Saturday, December 21, 2013

-Profile- Enthusiast for Pictorial Photography : Venkateswarlu Kola

Enthusiast for Pictorial Photography
Venkateswarlu Kola

Mr. Venkateswarlu Kola (Kodad, Andhra Pradesh-India) was born on 7th march, 1965. While he was studying, he started photography as a profession. He was lucky enough as he got the valuable guidance of famous photo artist, Mr. Achari at the early stage of his career (1982). Under his able guidance he started with black and white medium. He used to handle the whole process of this form of art himself. Within a short phase of time he got mastery over the basics of photography art, and now his friends started calling him 'Bommala Venkanna'. In fact this name was given to him as a token of love and regard. This honour means a lot to Mr. Venkateswarlu because this comprises precious love and regard of his well wishers. Afterward he developed his interest into 'pictorial photography'. This inclination was the result of several photography workshops at different places of India that he had attended. Soon he started submitting his art works in reputed photography contests. The results were quite positive. He got several awards and laurels. He is among a few of India who have got the Associateship of India International Photography Council (AIIPC) and the Associateship of Federation of Indian Photography (AFIP). The key part of his creative works is his command over light and composition. The magical use of light in combination with perfect composition in his images attracts the art lovers at first sight and that too very deeply. This quality makes him different from others.

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma

Sunday, December 1, 2013

-Dashboard- White Crab Spider (Thomisus Spectabilis)

White Crab Spider (Thomisus Spectabilis)

The White Crab Spider, also known as flower spider, is a wonderful creation of nature. This Spider has almost semi transparent head and legs. Body is white with small black spots on the outside corners of body. Some crab spiders can be yellow in colour. It is very quick and when approached, it runs away immediately. The fat legs and typical form of body give it the appearance of a crab. This spider lives among the plants and on flowers. Its food is small insects and butterflies. White spider captures its prey with strong front legs. The size of female spider is normally around 10 mm and that of male is around 6 mm. The male spider is often reddish brown in colour. The bite of this spider creates pain and swelling in human beings.
I noticed the pair of this spider in the garden of my office. This pair was dwelling on a pretty flower. The bight cloudy weather provided ideal light for a click. I had a Canon Powershot A 580 camera with me at that time. Due to the small size of these spiders it was wise to set the camera at Macro Mode. I clicked 3-4 shots and this is one of them.
The ISO of camera was set at 80 and the exposure was approximately f-5.6 - 1/30 sec.
(Personal experience: The macro mode of compact and prosumer digital cameras is generally of great help while clicking tiny objects.)

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma

Sunday, November 17, 2013

-Profile- Photography Lives In His Heart And Soul : Satsangi N. P

Photography Lives In His Heart And Soul Satsangi N.P

Satsangi N P was born on 12th Nov 1944 in Ludhina. He is a graduate (B.Sc.) of Kolkata University and BE (Mech.) of NIT Allahabad University. He started manufacturing of Tin metal recovery from Tin sheet scraps and then steel cold Rolling in 1969 at Kolkata and Ghaziabad. 

He felt in deep love with Photography in 1989. He soon started participating in National and International Photographic competitions and the process is still going on.  He has won many prestigious awards, certificates of merit and Honourable mentions till date. He has received Artist FIAP in Colour Slides Section, Associateship of India International Photographic Council in Nature Slides Section, and Fellowship of Federation of Indian Photography in Nature Slides Section. The oldest Photographic society of Madras has honoured him with life time achievement award. He has been the member of jury in various National and International photographic competitions. He has more than 10000 acceptances in national and international photographic competitions to his credit.

He has given presentations at Photographic Society of Madras, Madras Photographic Society, Madras Naturalist Society, Roll Call, Asian College Of Journalism and Dayalbagh University.

He is a passionate traveller and has been to many destinations like Hongkong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Australia Alaska, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. He has authored three books. The two are related to a Town, Sidhpur with 135 photographs. Another is a Coffee Table book with 160 stunning Pictorial, Nature, Wild Life, Landscape shots.

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma

Saturday, November 2, 2013

-Learning- "Capturing the Festival of Lights"

(From the Archive, with some modifications)

Capturing the Festival of Lights

Deepawali is an important festival of India. This festival is full of illumination and enjoyment.  We have an ideal opportunity for interesting photographs on this occasion. With a few points in our mind, we can click memorable images of this occasion.

* As this festival is celebrated during late evening part of the day, we have to set the ISO of our camera at a high point (400 or onwards). This will help us capturing the festival properly. If we are shooting the firecrackers, we should under expose the photograph a little in order to enhance the details and hues.

* Illuminated and decorated cities offer opportunity for excellent photographs. Here also, we should use a high ISO. If we wish to have noise free photographs, we should use a low ISO. In such case we have to rest our camera on a tripod. This will avoid camera shake and will result into sharp pictures. Along with a low ISO we can set a small aperture to achieve a good depth of field. But In such case moving objects will tend to blur. Sometimes blurred moving objects add fantastic effect to the picture. Use of a wide angle lens is very friendly in capturing illuminated streets or buildings.

* Using a high view point often gives fantastic results.

* Shooting colourful electric bulbs with utterly low shutter speed with intentional camera shakes occasionally results into magical results. For this point, we have to set a low shutter speed (such as 1/15 sec. or 1/30 sec.) with a low ISO setting. Now by aiming at an appropriate illuminated decoration, we have to do two things at the same time, pressing the shutter releasing button and shaking the camera randomly. We can repeat this act twice, thrice or more. This will result into some pretty graphical images.

* People busy in different activities can also be our subject. Here we have to use a slight high ISO. In this situation we can use camera flash also.

* Our aim should be to capture the true feel of this festival.

* Apart from above technical points, the visual sense, presence of mind and fine skills of a photo artist will help in creating marvellous Deepawali Photographs.

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Photo Gallery: Different Strokes:The Best of 7th IIPC World Photography Day Annual Photo Contest-2013

-Photo Gallery- 
Different Strokes
The Best of 7th IIPC World Photography Day Annual Photo Contest-2013
The 7th IIPC World Photography Day Annual Photo Contest-2013 concluded with numerous sweet memories in the mind and soul of art lovers. A good number of entries from about 60 participants of 13 states of India were received in this contest. Out of them, 10 images got Awards, 17 received Certificates of Merit and 254 images got Acceptances. The art lovers welcomed the event with great zeal.  The creative works of the participants attracted the visitors deeply.
The exhibition of the selected images was organised by Photo Vision, Bareilly in IMA Hall on 18 and 19 August-2013.

(The detailed report of this event has been published in one of our previous posts)

Here are the Award Winning images for your delight.

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma,
Contest Chairman

Twin Carriers (Award-B/W Pictorial Section)
M. V. Rao, Bandarulanka

Friends (Cash Award-B/W Pictorial Section)
Sk. A. Sharief, Bhadrachalam

Liquor Wander (Award-Colour Pictorial Section)
Sk. A. Sharief, Bhadrachalam

Joyful Ride (Cash Award-Colour Pictorial Section)
V.K.R.S. Sarma, Nedunuru

Tiger with Bandhavgarh (Award-Nature Section)
B.C. Manjappa, Bangalore

Fish in Beak (Cash Award-Nature Section)
Manoj Kumar, Delhi

Water Rippling (Award-Photo Journalism Section)
Vaibhav Jaguste, Thane

To Win (Cash Award-Photo Journalism Section)
Venkateswarlu Kola, Kodad

Flower Valley (Award-Photo Travel Section)
Anup Sah, Nainital

Bird's Eye View (Cash Award-Photo Travel Section)
Dr. Anupam Sharma, Bareilly

Sunday, September 22, 2013

-My Experience- Tiny Creatures and Close-Up Lenses

-My Experience-

Tiny Creatures and Close-Up Lenses

Mr. Chandan D. N. Gaonkar of Panaji (Goa-India) is an emerging photo artist. He has been a contributor for our blog since its inception. This time he is before us with his experience about clicking tiny creatures with close-up lenses. This technique is quite simple and has been very popular among the beginners.

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma

"Mother Nature has blessed the earth with innumerable living beings. Small creatures have their own world. Their shapes, vibrant colors, textures and activities are real pleasure for our eyes. It is always very delightful to see these little beings in their own world that is far from the crowd of human life. Whenever I shoot these creatures, my first intention is to respect Mother Nature. I never disturb my subjects, and give them proper respect. There are times when I have to keep waiting for them for their best moments. But this stay also gives me a deep satisfaction.
Photographing small creatures requires a special macro lens which is often very expensive. The close-up lenses of different powers are the good alternative to a macro lens. These lenses permit a normal or a zoom lens to focus at the small objects by going close to them, the same as a magnifying glass helps us observing the small subjects closely. These lenses can be screwed on the front of lens, and are easy to use. They are of different powers, like +1, +2 and +4. We have to choose the power of lens according to the size of the subject. If the subject is small, we need a high power lens (such as +4). On the other hand, if the subject is a bit big, use of a lens of +1 or +2 power is enough. If case, the subject is too much tiny, we can use the combination of two or more lenses (such as +4 and +1 or +4 and +2). But the grouping of two or more lenses can decrease the quality of picture.
Although the images with above lenses are not very much good in quality, yet we can get satisfactory results by keeping a few points in our mind:
* We should not use very high power of close up lens. Likewise the combination of two or more lenses should also be avoided.
* We have to click the images in proper light.
* The use of small-size aperture helps in getting the images with proper sharpness and depth.
* Resting the camera on a firm tripod is always recommended as this prevents shake while close-focusing.
* Use of fill in flash is very helpful in low light condition."

--Chandan D. N. Gaonkar

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Learning: Photographing Historical Sculptures

Photographing Historical Sculptures in Ambient Light

     Ancient sculptures are good source of knowledge of our glorious past. We observe such figures in old temples, museums and at other important places and often tend to photograph them for our record. We can photograph them in proper way by keeping a few points in our mind.  

* D SLR Camera: Any D SLR Camera with necessary features.
* A normal lens (50 mm), any standard zoom lens (18-55 mm, 18-105 mm etc.) or a Macro Lens (100 mm) is ideal for our purpose. However a macro lens is very useful in close focusing of small figures and in getting fine details.
* A firm tripod to avoid camera shake in low light conditions.
* Polarizing filter to avoid glare of the figures with shiny surface.
* Backgrounds (Colourful papers or clothes).

Light: Light is the essence of a picture. Proper light helps in highlighting the details and in giving a feel of depth to a sculpture.  Mild sunlight of morning and evening is suitable for our work. Moreover we can get amazing results with the light coming through a window/door in a room. Use of one-sided light can be fruitful for photographing sculptures. We should place the sculpture in such a manner that light may fall on it either from left or from right side. But in such condition half portion of the object remains shady. This portion can be treated with the help of a reflector or a white card sheet by providing some reflected light (Nearly 50% of the highlighted portion or as required). If we notice some darkness on any other portion of sculpture, we can fill it with reflected soft light from required angle. If the background seems too dark and we need to highlight it, we can show it up by tilting it towards the source of light or by giving some light to it through another reflector. In this situation we can take help of any of our friends of colleagues.

Selection of Background: Selection of appropriate background doubles the beauty of a picture. So we have to be very cautious in regard of background. Background should be simple and sober. Texture of the background should not be glossy, as it will reflect unnecessary light towards the lens. Papers and cloths of different colours can be used as background. Colour of the background should match to the colour of sculpture. Nevertheless the black background suits almost every colour (except dark ones). So we can use a black background with the sculptures of different colours if we lack a variety of backgrounds.

Exposure: Suitable exposure (the light reaching to the subject through the combination of aperture and shutter speed) is a vital factor. For every part of the figure in focus and for good depth, we should always choose a small size of the aperture (like 22 or 16). The shutter speed of the camera can be selected accordingly. Use of aperture priority mode is also useful. In this mode we have to select the aperture and the shutter speed is determined by the camera. If we get a little bright or little dark image, we can manage the results by using exposure compensation mode by lightening or darkening our image slightly.
Composition: Perfect composition is an important element. We should always try to compose the photograph with simplicity. Some space should be left around the object, as it will give a sense of openness to the picture.  If we are on the profile (side view) of a sculpture, we should leave some space in front of the sculpture.

Important: Before photographing the sculptures of historical importance, we should always take permission of concerned authority.

(Images courtesy: Panchala Museum, MJP Rohilkhand University, Bareilly-U.P-India)

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma