Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dashboard : “Chrysanthemum in Shower”

- Dashboard -
“Chrysanthemum in Shower”

Sometimes luck favors us and as a result we get unusual photographs. This time I am before you with such image. I was on a shoot of Chrysanthemum flowers in the garden of a reputed school of Bareilly, i.e., GRM School. I, along with my few friends was invited there by the director of the school to photograph the pretty flowers.  This orange-colour Chrysanthemum drew my attention due to its shape. I decided to capture it. I rested my camera on tripod, put a black background behind the flower and composed the image. The sun light was touching the petals from slight behind. However flower looked a bit dry. Therefore I requested the gardener to shower a little amount of water over flower through spray gun so that it may look fresh. He started doing this gently, and this was a chance that I looked at the flower through the view finder at the same time. I was surprised to see the prospect. The shower against the dark background was adding drama to the scene. I, without delay clicked a few frames. This is one of them.

I used a Nikon D-90 camera with a Tamron 70-300 mm lens to click this image. The aperture was fixed at f-8 and the shutter speed was 1/1250 sec. ISO was set at 250.

Concluding words:

1. We should always use tripod while clicking flowers.
2. Use of dark background helps the flower to emerge out strongly.
3. We should use small aperture in order to get all parts of flower in focus.
4. Shower of water seems dramatic against dark background and particularly when the sun light is coming from behind/little behind.

(I’m thankful to my friend, Mr. Rajesh Agarwal-Jolly for giving me the opportunity of photographing the flowers in his school’s garden)

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma

Friday, December 14, 2012

My View -- Significant Places: Surroudings Matter

-My View-
Significant Places:
Surroudings Matter

Our country is rich in so many important places. We feel disappointed when we watch disturbing objects, such as electric wires and poles around such places. These objects ruin the beauty of the place and on the other hand hinder our visualization. Here is an example of Anasakti Ashram of Kausani (Uttarakhand). This is a calm and valued place where Mahatma Gandhi spent his some days and wrote his commentary of “Anashkti Yog”. I witnessed disturbing electric wires and poles at this place which could not be avoided while clicking this photograph. Later I removed these objects in photo editing software and the image looked quite different. I have done this with the aim of giving a message - if concerned authority had placed these wires somewhere else, I would have enjoyed being at this place with a different feel. Although the value of any such place lies in its historical importance, the beautiful surrounding of the place is equally important.

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma

Saturday, December 1, 2012

- Photo Feature - “Horses Compete at Chaubari”

- Photo Feature -

Horses Compete at Chaubari

Kartik Poornima is a holy occasion for Hindus in India. According to the Hindu Mythology this is considered to be the day of Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, Lord Angira and Lord Sun. There is a tradition to take bath in the holy river, Ganga on this particular day. This festival is celebrated at Chaubari Village of District Bareilly of Western U.P (India) annually at grand level. This village is situated very close to the river Ramganga. A big fair takes place at Chaubari on the occasion of Kartik Poornima. A number of activities take place in this fair. Horse race is one of them. In fact this race is a type of demonstration of the ability of horses. The horse-sellers come to this fair from different parts of the region. They try their best to show the skills of their horses. The buyers watch the race attentively and the horses which are found best are sold at high prices. Like previous years, this year also the fair was organised with enthusiasm. Horse-race was the center of attraction for visitors.
(The images of this event, presented here, were taken with a Nikon D-90 camera at shutter speed priority mode (at 1/1000 sec.). The lens was 18-105 mm (Nikon). ISO of the camera was set at 500.)

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma

Saturday, November 17, 2012

“Extra Ordinaries” A Man of Indomitable Will Power : Balbir Singh

“Extra Ordinaries”
A Man of Indomitable Will Power
Balbir Singh

Balbir Singh of Nainital (India) is a symbolic of courage. In spite of being physically disabled he has created history by achieving the chief rank in photography, the “Diamond Grade”. The India International Photographic Council, Delhi has honoured him with this rank for completing 1000 acceptances in national and international contests of photography. This success is the outcome of his true dedication and hard work.
Born in 1956, Balbir Singh was fond of photography since his school days. Unfortunately he had a hard-hitting time in 1976 when his both legs were paralysed due to a problem in spinal cord. This incident brought him under deep grief, and his passion for photography was left far behind. He struggled hard and at last conquered over his depressed life. As a result of his honest attempts, he got job in State Bank of India in 1983. This boosted his courage. Now he decided to breathe life into his hobby, i.e. photography. However, this was not so easy due to his physical immobility. He finally got a three-wheeled scooter. This added wings to his passion. Now his camera became his companion and he never looked back. The pictures clicked by him fascinate the art-lovers at first sight.
He has a number of awards and recognitions to his credit. He has organised numerous shows of his photographs and his art works have been appreciated widely. He is constantly involved in his obsession and never wants to take halt in his endless voyage of art.

He believes in the famous saying, “The show must go on…”

We salute him for his valuable contribution in the field of art-photography. At the same time he deserves many congratulations for his recent success, the “Diamond Grade” Honour. May God bless him with many such achievements in future.

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma

Saturday, October 27, 2012

--Learning-- Creating Portraits in Window Light

Creating Portraits in Window Light
Portrait photography is an important art-field. With the change in time, there are new techniques and well equipped studios which help us clicking the attractive portraits. But exclusive setups are not within the reach of every photo-artist. One can click good portraits in the soft light of a window with limited resources also, as our vision is higher than any other thing. With a few points in our brain, we can prepare good portraits:
 1. Our subject should look comfortable with spontaneous expressions.
2. A good D SLR Camera with a mid-range zoom lens (such as 18-70 mm or 18-105 mm) is good for our purpose. We have to avoid taking portraits at the wide angle of our lens. The focal length between 70 mm to 100 mm will be perfect. Moreover the lenses with fixed focal lengths, like 85 mm or 100 mm are ideal for portraits.
If we lack D SLR Camera, a compact camera can also serve our purpose. The portrait mode of compact cameras is very useful in taking pretty images.
3. We should photograph the subject during morning or evening in order to get soft light of window.
4. The one sided use of light will present the subject with good depth and mood. We have to manage our subject in such a way that a small portion of light may create a soft triangular shape on the other side of the face (below the eye). If the light is at around 45 degree to the subject, this will help causing the triangle of light under the eye of the subject. If the other side of the face looks too gloomy, we can use the sheet of a white paper or thermocol to provide fill light to the dark areas. But the fill light should always be lesser than the key light. Furthermore, we should pose our model at such angle which may help him/her to have catch-light in his/her eyes.
5. The background plays a vital role. Colour of the background should not be very fast. A dull-colour is always appreciated. In nutshell, background should never dominate the main subject.
6. Positioning our camera at the eye level of subject is advisable. However, we can create some different pictures with a change in view point.
7. The slight wide opening of aperture is generally useful. This keeps the background blurred and as a result our subject looks much lively and prominent.
8. We should always focus at the eyes of the subject.
 9. Use of a tripod is always advisable to avoid camera shake and to get sharp images.
Concluding words:  Above mentioned points are just basic guidelines; the aesthetic sense of a photo-artist is the key to achieve stunning portraits.
--Dr. Pankaj Sharma

Saturday, October 13, 2012

--Profile-- Love for Places and People -- ABHIJIT DHARMADHIKARI

Love for Places and People

Abhijit Dharmadhikari is a resident of Mumbai. He is a ‘serious amateur’ in photography and likes to capture city life and especially the people. In his last year of Engineering, his parents gifted him a Canon AE-1 film camera and since then, photography enthralled him. 
During his college days, he did an introduction course of photography with Mr. Fakhruddin Motiwala, and after a few years did another course at The Photographic Society of India (PSI) under the guidance of Mr. Kishore Jothady; who truly developed deep love for black & white photography in him.  
He likes to shoot landscapes, cityscapes, monuments, silhouettes…but his heart truly savors shooting people. He is fascinated by the sheer diversity of people and culture of India. Capturing strangers’ faces of different cultures is like self-exploration for him; which involves communicating with people and building a good rapport with them before clicking. That’s something very challenging! Portraits, full of life, created by legendary photographer, Mr. K.G.Maheshwari inspire him a lot.
He remembers reading a quote by Henri Cartier Bresson, "Your first ten thousand photographs are your worst!”  Believing this and taking into consideration his inadequate experience, he says that he is yet to be born on the arena of photography. According to him he has a long-long way to go!

-- Dr. Pankaj Sharma

Sunday, September 30, 2012

--Dashboard-- "Throw of Joy"


"Throw of Joy"


This time I am before you with a photograph, “Throw of Joy”. It was one fine evening with pleasing patches of clouds in sky. I was on a terrace and noticed these children playing with their balls. They were repeatedly throwing the balls towards sky and then catching them back. This act seemed to give them unlimited joy. I found an opportunity to get a nice shot. I managed to click with a low view point so that the mood of children and the  throw of ball could be captured in a dramatic way. I went close to these children and sat on my knees. I pointed my camera towards them and asked them to make a few throws of balls for me. They, very happily, agreed and repeated their act. I continuously clicked and finally got a satisfactory shot which is before you. A Canon Powershot, A-580 compact camera was used to take this photograph with KIDS & PETS option. Since I was clicking the act of children by going extremely close to them, the camera’s lens was set at wide end. This resulted into a dramatic effect.
While shooting such shots we should keep some points in our mind: 

 (1) We should choose an unusual view point to add extraordinary effects in our pictures. (2) We have to apply a high shutter speed in order to capture the moment perfectly (if we are using a SLR camera). If we are having a compact camera, sports mode or kids/pets mode are useful. (3) We should aim at portraying the true feelings of human beings. (4) We have to be very careful for the safety of our camera. A small negligence can damage our equipment.

-- Dr. Pankaj Sharma

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Profile --- In Love With Surrealism: Swarnendu Ghosh


-In Love With Surrealism- Swarnendu Ghosh

Born in Berhampore, (district Murshidabad, West Bengal-India), Swarnendu Ghosh AFIAP, FFIP, is associated with a well known IT services company as a software engineer. Swarnendu is a human being with an inventive taste. He keeps himself busy in giving shape to his imaginations through his camera and editing tools during the moments of leisure. He captures the subjects through the lens and then treats them with his mind's eye, compassion, love and sentiments. He is currently working on dark-surreal photography which is a combination of Dark Art and Surrealism.

He has got numerous acceptances and awards in photography competitions worldwide. His recent achievement is U.P State Lalit Kala Academy Award.

He is currently residing in Kolkata – the city of joy. His wife, Rudrita is also a passionate photo-artist.

Beside photography, Swarnendu takes interest in listening to music and doing painting. He loves folk music of countries around the world. This music inspires him to paint and to make surreal images.

According to Swarnendu, “Poets express their views through poetry and so writers through their writings. I love to express my philosophy towards life through art-photography. For me, photography is not only a medium to capture a moment of life but also a very strong medium to express my inner mind.”

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Event - “6th IIPC World Photography Day Annual Photo Contest-2012”

“6th IIPC World Photography Day Annual Photo Contest-2012”

Photography is accepted as an important branch of fine art globally. India International Photographic Council’s contribution to encourage this form of art has always been admirable. The organisation’s ‘World Photography-Day Annual Photo Contest’ is an occasion that gives opportunity to the photography lovers to share and polish their talent.

Similar to previous years, this year also the response of participants towards this contest was quite encouraging. A total of 512 entries from 38 participants from different parts of the country were received in five categories, namely B/W Pictorial, Colour Pictorial, Nature, Photo Journalism and Photo Travel. The entries covered a series of subjects. Out of total entries, 158 photographs got acceptances, 05 photographs received awards and 15 photographs got Certificates of Merit. The award winners are:

(1). Mr. G. Jaya Siva Rama Rao (Lakkavaram, Andhra Pradesh) for “Finishing Touch” (B/W Pictorial Section).

(2). Mr. V. K. R. S. Sarma (Nedunuru, Andhra Pradesh) for “Playing Cart” (Colour Pictorial Section).

(3). Mr. Satpal Singh (Lakhimpur Kheri, U.P) for “In Trap of Death” (Nature Section).

(4). Mr. T. Srinivasa Reddy (Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh) for “Irresponsible” (Photo Journalism Section).

(5). Mr. Vaibhav Jaguste (Thane, Maharashtra) for “Leh Monestry” (Photo Travel Section).

Dr. Pankaj Sharma, AIIPC, FFIP, IIPC Platinum, Mr. Bijan Das, LIIPC Mr. Deepak Ghosh, LIIPC, Mr. Gopal Sharma and Dr. Kamran Khan, LIIPC were Jury Members.

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma (Contest Chairman)

“Finishing Touch” By Mr. G. Jaya Siva Rama Rao, Lakkavaram - (Award--B/W Pictorial Section)

“Playing Cart” By Mr. V. K. R. S. Sarma, Nedunuru, - (Award--Colour Pictorial Section)

“In Trap of Death” By Mr. Satpal Singh, Lakhimpur Kheri - (Award--Nature Section)

“Irresponsible” By Mr. T. Srinivasa Reddy, Vijayawada - (Award--Photo Journalism Section)

“Leh Monestry” By Mr. Vaibhav Jaguste, Thane- (Award--Photo Travel Section)

Judging in Progress