and also in 800, the strands are pretty much visible separately but once beyond that, they start getting smudged in the photo…this is being caused by noise and in ISO6400 and ISO12800, the details are almost non existent.

The high end DSLRs provide with ranges near ISO204800. Agreed, at that high range, your picture will be noise and noise only, but the sensitivity will allow you to shoot at pitch darkness and your camera will see more than your eye can and give you some outputs, in theory at least…need to try this in practice someday..
Now, even in the entry level DSLRs, the noise reduction system is good enough that on a general viewing, the noise might not be a distraction to the great photo that you have taken. But as and when you start printing them, say at 100%, the noise will show up and believe me, you would want to avoid that.

To avoid the noise from creeping in and ruining your shot, you ll need to handle the aperture ( F stop) and the shutter speed….topics coming up on the next posts..

Cheers