Saturday, March 31, 2012

Learning: Photographing Historical Buildings


Photographing Historical Buildings


Historical buildings often provide golden opportunities for ideal photographs. These constructions fascinate a photo artist deeply. A few points can help us portraying these buildings beautifully:

1. Good equipment is a vital aspect. We should choose a camera with all necessary features. The most important thing is selection of right lens. A normal lens is always ideal because this assists avoiding distortion in our results. In some cases (in the condition when there is a lack of space) a wide angle lens is of great use. But this lens distorts photographs on the edges. This problem can be conquered by maintaining distance between the camera and the subject. A perspective correction lens can also help us avoiding unnecessary distortion. Moreover photo-editing softwares (Like Adobe Photoshop) also help us eliminating the distortion from our subject.

2. Good Lighting is always a requirement. Early morning and late evening light of sun is ideal for our intention. This light creates long shadows by falling on a subject at low angle. This boosts depth to a building and shows up the dimensions. Furthermore this light brings out the details of the subject. The results are superior when such light falls on the structures from one side.

3. Proper composition is a very important facet. Our composition should be simple and full of aesthetic value. Shooting a building in a straight line is not sufficient. A photograph should look interesting. We have to involve the environment also in company with the major subject. Involving trees, plants, human beings, etc. in the frame adds sense to our image.

4. We have to use a small aperture (22, 16 or 11) to show maximum parts of a building in focus with ultimate depth.

5. At times, a specific part of the building can provide a good image. The presentation depends on our approach. Few buildings are rich in artistic forms. If we document these forms artistically, we can get exceptional pictures.

6. Sky has an important role in architectural photography. We should avoid flat and dull sky. Blue sky is always ideal and if the sky has clouds too, we are lucky enough to get a decent shot. Flying birds (if we luckily get) in the sky or around the object also give strength to our photograph.

7. We can get good pictures of buildings during night also (if they are enlightened well). In such situation we should always rest our camera on a firm tripod.

8. Some times a low view point can give amazing results by depicting the buildings more grand.

9. Since these buildings are our heritage, this is our duty to not to harm them.

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Photo Feature : "Harbin Ice and Snow Festival"

Photo Feature

Harbin Ice and Snow Festival


Harbin Ice Festival of China is well known all through the world due to the beautiful Ice-made structures and various enjoyable activities. Mr. Anup Sah, a well known photo artist of India, is before us with a photo feature on this festival.

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma

“Harbin lies in the Heilongjiang Province of China and this is the frozen North Eastern region of country. Harbin is the capital city of Heilongjiang and borders Russia and Mongolia. This place is China’s most popular winter destination. At the time of their New Year, Chinese organize Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin every year.

Huge chunks of ice are cut from a frozen River and then shaped into translucent sculptures and buildings etc. Colored lights are set inside the structures and the Chinese call them lanterns. A number of activities, like, Skiing/ ice sliding, display of fireworks, football matches etc. take place here. It takes about 3 hours to reach Harbin from Shanghai through flight. We faced minus 30 degree temperature at Harbin this year. In such situation, photography proved to be a difficult task. Here are a few photographs taken during my trip to Harbin. Just have a glance.”

-Anup Sah

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Story Behind The Picture : "After The Day's Toil"

Story Behind The Picture

"After The Day’s Toil"


Today I am before you with a photograph, “After The Day’s Toil”. This photograph was clicked in December, 2011 during my visit to Papikondalu (Andhra Pradesh). I was at this place regarding my presentation in a photography workshop. This beautiful place is situated on the bank of River Godavari and is covered with green hills from all the directions. The widely extended sand-beach by the river is an attraction of this spot. A number of activities, like fishing through the nets, tribal dances and glamour-shoots, were performed for the participants of workshop. This was one moody evening when two fishermen had just returned back from their daily doings. Out of them, the one was busy in anchoring his boat at the bank, and another one was folding his net. Their act fascinated me a lot. Moreover the vibrant colours of evening, pleasant reflections in water, the position of boats and the lamps on their front, seemed to be extremely attractive. Whole scene gave the impression of a painter’s imagination. I clicked a few frames of that sight. This is one of them.

I used a Nikon D 90 camera with a Nikon 18-105 mm lens. As the light was dull, I preferred high ISO (1600). The picture was clicked at aperture priority mode (with f -8).

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma