Sunday, April 27, 2014

“From the Archive” -Learning- Photographing Flowers

“From the Archive”
Photographing Flowers

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.

Proper lighting plays a vital role in photographing flowers. As the flowers are tender by nature, the light should 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.

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.

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.

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.

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) If we want the closeup shots, the use of a  macro lens is always friendly. This lens helps taking close shots with fine details. If we lack a macro lens, the macro option of a compact/prosumer digital camera is of great use. This option is capable enough in capturing the good close up shots. 

(f) 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, April 12, 2014

-Profile- Creating Images with Different Viewpoint S. P. Mukherji

Creating Images with Different Viewpoint
S. P. Mukherji

S. P. Mukherji’s desire for camera took birth during his childhood days, when he was on a trip to Nainital with his family. The beauty of this hill station left a profound impact on his heart and soul. He again felt the need of a camera, when he was on an official trip with some of his colleagues. He could not bring back the sweet memories of the trip due to lack of gear. Now he decided to fulfill his need. He purchased a Pentax K1000 SLR camera just after getting his very next salary. In this way his photographic voyage began. However, he could not pursue his hobby due his family responsibilities, and his craving for photography met a premature end.

His next stint, as a photographer, began with the advent of digital era. He started loving to experiment in the digital darkroom, and this time he was determined to achieve his goal. Now he, somehow, tried to garner some time to pursue his hobby.

Though he enjoys all realms of photography, yet exploration of various software & different techniques and producing blended conceptions lie close to his heart.

Mr. Mukherji has more than 1600 acceptances with almost 200 awards in the photography contests in India and abroad during a career span of about 7 years.

He lives in Kolkata (India) and is a qualified MBA and a mechanical engineer. He is currently employed in the Government sector. In spite of his demanding official responsibilities, he still dribbles out some time for photography every day and is keen to share his photographic experiences with enthusiasts. Here he takes the opportunity to showcase some of his early works and hopes to share the more recent experimentation in some later edition.

--Dr. Pankaj Sharma