Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dear Friends,

Ankur Thatai is a young, talented and energetic photo artist from Ferozepur, Punjab (India). He has been associated with photography art for last few years and has developed his eye very creatively in a short period.
Ankur fell in love with photography when he was a student of 12th standard. During his student life he had the opportunity to read & know about legendary photographers, like, Ansel Adams, T.F Getty, Yusuf Karsh, Lala Deen Dayal and Homai Vyarwala. Their work fascinated Ankur very intensively and motivated him to leap to the field of art photography. After graduation he enrolled himself in a Photography course at Triveni Kala Sangam, Delhi. There he came in touch of Mr. O. P. Sharma, the famous photo artist of the world. The classes of Mr. Sharma left a deep impact on his heart and soul. Here after he developed his own style of working.
Ankur loves to shoot people, places, events and Indian culture. He loves shooting portraits equally.
Ankur is an active member of IIPC and FIP. Recently, he has got “Bronze Grade” certificate from India International Photographic Council for his acceptances in the exhibitions of photography - art at national level.
Ankur is a free-lancer. He is coupled with many commercial projects, magazines, advertising agencies and NGO’s.

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Photographing Flowers

Dear Friends,
Nature is full of charming creations. Shooting them is the desire of every photographer. Flowers are among the most attractive creations of the nature. Beautiful flowers of different colours and shapes attract us intensely and if we are with camera, we tend to shoot them spontaneously. Shooting flowers in perfect manner needs proper attention and some points to be kept in mind.

1. Proper lighting plays a vital role in photographing flowers. As the flowers are tender by nature, the light should also be soft while shooting them. Soft light brings out the details of a flower. Moreover, this light adds an affectionate feel in the picture. Sunlight of early morning and late evening is ideal for our purpose. Flowers can be photographed well in ‘one-sided light’ as well as in ‘against light’. Both types of light have their own quality. One-sided light adds depth in the subject whereas light against the camera brings out the details of petals beautifully. While shooting in one-sided light, if one side of flower remains shady, it can be highlighted with a reflector.

Light coming in a room through a door/window is very useful for shooting flowers due to its gentle nature. Door/window-light helps in highlighting the details of a flower. On the other hand this light gives a moody picture.

2. Selection of subject (Flower) is an important aspect. We should choose fresh flowers. Flowers with damaged/cut/dry petals should be avoided. A flower with a few leaves and one or two buds is best.

3. Role of background plays a vital role while photographing flowers. A soothing background gives meaning to the picture. Background can be of two types, the natural or the artificial. When we are shooting outdoor, greenery around us provides an ideal background. A blurred green background is best. Blurred background can be obtained well by using a macro or telephoto lens. An artificial background (Such as black cloth or paper) can also help us. But while doing so we should always give exposures according to our subject. Overall evaluation of the exposure will misguide us and the result will not be satisfactory.

4. Composition is an important aspect. A simple and balanced composition is always preferable. We have to compose the picture in such a way that may appeal at first sight.

5. Few helpful tips in flower-photography:

(a) Use of a small aperture helps in boosting depth and sharpness in our picture. With the help of a small aperture all the parts of a flower can be seen well focused and sharp.

(b) In low/soft light condition the use of a small aperture is difficult, as it will create the need of very low shutter speed. This problem can be overcome by using a tripod.

(c) The background (artificial or natural) should not be very close to the flower. We should always maintain proper distance between the flower and the background.

(d) Spraying of water on flower with the help of a spray gun tends the flower look fresh.

(e) While shooting outdoor, fast wind can intervene in focusing the flowers. This difficulty can be solved by preventing the wind in a particular area (near the flower) with the help of a wooden board.

---Dr. Pankaj Sharma

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dear Friends,
Kushinagar is one of the important spritual places of India. This time Dr. Kamran Khan of Bareilly is before you all with a photo feature on this sacred place.
--Dr. Pankaj Sharma

" I had an opportunity to go to Gorakhpur in the first week of June, 2009. I had heard a lot about Kushinagar, one of the Buddhist pilgrimages and situated very near to Gorakhpur. Kushinagar is the place where Gautam Buddha attained Parinirvana (Final Nirvana). It takes hardly two hours to reach Kushinagar from Gorakhpur by road. I departed to Kushinagar early morning by the first bus.
The weather was a little cloudy and I witnessed pleasing showers during my journey. After reaching Kushinagar, I visited the most important place, Mahaparinirvana Stupa at the outset . This is built at the spot where Lord Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana (The Moksha). The Stupa is surrounded by the ruins of ancient monasteries. Very close to this Stupa is situated Mahaparinirvana temple. A huge 1500 years old figure of Mahatma Buddha is positioned here in Parinirvana position. Due to heavy rains I stayed at this place for about an hour. The devotees remained visiting the place even in such a poor weather.
At some distance there is a temple where an ancient excavated image of Buddha is located in sitting posture. As the light inside this temple was very low, I had to use a long exposure to photograph the icon of Buddha. Then after I visited Burmese temple, Chinese temple, Sri Lankan temple, Thai temple, Tibetan temple and Japanese temple. Each of them is a fine example of architecture. Devotees have deep faith and trust in these temples. Lastly I visited an ancient Stupa which is situated about two kilometers from Mahaparinirvana temple. This is believed to be constructed by Mauryan Emperor, Ashoka.
By now the sun was about to set. After clicking a few snaps, I proceeded to return from the devout place with a deep wish to visit it again. "
-- Dr. Kamran Khan
(All photographs by Dr. Kamran Khan)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

An Amazing Bird, Sarus Crane

Dear Friends,

Sarus Cranes are among the oldest living beings on the earth (millions of years old) and are considered between the tallest and most beautiful birds of the world. They are found in North India, Northern Australia, Indo-Chinese countries, East of Burma and on Malay Peninsula. They live in widespread muddy areas, low grasslands, rifts and near the banks of water bodies. Some of their species may reach a height of 7 feet with a wing span of 8 to 9 foot. They have a life span up to about 80 years. Male and female of Cranes make their nest together. Cranes nurture the eggs for 30 to 36 days. The young cranes usually stay with their parents for a period of 10 to 12 months.

Sarus Crane is recognized as the State Bird of Uttar Pradesh (India) due of its highest concentration in this region. This bird’s existence is in hazard these days. Human greed and irregular rainfall have together caused a serious trouble for this pretty bird. Moreover unjustifiable construction and agriculture have eaten into its habitat over last few years. This is the duty of not only government but also of every citizen to be cautious in direction of taking care of this bird.

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma

Friday, January 1, 2010

An Honest Devotee of Pictorial Photograohy: Kr. Shukdeo Singh, ARPS, AIIPC, AFIAP, ASIIPC

Dear Friends,

Firstly I wish you all a Very Happy New Year. On the occasion of new year you have a golden opportunity to witness the masterpieces of art created by Late Kr. Shukdeo Singh ji of Lucknow (India). Please go through the profile of Mr. Singh and have a chance to learn a lot . This will be a true homage to Kr. Shukdeo Singh ji and also a way to celebrate New Year meaningfully.
--Dr. Pankaj Sharma

Kr. Shukdeo Singh was born on 16th November 1916 in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh and attained his heavenly aboard on 16th March 2005 at the age of 89 years.

He was a perfectionist and pictorial photographer of exceptionally high standard, specialised in Landscape Photography. Technically and aesthetically his landscape photographs are superb having very unique subject treatment and approach. He was truly legendry landscape photographer of the country. In recognition of his masterly contribution in the field of pictorial photography, Royal Photographic Society of Britain conferred upon him it’s Associateship (ARPS) in the year 1984, Federation Internationale de-LArt Photographique, Belgium, awarded AFIAP in the same year and India International Photographic Council, New Delhi conferred AIIPC and ASIIPC in the years 1986 and 1991 respectively. He was a prolific exhibitor and won enumerable awards in National and International Salons of Photography.

In the year 1978 he formed Lucknow Camera Club with some other enthusiasts of pictorial photography to promote art and science of photography in the state. He was the foremost person who took initiative of putting Uttar Pradesh again in the scene of pictorial photography by organising First All India Salon of Photography through Lucknow Camera Club in 1979. He was deeply associated with the chain of these Salons throughout his life. It is due to his dedication and hard work that Lucknow Camera Club was able to organise Salons of Photography without any gap. For this he won many efficiency medals. Mr. Singh was very good teacher and helped many beginners to understand the intricacies of pictorial photography. He was always willing to guide and help new comers. He has motivated and guided many persons who are making their name in the field of photography today. His enthusiasm was unmatched. He was never short of tips for art lovers.

Kr. Shukdeo Singh was elder brother of Shri K.D.Singh Babu who was an Olympian and world renounced hockey player. Kr. Shukdeo Singh was too a very good player of the hockey.

He was expert in mango cultivation and produced mango crop highest per unit of land in the whole country. Mr. Singh was an expert floriculturist also. He grew fantastic roses and won innumerable awards in rose competitions.

(Text and Photographs Courtesy: Anil Risal Singh , Lucknow)